Sleepless in Seattle: A Guide To Seattle Nightlife

Sleepless in Seattle

Sleepless in Seattle takes on another meaning when you realize the Emerald City is one of the nation’s best cities for nightlife.

It’s one of the few places that can say it’s got something for everyone. This is true whether you’re a jazz lover or craft cocktail type of person. Want a speakeasy? A bar that only does beer? Seattle has it all.

Each neighborhood has its own style, yet all remain uniquely Seattle at the same time.

Curious to find out the city’s nighttime secrets? If you’ve ever wondered what to do when you’re sleepless in Seattle, keep reading. You’re about to find out the top things to do in Seattle nightlife.

Go Downtown For Some Jazz

Many visitors and locals will start their sleepless in Seattle journey with the downtown Seattle nightlife. Luckily, there’s plenty to choose from, and one of the best places to start is at Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley.

This iconic jazz club has four decades of history to its name. You can have both a great dinner and great acoustics. There are national and local jazz artists wowing the crowd in an incredibly intimate atmosphere.

If you don’t get a spot here, there’s always The Triple Door. It also has good acoustics and food.

Capitol Hill

The Capitol Hill neighborhood is known to Seattleites as “the Hill”. It’s very close to downtown and has an eclectic, quirky vibe that’s all authentic Seattle.

The area is the home of Canon, the best cocktail bar in the city. The bar isn’t just a local favorite, it’s also nationally known for its quality mixology. There’s not much standing room, so you should probably arrive early or wait for a seat.

It’s possible to reserve a spot with your credit card, however. This spot is best for couples or a single person out on the town, it doesn’t allow parties of over four people.

Once you’ve got your seat, expect the cocktails at Canon to be perfection. They’re well worth waiting for. There’s over 100 to choose from, and the bartenders know their stuff. Don’t be afraid to ask for their recommendations.

Whiskey lovers especially will love the selection here. If you’re not a fan of whiskey, you’re bound to find something that takes your fancy. The extensive liquor collection literally stretches to the ceiling, stacked high up behind the bar.

If fancy cocktails aren’t your thing, not to worry. Head to Capitol Hill’s former funeral home turned beer bar, the Pine Box. It’s still got the airy feel and elaborate decorations from its previous life but manages to feel lively.

In addition to beer, there’s also sandwiches, pizza, and more to soak up your drinks. Time your visit to coincide with one of the frequent cask openings. Local breweries also release their top brews here.

Happy hour is as good a time to visit as any. It boasts cheap snacks and a dollar off of drinks.


Also not too far from downtown is the hip Belltown neighborhood. It’s become one of the best Seattle nightlife areas in recent years.

Belltown has plenty of top-notch bars and restaurants to explore. At night you admire the glittering skyline of the high-rise condos that call the neighborhood their home. You can also window shop at the neighborhood’s swanky boutiques.

Yet another jazz club, Tula’s is located in Belltown as well. Seattle is one of the most prolific cities to hear jazz overall. Tula’s has that smoky old-time atmosphere that keeps regulars coming back.

If that’s not to your taste, try The Crocodile. This venue has plenty of music cred. It’s hosted everyone from Seattle’s most famous son, Kurt Cobain, to Pearl Jam. Take a listen and see if you can spot the next big band here.

Best of all? The tickets are incredibly cheap. You won’t spend more than $40 at most.

Take A Bath In Some Gin

Another great Belltown spot is The Bathtub Gin and Company. It’s a speakeasy tucked away in a passage. You’ll find the two-story bar behind the wooden door.

This bar a throwback to a more sophisticated time, with cocktails based on literary classics. Even the receipts are made by hand.

As you can probably tell by the name, the selection of gins here is unrivaled. There’s local Washington faves, as well as international Dutch and Scottish brands representing.

Midnight Movies At The Egyptian

Another historic spot, the Egyptian Theatre on Capitol Hill has always been the home of independent film. It was taken over and spruced up by the Seattle Film Festival. The new name is the SIFF Cinema Egyptian.

There’s first-run movies, documentaries, and classic films showing at this single-screen venue. Take in a movie at night, sink into the plush red seats, and pretend you’re in another era.

Visit The Center Of The Universe In Fremont

Yes, it’s officially called the Center of the Universe. You can visit the sign at the intersection of North Fremont Avenue and North 35th Street. Fremont is the spot for the counterculture and self-proclaimed hippies of the city.

Visit the Ballroom, a lounge where you can get East coast pizza by the slice or whole pie. There are also pool tables here, so you can play all night in the welcoming pub atmosphere.

The Fremont Troll is not a club or a bar. But it’s still one of the coolest and most unique things you can do in Seattle.

The troll is a free attraction that embodies the artistic, quirky spirit of the city. It was created out of an old Volkswagen Beetle, among other materials. You can find it under the north end of the Aurora bridge.

Just bring a friend, so you don’t get too scared.

Sleepless In Seattle Tips

Hopefully, this guide will have inspired you to try something new when you’re sleepless in Seattle. The city has plenty to do during the day as well.

Hungry for more Seattle tips? Check out our definitive guide to things to do in Seattle.

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