Seattle's amazing musical legacy is well-known, but there's more to the arts and nightlife scenes than live music. In fact, these days, there are far more swanky bars and inventive pubs than music venues in the city.

To put it bluntly, Seattle's a dynamite place to drink. You can sip overly ambitious and ridiculously named specialty cocktails in trendy lounges, get a lesson from an enthusiastic sommelier in a wine bar or restaurant, or swill cheap beer on the patio of a dive bar. Though some places have very specific demographics, most Seattle bars are egalitarian, drawing loyal regulars of all ages.

The music scene is still kicking—there's something going on every night of the week in nearly every genre of music. The city's dynamic theater scene is a highly regarded proving ground for Broadway, and the Seattle International Film Festival draws the finest in world cinema. The ethereal Marion Oliver McCaw Hall is a first-class venue for opera and ballet, and Benaroya Hall, with its outstanding acoustics, is an elegant premier symphony hall. Families enjoy the Children's Theatre, the Northwest Puppet Center, and the many summertime folk art and music festivals.

In addition to its bars, Downtown and Belltown in particular have notable restaurants with separate bar areas. Most restaurants have impressive bar menus, and food is often served until 11 pm, midnight, or even 1 am in some spots.

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  • 1. Kremwerk

    South Lake Union | Dance Clubs

    This "queer-centric" club that combines modern fixtures and an industrial space is known for electronic music and theatrical performances that...Read More

  • 2. Madison Pub

    Capitol Hill | Bars/Pubs

    Regulars shoot pool, hang out with groups of friends, and chat up the friendly bartenders at this laid-back, anti-scenester joint. ...Read More

  • 3. Neighbours

    Capitol Hill | Bars/Pubs

    In business since 1983, Neighbours is an institution thanks in part to its drag shows, great theme DJ nights, and relaxed atmosphere (everyone...Read More

  • 4. Pony

    Central District | Dance Clubs

    The original and short-lived Pony, which got bulldozed along with the rest of the 500 block of Pine Street, was notorious for wild fun. The...Read More

  • 5. Re-Bar

    South Lake Union | Bars/Pubs

    A loyal following enjoys cabaret shows, weekend stage performances, and great DJs at this combination bar, theater, dance club, and art space...Read More

  • 6. Wildrose

    Capitol Hill | Bars/Pubs

    Seattle's only dedicated lesbian bar draws a mob nearly every night. The crowd at weeknight karaoke is fun and good-natured, cheering for pretty...Read More

  • 7. The Elite

    Capitol Hill | Bars/Pubs

    The Elite technically the oldest gay bar on the Hill, has settled in well at its new location (it used to be on Broadway Avenue East). This...Read More

  • 8. The Lobby Bar

    Capitol Hill | Bars/Pubs

    Despite its location on one of the divier blocks of Pike, this chic space done in gray and white is a fairly good approximation of a hip hotel...Read More

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