Long before Seattle could count four hundred souls on its residents list, the University of Washington was born. That was back in 1861. Over the next 150 years UW would grow into an academic powerhouse renowned for its research, well equipped graduates, and its coffee.

Well, maybe not the coffee…

But it is certainly known for its towering Gothic cathedral-like library which encases a student coffee shop that is one of my favorites in this city.

This Seattle Coffee Shop is located in the Historical UW Library.

seattle coffee scene

Named after the late Henry Suzzallo who was the University president nearly a century ago, the library is as grand as they come, delivering quite possibly the most inspiring coffee experiences in all of Seattle.

Now to be fair, the coffee shop is simply embedded within the building itself (like many cafes on campus) and hardly deserves the credit for the grandeur. Nevertheless, I don’t like to split hairs and will chalk one up for the locals.

After ordering your cup of Joe you can walk up the marbled staircase to the foyer of the main reading room – which using the parlance of our times – can be described as something out of the fictitious Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, from the Harry Potter movie series.

Suzzallo's Gothic design, beautiful stained-glass, magnificent vaulted ceilings, and shelves lined with books that stand protected by a hand-carved oak frieze, makes it all worth the fact that you’re sipping on Tully’s coffee.

All kidding aside, bring a book, your laptop, and your camera to this must-see café and you won't be disappointed (and yes, they allow drinks and magic wands in the library). Like in any library it's rather quite here so it's perfect for working online or studying.

With so much of modern architectural design oozing of impermanence, the Suzzallo Library offers us the very best of past visionaries that I can only hope will last another 150 years – let's hope by then that they'll be serving locally roasted beans.

Nevertheless, the Suzzallo Cafe and it's grand reading room remains a luminously enchanting space for us Muggles to drink coffee and perhaps read a good “Spells” book. Though it's a grand library, I have to give it some props – this Seattle coffee shop is housed in one of the most beautiful libraries in the Pacific Northwest.

The location is closed now.

Free Wifi: Only UW students & staff

Location: Suzzallo Library, University of Washington

For Library Hours – Click Here

Espresso: $2.00

The map below has the exact location where Dumbledore was last seen….


Suzzallo Library

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Suzzallo Library 47.655698, -122.307307