Monday, September 2, 2013

Schiller’s Favorite Wine Bars in Seattle, USA (2013)

Pictures: Christian G.E. Schiller in Seattle

I am not that frequently in Seattle, but from time to time I am. Here are my favorite wine bars (and couple of other interesting places where I like to hang out) in Seattle.

The list is a mixture of own experiences, recommendations by others and finds in the internet that I still have to check out.

Note: I updated this list in 2016.

Bainbridge Island

Restaurant Marche

Recommended on wine berserkers, when I asked for Seattle recommendations: “Take a ferry boat to Bainbridge Island and eat at Le Marche of Greg and Betsy Atkinson”. Not a wine bar.

Capitol Hill

Lots of second hand shops, record stores, book shops, tattoos and gay bars. Between Pike and Pine and on 12th Ave.

1531 14th Avenue
Small, rustic trattoria, could be in Italy. Traditional cuisine of the Piemont region. No bar. Dinner only. Recommended by a guy I met at RN 74.

Sitka and Spruce
1531 Melrose Ave. between Pike and Pine
A mecca for seasonal foods, inside the vibrant mixed-retail Melrose Market. Everything made from scratch. You sit like in your mother’s kitchen and the Chef is cooking next to you. No wine bar.

Café Presse
1117 12th Ave.
Paris in Seattle: My neighbor at the bar started with a Ricard and then had Croque Monsieur and a Ham and Cheese Sandwich (Baguette). Both food and the wines are basic and good. Only French wines. Sister restaurant of Le Pichet.

On East Union between 14th and 15th Avenues next to the Chloe Apartments
“Food for the Soul” is the slogan. Has a cosy bar area, but with an average wine list.

University District

Smash Wine Bar and Bistro
1401 N. 45th St.
Wine is the star here, with an extensive selection of wine flights created around inventive themes.

Queen Anne

2576 Aurora Avenue North
The best restaurant in town. With a wine bar. Still need to go there.

Ten Mercer
10 Mercer Street (First Ave), near Space Needle
Neighborhood wine bar. Located near Seattle Center’s theaters and opera house, 10 Mercer is an appropriate pre-performance dinner or late-night supper option. The wine list of Northwest favorites complements a menu of small plates.

The Sitting Room
108 W Roy St. (First Avenue), near Space Needle
Little neighborhood wine bar. I prefer The Sitting Room over 10 Mercer, which is close by. I enjoyed the emphasis on French wines, with about 15 pours by the glass. Although there is no dinner menu, a small selection of salads, pork pâté, daily soups, and charcuterie make it possible to create a satisfying dinner meal.


Bastille Café and Bar
5307 Ballard Ave
French focused.

5205 Ballard Ave NW
Wine store and wine bar.



bin on the lake
1270 Carillon Point
Need to check it out.


Berlin Doener
First Ave/Main Street
Germany in Seattle: Berlin-type Doener Kebab Place. Not a wine bar.

Starbuck’s (at Pike Place Market)
First Starbuck’s ever. For a picture.

Radiator Whiskey
94 Pike Street
Not a wine bar, but a super cool place. Across from Matt’s in the Market, the small space looks as if it’s been there a long time, exuding a retro charm by using reclaimed materials: flooring from Seattle’s first boiler and schoolhouse chairs. The bar, tables and walls are crafted from old bleachers from Nathan Hale High School.

Barolo (Belltown)
1940 Westlake Avenue / 7th Ave
Hip Italian restaurant with a bar area, set in a chic contemporary digs enhanced by sparkling chandeliers, gauzy drapes and a hip clientele. The amazing daily happy hour rarely fails to draw a large crowd.

RN 74
1433 Fourth Avenue at Pike Street
Amazing wine list with some 400 wines. Very strong on Bourgogne, including expensive wines but also focus on Washington State and Oregon. Very good Summer of Riesling selection. I tasted Eroica versus Weil trocken versus Maximin Gruenhaus, all dry. One of my top favorites.

