With nearly 300 coffee shops in the city (and more popping up all the time), it’s clear that Seattle’s coffee scene is thriving. Want to know how to get involved in this beloved coffee culture? Simply set foot in the best coffee shops in Seattle.
I’ve visited countless coffee shops in Seattle in the 10+ years I’ve lived here, and no two are exactly the same. There are shops that have perfected the art of making a solid cup of joe, and others that craft specialty drinks unlike any you’ve ever had. Some shops are hubs for students and remote workers, and others are community cornerstones that make significant impacts in their neighborhoods.
Seattle is known as the coffee capital of the USA, which is why coffee tourism is one of the top things to do when visiting Seattle. If you’re looking to do a bit of that yourself, here are the places you should start!
Table of Contents
- 23 Best Seattle Coffee Shops
- Sound and Fog
- Hood Famous Cafe + Bar
- Herkimer Coffee
- C & P Coffee
- Victrola Coffee Roasters
- Uptown Espresso
- Cafe Allegro
- Hello Em
- Black Coffee Northwest Café
- Cafe Ladro
- Monorail Espresso
- The Station
- Tougo Coffee
- Olympia Coffee
- Broadcast Coffee
- Starbucks Reserve Roastery
- Elm Coffee Roasters
- Espresso Vivace
- Zoka Coffee Roasters
- Moonshot Coffee
- Coffeeholic House
- Anchorhead Coffee
- Distant Worlds Coffee
- FAQs About Coffee in Seattle
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23 Best Seattle Coffee Shops
Sound and Fog
Minimalist coffee shop with high-quality beans, unique rotating drinks, and wine and chocolate for sale
Sound and Fog is a major player in West Seattle’s coffee scene. They have high standards for their coffee, so even the most hard-to-please coffee snobs will appreciate their quality drips and seasonal specialty drinks.
This modern, minimalist coffee shop is relatively small and has no wi-fi, so it’s not the best place to work. Instead, bring a book or a friend to catch up with, and take advantage of their outdoor seating on a warm day.
Sound and Fog stocks a rotating selection of carefully-curated natural wines, local beers, artisanal chocolates, and some pottery. In addition, they sell beans from both domestic and international roasters along with their year-round primary roaster, which is the backbone of all of their coffee drinks.
Hood Famous Cafe + Bar
International District cafe and bar known for its innovative Filipino coffees, baked goods, and bar food
Go to Hood Famous Cafe + Bar with a healthy appetite. Not only is it a fantastic coffee shop that serves drinks with traditional Filipino flavors, but it’s also a bakery with a variety of delicious treats like ube cheesecake, biko, and buko pie. The most popular drink to try is the iced ube latte, but you also can’t go wrong with a refreshing calamansi green tea.
Hood Famous transforms in the evening. Come at 5 pm and stay late to enjoy a variety of cocktails and Filipino bar food. This trendy shop is on the western end of the International District and has an upbeat atmosphere with friendly baristas and a variety of local gifts for sale.
Modern coffee shop with some of the best coffee in Seattle, all roasted in house
Herkimer Coffee has a sustainable, no-nonsense approach to quality coffee, and a loyal following because of it. Their cafes are contemporary and clean with plenty of seating and a variety of mouth-watering pastries.
You’ll find cafes in Phinney Ridge, South Lake Union, and a couple of other neighborhoods. Choose a spot and grab a perfectly brewed drip coffee. Herkimer freshly roasts their own beans daily for use in their retail shops. You can even watch this process if you happen to pop into their Phinney Ridge location (the aromas are heavenly).
This is one of the best places to grab a coffee in Seattle if you’re newer to coffee and want to try a mix of light to medium roasts. Don’t forget to leave with a bag of beans to transform your morning cup of joe at home.
C & P Coffee
Cozy neighborhood stomping ground featuring live music and community events in a house turned coffee shop
Part coffee shop, part neighborhood hangout with live music, open mics, and other events, C&P is one of the best local coffee shops, and it’s worth a visit when in the West Seattle neighborhood.
