Best Dive Bars In Seattle

December 8, 2010 9:24 PM


Nothing beats a good rough and tough night out when you’re feeling like something different. Whether you’ve seen it in a movie or perhaps just caught a quick glance inside that tough looking dive bar you pass on your way to and from work, if you feel inclined to push the edges of your cocktail envelope, you may want to check out our list of Seattle’s best area dive bars.  And to save you some time, just in case you don’t want to spend 15 years narrowing them down like Mike Seely, here’s our list.

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Sloop Tavern

2830 NW Market St
Seattle, WA 98107
(206) 782-3330
Sloop Tavern on Facebook

What’s not to like about a place that serves “Slooper-sized” 33.4oz. beers for $4? And, the food is surprisingly good for a dive bar. Plus, there’s a pool table and some video games, even an early edition of Buck Hunter. Oh, and one bit of advice from someone on “Apparently, you are supposed to order the Slooper-sized beers as ‘big’.  So you order a ‘big’ beer.  If you order a Slooper, you’re a noob.”

mikes Best Dive Bars In Seattle


Mike’s Chili Parlor

1447 NW Ballard Way
Seattle, WA 98107
(206) 782-2808

A long-time family run tavern, Mike’s was founded by Mike Semandirisis and is known for its famous “family secret” chili recipe, which does NOT have beans (real chili isn’t supposed to have bean in it). However, they do serve their chili over beans as with everything else on the menu. The drinks are cheap, the staff is pleasant & the atmosphere is more like that of a tavern and not so much a dive bar. Heck, it’s even been featured on the Food Network.

Viking Tavern

6404 24TH Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98107
(206) 784-3662

If you’re looking for a departure from all of the new & very common, pretentious hipster meat market bars, and you want to have a drink with some normal folks, then the Viking is your place. As one commenter on Yelp puts it, “The Viking is still a bastion of unpretentious alcohol serving. While much of Ballard has been overrun with trendy bars seeking the right “ambiance”, The Viking just does its thing (and, apparently, since 1950) – serve good, strong drinks at great prices with a welcoming and open atmosphere.”

waterwheel Best Dive Bars In Seattle


The Waterwheel Lounge

7034 15th Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98117
(206) 784-5701

Everything is exactly what one would desire and expect out of a dive bar: Older clientele, wood grained toilet seats behind curtains instead of doors, cheap strong drinks and an interior that is dated back to the 70’s. Offering 3-liter beer towers with convenient taps for easy pours for those over the standard pitcher, oh, and they do have pitchers, too. The staff is very friendly and helpful which adds to the fun and positive vibe of this casual neighborhood bar. Even the bar stools seem to be extra comfy and especially good at making one feel balanced and stable despite having a number of drinks as one commenter points out, “…these stools offer a true sense of security and balance, even when dancing in your chair to karaoke favorites.”

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