Duck Island Saloon

Duck Island SaloonDuck Island Saloon
Duck Island SaloonDuck Island Saloon
Bar, Eatery

7317 Aurora Ave N
Seattle, Washington, 98103
United States

(206) 783-3360 | map

View: Place Reviews
Reviews: 16 | Ratings: 19 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by woemad:
Photo of woemad
woemad from Washington

4.14/5  rDev -1.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Actually stumbled in here because of a need to use the bathroom! In preparation of a 370 mile drive and the need to be alert, especially in the near-constant lane jumping that is standard on I-5 between the Skagit Valley and Seattle, I'd loaded up on caffeine during breakfast. I was heading home to Spokane and was in no great hurry, and had the idea of stopping at Big Star to check out their selection. They were closed, so I'd decided to hit Uber was open so I could try another couple of beers from their incredible selection, but they weren't open yet. In desperation from the overabundance of coffee consumed in the morning, I'd remembered reading on BA that Duck Island was just down the street. I raced down Aurora on foot and made it just in time!

Once I was feeling relieved of my burden, I decided to order a beer. Thinking a crisp pilsner would be nice, I ordered a Trumer pils (the only one of the style on-tap). After that, I had a pint of Monkfish. The service was prompt, and the Monkfish was poured into a Chimay goblet, so extra points for glassware. The bartender made conversation with me but didn't hover, which was nice, since I was the only one there at first. While it's no Uber, there was a decent selection split between micros and import, with the one macro being the once-local Rainier. There didn't seem to be a whole lot of overlap between here and Uber, so perhaps they keep tabs on one another. Prices were on average $4/pint, which seemed about average around Seattle.

Like Uber, the atmosphere was cozy, split between a couple of different small rooms. Everything seemed to be clad in shiny sheetmetal, which was a little odd, but original. It was early in the afternoon, so it wasn't too crowded, but it wouldn't take much to crowd the place.

If Uber is closed or too crowded, you could do a lot worse than this place, and its only a few blocks down the street.

Oct 02, 2007
More User Reviews:
Photo of VashonGuy
VashonGuy from Washington

3.74/5  rDev -11.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.25 | selection: 4 | food: 3

We stopped in at Duck Island to have a beer, watch the Husky game, and get some food. The beer was good, the Huskies are winning, and the food was so-so. Well, two out of three isn't bad. The beer selection is pretty interesting, with a particularly large bottle list, at very fair prices. The service was so-so, but that's not much of a problem, as I could just go to the bar. The food was mediocre. I wouldn't come here again if I wanted food.

Nov 20, 2016
Photo of EdwardAbbey
EdwardAbbey from Washington

3.76/5  rDev -10.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

The tap list tends to be quite good, and that is the main reason to visit, but it may otherwise seem more than a little divey to some sensibilities. As a (possible) bonus, however, there is skee-ball! :-)

Sep 28, 2015
Photo of TheBungyo
TheBungyo from Washington

4/5  rDev -5%

Dec 13, 2014
Photo of crowellbw
crowellbw from Washington

3.75/5  rDev -10.9%

Nov 17, 2014
Photo of strongaf
strongaf from Washington

4/5  rDev -5%

Jul 10, 2014
Photo of dirtylou
dirtylou from New York

4/5  rDev -5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

aurora ave, just a block from the institutional Uber Tavern

A dive bar, with a tap selection. 25-30 taps though most were kind of pedestrian craft offerings - i did thoroughly enjoy an aged la folie tap though.

separated into 3 divey rooms, each with a TV playing college football on this saturday with some seats out on aurora ave as well. pinball machines and a decor of dead tap handles hanging from the ceiling.

not quite A-worthy in my opinion, but a good spot, and i'll return. for those that are interested, the also-divey, but famous, beths cafe is right next door

Oct 16, 2011
Photo of jascox2
jascox2 from Washington

4.63/5  rDev +10%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Just a great place, relaxed, great selection of Belgian beers and US micro brew selections. Food is great from next door at Beths Cafe, the burgers are great, company is relaxed. Also Pinball machine is Medievil Madness which is certainly the best i've ever played. Today we are checking out their Saison selection (8 different kegs) from all over the place. Just another example of the effort these guys apply in offering a interesting rotating selection. Knowledge of the bar tenders well found, with samples encouraged before choosing your pint. Sours are sometimes available.