The space was converted into a coffee house from a regular house, which helps it retain the homey feeling that locals love. Find comfy, mismatched chairs, tables, and couches inside and more eclectic seating options out front and to the north side of the house. Head to the back to sit among a beautiful, lush garden, and feel free to bring your pup to this dog-friendly cafe.
This is a coffee shop that’s perfect for lingering. Their brewed coffee is strong and they make a good almond milk latte for those looking for something a little sweeter.
Victrola Coffee Roasters
Popular Capitol Hill roaster with quality, classic espresso drinks in contemporary cafes
Victrola Coffee Roasters is one of the most classic Seattle coffee shops. They have multiple locations, the most popular being on Capitol Hill. These local roasters specialize in quality classics: espressos, lattes, cappuccinos, and cortados. You can also buy a bag of their single-origin coffee beans from any of their shops.
There’s a good group of people who will tell you Victrola serves the best coffee in Seattle, and because of its popularity, Victrola can get crowded (especially the Capitol Hill location). If you’re able to grab a table, though, this is a great place to work.
Their vintage and jazz-era-inspired flagship cafe features exposed brick walls, and a clean, modern environment. Head to their smaller cafe in Beacon Hill for a cozy and intimate neighborhood feeling.
Casual, laid back, and work-friendly cafe serving up lattes with “velvet foam”
Latte and cappuccino lovers are in for a real treat at Uptown Espresso. Known as the “home of the velvet foam” they serve up delicious drinks topped with thick, foamy goodness. Uptown Espresso’s cafes are in Belltown, West Seattle, and Magnolia, and their great coffee drinks and laid back environment have turned many visitors into regulars.
Come to any location with your laptop. They have good wi-fi, plenty of tables, an abundance of outlets, and a relaxing vibe conducive to getting good work done. They also serve delicious pastries and have a breakfast and lunch menu that includes breakfast burritos and sandwiches to keep you full through the work day.
👉 Pro Tip: Checking out the coffee shops is one budget-friendly way to enjoy Seattle. For a budget breakfast, visit a coffee shop, and get a drip coffee and pastry or breakfast sandwich. Usually, this ends up being less than what you would spend at a traditional restaurant, and it’s a good way to sample treats from local bakeries. For more tips, bookmark my article on how to do Seattle on a budget!
Historic gem in the U-District where students and remote workers sip espresso drinks among eclectic art
Cafe Allegro is one of the oldest espresso bars in the city and has been a charming University District favorite for over 40 years. The shop is tucked away in an alley, but when you enter you’ll realize you’ve stumbled into something wonderful.
There’s seating on the ground floor as well as an upstairs and outdoor space, and you’ll see a mix of students and a slightly older crowd working away at their laptops or chatting together quietly. The decor is funky and eclectic, and the vibe is subdued, yet welcoming.
Try any of their espresso drinks (the mochas are a standout) and enjoy relaxing or working in this historic espresso bar for a few hours.
Vietnamese coffee and Bahn mis are favorites at this cafe in the International District’s Little Saigon
Vietnamese coffee drinks and Bahn mi sandwiches are Hello Em’s specialties. They may be newer to the Seattle coffee scene, but their delicious coffee and food offerings have already established them as one of the top Seattle coffee shops.
Try their iced coffee with egg cloud or their coconut latte with coco cream, and take a seat in their airy and aesthetic seating area. Take some time to sip your drink then browse the rest of the shop. Hello Em features local Asian art and literature throughout the shop to support and uplift the Little Saigon community you’ll find their shop in.
Black Coffee Northwest Café
Black-owned coffee shop in Shoreline with youth programs, barista specials, and tasty pastries
If you’re on the north side of Seattle, make a trip up to Black Coffee Northwest, a coffee shop that’s been making waves since it opened its doors 2 years ago. Their cafe is located just north of Seattle in Shoreline. This Black-owned coffee shop is especially community-oriented, with an emphasis on supporting youth-focused leadership programs.
Their cafe is currently open on the weekends. Stop in to enjoy a cup of black coffee (or a lavender white mocha for something sweeter), and check out the local Black art and roasters featured throughout the cozy shop.
