1522 12th Ave, 206-457-4068
There's a light sculpture in the front bar of Momiji that looks like some unidentifiable form of sea life. The bar was crowded with happy people, and the lighting was just right, and the two free seats along the bar meant we didn't have to wait for a table in back. Only later, after knocking back a shochu mule (Satsuma Mura, lime, ginger beer; $8) and a yujo (Bulleit bourbon, lime juice, Giffard orgeat, barrel-aged bitters, soda water; $8) and sharing a crunchy Seattle roll ($7), did we wander to the back and see several more sea life light sculptures. Also, an outdoor garden. The three deep-fried crunchy rolls on the happy hour menu (the Cali, with snow crab; the Bad Boy, with eel; and the Seattle roll, with salmon) are all $7 (half off the dinner-menu price), and a daily rotating roll (chef's choice) is $12. The crunchy Seattle roll takes its cue from the Seattle hot dog and includes cream cheese. It's decadent and delicious.
Happy hour: 10 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. every night of the week.
600 E Pine St, 206-320-7777
The late-night happy hour at Fogon starts earlier than most places—at 9 p.m.—and the seating options include benches right outside the restaurant facing the hordes of Pike Street pedestrians. On a recent visit at 9:01 p.m., the restaurant was crammed with people still eating dinner, so my dining companion and I took a bench. We ordered ceviche ($6) and nachos with shredded chicken ($6), because we wanted to assess the portions. While sipping our drinks (an $8 margarita and a $5 sangria), a server came around with complimentary tostadas for everyone on the bench. (They also serve free chips and salsa.) The nachos turned out to be more than enough for two people, with a generous scoop of guacamole and another of sour cream. But the ceviche (also a generous portion, and tangy with citrus) was the hit. "It tastes fresh," my dining companion said, digging into the shrimp, tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and carrots with a fork. A few minutes later: "It's like crack. I keep wanting to eat this."
Happy hour: 3 to 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. to close every night of the week.
1535 14th Ave, 206-251-7673
The first thing you notice is the U-shaped bar covered in tiny white tiles. Then the long paper tubes surrounding light bulbs in the ceiling, extending down into the room like stalactites. Then the employees all wearing either floral print or plaid. The design may be pleasantly inexplicable, but there's no confusion about the happy hour menu: It's a steal, with plenty of delicious and inexpensive options. Happy hour cocktails are $6—including martinis, a rye old-fashioned, a refreshing cynar collins—and there are a variety of snacks from $2 to $11. I recommend the $3 roasted hazelnuts with controne chile and muscovado sugar—oddly soft, faintly spicy, beguilingly sweet. I can't vouch for their healthfulness, nor can I stop eating them. If you're hungrier than that, get the corn flan ($7), warm and savory, with a ricotta and corn salad on top, and green padron peppers along the sides. If you just need some protein, there's a hearty meatball served in tomato sauce for $5, and it comes with a thick slice of toast. Go on Fridays.
Happy hour: Monday to Friday 5 to 7 p.m.; Fridays 10 p.m. to close.
820 Pine St, 206-946-9720
The inside of the Carlile Room is a cozy hodgepodge of lights—mod chandeliers with bright orange bulbs, planets of circular panels glowing from within, candles in orange glass on tables and along the bar, and the marquee of the Paramount Theatre glowing through the window. There are beer taps that will remind you of fire departments, and mirror frames that will remind you of shipwrecks, and various things upholstered in leather and dotted with metal rivets. We didn't find any screaming deals on the happy hour menu, but if you're in the mood for fancy fries, try the Greek chips ($11). It's a large pile of fries with feta and garlic yogurt, along with oregano, paprika, and notes of citrus. "Very satisfying," said a friend. "The yogurt gives it a tang, and the faint citrus flavor is unexpected in a good way." The pork meatballs ($8) were too salty to finish, but the garden plate ($11)—herbed falafel, a heavily dressed side salad, pickled veggies, and dates—wasn't bad. The toasted sesame seeds on the falafel are a nice touch.
Happy hour: 4 to 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. to midnight every day.
601 Queen Anne Ave N, 206-432-9069
The walls are covered in candles—the staff light about 250 votive candles each night—and the menu promises to be "The Best Happy Hour and Late Night Dining in the Nation." There are so many items (soups, seafood, charcuterie, sliders, salads, and more) that frankly it's a little hit-or-miss, but you can't go wrong with the Jumbo "Barbecued" Shrimp New Orleans ($9). It's a cast-iron pan with half a dozen shrimp in a spicy red sauce on one side and a half moon of cheesy grits on the other—and it's enough food to consider it a full dinner.
Happy hour: 4 to 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. to close every night of the week.
Pike Place Market, 93 Pike St, 206-682-3049
There are few things more pleasurable than strolling down to Pike Place Market late at night and disappearing into the anonymity of Il Bistro's darkly lit bar. Low archways, dark wood, candles along its marble-topped bar, a candle and a flower on each table, and clouded glass windows letting in the light from Post Alley create undeniable romantic ambience. The rigatoni Bolognese ($4.50) is a superb deal. There's enough ground veal and lamb ragu for it to feel like a full entrée, and it comes covered in a gorgeous snowdrift of pecorino Romano.
Happy hour: 5 to 6:30 p.m. every day, 10 p.m. to midnight Sunday to Thursday, 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
954 E Union St, 206-325-3534
At this late-night happy hour, basic rolls are $5 to $6, a three-piece sashimi set is $6, and specialty rolls are $9 to $10, all generously portioned. The friend who got the sashimi set commented on how fresh and ample it was, while I mowed down a Rainer specialty roll—spicy tuna, crab mix, cucumber, topped with seared salmon.
Happy hour: 4:30 to 6 p.m. (until 7 p.m. in the bar), and 9:30 p.m. to close, Sunday to Thursday; 4:30 to 6 p.m. (until 7 p.m. in the bar), and 10 p.m. to close Friday and Saturday.
1505 10th Ave, 206-323-5678
How late is "late"? So late it's early? If you accidentally stay up all night, this 24-hour diner has a happy hour from 6 to 9 a.m. Monday to Friday, with $3.25 breakfast sandwiches. Other items include French toast (in a "special house batter made with Frangelico, Grand Marnier, Baileys & Kahlua") for $4.99, and a half Benedict (with hash browns) for $4.99.
Early-morning happy hour: 6 to 9 a.m. Monday to Friday. There's also an afternoon happy hour from 4 to 6 p.m., with $3.50 wells and food $2.99 to $5.75.