Best Bars to Visit in Seattle for PAX West!

Ashley Walton —  August 25, 2019 — Leave a comment

With PAX West just around the corner, I’m giddy! For the first time ever, we’re attending with our entire D&D group, and we’re not messing around. For a few members of our tribe, it’s their first time visiting Seattle, so we can’t wait to show them the city.

For Jeff and I, this will be our fourth PAX West, and we’ve visited Seattle for other occasions. It’s one of our favorite places, and one of our best friends lives there. (Hi, Jack!) So, we’ve had many a fine drink in this beautiful city, and I wanted to share some of our favorite spots. Cheers!

Best Selection: Canon

banksy sour


Canon inhabits a teeny-tiny, cozy space, and it’s usually packed to the brim for a reason. It routinely pops up on “best of” lists, and it boasts America’s largest selection of spirits with over 4,000 labels and counting. When I walked into this shoebox, I wondered if it was worth the hype (and wait). But I’m so glad I stuck around.

The whiskey selection floored me, and the cocktails will elevate you to a new level of being. If the cocktails aren’t mind-blowing enough on their own, you’ll be impressed by the unique presentations like you see in the photos above with the Banksy Sour and tasteful skull chalice. If you can brave the wait, put this place at the top of your list.

Best Patio: Fremont Brewing Co


Visit Fremont Brewing Company for a laid-back brew hall. Sit with strangers at long tables while you enjoy beer on the lovely patio. You also get all-you-can eat free hard pretzels. You’ll need ’em until you journey somewhere with more substantial food.

Best Carnival Fare: Unicorn


Walking into Unicorn feels like you’ve stumbled upon a fabulous dream dimension. I don’t want to spoil the interior. It’s all bright colors, stripes, and carnival-inspired camp. On theme, enjoy very sweet drinks and shots alongside a huge menu of carnival fare, including corn dogs, funnel cake, and popcorn. Sugar comas mandatory.

Best PAX Vibes: Add-a-Ball


add a ball sign

You’ll find the nicest gang of PAX attendees hanging out at Add-A-Ball in Fremont. This charming basement bar boasts quite a collection of vintage arcade games and pinball machines. Grab a no-frills drink (think beer or Jack and Coke) and play to your heart’s content. While you’re here, check out the wall decor, complete with massive cat photo collages and a funky Patrick Swayze mural.

Best Rum Drinks: Navy Strength

navy strength

For hipster tiki drinks, head to Navy Strength. You’re welcomed by beautiful decor, a fun illustrated menu, friendly bartenders, and an array of strong, rum cocktails (like the name implies). You can’t go wrong with the food, either. I can’t wait to go back.

Best Cider Tavern: Capitol Cider


We discovered Capitol Cider thanks to the Triwizard Drinking Tournament a few years back, hence why you can see my amazing handmade wand in the above photo. (Thanks, Jordy!) Personally, I prefer cider over beer, and I’d never been to a cider house like this one. You step back in time in this old-world tavern to discover over 200 ciders. It would  seamlessly fit right into a Harry Potter film.

For PAX this year, I have even more places on my list to try, including Rumba, another tiki bar after my heart. I’m also curious about Radiator Whiskey, which I always pass in Pike’s Place. And we’ll be checking out Linda’s Tavern for the first time.

If you’re attending PAX or you have other suggestions for places to check out in Seattle, please let me know!

Ashley Walton


Ashley has 15 years of experience in content, she has led teams of 80+ content creators, and she has taught numerous university courses on media. She's the founder of Content Maven, and at the end of the day, she hopes to make the world a better place, one piece of content at a time.

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