Why Not Enjoy Your Own Great Seattle Coffee Around Town?
Seattle Coffee Scene Guest Post by Samantha Joyce
Seattle ranks in the top caffeinated U.S. cities by way of the most coffee shops per capita. The variety is great for Seattleites and visitors alike. Everyone has his or her favorite barista near home, near work and a destination café to recommend. However, the trendiest of cafés can be quite the scene, but far from scenic. Get your travel mug ready and enjoy some of the best spots to sip and sit or stroll around Seattle. Bonus points if you have the right gear to make your own coffee on the fly.
A view from Queen Anne. Photo courtesy: Samantha Joyce
Stroll Around Queen Anne Hill
There’s a solitary bench at the corner of 5th Ave N and Lynn Street on the east side of Queen Anne Hill. There are no crowds, it is a quiet neighborhood and you will be rewarded with a 180-degree lookout over Lake Union and Portage Bay. Feeling active after your first cup of coffee? Take a 30-minute stroll southwest on Bigelow’s tree-lined street and then take Highland Drive to Kerry Park. Kerry Park has one of the most famous views of the city of Seattle. It is a busy spot with lots of people and picture-taking opportunities. Nice benches and lawn make this a great place to lounge with a second cup of coffee. Five easy blocks to the west brings you to Marshall Park. It is a small pocket park with views towards Bainbridge Island and Alki Beach. This is a nice spot for a coffee refill, and time to consider whether you should possibly switch to decaf.
The Fremont Troll is a must-do photo opportunity. Photo Courtesy: Samantha Joyce.
Get a Mug Shot with the Fremont Troll
Where’s the Troll? Under the bridge of course! Let loose your inner tourist. Bring your favorite collectible coffee mug to the Fremont Troll statue and pose for some corny pictures. The Troll has his own address under the bridge at 3405 Troll Avenue North and is most easily accessed from N 36th Street in Fremont. Did you forget to bring coffee? Milstead & Co. is just a quick jaunt down Troll Avenue to 770 N 34th Street. Pioneers of the slow coffee movement, this is a don’t-miss coffee experience where cups are crafted with care.
BYOC in Eastlake. Photo Courtesy: Samantha Joyce.
Lynn Street Mini Park
In the Eastlake neighborhood of Seattle, houseboats and kayaks are a way of life. Get a glimpse of this water world from kayak or dry land. Lynn Street Park’s decorated steps and bench are a great place to watch the world go by with your favorite coffee. Located where East Lynn Street meets Fairview Ave East across from Pete’s Wines. An occasional floatplane buzzes above and sunlight dances across the water. A perfect locale if you are in a contemplative mood. More active caffeinated adventurers use the park as a kayak put-in.
The Ballard Farmer’s Market. Photo Courtesy: Samantha Joyce.
Ballard Farmer’s Market
Many Seattle-area neighborhoods have a local farmer’s market but the Ballard Farmer’s Market reigns supreme. It is open year round on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. While there is a seasonally rotating assortment of artisan fruits, veggies, meats and other goodies to be had at the weekend market, there was a shocking lack of coffee available last week. Luckily there was coffee at brunch before we hit the market. In place of liquid refreshment, we tried Mukilteo Espresso Ice Cream Bars from the Whidbey Island Ice Cream cart. Delicious! You never know when an espresso emergency will strike though. On the way home from the market the Ballard Bridge opened and we were helplessly caught in a line of cars with no iced lattes in sight. Lesson learned: Always BYOC Bring your own coffee!
The Ballard Bridge, Seattle. Photo Courtesy: Samantha Joyce.
Not just a rock band from the 90s, Lincoln Park is a 135-acre park near the Fauntleroy ferry terminal to Vashon Island. The south end of the park bustles with picnic shelters and bbq facilities. To escape the crowds, enter the park from the north end. From Lowman Beach Park at the end of Beach Drive there is a five-minute walk down a paved private drive that brings you to the lesser-travelled north tip of Lincoln Park. There are three benches in the vicinity, plenty of driftwood seating and at low tide a semi-sandy beach to walk. It is a quiet spot. There’s marine life to observe, ferries in the distance and views of Vashon Island, Blake Island and Bainbridge Island. Take a picnic and a French press. If you forgot your coffee, ask Mitch at Caffe Ladro to make you his special off-menu Macchiato with Honey.
The Obvious Choice: Any Ferry
A great choice for a seafaring cup of coffee is the King County Water Taxi from downtown Seattle to Alki Beach. This ten to fifteen minute trip will get you across the bay before your Mocha gets cold. For a longer cruise, take the ferry to Bainbridge Island. There’s plenty of time to make an AeroPress coffee on the top deck.
Coffee Al Fresco
There’s no reason to stay inside on the few nice days we get in Seattle. Poke around each neighborhood for your own special spot or create a coffee nook in the backyard. Why bother to stop and smell the roses when you can stop and smell the single-origin Ethiopian coffee instead!
Want to learn more about making your own coffee to go? My friend Shiami reviews options for Java on the Go in this video by Seattle Coffee Gear.