Bar Hopping Belltown Seattle – Guide to Belltown’s Best Bars

Bar Hopping Belltown Seattle: The List

It’s a dirty job, but someone’s gotta do it. Seattle’s Belltown has a reputation that is expanding with superb restauranteurs (notably, Tom Douglas), and brilliant and unique bars. During a recent trip, I set out to sample the top Belltown Bars in one night. Taking the top rated bars off the yelp rank at the time… Rob Roy, Bathtub Gin & Co, and The Upstairs.

Rob Roy, a classic cocktail lounge in Belltown

Sophisticated Mimo the Terrible cocktail: calvados, Kina la Avion D’or, Grand Marnier, Scrappy’s Cardamon bitters, brandied cherry.

I started at Rob Roy, a neighbourhood favourite. They are know for their expertise in Old Fashions and Sloe Gin Fizz. It’s definitely a popular meeting place. The den filled up rapidly, and got pretty loud. Best to get one of those tables for two, or four if you want to enjoy some intimate conversation.

Bar is equipped like a science lab, mixology science. But sexy.

Signature free happy hour gold fish, and refreshing cucumber water. It’s comfortable, and has a old-spice, playboy mansion feel – not to be put off. They are renown for expertly made cocktails!

Bathtub Gin & Co., a speakeasy style bar in the heart of Belltown

Next on the list was Bathtub Gin & Co. Finding it was not easy. Looking lost, some nice lady pointed the way down an alley. Thanks. Bathtub Gin & Co. definitely is channeling a Speakeasy spirit!

Arranged on two small floors (ground and cellar), it’s cozy with small tables tucked under stairways, and lounge rooms smaller than some parking spaces.

The Charles Lindburgh: Bourbon, Cherry Heering, lime juice, Peychaud bitters, and mint.

Very dark inside. Ideal for intimate trysts. Great service, even though we had a logistics shuffle, they found us in the dark! Perhaps the servers have super night vision abilities?

A tiny but well stocked bar! Lots and lots of great gins. Order it the way you like it and enjoy!

The Upstairs, cocktails & good times

They made a damn good Hemingway Daiquiri

And then there was ‘the Upstairs’. Kind of authentic, ramshackle victorian, up the stairs, ‘do people live next door? Yes, they do!?’, kind-of scary vibe…*In my opinion. But The Upstairs had a steady stream of thirsty bodies passing through.

It’s a quiet, come in, choose your old sofa, go to the bar to get your drink, get your nibbles, and then get out, kind-of place. When I was there, a young woman prattled on to the bartender about scotches and whiskeys, trying to strike up conversation, as you do. I don’t think he actually said a word. But he made some solid cocktails!

Cheese and Almonds
Inspired food: Marinated Manchego Cheese and Spanish Almonds from downstairs Pinxto

All that red paint and old victorian furnishing, I expected Norman Bates to show up. Still, it was popular, and the bartender made a good cocktail!

The Upstairs, if you dare.

About Belltown

Belltown is the Seattle neighbourhood located between the Waterfront, Downtown Retail Core and Seattle Space Needle Center. Belltown’s is one of Seattle’s hip, youthful neighbourhoods with it’s bourgeoning 5-star restaurant scene, hip bars, and semi-industrial art culture. It is also easily reachable from downtown, and is pleasantly walkable, which make it ideal for bar hopping!

Pan Pacific Seattle
Pan Pacific Seattle
Where to stay nearby: Pan Pacific Seattle – Walkable to Pike Market, Belltown, Space Needle

Bar Hopping Belltown Seattle : the List

Rob Roy, 2332 Second Ave., offers happy hour 5-8 p.m. daily, when well drinks are $4, and $1 off all cocktails and spirits and half-off on bar food (206-956-8423 or

Bathtub Gin & Co., between 1st Avenue & 2nd Avenue, 50 ft. North of Blanchard, in the alley, offers happy hour 5-7 p.m. daily, when house cocktails are $7, and wine by the glass is $6 (206-728-6069 or

The Upstairs, 2209 Second Ave., offers happy hour 5-8 p.m. daily, with a choice of tapas style food and all cocktails are $2 off (206-441-4013 or