Every Thursday and Saturday, Vino Verite hosts a casual wine tasting that will not part you from any of your money. Free.
Every Thursday, FareStart hosts Guest Chef Night, featuring dinners from great Seattle chefs for just $24.95. The schedule is here—reserve in advance for your favorites, as these tend to sell out fast. All proceeds support FareStart, whose mission is to provide "a community that transforms lives by empowering homeless and disadvantaged men, women, and families to achieve self-sufficiency through life skills, job training and employment in the food service industry." FareStart is a fantastic thing, and you should go to this often. $24.95.
On the first Thursday of every month, meet the maker of your tasty pint at the Pike Brewing Company. The guest brewer will create a special beer, which you may drink accompanied by the Atlas String Band. Free.
Gone are the days when drinking cocktails in the middle of your workday was considered acceptable—except every Friday at Vito’s, where imbibing is encouraged with $7 martinis.
European Vine Selections, aka "the wine shop on 15th," has been an unintimidating resource for good wine (with lots of bottles under $10) on Capitol Hill for 25 years, and every Friday they host a free wine tasting from a different region. One person you may find pouring is EVS partner Doug Nufer, who is a civic treasure of both friendly, low-key wine knowledge and experimental writing. Free.
On the last Friday of every month, the Stranger Testing Department (aka the STD, aka Paul Hughes and Rob Lightner, along with Queen Nerd Mary Traverse, and sometimes special guests!) takes over the Raygun Lounge for beer-and-board/card-game goodness, starting at 5 p.m. and on into the night. (Originally, they said 5 to 9, but it has yet to end that early because GAMES.) Bring a game to share, or borrow from Raygun's collection. It is FUN. No cover.
Bottomless anything is good, especially if it involves champagne. Just order brunch at the Coterie Room or Ma'ono (both pretty damn great) and your mimosa ($10 at the former, $12 at the latter) will have no bottom.
Champion owner Emile Ninaud possesses Seattle's very first wine license: He opened in 1969 and works there to this day. Champion's wine tastings—from the more than 1,500 bottles in stock, with tons from France—are all about "obscure wines from obscure regions," he says. Though he's French by birth, he's made Champion a snobbery-free zone, with wine novices welcome and an emphasis on good value for whatever your budget may be. FREE.
McCarthy & Schiering claims to be the oldest wine shop in Seattle; it is not. But they were recognized as retailer of the year by Food & Wine in 1998 and as one of the "top 10 small specialty shops featuring wines from Piedmont and Tuscany” by GQ in 2004. They offer free wine tastings at both their Ravenna and Queen Anne stores every Saturday, with winemakers often there for discussion purposes. Free.
Adrian Ryan says Sylvia O’Stayformore’s drag brunch “features entertainment not only from her own fine self but also a rotating handful of very talented performers. And it is surely the most adventurous of them all—as it features a train ride (magical!), and it happens at the glamorous Royal Room.” $8.
The great DeLaurenti Specialty Food & Wine in Pike Place Market offers free wine tastings upstairs in their wine department every Saturday, and—bonus!—the nice people there pair the selections with some of their more than 250 kinds of cheese, samples from their wall of olive oils, and other assorted tastinesses. Past tastings have included ports paired with Stilton cheese and (separately) Veuve Cliquot champagne (!). Check their website to find out which wines they'll be uncorking. Free.
Civilized but not-too-schmancy wine shop Portalis offers free tastings on Saturday and Sunday. A lot of regulars show up, particularly Ballard-farmers-market shoppers on Sundays. Those people sound smart. Free.
Every last Sunday of the month, Little Water Cantina roasts a couple whole hog's worth of local-beer-brined pork tacos: You get a plate of those, a matching beer, and live music, too. Weather permitting, the party's on the patio with its awesome Lake Union view. $17.
Let the people of DubSea bikes pimp your ride (and by that we mean make minor repairs) free of charge. As long as you're getting something for free, bring a donation to the White Center Food Bank (if you don't, you're kind of a jerk). Free.
Cure would like to invite you to “celebrate or lament” the end of your weekend with a $12 bottle of Cava (Spanish sparkling wine) on Sundays. Starred for cheap bubbles on the Lord’s day. $12.
Jesus god, this sounds good: Dinner for two in the form of a whole two-pound Dungeness crab—wok-seared with tamarind sauce, Singaporean yellow curry, scallions and ginger, or Saigon salt-and-pepper style—served with a fresh mango and papaya salad for $30, every Sunday and Monday night at Monsoon. Also: Bottles of wine, 30 percent off. See you there. $30.
Wallingford's Moon Temple is one of the highest-quality dive bars this city is privileged to still contain. Trivia night here is fueled by strong-ass drinks, and probably concomitantly fun. Long live the Moon Temple! $2 (registration fee per player).
Geeks Who Drink is a company that hosts trivia quizzes at different bars every damn day of the week, here in Seattle and all over creation, usually free (except for bar owners, who pay a "reasonable" rate). Starred for geeks who drink who like pub trivia.
Literally millions of happy hours are taking place around Seattle RIGHT NOW. One is highly likely right under your all-too-sober nose: Find out where it is here (for iPhone users) or here (for Luddites). Food! Drinks! Cheapness! Yes! CHEAP!.
Every third Monday at Grub, Joel Jester (formerly of Revel) cooks a four-course seasonal “Span-Asian” dinner, served family-style. To clarify, the dishes are Pacific Northwest with Spanish and Asian influences; there’s no indication what makes it “feral.” $45.
According to the Local Vine's website, their monthly wine tasting will be held in "an open and relaxed setting" where "you will learn tricks to help improve your ability to taste, understand, and enjoy wine." Perhaps you can ask them to teach you the ultimate wine trick of them all: turning water into it. You'd be so popular! $20.
Brought to you by the people behind the World's Greatest Seattle Walking Tours, this is not only the world's greatest, but also the world's only, trivia crawl—so you are forgiven for not knowing what a trivia crawl is. It is: walking to three Capitol Hill bars, quaffing beers, and playing pub quiz night-style trivia at each stop. Also: prizes! $20, excluding drinks.
Every first Thursday of the month, the Tin Table hosts a three-course seasonal chef's dinner—check their website for the menu, which always looks really good. $40 (not including tax and gratuity).
The goal of Biscuit Bitch is "to bring fresh, homemade food with attitude to the partying masses of Downtown Seattle" on Friday and Saturday nights. They do this with biscuits and gravy/jam/etc. served in various bitchy incarnations for prices ranging between $5 and $13.
Go now, my children, and worship at the altar of fried chicken goodness every Sunday night at Joe's. For there SHALL be grease, there SHALL be buttermilk batter, and there SHALL be all the fixings. $14.