25-Best Coffee Shops
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Washington, Seattle Guide (D): 25-Best Coffee Shops

Explore Seattle’s top 25 coffee shops to get a real sense of the eclectic and culturally diverse caffeine buzzed city. Whether you desire a chic downtown coffee café with lots of windows and swanky décor or a dark coffee shop with mix-matched furniture, strong espresso, free wireless and lots of work room, this guide will help you find that perfect Seattle coffee shop.
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Attractions Map

Guide Name: 25-Best Coffee Shops
Guide Location: USA » Seattle
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Article (D))
# of Destinations: 25
Sight(s) featured in this guide: Fonté Café   Victrola Cafe and Roastery   Bauhaus   Espresso Vivace Roasteria   Zeitgeist Coffee House   Online Coffee Company   Seattle Coffee Works   Bustle Café   Café Ladro   Fuel Coffee   Peet's Coffee   Flying Apron   Starbucks at U-Village   Cafe Solstice   Louisa’s Café   Cloud City Coffee   Zoka Coffee Roaster   Cupcake Royale   The Java Bean   Caffe Vita   TOUGO COFFEE   Essential Bakery Cafe   The Honey Bear Café   Tully’s Edmonds   Pioneer Coffee  
Author: Mindy Sitton-Halleck
Author Bio: Mindy Sitton-Halleck is a long time Seattle resident, travel writer and coffee connoisseur. Her travel and financial advice articles appear in Seattle Woman Magazine, The Victoria Clipper Magazine, The Seattle Times and more. She runs a small organization called Literary Liaisons for writers. They are often found in the local coffee shops around the Seattle area.
Author Website: http://mindyhalleck.blogspot.com
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Fonté Café

1) Fonté Café

Fonté Café, located on First Avenue across the street from the Seattle Art Museum and steps from the Pike Place Market, offers a European bistro-style experience and is as swanky as a coffee shop in Seattle gets. This cafe is befitting their local roasters reputation “the best micro-coffee roaster in the Northwest,” by Northwest Palate Magazine, which has attracted a prominent, global clientele of luxury hotels including Seattle’s Olympic Four Seasons and Wynn Las Vegas. The décor is elegant; a charcoal-hued wall mural of all things coffee accents the sophisticated subtle grays and earth tones creating a calming allure in the heart of the hectic city. The cozy leather booths along the window offer a great place to work on your laptop and watch the busy city masses walk by. At Fonté, classy does not mean inhospitable. The service is great and in addition to outstanding coffee they offer breakfast, lunch and dinner. Open: Tuesday through Saturday: 7AM to 10PM Sunday & Monday: 7AM to 9PM.
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Victrola Cafe and Roastery

2) Victrola Cafe and Roastery

Victrola Cafe and Roastery built in a classic 1920’s building, once called ‘auto row’ is a vintage coffee shop with high ceilings, tall windows, brick walls, cool art, red couches, huge tables and the roaster working away in the full view roasting room. This is a serious coffee house with a friendly atmosphere.

If you want to learn about coffee ‘cupping’, regional coffees, processing and more, then join them every Wednesday at 11 AM for free lessons and tastings led by their knowledgeable staff. Free internet. Weekdays: 6:30 am - 8:00 pm Weekends: 7:30 am - 8:00 pm
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Bauhaus

3) Bauhaus

Bauhaus on Capital Hill is what coffee shops should look like. With its soaring book lined walls, straggling potted plants, low-lit ambiance with towering windows Bauhaus is the perfect place to spend hours working or people watching. This is a real writers coffee house with a horde of serious scribes working away in the loft. The clientele ranges from millionaires to homeless and all are welcome. In addition to staying open until the wee hours, they brew their own coffee, and serve typical coffee shop faire with one exception; Ding-dongs, the classic American junk food. Free Parking and Wifi. Mon-Fri 6am - 1am Sat: 7am - 1am Sun: 8am - 1am
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Espresso Vivace Roasteria

4) Espresso Vivace Roasteria

Located on Capital Hill, long considered the center of Seattle’s counterculture; most noteworthy as the birthplace of the ‘grunge scene’ is Vivace Roasteria. Like the neighborhood, Vivace is eclectic and has a cool vibe that has thrived over the last twenty-years. The café features Northern Italian espresso and their signature curved Italian stand-up bar and checkered linoleum floors covering all 2000 square feet. Along one wall, artist Kurt Wenner’s mural An Italian in Algiers sets the décor tone. There are lots of tables, inside and out, and free internet during weekdays.

