Keep Warm 2023

Keep Yourself Warm

Eight Must-Haves to Survive This Stupid Season

Get Warmth, Give Warmth

Because Everyone Deserves a Shower and a Cup of Hot Coffee

Meet Your Maker: Joe Norris of Hot Jawn

Get to Know Local Creators Making Gift-Worthy Goods

How to Make a Merry Christmas, Ya Filthy Kamper Cocktail

From Marceil Van Camp at Kamp Social House

Meet Your Maker: Colleen Echohawk

Get to Know Local Creators Making Gift-Worthy Goods

Where to Find The Stranger in Print

Looking for a Copy of Keep Warm, Your Essential Winter Holiday Guide? You Can Pick One Up from the Following Locations!

Comfort Zone

The Coziest Bars, Restaurants, and Coffee Shops in Seattle

Survival of the Grodiest

How Well Local Wildlife Will Keep You Warm, Tauntaun Style

Keep Warm 2023

How to Survive a Seattle Winter

How to Survive SAD

Real Tips from a Mental Health Expert

Meet Your Maker: Jessica Lynch

Get to Know Local Creators Making Gift-Worthy Goods

Meet Your Maker: Renny Cobain

Get to Know Local Creators Making Gift-Worthy Goods

Winter Events

Holiday Shows! Shimmering Light Displays! Fireworks! And (Ugh) SantaCon.

Seattle has a reputation for getting more rain than any other American city thanks in part to fresh transplants who learned everything they know from watching Frasier and Grey’s Anatomy. The truth is, the American South clobbers us on yearly rainfall—Seattle’s not even in the top 20! But we are number five or something for most rainy days per year.

Because of that, our restaurant scene’s hygge levels are through the roof. From the precious Cafe Allegro, tucked in its ivy-draped U District alleyway, to Wallingford’s A Muddy Cup with its warm tones and carved duck decoy decor, Seattle does a cozy cafe as all hell. And even though we don’t have the most rain ever, it’s still gonna be a long, wet winter for at least the next four or five months, so you’re gonna need a good fleece-lined hangout. Here are some favorites for snuggly season.

Sully’s Snowgoose Saloon

Phinney Ridge

Sully’s is the fuckin’ comfy king. No bar in Seattle can touch the outrageous coziness levels being represented inside this old-timey Phinney Ridge tavern. With a Swiss-ski-chalet mom and a thatched-roof-pub-in-the-Irish-countryside dad, Sully’s Snowgoose Tavern was one of Seattle’s first bars to open after Prohibition was repealed in 1933, and it’s barely changed since. Built in a residential cottage from the 1920s, the ceiling’s adorned with mountain hiking paraphernalia and stuffed geese (owner Tim Sullivan chose the name because “I like snow geese”), and the floor’s covered with friendly dogs begging for some of your complimentary popcorn. Clientele is mostly old guys, and despite the tweeness, there’s a good divey crust going on here, too.

Red Onion Tavern

Madison Park

The Red Onion is cozy in a shitty divey way, with a grotty Elizabethan-era aesthetic, lookin’ like Samuel Pepys hangs out here. This bar has been open for about 500 years, too (okay, like 90), and the main attraction is the sooty fireplace with a giant iron hood in the front room, with pleather couches gathered ‘round. It’s less like Hotel Sorrento’s classy fireplace room, though, and more like where a group of Game of Thrones marauders would end up after a long day of swording people’s heads off. But in a friendly, camaraderie-type way. Also, there’s beer and pool tables and a grumpy bartender. And a ghost of another bartender, or so the living bartender says.



Chef Mutsuko Soma is world-renowned for her noodle-focused restaurant Kamonegi, but her little sake bar next door rakes in at least as many points for ambiance, if not more. Hannyatou means “wisdom water” in Japanese—that’s sake!—and the place is all wooden crates and Japanese crocks, serving both Japanese bar bites along with a wide sake and shochu selection. Being here feels like you’re in a ryokan in a light novel, and there’s nothing like hunching over the bar with a pork chop katsu sando or a bowl of mushroom-loaded soup, rounded out with a warm cup of sake. Go on a rainy day and watch the windows fog up.

Cafe Allegro

University District

Courtesy of Cafe Allegro

I take it back; Cafe Allegro is the actual king of this list. Okay, Sully’s is the cozy tavern night king and Allegro is the cozy coffeeshop king of the day. Down a U District alley that runs alongside ivy-covered Magus Books, look for the painted coffee cup sign above the doorway, where the ivy stops. Inside, beyond the coffee counter, is an exposed brick fox den of interconnected rooms that eventually leads you back out into the alley, up a flight of stairs, and into an even cozier unmarked coffee shop exclave. Established in 1975, Allegro is Seattle’s oldest coffeehouse, and it’s traditionally full of students and professors at work, so bring your laptop and your earbuds.

A Muddy Cup


Big Humboldt County vibes set the mood at A Muddy Cup, inside a quiet little house in Wallingford. There’s a crunchy texture here that’s part hippie and part hunting cabin in the woods, with warm red-orange-yellow gradient walls, antique tables, thrifted oil paintings of forests, lots of houseplants, and ceramic frogs and wooden duck decoys stashed among the bookshelves. Your drink will probably come in an old jar or a wonky hand-thrown mug. They do a great dirty chai here, and I can’t think of a better spot in town to read a real, paper book.

The Nook

West Seattle

In the Admiral Junction, the Nook knocks it out of the park at craft cocktails, so go here for those, sure. But the snuggly upstairs loft is the best reason to visit, regardless of what you order. Up there, you’ll find a few mid-century settees tied together by a homey rug and a big marble coffee table, around which you and your friends will naturally want to congregate. Cozy cocktail classix include the Britain’s Cartel, with tobacco-y cigar-infused mezcal, CioCiaro, vanilla demerara, umami bitters, and lemon, and the Love and Loz, with gin, saffron, Chardonnay reduction, lemon, orgeat, and rose water.

White Horse Tavern

Pike Place Market

In Post Alley, the White Horse looks like a 17th-century British pub where the highwaymen might hide out from the king’s constable. It’s small and dark and cluttered, and the decor comprises whisky [sic] barrels subbing as tables and about a million flags and paintings and vintage liquor signs all over the walls. The menu’s handwritten and only has about 10 things on it, one of which is bull’s blood (cognac, white rum, Grand Marnier, and OJ) and none of which are food, although sometimes a platter of free piroshki or burgers suddenly appears, to soak up the English ale. They also sell antiquated books here! Charmed.

The Fireside Room at the Sorrento Hotel

First Hill

Don’t be intimidated by the timeless Italianate Sorrento, for its lobby Fireside Room is so very toasty and inviting. The home of the long-running Silent Reading Party, where you read a book in a room full of people and don’t talk to each other, this lovely parlor’s main draw (after that, of course) is the beautiful green-tiled fireplace flanked by comfy wingback leather chairs. This is the best spot in town to languish around trying to cure your hangover, ideally with some Parmesan truffle fries and an aperitivo.

The Sitting Room

Lower Queen Anne

Next to On the Boards, the Sitting Room is a private little subterranean hideyhole with ochre walls and Euro touches, warmed by light-up globes and candles. It’s like if Paris were a city in Minnesota. There’s a menu of Mexican faves, and drinks are loaded with tchotchkes and served in quirky glassware. All of this is plenty cozy to begin with, but to boot, they do an aged fig-bourbon eggnog every year whose legend is told far and wide. Should be dropping any minute now. Hell yeah.