Dating in Seattle can feel like an impossible challenge, especially if you're either new to the city or you're not the going-out type. At first glance, it seems like we are spoiled for choice in cosmopolitan Seattle when it comes to finding attractive singles of nearly every type. However, the reality of meeting new people in Seattle and going on successful dates has actually become more difficult in the post-pandemic dating scene.
Luckily, there’s some good news. With a little effort and planning on your part, finding a date in Seattle is actually much easier than in other cities. The catch is that you might need to leave your cozy neighborhood, and explore the Seattle dating scene. Trying out an unfamiliar bar or feeling comfortable in a museum doesn't exactly sound like the start of a great romance, but you’ll be surprised at what’s possible!
In this in-depth guide, we'll provide some of the most proven suggestions on where to meet Seattle singles, great Seattle date ideas to help you find your bearings, and some of our favorite date spots around Seattle that have been the setting of some pretty successful dates.
Table of Contents
What Dating in Seattle Is Like Right Now
First, let's set some expectations about what the Seattle dating scene is actually like:
In all honesty, the dating scene in Seattle has always been in flux and the pandemic made things worse. Many young singles choose Seattle for its proximity to a vibrant city with plenty of unique neighborhoods, a diverse set of industries that make the city a great way to start a career (especially during a recession), and a quality of life that’s renowned (cup of coffee on a rainy day, anyone?). With so many big businesses here like Microsoft, Boeing, Amazon, Starbucks, and more, new people are constantly moving to Seattle to meet other high-achievers.
There is also quite a bit of diversity in the type of partners you can find here, especially for Washington State, which makes finding exactly what you are looking for more attainable - that is, if you’re willing to get out there. WIth a competitive city like Seattle, you need to be proactive.
If you look at the total number of singles out there right now in the Seattle dating scene, you might be surprised to realize just how much opportunity is out there. Currently, Seattle has 131,209 single women and 139,606 single men, accounting for over 36% of the total population. That's a LOT of singles out there (1 in 3), and you only need to find the right one to get the ball rolling.
The truth of the matter is that having tons of dating options doesn't mean that dating in Seattle is going to be easy. Instead, a realistic outlook is encouraged and it certainly helps to be looking in the right places.
Where to Meet Someone to Date in Seattle
To be frank, we believe in being as honest as possible to our readers - and honestly, it's near impossible to make a list of the best places to find someone to date in Seattle! There’s simply too much to choose from on any given day.
Plus, depending on the type of person you're looking for (ie. artsy, academic, outdoorsy, etc.), your search will take you to different neighborhoods in Seattle and venues geared towards those looking for similar types of people.
Instead, we’ll share some of the best places that make it much simpler to meet Seattle singles that are looking for more than just something casual (we have a comprehensive list of suggestions on where to find Seattle hookups if you want to get it on). These places tend to have the following criteria in common for finding serious relationships in Seattle:
- Plenty of singles
- Fun atmosphere
- Easy to mix and mingle with singles
- A quiet enough atmosphere to have a conversation
- Alcohol is a plus
- Relatively cheap drinks, food, and entrance fee(s)
These six criteria are a useful guide when meeting up with other available Seattle singles. Now, before we get into some specific recommendations, let's quickly turn our attention to apps:
Why you should be using at least one app
You're really at a disadvantage in today’s competitive dating scene if you’re not regularly using apps to boost your dating life. With social distancing guidelines still in effect for many people, more Seattle singles are relying on apps to screen out those who don’t meet their standards and gain access to the largest amount of people. For better or worse, dating apps are here to stay.
Does this mean that dating apps in Seattle are the only way to go? Of course not, but it can be a struggle if you lead a busy life, value your free time, and want to save on spending your hard-earned cash.
If you're still on the fence about deciding which app works for you, check out our rankings of the best dating apps in Seattle. From career-oriented singles to those who make religion a significant part of their lives, and where to find the most compatible option, there are a lot of options to choose from in Seattle, each with its own unique user base. If you're short on time and what to get the gist of the full article, these apps are the best first choice:
- eHarmony (try for free) is the best option for relationships and has the absolute best track record of all dating apps. There just isn't a better option right now that helps singles find people they are actually compatible with.
- AFF is best for a more casual, no-strings-attached fun - free trial, too! There are a lot of apps out there that claim to make casual dating easy and few of them are worth even trying. In our experience, the best option right now, especially for singles guys, is AFF.
After trying out dozens of popular dating apps, we've got a pretty decent idea of what actually working out in the “real” world. Check out our full rankings above for more info. Now, let's talk about our favorite spots around Seattle.
The best singles bars in Seattle
Using the six criteria above, we've narrowed down our shortlist of the best bars in Seattle for singles. In short, these bars are the best-of-the-best and offer the best odds for women and men to meet up, have a few drinks, and enjoy the ambiance.