At Espresso Vivace their goal is to develop, educate and promote caffe espresso as a culinary art. If perfect-artsy foam on your cappuccino tickles your fancy, this is the place. Along with being at the heart of the city, the company writes books, teaches classes and is a leader in the fine art of espresso. Some free parking, some paid. Open 6am until 11pm daily.
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Zeitgeist Coffee House

5) Zeitgeist Coffee House

“Zeitgeist” by definition means “the spirit of the time,” in the coffee world and as coffee shops go, this is a cool place for community, art, good eats, and great coffee just a stone’s throw from Pioneer Square, Chinatown and Mariner’s stadium. Located in the Historic District of Pioneer Square, Zeitgeist’s décor is hard wood floors, brick walls, high ceilings and lots of art. Its clientele is urban; artist to working class. This is a smart and trendy coffee shop and meeting place in the heart of downtown Seattle. Zeitgeist is committed to the arts community of Seattle and displays art from emerging local talent in its ongoing monthly shows. On Seattle’s ‘First Thursday’s’, the big art-walk night in downtown Seattle, Zeitgeist is a meet-up place for the arts community. Wireless is available. Pay parking.

So, if art is your thing, and good coffee and food of course, then this is a great urban hangout. Mon - Fri 6am - 7pm Sat & Sun 8am - 7pm.
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Online Coffee Company

6) Online Coffee Company

Online Coffee Company on Olive Way is quite possibly the most stylish of Seattle's Internet cafes. Located in a vintage building that looks more like a Victorian home, they have cleverly arranged tables, wooden desks (some with computer terminals if you don’t have a laptop), quiet music, earth-tone décor with antique hutches that make you feel as if you’ve entered someone's personal study. Combined with great strong coffee and a limited selection of beer and wine and free internet, what more could you want. Oh, and they’ve been voted as having the ‘sexiest barista’s’ time and again. Monday - Friday: 8am - 1am Saturday - Sunday: 9am - 1am.
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Seattle Coffee Works

7) Seattle Coffee Works

Seattle Coffee Works is a coffee connoisseur’s dream. Located around the corner from the Seattle Art Museum and only steps from the Pike Place Market, this low key coffee shop offers coffee aficionados an opportunity to explore.

As the only roaster in downtown Seattle, they roast fresh coffee daily. Aside from a cozy coffee cafe with oak tables and chairs, brightly painted orange walls and inviting nooks with newspapers and books beckoning from the shelves, this is a community friendly place in the heart of the city. In addition to their standard espresso bar, their Slow Bar is what makes them unique in Seattle’s coffee world. It’s what wine tastings are to wine. At the ‘slow bar’ which is easy to spot under the map of the world’s coffee belt you can explore your passion for coffee in a tasting room. With low playing music, lots of seating inside and out, this is a real coffee lovers gathering place. Hours: M-F 7- 6 Sat 8-6 Sunday 9-6
8
Bustle Café

8) Bustle Café

Bustle is a friendly cafe that offers quality coffee, French pastries, and organic baguette sandwiches.

Built as a grocery store over 100 years ago, the space has been renovated but still clings to its original charm as is evidenced in the bits of original wallpaper, fixtures, and paint colors that you’ll notice on the walls. At Bustle they exclusively use Attibassi coffee beans that are

flown in directly from Bologna, Italy every week. It’s a smooth rich cup of coffee. With the gracious staff, scrumptious pastries and laid back atmosphere I felt I was back in a neighborhood in Paris relaxing on a Sunday morning with an espresso, a croissant, fresh flowers on the tables and chandeliers over head, just watching the world go by. Free Wifi, Free parking. Monday 6am-9pm, Tuesday through Thursday 5am-9pm, Friday 5am-6pm, Saturday 6am-6pm, Sunday 7am-8pm
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Café Ladro

9) Café Ladro

Voted number one by Seattle Magazine in their Best of 2010, Café Ladro can be found in several locations about Seattle, but a local favorite, and the original café is on Queen Anne. The richly colored walls and ambiance of the coffee shop give it a funky urban feel that is popular with local writers. Author Jennie Shortridge and others are known to pen a novel or two within these walls. Ladro sells Fair Trade and Shade Grown, Organic coffee and their baked goods are made fresh daily. Sit inside or out and watch hustle and bustle of eventful Queen Anne Avenue. Free internet and free parking. Open everyday 5:30-11
10
Fuel Coffee

10) Fuel Coffee

Recognized by Seattle Magazine, Fresh Cup Magazine, Bon Appetit, Sunset Magazine, and more for their great coffee and dedication to creating a great coffee shop experience, Fuel Coffee in Montlake as well as their other two cafes is a stoic, never disappointing coffee shop experience.