Jul 23, 2011
Photo of barleywinefiend
barleywinefiend from Washington

4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

A: Just next door to Beths on 99 this place is an overlooked beer bar. It has a great atmosphere, pretty laid back, sordove odd shaped. Walking in is wham bar and taps. then you can go left and step down into the middle room where you can play the Indy Jones pinball machine or watch TV. Pretty laid back

S: My server was nice friendly and prompt. She took the time to chat with the customers

S: The handles were thought out but struggled to find many Strong Ales or Bwines regardless of where I went on trek today.

F: No food here but you can order food at Beths and then bring it over I believe.

Jan 10, 2011
Photo of AccidentalKate
AccidentalKate from Washington

4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Atmosphere: If you're looking for what I term a "high end dive bar", this is as close as you'll ever get. Small, with a bit of a run down feel to it, it more than makes up for it with a look at the list of beers. Clientele runs towards the young, but that's okay by me. One booth, two tables, a pool room and plenty of bar stools can make this place crowded quickly. Smokers tend to congregate by the front door.

Quality: Great list of beer, migrating towards Belgians and local brews. Saison on tap, as well as the German Bitburger are all I can remember the day after. I did have Lucifer on tap there as well, but this was a one time deal. The only downside? Pabst for the Hipsters.

Service: Outstanding. Friendly bartender, and an owner who visited our table three separate times to check in on us.

Selection: Very good for the size of the pub. Yes there are places that carry more brews, the but the person who chooses the beer here works well within the boundaries of the location.

Food: First off, ignore the food options on the beer menu. They will tell you to avoid these foods, as they are there only to appease the local laws surrounding what constitutes a bar versus what constitutes a tavern.

Instead, as for the Beth's menu, where the full menu from the diner next door is made available. Great diner food made available here makes ensures that you don't have to leave too early. Available? The 12 egg omelette, reubens, and burgers and tater tots. Choose wisely.

Value: Quite reasonable. Three belgium beers ran me $21. Not a bad night at all.

May 09, 2009
Photo of ScreamForMe
ScreamForMe from Washington

4.33/5  rDev +2.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Right down from the Uber on the same side of Aurora, is the Duck Island Saloon.

My friends and I had stopped in at the Uber first and then meandered down to DI.

It's a small saloon - bar, pool table below, etc. I prefer these types of bars - kinda like the old vet vs the new rookie.

The beers on tap was a good 20 listed - heavy on the local but that's cool with me.

They still bring food over from Beth's Cafe' so getting some food in you to absorb the alcohol is not an issue.

A cool place that gets overlooked because of the Uber....check it out!

Edit: Went back on 3/6/09 - sober - and had a good time there. Had 5 local brews and some Beth's grub to absorb the alcohol. Cool hang out spot!

Feb 09, 2009
Photo of julian
julian from Washington

4.1/5  rDev -2.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

I actually had intended to visit the Uber Tavern for the first time after work yesterday but I walked in and it was PACKED. I could barely move and with no place to sit, I decided to come back another time. Thus, I walked down the street and entered Duck Island which had plenty of space and a few locals with 1 bartender. I actually met erkaneva (Eric and Eva) here and had a nice chat and shared a few pints with them. Great convo and really nice people!)

A: great cozy little joint with a definite dive bar feel. The taps all have the proper tap heads for the beers they serve and the ceiling is covered in upside down tap heads which makes for a unique decoration and feel.

Q: the beers were served all in regular American pint glasses, but the beers were great. I only had two (had to drive). I tried the Walking Man Knuckle Dragger and the Lagunitas Lumpy Gravy Pale Ale...great combo. A nice hoppy IPA followed by a somewhat caramely and malty Pale Ale. They had St Bernardus Abt 12 on tap too which was cool to see.