This isn't a complete list of all the bars in Seattle, just the ones worth trying first:
- Bar House in Fremont - 503 N 36th St, Seattle, WA 98103
- Streamline Tavern in Queen Anne - 174 Roy St, Seattle, WA 98109
- Good Bar in Chinatown - 240 2nd Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104
- Monkey Pub in the U District - 5305 Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105
- Murphy’s Pub in Wallingford - 1928 N 45th St, Seattle, WA 98103
- Rose Temple in Capitol Hill if you want to meet a Seattle cougar - 1801 E Olive Way, Seattle, WA 98102
It’s our aim to provide plenty of choices from different neighborhoods throughout Seattle’s massive metropolitan area, but there are plenty of Seattle singles bars that also are the perfect choice depending on the time of day (ie. happy hour), whether they host live events, or simply are the preference for different age groups. If you have any suggestions about the best singles bars in Seattle, drop a comment below.
A few other great places to find a date in Seattle
Bars can be a great place to meet other Seattle singles, but there are plenty of other options that don’t rely on alcohol so much. While Seattle has a reputation for morning mimosa brunches and endless drinks until closing time, you can still get great results outside of a bar - even during the broiling summers and the rainy winter months.
As with anything dating-related, it pays to be patient and open-minded. Don't take things too seriously, and just focus on having a good time. You just might find someone that you might not run into elsewhere in Seattle. Take a look at a few more options that have helped men and women in Seattle that are looking for dates:
- Ballard Coffee Works in Ballard - 2060 NW Market St, Seattle, WA 98107
- Caffe Vita in Queen Anne - 813 5th Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109
- Victrola Coffee Roasters in Beacon Hill - 3215 Beacon Ave S, Seattle, WA 98144
- Broadcast Coffee in Leschi - 2524 S Jackson St #104, Seattle, WA 98144
- Choose Whole Foods, Fred Meyer’s, or Trader Joe’s- Trust us, attractive people shop in the organic aisles!
- Cafe Flora in Madison Valley - 2901 E Madison St, Seattle, WA 98112
- Meetup groups - There are tons of Seattle singles groups that are looking to share their interests, including tech, hiking music, sports, and even singles mixers
- Again, apps are a great option for finding a date when you don’t know where to look (check out the best dating sites in Seattle here)
What about speed dating in Seattle
Ever tried speed dating in Seattle? Speed dating has become more and more popular ever since the pandemic, branching out from just face-to-face interactions to now virtual speed dating via live streaming.
If you're busy and have some spare cash (events usually cost about $40 - $80 to attend an event), speed dating in Seattle can be a very effective way to meet between 15 to 20 other singles in the space of an hour or so.
Most speed dating events in Seattle follow the same pattern with a few variations:
- First, you check in after preregistering.
- With everyone arriving, the host reads the rules and it starts the process of "mini-dates" lasting approximately 3 - 5 minutes, where participants make conversation (make sure to have some topics at the ready). The idea is that first impressions tend to be good indicators of whether there’s a spark.
- Once 5 minutes is up, the men typically move to the next table where a woman remains seated (sometimes women swap just so they don’t get tired).
- This process repeats until the entire event elapses or until everyone gets a chance to meet one another.
As the event progresses, both participants make a list of the people they want to see again. If both singles want to see each other again, the speed dating organizer gives you the other match’s contact info (usually by the next day). Simple, no?
If this sounds like a fun and efficient way to meet new singles in Seattle, the following are the best Seattle speed dating groups worth checking out:
Now that we’ve covered the essentials, let's jump into how to have a great date in Seattle!
Our Best Date Ideas in Seattle - and Why They’re Great
Once you've met someone special, it’s time to plan a great date to develop a relationship (or discover why they’re a poor match!). Many people default to the “classic dinner and a movie” and that's a big mistake for modern dating in Seattle! Here’s why:
- A dinner date between two strangers often turns into a pseudo-interview (unless you’re REALLY skilled at conversation). Plus, eating makes people lethargic
- A movie doesn’t involve any conversation, making it pretty bad if you’re stuck next to someone you don’t actually like that much.
Instead, we have a few rules that all of our date ideas in Seattle generally follow. You can also use these to come up with some new ideas - or at least avoid going on boring dates. A great date idea in Seattle tends to be one that:
- Doesn’t require traveling far
- Isn't too expensive or requires expensive equipment to participate
- Doesn't last for hours (you can bail if you’re not feeling it)
- Allows both of you to feel comfortable
- Has a little friendly competition
- Focuses on fun and new experiences
- Things are happening around you that you can talk about
- Doesn't involve you sitting face-to-face for a long time
- Requires at least some physical activity or moving
It helps to know what your date is into beforehand, so you’re better prepared. For example, if you’re studying in college and there’s a great art exhibit by your favorite artist, you can take your date on a budget. Or, if you know that your date enjoys physical activity, choose something where you can show off your physical prowess. In other words, play to your strengths.
To get you started, here are a few dating ideas in Seattle for you to explore:
- Ice skating
- Take a dance class together
- Learn bow-hunting at an archery range
- Go to the driving range
- Hit up the zoo or wildlife refuge
- Check out a street fair (Seattle has tons throughout the year)
- Going to a farmer’s market
- Axe throwing
- Escape rooms
- Take a walk with your dog somewhere fun (if you have one)
- Painting class (preferably with some adult beverages)
- Botanical garden
This is admittedly a short list, but at least you have a good idea of where to start in Seattle. Set your expectations ahead of time that the goal is just to have a fun time together. After all, who doesn’t love a good time!?
