Insider’s guide to pub crawling through Seattle’s Capitol Hill

By Daniel Heseltine, bartender at Diesel Seattle in Capitol Hill via Facebook

Heading up to Seattle but don’t know where to go for the best queer bar-hopping experience? Never fear! We spent a night in Capitol Hill, the Emerald City’s most fabulous neighborhood, and cultivated the perfect pub crawl for you.  Your friends will think you’re an event planning genius!

The Cuff Complex


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First up on our list is a Seattle institution for the LGBTQ+ community. Established in 1993, The Cuff is one of the oldest spots in the city for queer kiddos to dance, laugh, sing, and gallivant. This Seattle treasure is more than just a club; it stands as a space for the LGBTQ+ folks to come frolic together with no sense of judgment or malice. The Cuff boasts four bars, a gorgeous patio, a full kitchen, darts and pool tables for the gaming crowd, and a large dance floor begging you to leave your inhibitions behind.  With the eclectic array of activities they offer, from country line dancing to karaoke, you could easily spend your entire night here!

Madison Pub


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Next up on our list and a mere 3-minute walk from The Cuff is the favorite Gay Sports bar of Capitol Hill. Madison Pub is the perfect place to scratch that “All American” itch to watch the game and drink pitchers of beer while the queer trivia team next to you celebrates their victory. Whether you are looking for an afternoon of pool and pinball with your buds or determined to win the darts tournament, you will always find friendly faces and supportive staff at Madison Pub.



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Diesel is the premier gay biker/bear bar in Seattle, but this isn’t just any ol’ biker bar.  Here the conversation flows as freely as the no-frills beer on tap and the light fixtures and decorations are tasteful and welcoming. Diesel is a bright and cheery place with a kitchen menu that is sure to help fuel your entire evening and soak up all those delicious cocktails. Like any reasonable establishment, they have $2 Taco Tuesdays and a Happy Hour that’ll make your heart skip. As you stroll around the corner from Madison Pub to Diesel (a short 2-minute walk), the joy and community of Capitol Hill permeate the night air.



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As a self-described “very queer bar” it’s hard to imagine how any queerdo wouldn’t have fun at the illustrious Pony Bar. If you’ve just left Diesel, then you are only a 2-minute walk away from one hell of a Gay Dive! During this stroll, you will find yourself delightfully enveloped in a neighborhood abundant with culture and diversity whose spirit blooms and comes to life at night.
 What was once a 1930’s vintage gas station, is now an LGBTQ+ institution paying homage to the great dives of the ’70s. Boasting a gorgeous year-round patio and frequent “theme nights,” Pony is about to become one of your go-to gay spots in Cap Hill.

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