Besides the candy, Halloween isn’t exactly a food holiday. But Seattle’s chefs, bakers and mixologists are using the ghosts, pumpkins and horror movies associated with the holiday to make some seriously creative and spooky Halloween specials. 

From inky-black soba noodles to “Midsommar”-themed cocktails and boozy trick-or-treat events, here are some of the best ways to celebrate Halloween with Seattle’s bars, restaurants and bakeries. 

Bars/Restaurants 

Navy Strength

navystrengthseattle.com

Navy Strength, a Belltown tiki bar, serves cocktails inspired by horror movies, like The “Candyman,” left, and a “Midsommar”-themed cocktail.  (Jade Yamazaki Stewart / The Seattle Times)

Navy Strength, a Belltown tiki bar, probably has the most creative Halloween cocktails in Seattle with its October menu of 14 drinks based on horror movies. And they taste good, too. In 2018, Navy Strength was named the best new cocktail bar in America by Tales of the Cocktail, a prestigious booze festival.

The “Candyman” ($14) comes garnished with a little mirror, which, in the movie, you can use to conjure the ghost by saying his name five times. The burning, hollowed-out half-lime on top is a reference to the scene where the Candyman is destroyed in a fire, and even the Jeppson’s Malört (a bitter liquor popular in Chicago) in the drink is a nod to the city where the movie is set.

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With Irish whiskey, bourbon, spiced honey and cinnamon, the smoky-sweet drink warms the chest and is a perfect fall drink.

Navy Strength’s “Midsommar”-themed cocktail pairs aquavit (a popular liquor in Sweden, where the movie is set) with gin, honey, passion fruit, lime, citrus oil and spicy bitters for an herbaceous concoction that burns the tongue. It’s dusted with powdered mushrooms (not the psychedelic type that the characters eat in the movie) and garnished with flowers (the protagonist wears flowers throughout most of the movie). 

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Taku

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Shota Nakajima’s bar and fried chicken restaurant, Taku, is hosting Halloween events and has food and drink specials like The Eulogy, made with Midori, mezcal, green chartreuse, lime juice and Sichuan peppercorn tincture. (Courtesy of Taku)

Chef Shota Nakajima’s Capitol Hill bar and Japanese fried chicken joint Taku is celebrating Halloween with food and drink specials as well as events leading up to the holiday. 

Events include a horror movie trivia night at 8 p.m. on Sunday, a showing of the 1987 horror movie “The Lost Boys” at 11 p.m. on Wednesday, and a costume contest judged by Nakajima on Oct. 29. Popcorn flavored with Taku’s fried chicken seasonings will be served on the movie night, and Nakajima will cook on the line on Oct. 29.

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The food specials are black corn dogs, squid-ink soba salad and a beet salad. And the bar will be mixing up Halloween specials, including a neon green drink called The Eulogy, made with Midori, mezcal, green chartreuse, lime juice and Sichuan peppercorn tincture.

On Oct. 28, from 8 p.m. to midnight, Taku will give out a free Jell-O shot and candy to anybody over 21 who buys food in costume as part of a neighborhood adult trick-or-treat event. La Dive wine bar will be giving out mini boozy ice pops and boozy truffles across the street. Redhook Brewlab, Life on Mars and Saint John’s Bar and Eatery are also participating, but at the time of publication, had not shared details on what their “treats” will be. 

Dreamland Bar and Diner 

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Dreamland Bar and Diner in Fremont serves delicious Halloween coctails like the Viper Black with gin, blanc vermouth and apricot liqueur, left, and the Swamp Crawler, made with quince and apple liqueurs and brandy.  (Courtesy of Dreamland Bar and Diner)

Fake spider webs cover the walls and hang from the ceilings of Dreamland, a popular bar and brunch spot in Fremont. With the red light shining through the bottle display, the bar has the perfect Halloween vibe. And the bar’s Halloween cocktails are delicious. 

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The Swamp Crawler ($13) is bright green, garnished with a plastic toe and a pile of pink cotton candy. It looks like it would taste like Sour Patch Kids, but instead celebrates the natural flavors of fall fruit, with green apple and quince liqueurs blended with Singani 63, a brandy made with aromatic white muscat grapes.

The Viper Black ($13) is boozier, with botanical flavors from blanc vermouth and black gin rounded out with apricot liqueur. It’s garnished with a plastic eyeball and rimmed with edible green glitter.