S: Service was good. The place wasn't very packed but it took me a little while to get the bartender's attention. In her defense I didn't try very hard though. I also ordered a philly cheese steak with tomato soup which was brought over from Beth's Cafe just next door. No complaints, it was awesome.

S: Selection was pretty good. About 14+ beers on tap some local (Walking Man, Lagunitas...) and some imports (St Bernardus, Oud Beersel, Franziskaner Dunkel Hefe-Weisse). There was also a bottle list of about 20-25 bottles with a decent selection.

F: The food looked delicious, which is why I ordered. It didn't disappoint. The crispy tater tot style fries looked really good, I'll have to get some of those next. The smell of burgers also had me salivating.

All in all, great place with an awesome atmosphere. The ceilings were kind of low too, which makes it feel that much more cozy. There is a definite dive ambiance to this place, yet it's quality and selection speak for itself. Definitely will be going here again! I would recommend to anyone visiting the Seattle area.

Jun 06, 2008
Photo of John_M
John_M from Oregon

4.58/5  rDev +8.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

I doubt very many cities could have two outstanding beer bars so close to one another and have both do (apparently) quite well. This place is about a two minute walk from the Uber, and as it opens earlier then the Uber, it was a great place to hang out before heading over there.

I love the atmosphere of this place, with it's low key, laid back, sort of rustic and funky atmosphere. The place is fairly small, with a good size wrap around bar that you come upon when first entering the bar, with a few tables off to the left as well. I seriously doubt this place can hold more then 20 or 30 patrons at any one time.

The day I was there I counted 25 tap handles, of which 6 or 7 were Belgians (which surprised me a bit). The rest of the outstanding line-up was generally made up of local Washington beers, although they also had on a couple of German beers, Victory's Golden Monkey, and the aprihop from Dogfish Head. I was one of 5 patrons in the tavern the day I visited, which assured that I received quick and efficient service. As I've come to expect in the NW, my server was the usual knowledgable beer geek and was able to answer any and every question that I had.

Like the Uber, Duck Island does not have a kitchen per se, but you can order food from Beth's next door I understand. In fact, a server from the next door restaurant brought over a lunch order for two young ladies enjoying a couple of beers at a table while I was there.

As an aside, I got a laugh out of the bartender when I inquired about their "beer of the month" listed on a chalk board. It was bud lite lime for $2. He pointed out that the place next door is a lawnmower repair shop, where most of the guys wouldn't know a good beer if hit them on the head. Hence, he pointed out that they always try to have some cheap crap about (his words, not mine), just to keep the guys next dooer happy. He noted that while they do have rainer ale on tap, it's a bit spendy ($2.50 a glass), and that his neighbors just generally go for whatever is cheapest. Hence the beer of the month.

What can I say? This is a great place with a distinctly NW flavor to it. Highly recommended.

Jun 05, 2008
Photo of loren01
loren01 from Washington

4.78/5  rDev +13.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Went here shortly after being at the Uber tavern, its located just down the road on the same side of the street. Excellent selection of very good quality taps. Didn't really see any bottles although I'm sure they have some. Smallish cozy kind of bar with very friendly bartenders. Good beer and friendly people...couldn't ask for much more than that. I would highly recommend this place if you are ever in north Seattle, and even if you aren't it would be worth the trip out of your way to get here.

Apr 16, 2008
Photo of masikon
masikon from Washington

3.8/5  rDev -9.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5

This place is located just up the street from Uber tevern and right next door to a greasy spoon 24 hour joint that is a late-night favorite for drunks like me in seattle. Long and skinny with basically 3 different rooms, bar in the first room, lounge in the second, and pool table in the back. I'll admit I was pretty buzzed by the time I got here after leaving uber and didn't get too involved in studying the beer selection. A buddy of mine asked for a barleywine and got an aventinus which he hated, so I was obliged to drink it. An odd move by the bartender in my opinion. Pretty neat place, the combo of here and Uber is a good way to spend an evening. Oh ya, the pool table is free.