If you can only make it on a weekday, they have a drive-through so you can still grab your drink and a pastry. Just be sure you get there early enough to snag the popular potato scone before it sells out – you won’t regret it.
Unpretentious, local coffee chain with relaxed cafes and Fair Trade coffee
There’s no shortage of Cafe Ladro coffee shops around Seattle. You’ll find them in a variety of neighborhoods, making them nearly as easy to get to as the big coffee giant Seattle is most known for.
Cafe Ladro is a traditional coffee shop that emphasizes serving only sustainable, Fair Trade coffee. Because of this, you know you’ll always sip something ethically sourced. Their drip coffees and soy lattes are phenomenal, but the more adventurous should try their specialty coffee drinks like the Medici or Gibraltar.
Most shops have seating both inside and outside, and the cozy and casual vibes make Cafe Ladro the perfect place to snag a morning coffee and get to work or sit and people-watch while you wake up with your brew.
📚 Related Reading: One fun thing about touring coffee shops is that you also get a chance to explore the different neighborhoods they’re in. If you want to learn a little more about all the colorful Seattle neighborhoods, take a look at my article on the best Seattle neighborhoods next.
Hole-in-the-wall joint in downtown Seattle with expertly made espressos and some of the best coffee in Seattle
Monorail Espresso is a hole in the wall in the downtown Seattle area, right near Westlake Station. They’ve been in business since the 80s when they started out on a coffee cart. Since then, they’ve mastered the art of the Seattle drink staple, making them one of the best coffee shops in Seattle.
If you’re exploring downtown, this is the perfect place to stop for a moment to refuel. Their Pike Street location has a few tables and seats outside and is near Westlake Park if you want to sit down and nurse your drink a little longer.
Their lattes are creamy and their espressos are rich and strong. If you don’t have much time to explore other coffee shops, but want a standard by which to judge coffee in Seattle, a trip here is a must.
A funky, cool Beacon Hill cafe with community-focused programs and events
The Station is the coolest coffee shop in the Beacon Hill neighborhood. This locally-owned shop serves up the standard variety of coffee drinks with several specialty options (their Mexican mocha is a crowd-pleaser). Sandwiches, biscuits and gravy, and pastries round out their food offerings.
What sets The Station apart is its dedication to the Beacon Hill neighborhood. They host festivals and night markets, feature local art, support small makers, and raise awareness about local causes to benefit the surrounding community.
It’s right outside of the Beacon Hill light rail station, so this is an easy shop to get to, and the perfect place to meet up with friends and learn about what’s going on in the neighborhood.
Welcoming First Hill cafe with well-made drinks and a kid-friendly play space
Tougo Coffee is a bright spot in the First Hill neighborhood of Seattle. You’ll typically find the owner of the shop behind the counter, serving drinks and chatting up locals and visitors alike. His easy-going demeanor and friendly conversation help make this open and airy neighborhood cafe a gem among the coffee shops in Seattle.
There’s plenty of seating to work, catch up with friends, or make art inside Tougo. It’s kid-friendly too, with a small play area for little ones. Enjoy the delightful signature drinks like the honey goat latte or the espresso fizz, and be sure to grab some delicious local pastries while they last (the breakfast tacos go fast!).
Local roaster with incredible coffee beans sourced from various regions in small batches
If you’re a serious coffee drinker or a self-proclaimed coffee snob, Olympia Coffee is the place to go. Their main West Seattle cafe is small with limited space (their Columbia City location is a bit larger), but the coffee is top-notch, albeit on the pricier side.
This is one of the best places to buy coffee, specifically if you prefer single-origin beans and appreciate a variety of tasting notes. They have a good assortment and rotation of beans, so you can try batches from various coffee-growing regions like Ethiopia, Colombia, Burundi, and more.
While I highly suggest trying them for a high-quality espresso, pour-over, or simple americano, their seasonal drinks are also worth a try if you’re in search of something flavorful, unique, and not overly sweet.
