Food & Culture

Proof that Seattle’s Expensive

A modest night out is more than $200, and that's with a fast-food meal

By Rob Smith August 18, 2023


This article originally appeared in the July/August 2023 issue of Seattle Magazine.

If you’re planning a night out, it’s going to cost you.

Seattle is among the most expensive cities for a drink, meal, and budget hotel stay, with an average cost of $210.61 — and that’s for a fast-food dinner rather than fine dining.

Price-monitoring website PriceListo analyzed the cost of a median budget hotel, cab fare, a cocktail in a downtown club, a bottle of quality red wine, a beer in a neighborhood pub, and a fast-food combo meal at McDonald’s in compiling overall cost.

In Seattle, a cocktail alone will set you back $14. A pint at your favorite brewery runs $8.

San Diego earned the ignominious No. 1 spot, with an average cost of $225.27. More fun facts: A cocktail in Dallas runs $25, or $17 more than the same drink in San Antonio, and San Francisco, surprisingly, is among the most affordable cities, at $142.94. Las Vegas gives you the best bang for your buck, at just $120.76. 

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