In an incredible boon to the curious, the indecisive, and the gluttonous, the International District’s annual Dragon Fest features more than 30 restaurants offering tastes of their food for only $2, and many more participating in an ID–wide happy hour. Also, a Japanese-style beer garden! $2.
Francophiles, bikers, and crash junkies unite! Televisions in several bars across town are showing the Tour de France. If you're angling for a genuine French feel, Cafe Presse broadcasts live stages at 7 am, with afternoon rebroadcasts throughout the week (when available). The Summit Public House (the most neighborhoody of neighborhood bars) also shows afternoon rebroadcasts of the Tour. Arrive early and don't block the TVs: The Summit fills up quickly with serious fans.
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!.
Tour Bastille's famed rooftop garden with garden-designer Colin McCrate of Seattle Urban Farm Co., with “rooftop-inspired cocktails,” too. Fun fact: Washington State senators once organized a special senators-only tour. $10.
More than thirty-five Washington wineries, breweries, and distilleries, several bands, and a handful of food trucks (including Monte Cristo and Marination Mobile) are putting on a fundraiser for Food Lifeline. $35.
Every Monday the BottleNeck serves $5 Manhattans made with Evan Williams. Cheers! $5.
Every Tuesday at the BottleNeck Lounge, a bottle of a featured red or white wine costs only $10.
On the third Monday of each month, there’s wine, conversation, and a six-course dinner inspired by the writings of Angelo Pellegrini at Cafe Lago. Organizer Jon Rowley is a local food hero, ditto Pelligrini, and Cafe Lago has been making beloved Italian food in Montlake for 1,000 years. For a thing that would probably be labeled a "foodie" event, this sounds pretty great. $75.
Chef Jim Drohman feels so strongly about the labeling of genetically modified foods, he’s going to feed you snacks at his lovely Cafe Presse while you get educated about it. “Yes on 522 will certainly be outspent by Big Ag, so all we have is organizing,” he says. Come learn what the hell GMOs are, what foods they’re in, why labeling them is important, and what you can do to help. Come! (And call 709-7674 to RSVP so he knows how many to expect.) $5.22 suggested donation.
Zut alors! Café Presse vous invitons à parler la meilleure langue du monde tous les deux mercredis à Café Presse à la Table Française. Seattle Language Academy vous donnera un formateur pour chaque cours, et les étudiants de français de tous les niveaux sont invités à nous joindre. Songez à tous les beaux gens que vous y rencontrerez! Chouette! Et: C'est gratuit. Free.
Come to Cafe Presse for a monthly family-style French supper paired (optionally, but vive a little!) with wine. $40 for food and wine, $25 for food only.
Bingo plus booze equals FUN, and this Monday night bingo game has $2.50 PBR tallboys with all-you-can-eat spaghetti for $9.13 (plus meatballs "as big as your head" for a bit more). N.B.: The first Monday of every month is Dyke Date Bingo, where "you don’t have to be a lesbian, but if you are, grab a friend and come on down!"
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.
Every Thursday, Chocolopolis hosts a chocolate happy hour with free samples from artisan bean-to-bar chocolatiers. ACK!!! CHOCOLATE!!! Free.
The Corson Building is especially lovely during summertime, as are local vegetables, and this vegetarian dinner will probably be very delicious, so do with this information what you will. $35 plus tax and gratuity.
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.
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.
Behemoth SODO wine emporium Esquin offers free wine tastings every Thursday and Saturday, with themes like "92 Points and Above," "Viva Argentina," and "Under $10 Specials." Sometimes winemakers join in, and snacks are not unheard of. Check their website to find out which wines they're uncorking. Free.
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.
January 23rd is National Pie Day. (Not to be confused to Pi Day.) You should eat some pie! Here are all our recommended bakeries (if you don't like pie, YOU COMMUNIST, you can find something else sweet here too).
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.
"TASTE THE GREATEST BEERS YOU'VE NEVER HEARD OF"—hundreds of them, from a dozen-plus countries, with food trucks and bands, too. If you love beer, you will be here. $25 adv., $30 DOS.
Head to the center of the universe (as proclaimed by Fremont) to celebrate Oktoberfest. General admission gets you five tasting tokens and a commemorative five-ounce tasting mug; grand-style gets you 10-tastes-plus-mug. For designated drivers and beer-eschewers, it's $15 for four water tickets and a sober perspective on the goings-on. $25-30 adv, $30-35 DOS; $15 non-tasting.
Highline, Seattle's finest divey vegan bar, doesn't normally serve dessert. But on Tuesday nights, they bring out the (vegan) cake (and Cake-arokee is rumored to be the most supportive karaoke night in the city). Get there early: The cake usually sells out.
Seattle's quaint and WASPish sibling celebrates nothing in particular with lots of wine, food, and fun in Mariana Park. Expect live music, a grill-off, hands-on art exhibits, and the Tasting Garden, with more than 70 Washington wines to taste to your heart's content. All proceeds benefit the Hope Heart Institute to help fight heart disease, so you can indulge your gluttony and work off bad karma at the same time. Starred for a good cause. $25 for Tasting Garden tickets, $30 at the door.