So we’ve traveled from Tacoma, to the suburbs of Seattle, and now we have arrived at the mecca of coffee– Seattle! When people think of Seattle they probably think of the first Starbucks and how it originated from here, but they would be surprised to learn that Starbucks is not the only thing we drink here. With the abundance of great local coffee shops, we rarely have time to visit Starbucks. I personally am always excited to visit new, up-and-coming coffee shops, and am hoping to find my new go-to place for coffee. Although not all the Seattle coffee shops listed here are “new” or “up-and-coming”, a lot of them are overlooked and it’s a shame. I want to highlight some of my favorite places to grab a coffee in Seattle and encourage you to give them a try as well.
1. Fonté Cafe & Wine Bar (Downtown):
Although located just a block from the world-famous Pike Place Market, I feel like this is a hidden gem. For 8 years I walked past Fonté Cafe and didn’t even know it existed. Now that I know, I will be visiting it a lot more often. It is not as crowded as most of the Pike Place attractions are which makes it a great place to stop by for coffee, breakfast (served all day),) lunch, or even dinner. Their coffee menu includes out of the box specials such as the Desert Rose Latte, Sage Latte, Aztec Mocha, and my personal favorite, the Turk-ish Latte (made with cardamom and vanilla bean syrup). If you find yourself stumped on what to order, please do yourself a favor and get their signature Turk-ish Latte, you will thank me later!
As for the food, they have a variety of scrambles, omelets, hashes, and eggs benedicts as well as french toast and granola for breakfast. Of course, we got the eggs benedict (like we usually do) and were very satisfied. Both the cured salmon and french ham benedicts are great and I would recommend either! They come with a side of crispy breakfast potatoes and arugula, grape salad which compliments the meal perfectly.
2. Seattle Coffee Works (Downtown):
Convenient location, right across from the Pike Place Market, Seattle Coffee Works is a great place to stop by for your morning cup of coffee or an afternoon pick-me-up. They roast their own beans on-site to bring out the maximum sweetness and body, which may explain why I love their coffee so much. Even though they roast their beans mainly light to medium (read more about that HERE) which is lighter than I prefer, you can’t taste the acidity of the coffee (like you usually do with the lighter roasts). My favorite drink to order here is the Caramel Latte which comes out so buttery, rich, and smooth, you may end up getting two cups instead of one.
3. Storyville (Downtown):
One of my all-time favorite coffee shops that boasts a couple different locations throughout Seattle, but their most popular one being the downtown Pike Place Market location. It can be tricky to find if this is your first time (since it’s located above the market on the second floor) so just follow the signs located on 1st Ave and use the elevator (or stairs) to head on up to the second floor. I talk more in detail about this coffee shop and what to order HERE.
4. Street Bean (Belltown):
About a 15 minute walk north of downtown, Street Bean is a little less busy and perfect for getting some work done or if you just need some quiet time. The clean minimalist decor features lots of whites and wood tones and is very calming. They roast their own beans on site as well and make a mean Vanilla Latte (in really cute mugs!) but what’s really great about this place is their mission. They are a non-profit organization that opened their doors in 2009 with one sole purpose in mind: to help street-involved youth reclaim their lives. By purchasing their coffee you are helping a great cause and providing an employment opportunity for the youth of Seattle. Read more about their mission HERE.
5. Espresso Vivace Alley 24 (South Lake Union):
A mother’s best friend! Going from coffee shop to coffee shop in downtown Seattle with our two toddlers in strollers, we sometimes felt a little out of place and a little uncomfortable in smaller coffee shops. Not here! This one is definitely kid-friendly with its own built in kid’s area. In the back corner of the shop, they have an entire section especially for kids, complete with books, toys, an easel for drawing, and a kid's table. This was so convenient seeing that I had both my kids with me. This allowed them to quietly play on their own for a good 30 minutes while I was able to catch a break and enjoy my delicious cup of White Velvet (essentially a white chocolate mocha but SO much better!). They also have a “quiet room” in the back with closed doors for those people that came without kids and get distracted by their noise. With a parking garage located right across the street (by REI), parking is no problem and the first hour is free! Ample street parking is also available.
We also tried the “Cafe Nico” based on popular reviews and the barista’s recommendation. The “Cafe Nico” is a delicious blend of espresso, steamed half&half, orange zest, and cinnamon. If you like cinnamon and are a bit on the adventurous side– give this one a shot! You won’t find it at your regular coffee place!
6. Cafe Solstice (Capitol Hill) :
Wonderful Seattle coffee shop that has lots of seating options (with an upstairs nook), lots of windows, a great food menu, and amazing coffee. We got here at 3, right as they stopped serving breakfast and at the beginning of their happy hour (3-6pm). We ordered the steak nachos (made with soft and tender flank steak that was cooked perfectly!), Cuban Pork Sliders, grilled cheese (made with 4 different types of cheeses) tomato soup, two coffees, and only paid $30. What a deal! Everything we had was amazing and I would order it all again. Their lattes are steamed with Smith Brothers Farm milk and result in such a smooth and silky latte that I couldn’t resist and had two cups of! A great place to come for food, coffee, and conversation.
7. Victrola Coffee Roasters (Capitol Hill):
I was very excited about trying out Victrola Coffee seeing that they roast the coffee beans for one of my favorite coffee shops of all time- Metronome (read all about why I love Metronome HERE). The quality of espresso at Victrola was definitely top notch and similar to that at Metronome. Unlike Metronome, however, Victrola offers only 3 flavors: Vanilla, Cardamom, and Chocolate. Their syrups are all made fresh in-house, which yields a very smooth latte that is not overwhelmingly sweet. I love their cardamom latte which was superb. Even my husband, who doesn’t like cardamom, loved it so much he drank it himself.
Victrola is located in the Capitol Hill neighborhood across the street from the very busy and tourist-heavy, Starbucks Reserve. So if you are looking to get away from the crowds at Starbucks, I would recommend Victrola. With its very tall ceilings, exposed brick walls, lots of tables and chairs for seating, it’s a great place to stop by for a quick coffee on the go or stay and mingle a while and absorb all the charm of this unique Seattle coffee shop.
Be sure to venture out and try one of these amazing Seattle coffee shops next time you are in the city. Whether you are looking for a quiet place to do some work, the best cup of coffee in town, a good breakfast joint, or something new and exciting that you haven’t visited yet, you can find what you are looking for here!