Top 5 Places for wildly varied karaoke experiences

When you feel the need to sing in a more public setting than your own shower, Seattle offers many karaoke options, all varied in the experience they provide. All of these particular venues have somehow found a way into my heart each for a different reason.

Updated: February 08, 2010


Yen Wor Garden Restaurant

8580 Greenwood Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103

Yen Wor is the perfect place to sing away your sorrows. You will find a constant flow of regulars singing broken-hearted love songs until the wee hours of the morning. Expect the drinks to be stiff but don't expect the singers to always sing in tune.

Hula Hula

106 First Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109

Hula Hula was my first experience with a large karaoke crowd and some really fantastic singers. It was also my first experience with what I call "karaoke porn." I never knew such a thing existed. Without going into too much detail, but if as you're singing you find the crowd's eyes getting wider, lower jaws dropping and applause at odd moments during your rendition of Jungle Boogie, it's not you (even though you are a REALLY great singer), it's what's playing behind you on the screen :)

Ozzie's Restaurant & Lounge

105 W Mercer St, Seattle, WA 98119

Ozzie's is like one part karaoke, one part meat market. It's hard to imagine anyone without real vocal prowess being brave enough to sing here, but a few slip through. This is where the stuff of karaoke dreams is made. Packed to the gills, high energy and never a dull moment.

Rickshaw Restaurant And Lounge

322 N 105th St, Seattle, WA 98133

The Rickshaw was my first experience with karaoke in Seattle. This is probably actually a good thing. The bar is really small and the crowd interesting and all fear of singing out of tune or embarrassing myself quickly vanished when the toothless man from the corner of the bar got up to sing The Devil Went Down to Georgia. Any karaoke newbie would feel fully comfortable getting up to lose their karaoke virgin status here.

Orient Express

2963 4th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98134

The Orient Express is new to me but has quite a following of karaoke fans based on the numerous private karaoke rooms this interesting spot holds and which are usually booked. For $15 minimum food/drink per person, you get your own private room with 2 mics, big screen tv and all the songs you and your friends can sing to each other neatly packaged in a room that would most closely resemble the unfinished basement you partied in during the early 1990's. Tip: Ask the owner for a tour.