The 25th anniversary celebration at Madison Pub reflected the bar's general attitude: not a lot of frills or fuss, just good drink specials in a comfortable neighborhood joint. The Capitol Hill gay bar prides itself on its regulars, including its staff—the current owner started as a bartender there in 1992. Perhaps Seattle Gay News described it best: "Madison Pub is the kind of place where you'll always see a familiar face."
Madison Pub sticks to tried-and-true bar staples: a jukebox, pool and darts tourneys, and Mariners, Seahawks, and Sounders games on its high-def TVs. In the early years, it didn't even serve liquor, sticking to beer and wine. Today, however, bartenders concoct cocktails at the full bar, along with cracking open domestic and imported beers.
King’s Hardware: A User's Guide
American Bar Food | Craft Beers on Tap | Skeeball and Games | Natural and Locally Sourced Ingredients
Appetizer: Irish nachos—hand-cut fries topped with cheddar, chopped bacon, green onions, and sour cream
Burger: After School Special—burger with peanut butter and bacon
Cocktail: Midtown Mule—gin, ginger beer, cucumber, lime, and cardamom bitters
About the Ingredients: King’s Hardware makes its burgers with antibiotic- and hormone-free beef raised in the Pacific Northwest. Its eggs come from free-range hens and its produce is sourced locally when possible.
Where to Sit: If it’s crowded inside, seek respite on the spacious patio in the back.
About the Name: It’s leftover from the space’s previous tenant, an actual hardware shop that may or may not have belonged to an actual king.
When to Go: For chicken-wing fans, it’s hard to top Monday night’s 27-cent wing special. Though the special is generally unadvertised, the bar still serves about 1,000 wings each Monday night, according to The Seattle Times.
While You're Waiting:
Challenge a friend to a game on the bar’s two skeeball machines.
Admire the taxidermy mounted along the walls, which ranges from deer and rams to the pelt of a full-grown cougar.
Dogs Welcome: Most nights, servers accommodate visiting pups with bowls of water served on the heated, semi-covered patio. However, on Friday and Saturday nights the bar gets too crowded to allow dogs.
If You Can’t Make It, Try This: Owner Linda Derschang’s culinary empire includes the eponymous Linda’s Tavern (707 E. Pine Street) and part-café, part-bar Oddfellows (1525 10th Avenue), among others.
Six Arms: A User’s Guide
Northwest-Style Pub Food | Craft Beer Flights | Locally Sourced Ingredients | Dog-Friendly Patio
Cajun-seasoned tater tots with peppercorn ranch
Wild Wil’s Jumbo Deluxe burger with bacon, Tillamook cheddar, and a fried egg
Alehouse Fish and Chips with wild Alaskan cod and buttermilk coleslaw
What to Drink
McMenamins High Gravity ales
Brewery Taster with a Hammerhead, Ruby, Terminator, IPA, seasonal brew, and brewer’s choice
Whiskey flight with Hogshead, White Dog, and Monkey Puzzle
Where to Sit: Grab a table near the floor-to-ceiling picture windows that recall the building’s early days as an automotive showroom.
When to Go: during one of two happy hours, which take place every day from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. to close
While You’re Waiting
Check out the pipe sculptures and taxidermied crows beneath McMenamins’ largest collection of chandeliers.
Learn where the pub got its name by studying the six-armed Hindu-idol statue situated on the back wall.
They allow leashed pets on the patio. This policy is perfect for dog owners—not so much for giraffe wranglers.
Gluten-free buns are available upon request.
Grab some beer to go by ordering a mason jar or half-gallon growler.
While You’re in the Neighborhood
Before: See art inspired by Star Wars, War of the Worlds, and other pop-culture staples at Ltd. Art Gallery (307 E Pike Street)
After: Catch an independant play such as Urinetown at Balagan Theatre (1524 Harvard Avenue)
Brave Horse Tavern: A User’s Guide
36 Beers on Tap | Brick-Oven Pretzels | Weekly Fried Chicken Dinners | Shuffleboard and Darts
Snacks: steak tartare toasts with capers, parsley, anchovy aioli, and grana padano
Burger: quarter-pound Washington beef chuck served on Dahlia Workshop bun with iceberg lettuce, smoky burger sauce, dill pickle, and mayo
Sandwich: smoked brisket sandwich with provolone, calabrian chili aioli, and giardiniera on a seatown baguette
When to Go:
Arrive on a Sunday after 4:30 p.m. and you’ll have the option to try the Sunday Chicken Dinner Special, which includes three pieces of pickle-brined fried chicken and a seasonal side that changes monthly.