People come back over and over for the friendly staff, the strong Coffee Vita roasts and the monthly art classes and art shows, not to mention the delicious pie made at their very own pie shop, HIGH 5 Pies. http://www.high5pie.com/ where you can get pie lollipops. The coffee shop at Montlake has a classic old wooden bar and espresso machine, looking like its right out of the 1940’s. The café’s are well lit, lots of tables and have a time-honored coffee shop feel. Open Mon-Fri 6am–8pm, Sat–Sun 7am – 8pm.
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Peet's Coffee

11) Peet's Coffee

The Fremont neighborhood is about as fun and funky as it gets. Long considering themselves the center of the universe where coffee is king and where a real bronze sculpture of Bolshevik Russian Communist revolutionary Vladimir Lenin is located on one corner and an 18-foot tall troll hides under the bridge. Peets Coffee House has excellent brewed coffee and everything else any of the chain coffee shops offer, but the key to enjoying the Fremont Peet’s is in the window seats upstairs. The loft area of the Fremont Peet’s is a great place to hang out and watch the world below pass by. But don’t plan on working on your laptop for long at any Peet’s coffee shop; they don’t encourage it. You will get one hour of free WiFi with your drink. Hours: Mon–Fri 6am – 9pm, Sat – 7am-9pm, Sunday 7am-8pm.
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Flying Apron

12) Flying Apron

The Flying Apron is a favorite little Fremont coffee café. This place is friendly, open and welcoming. As you enter you’re greeted by the scent of exotic spices, and a row of pastries in the long display case. All the delectable foodies are organic, wheat free, gluten free and vegan. But you’d never know it. This is a first class bakery with irresistible food, great coffee and free internet. It’s a small old-fashioned café with antiques and wood table, but cozy and comfortable right on Fremont Avenue.

One of the greatest features about the bakery is that each item is clearly labeled, listing all of its ingredients, making it easier for someone with allergies to make healthier choices with no surprises. What’s even cooler is that they offer day old specials that taste as fresh as just made. But cost half as much. Hours: Mon-Wed 7am-7pm, Thu-Sun 7am-8pm.
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Starbucks at U-Village

13) Starbucks at U-Village

The University Village branch boasts the distinction of being the second busiest Starbucks in the world, second only to a store in Tokyo. What makes this Starbucks popular is the location. It’s smack in the middle of the U-Village’s trendy shopping center where the hustle and bustle of people coming and going is non-stop. You can grab your coffee and sit at one of the many tables or booths along the windowed wall, rub elbows with university professors, wealthy house wives laden with treasure bags from the surrounding Pottery Barn or chic boutiques and struggling students doing their homework.

In this Starbuck’s they used a green design when they revamped the large space. For example; all the table wood was salvaged from a fallen ash tree in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood, the burlap on the walls is from used coffee bags, and the leather on the bar is comprised of scraps from shoe and automobile factories. Hours: 5:00 am daily until late night; hours vary seasonally.
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Cafe Solstice

14) Cafe Solstice

This local hang is hard to find if you don’t know where it is. Solstice, which hides behind a bus stop on University Way is THE quirky, busy, eclectic hang for UW students. The music is loud. The coffee, from Lighthouse Roasters is caffeine charged. The full menu eats are made fresh in their kitchen. Start at breakfast and end the day with a beer. Every student that needs a caffeine pick-me-up and a place with outlets and huge tables to spread out their books goes to Cafe Solstice. With outside seating in the front and back and barstools next to the chatty baristas, seating options are plentiful. After the homework’s done, there’s beer. It’s a perfect homework, socialize, get connected kind of place. On weekends they often have eclectic bands play. Solstace is a definitive U-District hotspot. This is not your grandmas coffee shop. Hours Mon-Thu 6:30am-11pm, Fri 6:30am-9pm, Sat & Sun 7am-11pm.
15
Louisa’s Café