Mar 11, 2008
Photo of Murchmac
Murchmac from California

4/5  rDev -5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

This is a cool beer bar, with fun staff and even more colorful locals. Small place, the door pulls open, not push, also watch that first step up to the bar! Awesome jukebox selection, got a pool table, and a couple different small rooms. I love a beer bar that has Ranier on tap, and they do! This bar is a little out of the way of seattle proper, and looks very inconspicuous, but since it's right near uber, and a greasy spoon diner right next door, you want to go to this area of town. The decor is tap handles hanging from the ceilings and punk rock red. I liked this bar and it is a dont miss in Seattle.

Aug 09, 2007
Photo of Ruddiger
Ruddiger from Washington

4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Duck island is just a short walk down 99 from Uber tavern and right next to Beths cafe. A good night out is starting out at Uber, walking down to duck island and then getting some drunken late night food at about 3am at Beths. Great tap selection, with some real surprises sometimes. Also they have a decent bottle selection and recently they got a full liquor license so you can bring your non beer drinking friends here as well. This place can get pretty busy, but there is a fair amount of space so it usually doesn't feel too crowded if you move away from the bar.

Jun 15, 2007
Photo of GimmeAles
GimmeAles from Washington

4.66/5  rDev +10.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

Been told to hit this place by my beer-aficianado friends for some time and finally got around to it.

Right next door to a famous Seattle breakfast-joint Beth's. 12-egg omelet if anyone's interested. Actually, you can order from Beth's menu and they'll bring it over to the bar, though we were just out for pints.

A very small, low-ceiling'ed place which must have been awful before the indoor smoking-ban in Washington. It would have been a huge disservice to have the smoke smothering the enjoyment of such an amazing tap-roster (a small but respectable bottle selection as well): I spotted 90-minute IPA and Ruination right off the bat, they also had Walking Man Impy Stout (tasted my buddies pint - WOW). For about twenty taps total, this place is all business: a Flanders Sour, La-Chouffe Hobgoblin IPA (which I had), Orval and another Belgian or two, then a who's-who of about 10-12 Pacific NW Brews including two taps from the new Lazy-Boy Brewery. The beer list revealed they have special cask ales on-tap every Tuesday. Not too over-priced either, my La-Chouffe and a schooner of Ruination was $9.

Great jukebox, definitely a local-heavy hangout - most people seemed to know one another. Bartender was somewhat cold and slow following-up with us, but he had a busy bar as well. Was much more friendly as the evening progressed. Will definitely be heading back here.

Jul 28, 2006
Photo of czechsaaz
czechsaaz from Washington

4.6/5  rDev +9.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

After driving by for over a year and ignoring the place (It looks like nothing special on a stretch of Aurora Ave that most people fly by) a friend told me that I should check it out. After a first visit, I've been back twice in a couple-three weeks time.

It's a pretty small pace but what got my attention is the Lucifer tap tower on the bar. (No Lucifer on tap but a very cool decorative item. The bartender told me that they used to try to keep it on tap but distribution of kegs in Washington are pretty hard to get these days. I've only seen it on draght once.) Anyway, there's a small bar area with about 10 stools and another small room of tables inside. Various beer memorabilia decorates the bar.

Bartenders are friendly and it's clear that the place has a contingent of regulars. In fact it feels very "neighboorhood" pub like and several people bounce between the bar and tables and seem to know everybody. The bartender I saw on the first visit remembered me the third time I was there. It's not a packed place so they keep up with the bar area but if you're at a table, you'll have to get up and get your beer.

Between every visit the selection has changed. I found Kwak on tap the first time replaced by St. Bernadus ABT 8 the second. They seem to keep about half the taps local micro, 1/4 Belgian and the remaining quarter a nice selection of other upscale beers. (Hitachino, Unibroue Noir were on the last time I was there.) They also have cheap American Megabrew in bottles and cans so you can take your non-B.A. friends there too.

No food, but there's a diner next door that you can order from and they'll bring it over.

Overall a really nice place. Once discovered, it's been growing on me and I think about going there more often.

Jul 20, 2006
Duck Island Saloon in Seattle, WA
Place rating: 4.21 out of 5 with 19 ratings