Summer Guide: Best Bets for Outdoor Drinking

Sometimes it’s possible to get high off nature. Hedge your bets by also drinking.

When there's only a few real weeks of summer in the city, it would be a shame to spend too much of it drinking in a dive-bar dungeon. (Sorry, Seely.) Here's our favorite spots to find a buzz en plein air:Bluwater Bistro Because you forgot to remember that being on the water watching seaplanes take off is pretty damn cool. 1001 Fairview Ave. N., 447-0769, SOUTH LAKE UNIONCactus If you must brave the Santa Monica of Seattle on a warm summer's eve, you might as well hit one of the most opportunely sited patios in West Seattle and enjoy a flawless and fruity margarita with chips and a mound of guac. When in faux-California... 2820 Alki Ave. S.W., 933-6000, WEST SEATTLECafe Campagne A cobblestone alley, an accordion, people strolling with flowers and baguettes—these are a few of our favorite things to surround ourselves with while drinking Lillet on the rocks and enjoying a cheese plate. Café Campagne is a vacation state of mind. 1600 Post Alley, 728-2233, PIKE PLACE MARKETEl Camino The super-sweet cocktail waitresses, pitch-perfect margaritas, and south-facing patio make this a pit stop for all kinds in the summer, not just the regular douche-y crowd. 607 N. 35th St., 632-7303, FREMONTThe Capitol Club From the balcony you wish you had, look down on the plodding masses as you sip some righteous house-made sangria and plot your next move, made more and more difficult with every glass. 414 E. Pine St., 325-2149, CAPITOL HILLEl Chupacabra Hard to say who exactly feels comfortable inside this joint, but outside seems just punk-rock enough for Phinney, and the pint-sized margaritas are dive-bar worthy. 6711 Greenwood Ave. N., 706-4889. GREENWOOD/PHINNEYDaniel's Broiler People in Leschi know there's no finer view on the eastern shore of our fair city. And sometimes it's great to let someone else grill your steak. 200 Lake Washington Blvd., 329-4191, LESCHIElliott's Oyster House Natives really need to play tourist more often, preferably here, where you can participate in a rapid-fire half hour of progressive oyster happy hour, then continue the beering on the knockout-view deck. 1201 Alaskan Way (Pier 56), 623-4340, WATERFRONTFeedback Lounge You'll have to brave the smoking crowd to hang on this back deck—worth it, though, for the killer music and atmosphere. 6451 California Ave. S.W., 453-3259, WEST SEATTLEThe George & Dragon Pub All of your favorite characters, only they're outside and sweaty. There's nary a friendlier, livelier outdoor beer garden in town. 206 N. 36th St., 545-6864, FREMONTKell's Avoid the Cancun-esque patio-spillage on Friday and Saturday nights if you must, but you'd be remiss not to bake with a Bass at least once this summer out in this little alley refuge. 1916 Post Alley, 728-1916, PIKE PLACE MARKETKing's Hardware Escape the din of the packed bar for the slightly less cacophonous, very large back deck. But you'll still have to use two wishes for a table. 5225 Ballard Ave. N.W., 782-0027, BALLARDLinda's Tavern Only the fantastic movie-night selections can make this back deck more happening than it already is on any halfway-balmy night of the week. Prepare to jockey for position, but hey, you're outside and away from bus fumes. 707 E. Pine St., 325-1220. CAPITOL HILLThe Local Vine Other than being at the ass end of a wind tunnel created by the McGuire condo building, this spot packs people in for white wine and snacks at night, but second lunch is the magic hour (for sun). 2520 Second Ave., 441-6000, BELLTOWNLoretta's Northwesterner This friendly little sis of the 9 Pound is winter in the front, summer in the back, with a magical enclosed patio complete with its own Airstream trailer/bar. 8617 14th Ave. S., 327-9649, SOUTH PARKPacific Inn Pub Whether a pit stop from the farmers market or from the Burke-Gilman, the Pacific Inn is a tavern about cold, light beer, fish 'n' chips, and southern exposure. 3501 Stone Way N., 547-2967, WALLINGFORDThe Red Door Perched above 34th Avenue, this patio couldn't begin to accommodate the summertime hordes of Fremont partygoers looking for a time-out and al fresco nachos. 3401 Evanston Ave. N., 547-7521, FREMONTRed Lion Inn Terrace When I say Red Lion, you say "Wha?" Then I say just go and experience the hidden fifth-floor terrace between Pike and Union streets, with its pigeon-eye view of downtown and the surrounds. 1415 Fifth Ave., 971-8000, DOWNTOWNRosebud If this place were a ship, it would tip aft in July. Simply appointed with wonderful greenery, the only place you can drink stronger drinks in Seattle is at your house. 719 E. Pike St., 323-6636, CAPITOL HILLSambar While away the early evening secluded by foliage on the patio of the most stylish bar in the vicinity, knowing your drink will arrive eventually after the grandest of treatments. 425 N.W. Market St., 781-4883, BALLARDSmarty Pants White noise from the highway on-ramp stands in for the beach at this spacious, chill patio with plenty of seating for larger groups, a solid sandwich selection, and cheap après-work drafts. 6017 Airport Way S., 762-4777, GEORGETOWNSully's Snowgoose Saloon You can argue with your drinking companions over the definition of Sully's—Dive bar? Neighborhood pub? Some of us are just too busy enjoying a pint on the patio at one of the only places in town with the balls to serve corn dogs. 6119 Phinney Ave. N., 782-9231. PHINNEY RIDGETulio The set and setting of this charming-as-hell little boîte will make you overlook any opposition to bus fumes, especially when you get to eat fresh burrata and stare at the spectacle of the Koolhaas library. 1100 Fifth Ave., 624-5500, DOWNTOWNTxori A restaurant so goddamn cute, you're likely to giggle upon entering. On a warm summer's day, with a red wine and orange soda, the back-porch patio erases all the unsavoriness of Belltown, leaving nothing but puppies and kittens. 2207 Second Ave., 204-9771, BELLTOWN22 Doors This place exists for the enclosed patio, a rarity in Seattle. 405 15th Ave. E., 324-6406, CAPITOL HILLVirginia Inn Getting one of the four outdoor tables in this afternoon institution with the downtown working/imbibing set used to be a bitch. Now there are 10. 1937 First Ave., 728-1937, DOWNTOWNZig Zag Sure, you'll have to forgo sitting in front of Murray, but the lovely, plant-filled deck tucked aside the Hillclimb is the perfect nook for downtown denizens to catch a breeze. 1501 Western Ave. #202, 625-1146, PIKE PLACE

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