The first date idea that we always recommend
The ideas above can be great first dates but we have a better idea. When people ask our team what the best first date in Seattle is we always tell them the same thing, meet up at a laid-back lounge or coffee shop and get to know each other a bit.
A full-blown date is a lot of pressure and isn't cheap. It takes time to plan and might involve you taking a bus around town to get there. Before you make that kind of investment you want to know that you and your interest have at least some level of compatibility. The last thing you want is to get stuck for hours on a date that you knew 10 minutes in wasn't going anywhere.
Instead, tell them that you're really busy but would love to meet up for a drink to get to know each other a bit. If things go well you can always extend the date to one of the activities above. If it doesn't, you haven't lost much. This also takes a lot of pressure off both of you so you can both relax and be yourselves.
Best Date Bars in Seattle (Especially for Fun First Dates)
Going out to bars in Seattle is a great way for people to relax, and wind down from a busy workday. With a generally “neutral” atmosphere, bars serve as the backdrop to some fun interaction and an exciting company you may not find elsewhere.
Finding a great date bar in and around the Seattle metro area is pretty easy when you consider all the options you have. Whether you’re looking for a comfy dive bar that’s been a hotspot for years or for something that’s a bit more classy, Seattle has no shortage of great settings for your next date.
To help you find these bars, here’s a list of bars that offer great drink specials, feature a fun singles crowd, and won’t cost you too much. After all, spending cash on cocktails with a stranger can get expensive!
Here are a handful of the best date bars around Seattle:
- Shorty’s - 2316 2nd Ave, Seattle, WA 98121
- Obolus Room in Westlake - 2046 Westlake Ave N Suite 300, Seattle, WA 98109
- Waterwheel Lounge in Ballard - 7034 15th Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98117
- Kasbah Moroccan Hookah Lounge in Crown Hill - 1475 NW 85th St, Seattle, WA 98117
- Red Lounge in Squire Park Minor - 1212 E Jefferson St, Seattle, WA 98122
- Energy Bar in the U District - 4209 University Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105
- The Bottleneck Lounge in Stevens - 2328 E Madison St, Seattle, WA 98112
- Bottlehouse in Madrona - 1416 34th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122
Remember that Seattle has plenty of hidden gems that have the best bars that only locals really know about. Therefore, don’t be afraid to barhop if the vibe isn’t right, take an Uber to the other side of town, or be ready to walk to another venue to keep the energy of the date going.
Best Date Night Restaurants in Seattle that Should Be Your First Choice
Here’s a little-known secret for dating in Seattle: Do yourself a favor and skip the traditional dinner date.
Why do we say this? It’s been our experience that dinner dates tend to be pretty dull and formulaic, even among all of Seattle’s thrilling food options. You’ll also have a tough time trying to make a connection with someone who is still a relative stranger over drinks, apps, dessert, and plenty of refills from the waitstaff. Even if you're an expert conversationalist, dinner dates can get a bit stale (pun intended).
However, if you’ve become acquainted with your date or just want a date night restaurant in Seattle to eat at before doing something more fun, we've got some solid choices for you that won't cost you an arm and a leg.
- Tamarind Tree in Yesler Terrace - 1036 S Jackson St, Seattle, WA 98104
- Toulouse Petit Kitchen & Lounge in Uptown - 601 Queen Anne Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109
- Asadero in Ballard - 5405 Leary Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107
- Voila! Bistrot in Stevens - 2805 E Madison St, Seattle, WA 98112
- Eastlake Bar & Grill - 2947 Eastlake Ave E, Seattle, WA 98102
- Bizzarro Italian Cafe in Wallingford - 1307 N 46th St, Seattle, WA 98103
- India Bistro in Roosevelt - 6417 Roosevelt Way NE #106, Seattle, WA 98115
- Zouave Restaurant in Ravenna - 2615 NE 65th St, Seattle, WA 98115
- Mojito in Maple Leaf - 7545 Lake City Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115
More Date Spots in Seattle We Love
The quality of your date comes down to more than just having a meal or cocktails in a bar or restaurant. With all that the Seattle metro area has to offer, there’s no shortage of activities to build chemistry and create memories with your date. Plenty of people have great dates at the following places in Seattle and we're confident you can do the same.
- Go ice skating at Kraken Community Iceplex
- Watch the Mariners play at T-Mobile Park
- The Museum of Museums and Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture offer one-of-a-kind exhibits that you won’t find anywhere else
- Check out some fascinating wildlife at the Woodland Park Zoo
- Try a group dance lesson together at the Century Ballroom
- Hit a bullseye at Rock Creek Archery
- Stroll through vendor booths at the many art fairs throughout Seattle
- Shop for fresh groceries and homemade goods at any one of Seattle’s Farmers Markets
- Solve a puzzle at Hourglass Escapes
- Catch live music, ballet, and more at WAMU Theater
It’s important to note that the time of year will make a difference with some of these Seattle recommendations (being outside for hours in the endless rain and sweltering summer months doesn't always make for a great date setting), so plan accordingly!