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7 karaoke spots to channel “The Voice” and sing it out

Seattle can be a dark and lonely place. Luckily, this city has figured out the antidote for the rainy day blues: karaoke. Whether you are a pitch-perfect Mariah Carey impersonator or someone that mumbles their way through “Hot in Herre,” Seattle has a karaoke joint for you. 

Here are a few karaoke standouts for the next time you want to step into the spotlight.

Kawaii Vibes

If you’re in the mood for a classic Japanese-inspired karaoke experience, look no further than Capitol Hill’s Rock Box. Cutesy cocktails, fusion snacks, and private rooms make this quintessential spot a local go-to. Smash a sake bomb to find some liquid courage before belting out your favorite tunes. 

Have obscure tastes? Their website conveniently lets you search their music library beforehand, so you aren’t stuck singing “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding.” A trendy spot in a buzzy neighborhood, it is best to make reservations several days (or weeks, if you want a Saturday spot) in advance. 

Vintage Charm Vibes

A rebranded tribute to a Greelake classic, Yen Wor Garden, Shanghai Room is a classic karaoke bar. Attached to a 24-hour American diner called North Star, Shanghai Room offers an understated singing experience and an array of boozy milkshakes. Featured in one of Anthony Bourdain’s “Parts Unknown” episodes, this cozy bar and diner has a throwback vibe. 

Tucked away in northern Seattle, they offer karaoke starting at 9 every night of the week except Tuesday and Thursday. A true vintage gem, you can sit at Formica tables and listen to locals attempt '90s classics all while digging into a tuna melt.

Kitschy & Tropical Vibes

Sometimes the answer to the dreariness of Seattle’s weather is a boat drink. Whether you are in the mood for some yacht rock or want to test your Bob Marley chops, Hula Hula has you covered. The perfect pitstop while cruising around the Capitol Hill neighborhood, this tiki bar has karaoke every evening starting at 7 pm. Sip classic island cocktails while being serenaded in this quirky, tropical space. 

Exuding old-school charm, Hula Hula always has a lively and supportive vibe. A popular haunt for the karaoke crowd, you will likely have time for a few rounds of painkillers before you can take the astroturf stage. If you need to nosh, the snacks are not only on point, but perfectly in theme.

John Waters Vibes

If you’re looking for a spot to live out your Hedwig dreams, check out Crescent Lounge in Capitol Hill. Fabulously divey, this little gay bar is the perfect space to show the world what you’ve got. Belt some Abba like you’re in a Priscilla revival in this decidedly laid-back space that is always welcoming, but don’t let the somewhat-less-than-glamorous decor fool you - serious talent comes out to entertain on this tiny corner stage.

A magenta edifice nestled next door to Hula Hula, Crescent Lounge is a great space to dip your toes into karaoke without worrying you will be booed off the stage. Unpretentious and inclusive, this spot is perfect for avoiding the (sometimes lengthy) wait to sing at Hula. 

Boot Scootin’ Vibes

If you need to dust off your boots, throw back some whiskey, and embrace your inner Dolly Parton - The Little Red Hen is the karaoke bar for you. A little bit country, a little bit rock ‘n’ roll, this lively little dive bar in Greenlake hosts karaoke every Monday and Wednesday starting at 9 p.m. While Shania Twain tunes are always welcome, the average singing fare at this joint spans across all genres - so feel free to show off your rendition of “Easy On Me.” 

A honky-tonk sort of crowd, don't be surprised if some people begin dancing during some of the more upbeat songs. If you want to reenact a scene from “Urban Cowboy,” consider showing up on Mondays to enjoy some organized line dancing.

I-Blacked-Out-and-Sang-Celine-Dion Vibes

Rowdy and proud, Ozzie's "Five Star Dive Bar" in Queen Anne is a raucous and old-school space perfect for getting loud. Don't let the old-timey "Smart Cocktails" sign fool you; this dive bar slings drinks that pack a punch and is a lively haunt for karaoke. An unusual spot that also doubles as a sports bar (see also: the Seattle Seahawks & Kraken-themed drinks), it’s a great place to cut loose before heading to a game. 

While the food is nothing to write home about, they have plenty of snacks if you need some fuel during your night out. Just be wary of the Long Islands, unless you want to wake up to videos of you going for every high note in "My Heart Will Go On."

‘Gram Worthy Vibes

New Luck Toy is an intimate little bar out in West Seattle that is as cool as it is cute. If you are not the best singer or want to keep your Whitney Houston obsession just between friends - this is the perfect bar for you. This cozy little space only boasts a single karaoke space, so you can keep your performances somewhat private. 

The front room is first come, first served, though, so you may have to wait. But that honestly might be good news, since the main bar is a well-curated space lit by Chinese lanterns and filled with dozens of maneki-neko. They also offer some tasty food and a variety of fun alcoholic slushies, like the Crimson Tiger Margarita, served in thematic tiki mugs. If all of that is not enough to entertain you, they even have skeeball.

About the Author:

Megan Shepherd

Megan Shepherd was born in New Orleans, but now identifies as a Seattleite. A lifelong devotee of the arts, she works as a curator, appraiser and writer focused on fine art, collectibles and architecture. Always searching for the perfect dumpling, you can often find her sipping coffee while reading a sci-fi novel or belting Elton John at the nearest karaoke bar. Megan’s vibes: Artsy, Funky, Adventurous, Old School, Chill, Community