Clean, simple, and airy cafes with comfortable seating and fantastic cold drinks
Broadcast Coffee isn’t the flashiest or trendiest of the Seattle coffee shops, but this low-key neighborhood cafe is appealing in its simplicity.
They have great standard pours, and fun seasonal drinks. If you grab a latte you’ll be treated to some sweet latte art. Visit on a warm day and try some of their cold “pony drinks” for some interesting flavor profiles.
This is a dog-friendly shop and a decent-sized place to work with many pastries and other food items (burritos, salads, etc) to choose from. They have shops in both the Central District and Roosevelt, all close to several other stores and eateries to enjoy.
Starbucks Reserve Roastery
An immersive and expanded iteration of Seattle’s most well-known coffee brand
The coffee giant that helped launch Seattle into the coffee capital of America that it is today has countless locations throughout the city (sometimes several within blocks of each other). While none of those are major standouts among the variety of independent and unique Seattle coffee shops, the Starbucks Reserve Roastery is a different story.
This Capitol Hill shop presents an elevated Starbucks experience. You can try a larger variety of coffees than are available in their other shops, along with coffee flights, yummy meals in an expanded cafe, and even coffee-infused cocktails.
They offer tours for people interested in learning about the coffee roasting and tasting process, and it’s open until 10 pm, making it the best coffee shop to go to if you’re planning to burn the midnight oil. If you want a coffee experience unlike any other, the Reserve is the best place to go for it.
👉 Pro Tip: Most people come to Seattle intent on visiting the first Starbucks in Pike Place Market. If you go there, prepare to wait in a long line, and expect the standard Starbucks fare as far as drinks go. It’s worth visiting the Pike Place Market location if you simply want to set foot in the shop and snap some photos. However, if you’re searching for more Starbucks coffee-making history, choose the Reserve and book a tour here instead.
Elm Coffee Roasters
Modern cafe with tasting flights, fantastic coffee, and private cupping classes
Elm Coffee Roasters has two locations – one in Pioneer Square and one in South Lake Union. Both embody what Seattle’s coffee culture is all about. The cafes are attractive, clean, and modern. The coffee is phenomenal.
The best thing to do is get one of their reasonably priced flights so you can sample a few of their different drinks all at once. Elm has perfectly extracted, smooth espressos and quality macchiatos, but you can’t go wrong with anything you try here, including some of their delicious, homemade hazelnut milk.
As a fun bonus, if you’re interested in learning more about the coffee tasting process, you can even book a private coffee cupping class with Elm to learn from the pros.
Crowd-pleasing Italian-style espresso bar that decks out drinks with some of the best latte art in Seattle
Espresso Vivace is the place to go for people who love a good Italian-style espresso. Their main location in Capitol Hill is immensely popular and they offer drinks for people with a sweet tooth and those who like their coffee black. One thing they’re arguably the best at? Beautiful latte art.
Visit their cafe in South Lake Union, or enjoy their sidewalk bar on the Hill for coffee on the go. They source single-origin coffee beans, so their brews taste both bold and unique. Two of their most popular drinks of choice include a delicious velvet mocha and the Cafe Nico. Grab one, sip it slowly and savor the taste as you try to think up the soonest time you’ll be able to return.
Zoka Coffee Roasters
Spacious, work-friendly cafes in north Seattle and South Lake Union with big tables and an assortment of pastries
The Zoka Coffee Roasters cafes are large and quiet, with big tables and ample seating. You’ll find people tapping away on laptops with headphones on as they work, complete projects, and study. This is one of the most popular cafes to get some work done, particularly at their location in the University District.
Their coffee is solid, and their chai lattes are popular. As for pastries, they’ve got a wide selection to keep you fueled the whole time you’re there. With plenty of parking near their north Seattle cafes, Zoka Coffee Roasters is a good choice for remote workers and students.
Tiny, plant-filled shop with strong coffee and an expansive coffee bean, wine, and beer selection
Just outside of Seattle city limits in the White Center neighborhood you’ll find Moonshot Coffee, a beautiful shop with tasty cups of coffee.