What’s on Tap
Brave Horse prides itself on a well-curated and eclectic assortment of 36 on-tap beers. The bartenders occasionally post the barrel lineup online, but it rotates regularly, so it’s tough to predict exactly what’ll be on-hand on a given evening. Past favorites have included Spoetzel Brewing’s Shiner Bock, Southern Tier’s Pumking, and Highwater Brewing Campfire Stout.
What to Pair Your Beer With: The handmade hot pretzel. Baked in a brick oven, it arrives with accompaniments such as pimento-cheddar dip, sour cream and onion, or smoked peanut butter with bacon.
It gets busy on Friday and Saturday nights, so expect a crowd if that’s when you plan to show up.
Feeling competitive? Challenge friends, strangers, and everyone in between to a game of shuffleboard or darts.
While You’re in the Neighborhood
Before: Peruse the exhibits, inspect the fleet, or even take a history class at the Center for Wooden Boats, a museum that focuses on the small watercraft of the Pacific Northwest (1010 Valley St.)
After: Check out the lineup of live music acts at El Corazon (109 Eastlake Ave.)
If You Can’t Make It, Try This:
The beer and sausage at The Wurst Place (510 Westlake Ave.)
Mulleady’s Irish Pub: A User’s Guide
Gourmet Irish Pub Cuisine | Irish Whiskey Flights | Craft Cocktails | Stone Fireplace
Small plate: Mac & Blue with orecchiette and fourme d’ambert cheese sauce
Sandwich: The Plan B burger with a fried egg, Beecher’s Flagship cheddar, bacon, and garlic aioli
Entree: The Traditional with ham, bacon, black pudding, Irish knocker, scone, grilled tomato, two eggs, grilled potatoes, and baked beans
To Drink: Alongside local draught beers from Washington and Oregon brewers such as Odin’s Gift, tenders pour out spirit flights, including the Cooley Distillery Collection with Greenore 8 year, Connemara 12 year, and Tyroconnel single-malt Irish whiskey. In the mixology department, artisans whip up potions such as Liam's Libation: Jameson, banana, spiced syrup, lemon, and bitters.
When to Go: * Saturday and Sunday during brunch, when they serve up boxty, a pancake of potatoes and scallions popular in the north Midlands.
Where to Sit: Grab a sturdy wooden table near the towering stacked-stone fireplace, or belly up to the bar on a cherry-stained stool to admire the dozens of Irish whiskeys and scotches.
While You Wait
Play a game of darts.
Explore both levels of the cavernous pub.
Don’t be disappointed if your favorite dish from last time isn’t available on the menu when you visit next. Both the food menu and the drink menu change regularly to incorporate fresh ingredients and to give local psychics some business.
If You Can’t Make It, Try This:
If you don’t mind forgoing the food and hopping right into the revelry, head to Conor Byrne Pub (5140 Ballard Avenue NW), an Irish-style watering hole that marries exposed brick walls, chandeliers, and live music.
Ray's Boathouse and Café: A User’s Guide
Award-Winning Seafood | Fresh, Local Ingredients | Specialty Cocktails | Breathtaking Waterfront Views | Boathouse or Café Dining
From the boathouse: Puget Sound mediterranean mussels and almond-crusted, gluten-free wild Northwest Pacific halibut served with quinoa and spinach
From the café: cup of Ray’s clam chowder and the wild Northwest salmon sandwich
Where to Sit: The sophisticated boathouse serves upscale seafood and steak, and the more casual café, located on the restaurant's top deck, also plates sandwiches and pasta. But breathtaking views can be found in both locations. For views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains, sit at the boathouse's 30-foot bar or the open-air café.
When to Go: Daily happy hour takes place from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at both the boathouse and the café, and again at the café from 9 p.m. until closing. Whenever you go, don't worry about parking—it's free, and there's even complimentary valet during peak hours.
The Cocktails: In the boathouse you might order a Honey Bee—gin, St. Germain, honey, bitters, and an edible blossom, whereas the café serves straight up and frozen specialties, like the Lemon Refresher—Limoncello, Cointreau, house sours, and lemonade.
"The luxurious Pacific Northwest chowder rightly puts strips of tempura-fried razor clams on a pedestal constructed of potatoes, celery, fennel and smoked salmon." — Seattle Times
The smoked sablefish is "so moist and tender that juice ran free as I nudged it with a fork . . . This was the clear winner on our table." — Seattle Magazine