15) Louisa’s Café

Louisa’s Café serves Caffe Vita coffee and baked goods, including gluten free. The dark chocolate cupcake with coconut frosting is to die for! This coffee café is a long time author hangout and writing place where local authors Jack Remick and Robert J. Ray work with twenty or more writers twice a week at Louisa’s well lit café tables. The high ceilings and avant-garde art along the walls gives this room an open and artsy feel. The staff is friendly and the clientele from all walks of life. So grab a table next to one of the many windows, have a great cappuccino, some breakfast lunch, dinner or brunch, or work unbothered on your laptop watching as the neighborhood passes by. Free internet and parking. Monday - Thursday 7am-9pm, Friday & Saturday 7am-10pm - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner; Sunday 8am - 2pm Brunch.
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Cloud City Coffee

16) Cloud City Coffee

In the Maple Leaf Neighborhood sits a painted blue gas station turned coffee shop. The Maple Leaf Neighborhood received a Neighborhood of the Year award from Neighborhoods USA in 1986. Little has changed; it’s still a great place with its core values present in the Cloud City Coffee shop. These days it’s hard to find a coffee ‘honor bar’ where you can pour your own and pay only a buck for coffee. The food is made fresh in their busy kitchen. The baked goods are not for the calorie conscious. One menu favorite is their ‘grandma’s recipe’ coconut bread that melts in your mouth.

There’s fun art on the walls, books available to read, comfy chairs and tables. The garage has been turned into a welcoming café where patrons pour over their newspapers, work on their laptops, or visit. If you’re a knitter, join them every Saturday at 4:00 pm for their Knitters Meeting. Every neighborhood should have a Cloud City at its heart. Free internet and parking. Open daily 6am to 6pm.
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Zoka Coffee Roaster

17) Zoka Coffee Roaster

Seattle’s Greenlake area, just minutes north of central Seattle buzzes with activity and lots of people and coffee shops, but Zoka Coffee Roaster – Voted ‘2008’s Marco Roaster of the year’ stands out among the best. You can enjoy the aroma of Zoka’s many blends (from many regions) of coffee beans the moment you enter the dark wood paneled café. The coffee is roasted fresh daily; the proof is in the rich smooth flavor. With barista’s who place in or win the Northwest Regional Barista Competitions you can count on a great cup of coffee every time. The pastries are also delicious, fresh and modestly priced.

There are lots of thick glassed windows, tables and chairs. The counter up on the elevated floor that is surrounded by bookshelves and looks like an urban study is a great place to people watch or work. While many coffee shops limit your internet time, Zoka welcomes you to stay as long as you like. Free internet. Free parking. Open daily: 6am to 8pm.
18
Cupcake Royale

18) Cupcake Royale

Rated ‘The Best Cupcake Ever Eaten’ by NPR, Ballard’s Cupcake Royale is a treat. Cupcakes with a conscious is their slogan, all made from organic, local ingredients: your tastes buds will go crazy. Where else can you get a Bacon Whisky Maple cupcake? This coffee shop is large, spacious and welcoming to lap toppers or anyone in search of a sugary treat and a great cup of Stumptown Coffee. The café is reminiscent of a 1950’s café with a long table lined wall and pink and brown coffee cups. Free Wifi, some free parking and a busy, but pleasant staff. Mon-Fri 6:30am-10pm, Sat 6:30am–11pm, Sunday 7:30am-10pm.
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The Java Bean

19) The Java Bean

Consistently winning ‘top coffee’ awards in a bevy of contests; the Ballard Java Bean is a busy quintessentially northwest coffee shop. Just a stone’s throw from the heart of Ballard’s Scandinavian seafaring community, this coffee shop even offers the local fishing reports. Often jam-packed with students, college professors, dates and neighborhood regulars this café is a much loved meeting place. The wood stove and Pacific Northwest mountain décor creates an old-fashioned homey ambience that is comforting and cozy on Seattle’s rainy days. The coffee is organic, Fair Trade and Shade Grown, the food good, the service friendly. Sit inside or out and enjoy a favorite Ballard establishment. Free parking. Free Wifi. Mon-Fri 6am–8pm Sat & Sun 7am–8pm.
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Caffe Vita