They use Olympia Coffee beans to make their drinks, resulting in some delightful concoctions. Come for their cold brews and espresso, or try out some of their non-coffee seasonal drinks like their golden milk latte and toasted lemonades.
The shop is a bright, welcoming, and plant-filled space, though there’s currently no indoor dining. Still, you should stop by to chat with their friendly baristas, and shop around their large selection of wine, beers, chocolates, coffee beans, and other goods.
👉 Don’t Miss: Moonshot is located in White Center’s main commercial district and close to several great spots. Check out Proletariat Pizza, The Plant Store, Full-Tilt Ice Cream, and Buho on a visit here.
Sweet, creative Vietnamese coffee drinks served from two charming coffee houses in north and south Seattle
Coffeeholic House is one of the most unique coffee shops in Seattle. They serve Vietnamese coffee in two locations. Their original shop is in Columbia City, and a newer shop is in Greenwood. Both locations are pretty and aesthetically pleasing, though the original is take-away only.
The coffee here is unlike most coffees people are familiar with. Their signature drinks are made with sweetened condensed milk and some are topped with a salted egg foam, making this a good choice for people with a sweet tooth or anyone who wants to try creative drinks outside of the standard fare.
Not sure where to start? Their best-sellers are the Coffeeholic Dream and the Purple Haze. Try either and you’ll be hooked for good.
Attractive coffee house with delicious house-made food and several specialty coffee drinks
Top-notch coffee, delicious food, and a dark, yet relaxing atmosphere all perfectly describe Anchorhead Coffee. If you want to feel like you’ve stepped into a swanky coffee bar, this is the place for you.
Be sure to try out their smooth, nitro cold brew, a creamy, pistachio matcha, or any of their seasonal drinks. They also serve breakfast sandwiches and their specialty, a cinnamon roll croissant waffle, which is just as drool-worthy as it sounds.
The shop has seating inside, and a few tables outside for warm weather days. Get some work done, grab a mid-morning pick-me-up, or meet up for a coffee date at any of Anchorhead’s three Seattle locations in downtown and on Capitol Hill.
Distant Worlds Coffee
Coffee shop for self-proclaimed nerds with community events and vegetarian and vegan bites
Yet another stand-out among the coffee shops in Seattle, Distant Worlds is the place for board game players, D&D campaigners, sci-fi/fantasy lovers, and anyone else who delights in geekiness.
Help yourself to the books and board games when you enter, and peruse the selection of arts and crafts from local makers. Distant Worlds hosts open mics and other fun events and the atmosphere is always welcoming and accepting.
In addition to their coffee, they serve a variety of breakfast and bakery items that are all vegan or vegetarian and allergy-friendly. This is one of the best coffee shops to visit if you’re looking for more than just a cup of coffee, but a friendly community and a space to hang out with fellow nerds.
👉 Don’t Miss: Distant Worlds is in the tiny, but fun Roosevelt neighborhood, and there are some cute shops in the area to explore after your coffee shop visit. It’s also a ten-minute walk to Green Lake Park, one of the best parks in Seattle, so make sure you stop there too!
FAQs About Coffee in Seattle
Why are there so many coffee shops in Seattle?
There are so many coffee shops in Seattle because Seattle is known as the coffee capital of America. Seattleites are big coffee enthusiasts and the coffee shops in Seattle are where many people gather to get out of the house on the frequent dark, rainy days.
Why is Seattle known for coffee?
Seattle is known for coffee for several reasons. The climate necessitates a warm, comforting drink through winter, and many Scandinavian immigrants helped bring an appreciation for the beverage to the city. Many innovative espresso bars began operating in the 70s and 80s, and Starbucks brought a wider appreciation of coffee to the general public, influencing the boom of coffee shops in Seattle.
You can’t go wrong with any of the coffee shops on this list, so now it’s time for you to get out and grab a good cup of coffee!
Where are you starting? Let me know in the comments, and then take a look at some of my other Seattle guides:
Have fun enjoying the best coffee shops in Seattle!
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