Bars in Mercer Island

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Paddy Coyne's shares its name with a sister pub on the west coast of Ireland, but patrons don't need to compare menus to be assured of the bar's Irish bona fides: the menu boasts corned beef with cabbage, fish 'n' chips, and traditional soda bread. Along with the classic eats, patrons can enjoy freshly pulled pints and engage their brains in trivia nights, where participants can win prizes.

700 Bellevue Way NE
Bellevue,
WA
US

Bar Code's resident mixologist, Evan Martin, has earned his fair share of drink-making accolades. Behind the bar, he fashions craft cocktails, such as the la diabla--a refreshing blend of lime-infused ginger beer, strawberry-tinged tequila, and creme de cassis--and the vodka-based usual suspect infused with lavender bitters. The drinks are a big draw, but locals also flock to Bar Code because of its twist on pub eats. White cheddar and applewood-smoked bacon flavor the mac and cheese and flatbread pizzas come topped with meatballs and jalapenos. Other eats include cheeseburger flights, caprese melts with fresh mozzarella, and weekend brunch. Free underground parking is also available.

1020 108th Avenue Northeast
Bellevue,
WA
US

A tall glass of wine, a sizzling plate of food, and a serene room can make for an exquisite meal. The team behind Chantanee Thai Restaurant & Bar know that well, and for almost 20 they have brought their refined Thai staples and chill service to the downtown Bellevue community. Duck dishes arrive wok-crisped and glazed with rich garlic sauce or slow-cooked in a fragrant combination of coriander and five-spice powder. Platters of stir-fried vegetables and cashews get a kick from housemade chili paste, which can be used to make any dish spicier or just more red if you happen to love the color.

On one wall, a large Thai-inspired art piece gleams gold over the room and a circular booth with lime green cushions pops amid earth-tone chairs and blonde wooden tables. In another artistic play, a row of stout wooden planks hangs from the ceiling, visually separating the dining room from the nearby lounge area. There, a curving bar winds the length of the room and bartenders mix up complex drinks, pour absinthe, or set their signature Blue Blazer drink on fire.

601108th Ave. NE
Bellevue,
WA
US

Quarter Lounge envelopes patrons in a laid back setting laced with traditional bar games while pacifying ravenous thirsts with nine brews on tap and a smattering of bottled beverages. Sudsmiths can swig back a domestic ($3.50) glass brimming with Bud Light or Pabst while microbrew ($5) seekers can peruse the line-up of specialty pourables including Manny's Pale Ale, Lucille IPA, and Pike Dry Wit, a summertime Belgian white boasting a dry finish and a stellar impersonation of Jean-Claude Van Damme. A free bowl of popcorn keeps any wet whistle from drowning while an on-tap draft such as Pacifico ($5) washes down kernels like a rubber duckies surfing the Amazon River.

909 Madison St
Seattle,
WA
US

The directions to Zig Zag Café read about as topsy turvy as signs in Wonderland: near the Pike Place Market, just down the stairs from Kasala Furniture, but just up the stairs across the street from the Seattle Aquarium. A map might come in handy. But once you’re inside, it’s all about the cocktails. Behind the polished bar, a team of mixologists—which until recently included cocktail legend Murray Stenson, named the Best Bartender in America in 2010—craft these spirited libations with small-batch bitters, hard-to-find liquors, and ingenious house recipes. The bartenders, dressed in crisp black vests and white shirts to match the romantic surroundings and the occasional penguin bar guest, also serve a full dinner menu until 1 a.m. every night.

1501 Western Ave
Seattle,
WA
US

The wood-paneled Pub at Third Place, found below Third Place Books’ location in residential Ravenna, offers a cozy respite from rainy days. With plenty of microbrews on tap and an ample wine list, the casual spot pulls in local drinkers and anyone looking to stave off hunger with their pub fare – think pulled pork sandwiches and burgers – and Greek specialties, sourced from the Vios Café upstairs. That means diners can snack on everything from souvlaki to falafel sandwiches at the long, winding wooden bar, or sit with a pint and play a board game with friends. There are books available as well, of course, making the Pub at Third Place a cozy spot to tuck into a new page-turning novel or the day’s newspaper, while the rest of the neighborhood walks by.

6504 20th Ave NE
Seattle,
WA
US