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Help! Looking for an interesting bar in Seattle

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I'm in town for the weekend from Los Angeles with my Fiance. Looking for an interesting place to grab a drink on the weekend in downtown Seattle. Especially interested in bars with good martinis or scotch selections. Any must-see bars for an out-of-towner?

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  1. Spur (slightly upscale, with interesting food; try one of the foam drinks)
    Zigzag (more downscale, great classic/revived cocktails)
    (Vessel bar has gone downhill imo in their drink execution although they do have good bbq pork sliders now)
    Crush (very upscale restaurant w/ interesting drinks at bar)

    2 Replies
    1. re: barleywino

      What BW said.

      1. re: barleywino

        Ditto on ZigZag. It's right beneath Pike's Place market on the hill climb off Western. Their mint julep is killer (i know its not a martini or scotch...) and most on their specialty cocktail list are awesome.

      2. Check out Neighbors on Capitol Hill. That is certainly an interesting bar.

        1. Neighbors is a rather tired gay bar on Capital Hill. If you want scotch, FX Mcrory downtown near Pioneer Square has a huge Scotch selection, although it's a bit run down. Purple is an interesting wine bar.

          1. The Alibi Room is one of Seattle's off the radar gems. For atmosphere, the bar at the Pink Door.

            1. I'm looking forward to trying the lobby bar in the Arctic Club Hotel, which is very fancy.

              1. ZigZag has a wonderfully knowledgeable bartender with a cocktail list to match.

                1. I like the upstairs bar at Maximillien's at the Market. Very Euro-rustic. Same menu as the downstairs (white table cloth) restaurant featuring some of the best Mussels in Seattle.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Glassman

                    ditto, i like Maximilien's happy hour out on the deck (when it's warm out), including their smoked salmon, frites etc.

                  2. Tini Biggs has a new cocktail program and is worthy of checking out. It's on the corner of 1st and Denny - so just barely outside of downtown.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: Lauren

                      is that where Jamie BOudreau (Vessel) is now situated?

                      1. re: barleywino

                        Yes

                        1. re: hhlodesign

                          i checked and for now at least, he's there Mon-Wed only

                          1. re: barleywino

                            I think they are doing "his" cocktails the other nights as well.

                            1. re: Lauren

                              yeah last night they were able to do a limited selection of his cocktails but apparently not all of them (not the bacon one, nor the foam one, etc)

                              1. re: barleywino

                                Ah. Those weren't on the menu he showed us.

                    2. The most interesting cocktail selections and balanced drinks made by a bartender who cares about things like balance can be found at:

                      Zig Zag - Murray
                      Spur - Dave
                      Sambar - Jay
                      Tavolata - Eric

                      I also enjoyed the drinks at:
                      Liberty
                      Branzino

                      1. I disagree with the comment about Vessel, Jim and Zane are doing fantastic things there and changing the menu regularly. The execution of the drinks is spot on and it is absolutely one of the most interesting cocktail menus in Seattle. And they have an incredible smoky scotch that is like a campfire! I'm not a scotch drinker but have had it as others I drink with are.

                        The bar at Union also is a great place. Keith is really into tiki drinks but served elegantly without all the kitsch. Drinks and happy hour menu here are a favorite.

                        Zig Zag is fantastic but not for food!

                        and absolutely Tini Bigs now that Jaime is there.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: little ms foodie

                          i find that when Vessel flames their peels, they burn them and then drop them into the drink, leaving a harsh bitter carbon taste that ruins the drink, rather than just flaming the oils...and the balance of the drinks is not what it used to be under Jamie...Keith's drinks tend to have too much lime or lemon overpowering the rest of the drink, again the balance is off imo...anyway those are my 2cents, ymmv

                        2. Zig Zag, hands down.