I never thought I’d be listing a nautical-themed bar as one of my all-time favorites, yet here we are. Octopus Bar is by far the best watering hole in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood, and one I’ve been a patron of since I first moved to the city.
After shuttering the doors on their original location, the entire neighborhood breathed a sigh of relief when Octopus Bar announced they’d be moving just a few buildings down into a vacant space. The new location allows a COVID-friendly takeout window, The Salty Shack, offering hot dogs, sandwiches and other late-night munchies.
While sailor-themed decor in theory is tacky, at Octopus Bar it is effortlessly cool. Salvaged wood covers the ceiling, with diffused lighting hanging from old shipping ropes. The vending machine which dispenses oddities (from sticky notes to silly putty) survived the move, and I’ve heard rumors of a dance floor for when Washington state reopens bars to full capacity.
Octopus Bar’s drinks are what keep me coming back, from cheap and delicious house cocktails (all appropriately deep-sea inspired) to some of the strongest wells I can find. The bartenders, even when slammed, are super friendly and helpful.
I always recommend Octopus Bar before a concert at The Neptune or Nectar Lounge. With its proximity to the U District, Fremont and Ballard, it’s ideal for any night out in North Seattle.