Ballard Smoke Shop
Because apparently it’s never too early to start drinking, this great dive bar opens at 8 a.m. The popular special prime rib ($22.50) and the ham dinner special ($16.50) start at 2 p.m. and often sell out by 6 p.m.
8 a.m.-2 a.m.; 5439 Ballard Ave. N.W., Seattle; 206-784-6611, ballardsmokeshop.com.
Barhoppers will hang around Capitol Hill mostly, where at least a dozen dives and cocktail lounges will be open. The most popular will likely be this watering hole on 15th Avenue East. Homey vibe with comfy couches and one heck of a whiskey lineup.
4 p.m.-2 a.m.; 517 15th Ave. E., Seattle; 206-323-9898, libertybars.com
It’s business as usual for hotel bars, which don’t take holidays off. Located inside the Mayflower Park Hotel, this cocktail bar with a window view of downtown is the best of the bunch for holiday people-watching.
11:30 a.m.-2 a.m.; 405 Olive Way, Seattle; 206-623-8700, mayflowerpark.com/olivers-lounge
This acclaimed Belltown cocktail den is the spot to give those ugly sweaters one last go. The bar will be over-the-top decked out in Christmas décor. Rob Roy runs an extensive and fun Christmas-themed cocktail-and-shot menu that will include everything from an eggnog made with a brown-butter-cinnamon-fat-wash cognac to a playful take on a Cosmo with spiced cranberry sauce.
4 p.m.-2 a.m.; 2332 Second Ave., Seattle; 206-956-8423, robroyseattle.com
Slow Boat Tavern
One of the best-kept secrets, this nook in Hillman City runs a small but well-curated craft beer list with plenty of cult and stellar ales.
6 p.m.-midnight; 5701 Rainier Ave. S., Seattle; 206-235-6023, instagram.com/slowboattavern
The famous aged eggnog from Sun Liquor isn’t available this season, but the Sun crew was kind enough to pass along its recipe to Andre Sayre, the owner of Sol Liquor, who has aged batches of it and will sell the eggnog on Christmas Day. (Sayre bought the Sun Liquor bar and tweaked the first name since “Sun Liquor” is proprietary.)
5 p.m.-2 a.m.; 607 Summit Ave. E., Seattle; 206-860-1130, solliquor.com
Despite its name, this popular neighborhood brewery boasts a full bar with cocktails priced a couple of bucks cheaper than those on Capitol Hill. It also has one of the best eggnogs in the city.
5 p.m.-midnight; 2504 S. Jackson St., Seattle; 206-535-1584, standardbrew.com
Zig Zag Cafe
Our most celebrated cocktail bar continues its tradition of opening on Christmas. It used to be standing room only, but with a flood of other bars following Zig Zag’s lead on Christmas cocktailing, you finally have breathing room in here. Zig Zag is the ideal place to take your in-laws or if you’re looking for a well-behaved crowd and a good Manhattan.
7 p.m.-2 a.m.; 1501 Western Ave., Seattle; 206-625-1146, zigzagseattle.com
On the Eastside
If you hit this Kirkland watering hole, hoist one in honor of the late owner Diane Krushelnisky, who made this dive so weird and wonderful.
7 p.m. to around 1:45 a.m.; Central Tavern, 124 Kirkland Ave., Kirkland; 425-827-0808, facebook.com/centraltavernkirkland
One of the popular Eastside holiday hangouts, this dive is scheduled to open at 10 a.m. It’s still up in the air whether the kitchen will be open that night, but a staffer said you can bring your own food or organize your own potluck.
10 a.m.-2 a.m.; 7853 Leary Way N.E., Redmond; 425-867-3837, facebook.com/PalmersEast