Travel Guides for Un-tourists


Slip into Seattle’s Hidden Restaurants and Bars

by Jessica Wick

posted on January 07, 2020

Photo Courtesy: iStock/MaximFesenko

Tucked away in alleys and through discreet entrances, the speakeasy trend is alive and well in Seattle. To save you from searching, we’ve done the research for you, highlighting the best hidden restaurants and bars, including a market-driven Italian restaurant, a craft cocktail bar tucked into a diner, a reservations-only speakeasy, and more.

Photo Courtesy: The Pink Door

Pike Place Market is one of Seattle’s top tourist attractions, but many out-of-towners aren’t as familiar with the adjacent Post Alley. That’s where you’ll find the Pink Door restaurant, which is marked by — you guessed it — a pink door. This charming landmark has been around since 1981, and since its recent renovation is better than ever.

Here you’ll find creative Italian cuisine made with ingredients from the market. During the summer, dine on the outdoor deck overlooking the waterfront; if the weather’s not cooperative, the indoor space is every bit as impressive. With performances from an aerial dancer on Sundays and Mondays and other nightly entertainment, this experience offers much more than mouthwatering food.

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Lasagna Pink Door, la fettunta, winter risotto, pork shank osso buco, cappuccino cheesecake

Photo Courtesy: Tavern Law

Tavern Law is a high-end Prohibition era cocktail bar located in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. As if the ambiance and well-crafted drinks here weren’t amazing enough, this bar also has a secret speakeasy called Needle & Thread upstairs. To gain entry, you’ll need to make a reservation, then, when you arrive, pick up the vintage phone in the back corner of Tavern Law. Once you speak to the person on the other end of the line, the door will unlock, and you’ll head upstairs to an antique parlor. Here, bespoke cocktails are designed by the expert team. Let the bartender know what you’re in the mood for, and they’ll craft something tailored to your tastes.

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Citrusy gin & egg white, smoky mac & cheese, harissa pork cheeks, cheddar and corn cracklins, oysters

Photo Courtesy: Bathtub Gin & Co

This elegant speakeasy is in the heart of the bustling Belltown neighborhood, but since it’s hidden in an alley, it’s easy to miss. There are no reservations here, so you may want to come early; Bathtub Gin is a local icon, and there’s almost always a line at the door on Friday and Saturday nights. You’ll find plenty of beer, wine, and classic cocktails on the menu here, all served in a soothing, dimly-lit environment. It almost feels like you’re in someone’s private (and well-stocked) home.

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Atticus Finch, Billygoat Snuggler, Burn's Twilight, Death Star, The Exterminating Angel

Photo Courtesy: Knee High Stocking Co.

This speakeasy claims to be “hidden in plain sight,” and that’s a pretty accurate description. Though marked by a small sign, it’s easy to walk past this tiny space on Capitol Hill’s Olive Way. Drinks-wise, expect a seasonal cocktail menu and a roster of beer, wine, and spirits from the Pacific Northwest. If possible, come here on a weeknight, when Filipino food like lumpia, cracked corn, patatas bravas, and slow-cooked pork are available.

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Holy Thursday cocktail, steak tapa bowl, veggie pancit, pork tocino sandwich, Vietnamese coffee cheesecake

Photo Courtesy: nunndonnie

It’s not every day you’ll find a hip craft cocktail bar hidden behind a diner, but that’s exactly what The Backdoor is. Located in the eclectic Fremont neighborhood, this secret bar offers a limited (but wonderful) food menu and a long list of libations. While Roxy’s Diner is casual and family-friendly, the atmosphere here feels decidedly more elegant and upscale, with dim lighting and dangling chandeliers.

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Backdoor Baby Doll cocktail, Sidecar, Backdoor Surprise cocktail, jalapeno poppers, shoestring onions

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