20) Caffe Vita

South of Seattle along Lake Washington is Seward Park’s Cafe Vita. Recently voted by the Huffington Post as one of ‘The 9 Best Places To Have A Cup Of Coffee Around The World’, Caffé Vita has five cafés in Seattle. Consistently a great cup of coffee and good food in an atmosphere that’s unique to each neighborhood, featuring work from local artist. Each café offers free Wi-Fi. Mon–Fri 6am–8pm, Sat & Sun 7am–8pm.
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TOUGO COFFEE

21) TOUGO COFFEE

Serving smooth Stumptown coffee and good food, this Central District coffee shop is also a dedicated community meeting place. There’s a large story and play place for kids with local a librarian - very kid friendly, yet still a quiet area for lap topers.

This large, off the beaten path coffee house has something for everyone including on the 2nd & 4th Tuesdays an open mic for all music, poetry, or written word acts welcome from 6-8pm. Free Wifi and free parking. Mon-Fri 6am-6pm, Sat-Sun 7am-6pm.
22
Essential Bakery Cafe

22) Essential Bakery Cafe

Madison Park is one of Seattle’s oldest and most traditional upscale neighborhoods along the shores of Lake Washington. The local Tully’s and Starbucks are always a great choice, but in addition there’s the extremely popular Essential Bakery, a long standing favorite coffee shop and eatery.

The coffee is their very own freshly roasted Baker’s Blend. The food is certified Organic and made fresh, from scratch, daily. Sit at one of the many windows and enjoy a fabulous organic meal and coffee and watch the busy Madison Valley shoppers go by. Hours: Mon-Fri 6am-7pm, Sat-Sun 7am-6pm. Free parking. Internet available.
23
The Honey Bear Café

23) The Honey Bear Café

The Honey Bear Cafe is located in the Commons at Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park. This place is huge and has something for everyone from an enormous book store to a stage for live performances, several selections of restaurants from Chinese to Italian and plenty of free parking, free WiFi and community events daily. The Honey Bear is a wide open spacious coffee shop in the center of it all. You can take your laptop and camp out all day if you like. Honey Bear serves the dark rich coffee from Victrola Coffee Roasters and excellent frothy cappuccinos. And if cake is your thing, this is the place. Honey Bear specializes in delicious tantalizing cakes. The 5-layer Black Forest cake is scrumptious! Now, while this is a busy happening place, it can get noisy, so if a quiet corner is what you seek this may not suit you. But for good food, good coffee, lots of activity, people watching and book browsing, this is wonderland. Monday-Friday 7am-10pm, Saturday 8am-10pm, Sunday 8am-8pm.
24
Tully’s Edmonds

24) Tully’s Edmonds

Tully’s in Edmonds has a welcoming and blatantly friendly staff that gives this Tully’s that ‘Cheers’ of coffee shops feel. It’s clear that the locals hang out there, gathering around the cozy fireplace, reading the neighborhood newspapers, working and visiting. It’s a spacious, upscale, clean and welcoming room with seating areas to suit anyone’s desire; large secluded tables or small cozy window tables with comfy armed-chairs and laptop plug-ins and free WiFi just a few short blocks from Edmonds Beach.

Tully’s serves a consistently splendid cup of Joe handcrafted from the Arabica beans they select from the world’s best coffee-growing regions. And their usual coffee shop carte du jour is always good, but at Tully’s you have the added bonus of irresistible ice cream, and thick creamy milkshakes. On a sunny Edmonds day you can sit inside or out and enjoy a creamy milkshake or dish of coffee ice cream. Yum! Free parking. Monday-Saturday 6am-8pm, Sun 6:30am-6pm.
25
Pioneer Coffee

25) Pioneer Coffee

Location! Location! Location! West Seattle is host to one of the finest beach and Puget Sound views in all the land. In addition to the cozy Tully’s and the urban Starbuck’s both of which have excellent views, there’s an independent roaster, Pioneer Coffee that sits right across from the beach. This funky little coffee café has superb coffee, a fun atmosphere with friendly staff and a view to die for - all right across the street from a sandy beach and the waters of the Puget Sound. Sit inside or out and watch a volley ball game on the beach, roller skaters, joggers, cruise ships and Ferries pass by. This is a favored local hangout. The food is from the famous Wallingford bakery. Yum! Always free Wifi and free parking. Mon-Fri open 6am-5pm, Sunday 6:30–5pm.

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