Café Solstice in the U-District: Among Best Seattle Coffee Shops
Just as rare as the bi-annual solstice which occurs when the sun reaches its highest point in the sky, is a Seattle coffee shop that comes along like Café Solstice.
To be sure, Solstice isn’t perfect, but neither are any of the other Settle coffee shops out there, and yet it is pretty darn close. To put it plainly, I simply love the place.
Seattle's Cafe Solstice Continues to Evolve Into A Great Seattle Coffee House
The owners of Solstice have dedicated themselves to continuously improving their café, and it has shown. Over the last couple of years, they have remodeled the seating, repainted, and revamped their bathrooms. I’ve also experienced a bit more luck getting online recently, which was a common complaint for me and many other patrons, who happen to be mostly UW students. Still Solstice offers another good place to see a cross section of students and local community members, which is a pretty diverse bunch.
Sitting at the edge of the University of Washington, the first thing that hits you when you walk into Solstice is the high energy atmosphere they’ve got going. Regardless what day of the week it is, it-always-feels-like-a-Friday when you’re at Solstice. Perhaps it’s the music or perhaps it’s the students enthusiastically discussing something they’ve learned in their Meta-Whateva 101 class, but the energy is high. The music is a tad louder than most cafes, but it's usually good music and it helps to drown out the conversations of undergrads who are sharing their weekend exploits with their friends. If you’re looking to have a more intimate conversation you can go out to their back patio or grab a smoke in the adjacent alley with one of the bakers, who are all pretty friendly.
The coffee, one of Lighthouse Roasters blends, usually gets 4 out of 5 stars for me. Most of the baristas there are quite friendly, chatty, and well-versed in their coffee and beer selections. Once you get your better-than-average coffee you can venture off to enjoy the place, which includes the work of local artists on the walls.
One of the strong points of Café Soltice is that has always has exceptionally baked goods, all of which are baked in-house. I prefer the large oatmeal cookies myself, but there are many other wonderful options to choose from – all pretty tasty. They also offer a pretty decent soup and sandwich option for those who want camp out while getting their work done. In addition to coffee, they also offer sodas, wine, and teas (My favorite is the Smarty Pants, which is mixture of peppermint). For the great selection of draft beers, thank Damon, the cafe's beer guru.
Whether it’s cold and rainy or whether it’s beautiful and warm, Cafe Solstice provides a great place to meet up with friends or simply camp out and work. There are some days, where I have spent 4 or 5 hours there and was reluctant to leave! If you haven't been, you simply got to try the place.
Parking: Nearly Impossible