Wild Ginger
1401 Third Avenue
Large modern restaurant offering Asian food. Has a very nice bar area. Wine card is fascinating. Claim to have a 45.000 bottles in the cellar. 25 by the glass. Large selection by the bottle, with few California wines, but strong WA wines and Old World Wines (but not Bordeaux) – rather Rhone, Italy, Spain and lots of Austrian wines. One of my top favorites.

Purple Café and Wine Bar
1225 4th Avenue
21 flights – 80 wines by the glass – excellent bottle selection. For Champagnes, the wine list distinguishes between Recoltant Manipulant and Negociant Manipulant, as an indication for the wine sophistication of the place. Small items for dinner. A real bar, but large. One of my top favorites. There are 3 more Purples in: Woodinville, Kirkland and Bellevue.

Tasting Room
1924 Post Alley
The Tasting Room in Seattle is a typical wine bar, open at night, where you can hang around with a glass of wine and eat some food, right in the heart of Pike Place Market, at the copper topped tasting bar or outside at a table on quaint Post Alley or inside at a table. It has some elements of a tasting room insofar as the Tasting Room only serves the wines of a group of Washington State winemaker. Wines are served by the ounze, half glass, full glass, carafe, bottle and to go.

Pictures: Christian G.E. Schiller at the Tasting Room in Seattle 

Le Pichet
1933 1st Avenue
Paris in Seattle: The owner says: “Le Pichet is our take on bringing the warmth, congeniality and casual style of a neighborhood Paris bistrot to Seattle”. Indeed, very much French bistro style.Sister restaurant of  Café Press.

Fonte Cafe and Wine Bar
1321 First Ave.
Keeps coming up in the internet as wine bar recommendation, but it is a coffee shop with a very limited wine list. The coffee is excellent as Fonte is a (not well known) premium coffee roaster. Good happy hour.

81A Pike Street
Charming upscale French restaurant with a panorama of Elliott Bay. But I go there for Happy Hour, because of the very nice terrace with a beautiful view of the bay.

Schiller’s Favorites

This posting is part of the Schiller’s favorites series. Here is a full list of all Schiller’s favorites postings so far.

Schiller’s Favorite Wine Bars in Seattle, USA

Schiller's Favorite Wine Bars in Washington DC, USA

Schiller’s Favorite Restaurants, Brasseries, Bistros, Cafes and Wine Bars in Paris, France

Schiller’s Favorite Crab Houses in the Washington DC Region, USA

Schiller’s Favorites at the 2013 Riesling and Co Tasting in New York City, USA

Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux (UGCB) on North America Tour in Washington DC - Schiller’s Favorites

Schiller’s Favorites from the VDP Grosses Gewaechs – Grand Cru – Presentation at Kloster Eberbach, 2012, Germany

Schiller’s Favorite Wine Bars in Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Schiller’s Favorite Wine Bars in New York City, USA

Schiller’s Favorite Wine Bars in Charleston, South Carolina, USA

Schiller’s Favorite Wine Bars in London, UK

Schiller's Favorite Wine Bars and Other Wine Spots in Vienna, Austria

Schiller’s Favorite Wine Bars in San Francisco, USA

Schiller's Favorite Wine Bars in Bordeaux (City), France

Schiller's Favorite Wine Bars in Budapest, Hungary

Schiller’s 12 Favorite Restaurants of Antananarivo, the Capital of Madagascar

Schiller's Favorite Apple Wine Taverns in Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Schiller’s Favorite Wine Taverns in Mainz, Germany

Schiller's Favorite Wine Bars and Other Places Where You Can Have a Glass of Wine in Healdsburg, California

schiller-wine: Related Postings

The World of Riesling in Seattle - Fourth Riesling Rendezvous in Washington State, USA

West Coast Oysters and Wine with Jon Rowley in Seattle, USA

Tasting Washington State Wines at the Tasting Room in Seattle, USA

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