Seattle is to coffee as New York is to bagels as Chicago is to pizza and as Jersey is to bad reality TV. Yes, coffee culture has long been linked to the Emerald City, and needless to say, there are plenty of spectacular options to choose from in Washington’s biggest city. Autumn time is the perfect time of year to cozy up and to sip on your favorite java infused drink. So get that caffeine jolt on by heading out for some of the best cup of Joes to be had at one of these amazing coffeehouse—they are filled with baristas that are as passionate about their service as they are about their coffee!
For the best of the best flat whites, pour-overs, espresso shots, or even some wholesale organic beans, check out these various brew joints packed within the motherland of coffee shops.
The 7 Best Coffee Shops In Seattle
1. The Original Starbucks
Head on over to the original Starbucks in Pike Place to try out an Aussie import that the national java chain has famously perfect—i.e. a flat white. Savor steamed milk and foam poured over espresso at the historic first store that started it all in the spring of 1971. It’s the perfect spot to go cuckoo for all things coffee, as the space boasts a cool coffeehouse vibe that’s been positively furthered by the continued grunge culture surrounding the entire city.
Plus, if strong sips of dark roast aren’t your thing, this one happens to be the best shop around for those who want something that tastes more like a milkshake or a liquid dessert. Try out a caramel mocha Frappuccino, it’s definitely a tasty sensation to enjoy while perusing the 15,000-square-foot space that’s basically been deemed as any coffee drinker's EPCOT Center. Watch beans being roasted, order coffee freshly made with fancy equipment, or gawk over outrageously high-end gadgetry while relaxing amidst uber-modern décor. What more could you ask for?!
2. Caffe Umbria
For those with a sweet tooth, try this Ballard or Pioneer street-located baby. They’ve got some of the best roasts, as well as the finest pastry pairings in all of Seattle—stocked fresh daily by two of the city’s best bakeries (Macrina Bakery and Le Panier) with macarons, tarts, cinnamon bread, and croissants.
What’s more is that the founder himself has some major Italian roots: Patriarch Ornello Bizzari opened a roasting shop in Perugia in the 1940s and his descendants moved their expert craft to Seattle in the 1980s. They even regularly serve hotspots around the country like the Bellagio Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. Early risers shouldn’t miss out on a latte brewed with beans by master roaster Emanuele Bizzarri along with a tasty pastry treat. Make a date at sunrise in Pioneer Square!
3. Broadcast Coffee
It’s a modern update on the classic coffee shop, delivering everything one can ask for in a caffeine hotspot that’s got style, smarts, and its very own roasts. There’s a huge, open, and clean air-conditioned Wi-Fi enabled space that makes it perfect for workaholics needing a java boost. Plus, you can bet that all the staff on site know exactly what they’re talking about when it comes to everything from espresso to pour-over.
They’ve got three boutique locations across the Emerald City, including a great grab-and-go or sit-and-chill kind of spot in Capitol Hill that offers in-house blended brews in addition to fan favorites such as Stumptown Coffee. Broadcast even features an array of beans from a rotating list of roasters, including Portland’s Stumptown, San Francisco’s Sightglass, and Seattle’s Slate.
4. Slate Coffee
Got some time on your hands? Well, bring your patience and your questions about coffee to Slate so that you can be rewarded with not just a divine cup of Joe, but expert roasting advice from knowledgeable baristas who will cater to all your java needs.
It was recently added to Eater National’s 20 Hottest Coffee Shops Across the US, and let’s just say that it is a heaven on earth for caramel macchiato drinkers hoping to get super chatty with a crew of well-versed baristas. The newer coffee house welcomes everyone into the café with open arms and nixes flavored syrups for milk-and-espresso served in stemware and prints. It even boasts rad paper menus instead of overhead chalkboards, providing customers with a truly pleasant human experience. With outposts across the Emerald City, Slate Coffee's bistro-esque, boutique coffee shops serve seriously flavorful espressos perfect for even the most serious of coffee drinkers. Don’t miss out on the signature "deconstructed" espresso with milk. Or opt for a tasting flight with three different varieties of coffee served in wine glasses. Swanky.
5. Milstead & Co.
Featuring the likes of craft coffee superstars such as Intelligentsia, Coava, and Stumptown, this hipster joint was once named by Food & Wine as one of the snobbiest coffee shops in the country. Still, it’s definitely worth checking out because not only do they serve up stellar coffee, but they also offer a spacious café with a modern, industrial vibe and super likable baristas.
The Fremont area has celebrated this Andrew Milstead-founded hotspot since it began, and there’s no question as to why. It’s a local multi-roaster shop featuring a lengthy long list of top-of-the-pick beans that often change several times a day from notable roasters near and far. From San Francisco’s Wrecking Ball and Portland’s Heart, get your hands on a diverse array of regional roasts right in the heart of Seattle.
6. Espresso Vivace
When you ask locals in Seattle which coffee shop they recommend, nearly a hundred percent will name this hotspot. With two shops in Capitol Hill and one in South Lake Union, David Schomer founded this fan fave nearly thirty years ago in order to satiate his mad obsession for making the best espresso possible. He’s been credited with developing and populating latte art in the U.S. since then.
Vivace continues to capture the well-earned devotion of Seattle coffee fiends of all sorts, with an exceptionally friendly crew of baristas who require at least one year of training to begin work there, as well area shops featuring retro-themed interiors, tall ceilings, and ample Wi-Fi access to make for the perfect place to study or work.
7. Cherry Street Coffee House
This wholly original café on the fringe of Pioneer Square inside a historic building typical of the neighborhood has got itself some rock star baristas! Seriously, Laila Ghambari, the director of coffee at Cherry Street Coffee recently snagged first place in the U.S. Barista Championship with her superb service—as well as the coffee-cherry jam and steeped-coffee cherries in her signature drink.
Sip on up within a large underground seating area with friends and fam at the ten different cafés across Seattle—in spots such as downtown, Belltown, Capitol Hill, and, of course, Pioneer Square. Whether you want a flawlessly artistic latte or a simple single shot of espresso, Cherry Street can appease even the pickiest of taste palates. What’s more is that each café sports its own unique design-- from Middle Eastern décor on Clay Street to graffiti-inspired murals behind the espresso bar at the West Edge location.
Cherry Street Coffee House is located at 103 Cherry Street in Seattle.
This article was written by Pamela Chan.