Dreamland is also hosting, among other events, a drag brunch on Oct. 30, from noon to 2 p.m., a reservation-only drag “freak show” that evening from 7-8:30 p.m. and a costume contest that night. On Halloween night, there will be a dog costume contest.

2 Fingers Social

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2 Fingers Social, a movie-themed bar in the South Delridge neighborhood just north of White Center, screens four or five horror movies every night in October. 

Some nights, there are drink and food specials that speak to the themes in the movies, and happy hour deals will run all night on Halloween.

The Mountaineering Club

themountaineeringclub.com

The Mountaineering Club, a rooftop bar in the University District, will serve psychedelic-inspired drinks like the Monster Mush(room), made with mezcal and mole bitters, for spooky season 2021. (Courtesy of The Mountaineering Club)

The Mountaineering Club, a rooftop bar and restaurant on top of the Graduate Seattle hotel in the University District, will have live music after 6 p.m. on Oct. 30 and 31.

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The bar will be serving psychedelic-themed drinks like the Microdose, a shot of mezcal with a dropper filled with cinnamon or cardamom tincture, and the Acid Test, a drink made with tequila, a mix of citrus juices and miracle berry, which tricks your taste buds into experiencing sour things as sweet.

Olmstead

olmsteadseattle.com

The Capitol Hill bar and restaurant Olmstead is hosting a couple of Halloween events this year and will have food and drink specials.

On Oct. 29 at 9 p.m., there will be a Halloween-themed comedy show featuring comics who are queer, trans or people of color, with a pet costume contest. Entry costs $15-30, sliding scale. 

And on Oct. 30. from 8:30 p.m. to 1 a.m., there will be a “Kink Ball” costume party and costume contest with cash prizes.

The Pine Box

pineboxbar.com

The Pine Box, a bar and pizza joint on Capitol Hill, is screening horror movies every night it’s open through Halloween. 

On Tuesday, it’s offering table reservations for pumpkin carving (with four pumpkins and all the necessary tools) for $100. 

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And on Oct. 30, the bar will be showing slasher movies for those who like gore.

Bakeries

Trophy Cupcakes 

trophycupcakes.com

Trophy Cupcakes, which has three locations in Seattle and one in Bellevue, is offering a large variety of Halloween-themed treats.

Online preorders of Halloween specials for next-day pickup are available, and many of the baked goods will be in the stores the week of Halloween.

For $55, you can buy a kit to decorate a dozen cupcakes, which comes with plastic eyeballs, spiders and other decorations. You can also preorder a dozen premade ghost- or monster-themed cupcakes for $64.

Other Halloween cupcakes come decorated with webs, pirates, pumpkins and more.

Dochi

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The popular mochi doughnut chain Dochi, which has a location in the Chinatown International District and another in Tukwila, has Halloween specials through Oct. 31. 

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Options include an M&M’s-encrusted trick-or-treat doughnut, a spooky eyeball with red veins around an Oreo eyeball, and a chocolate doughnut decorated with white frosting in the shape of a spider web. 

Macrina Bakery

macrinabakery.com

Macrina Bakery, which has four Seattle locations, is serving ghost cupcakes, jack-o’-lantern shortbread cookies and spider web chocolate peanut butter minicakes for Halloween.  (Jade Yamazaki Stewart / The Seattle Times)

Macrina Bakery, which has four locations in Seattle, is serving a couple of delicious spooky treats through Halloween.

The ghost cupcake ($6.25) is a chocolate cupcake piled with meringue with a little chocolate mouth and eyes. And the jack-o’-lantern shortbread cookie ($5.25) is buttery and crumbly. But the star is the peanut butter chocolate minicake, ($6.25) decorated with chocolate spider webs: It’s decadent with layers of chocolate cake, peanut buttercream and a thick chocolate shell, like what a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup wants to be when it grows up. 

Sweet Nothings and More

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Sweet Nothings and More, one of my colleague Jackie Varriano’s favorite bakery pop-ups, will serve Halloween specials at its Oct. 30 and Oct. 31 pop-ups, which will be in four locations around the Seattle area.

Specials include Snickers croissants, a banana muffin with a Heath bar and a chocolate strawberry cake decorated with the face of Jack Skellington.