Seattle’s 50 Best Coffeehouses in 2013
Seattle is a town that is packed with excellent coffeehouses and amazing local coffee roasters. It doesn’t matter where you live in Seattle, you’re most likely very close to an amazing coffeehouse filled with baristas that are passionate about their service and their coffee.
And while other cities and regions across the U.S. are exploding with coffeehouses, Seattle has been enjoying a coffee renaissance of its own the last couple of years. With new and veteran coffeehouses and roasters pushing the envelope on unique roasting profiles, quality and service, the depth and innovation of the coffee scene is more than evident here.
The energy and new found passion is redefining the whole experience of what great coffee is or can be. This is great for coffee lovers like you and me. The problem, of course, makes generating any type of “best of coffee” list challenging.
Below are Seattle Coffee Scene’s pick for Seattle’s best coffeehouses for 2013:
50. Ugly Mug Cafe – University District
There is really nothing ugly about the Ugly Mug which a charming little coffee house in the University District. It's warm, inviting, and always packed – as this little coffee house packs a good menu and serves their own roasted blend of coffee. The recent renovation and use of their own roasted beans make this place a good stop on any coffee expedition.
Previous article on the Ugly Mug Cafe.
Address: 1309 NE 43rd St
49. Uptown Espresso – Lower Queen Anne
Situated in a bustling lower Queen Anne, this Uptown Espresso offers a perfect place to sit and meet up with friends before catching a movie or a show at the Key Arena. With friendly baristas and a great location, you'll be sitting pretty at Uptown Espresso.
Previous post on Uptown Espresso.
Address: 525 Queen Anne Ave N, Seattle
48. Broadcast Coffee – Capitol Hill
This is the perfect coffee house for this nook of Capitol Hill – it offers a beautiful space, friendly baristas, and excellent spectrum of specialty coffee.
Our previous article on Broadcast Coffee
Address: 1623 Bellevue Ave, Seattle
47. Forza Coffee – Green Lake
People love Forza coffee in Green Lake and I can see why – It offers great service and a great location to enjoy your coffee. That's due to the leadership shown by Debbie, the owner, who knows exactly what her customers want. Rain or shine, you will find Forza to be a wonderful place to perch and enjoy the view of the park and lake.
Previous article on Forza Coffee.
Address: 6900 E Green Lake Way N
46. The Wandering Goose – Capitol Hill
Though they are small on space, there is a lot here that will make you want to stay – for a long time. The coffee is a great for starters, and their deep, superb menu is worth many, many visits.
Previous article on The Wandering Goose.
Address: 403 15th Avenue East
45. Fiddlehead Café – West Seattle
Sometimes, the passion is in the details. And that’s exactly what you’ll find at Fiddlehead Café in West Seattle. Serving Velton’s Coffee, offering a great menu, and amazing baked goods, you’ll love Fiddlehead.
Address: 4310 SW Oregon St, Seattle
44. Morsel & Sound Coffee – University District
I’ve always loved warm, buttery biscuits. Add a plump biscuit anyway-you-like-it, with your favorite coffee, and I’m pretty much in heaven. Morsel is a perfect café for the U District – it’s got energy, great food, excellent staff, and superb coffee. Put them on your list!
Previous Article on Morsel and Sound Coffee
Address: 4754 University Way NE 98105
43. Bauhaus Coffee & Books – Capitol Hill
I spent most of the year anticipating their closure (and reopen)… and then it happened – at least their closure. It was a sad moment in Seattle coffee, at least for me anyway, because I simply loved this space. Yet, I am eager to check out their new location and so should you.
Previous article on Bauhaus Coffee & Books
42. Arabica Lounge – Capitol Hill
Sweet and intentionally hip, the Arabica Lounge offers a handsome space, excellent food, and well-served coffee. Their large bay windows provide perfect natural lighting for hanging with friends or people watching. (CLOSED)
Previous article on the Arabica Lounge
Address: 1550 E Olive Way
41. C&P Coffee Company – West Seattle
A West Seattle coffee hub, C&P Coffee has been the home to many local coffee lovers for years. Carving a place out of a near-century old home, C&P Coffee offers great coffee, a mix of live music, tasty snacks, and warm place to talk with neighbors. When the sun’s out, you can take advantage of their backyard garden or their front seating area too.
Previous Article on C&P Coffee Company
Address: 5612 California Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98136
40. Mox Café – Ballard
Mox Café in Ballard is an excellent place to grab coffee and sample incredible menu items. This one-of-kind café was born out of Card Kingdom a few years ago – a popular gaming store. Consequently, you can order your excellent (Herkimer) coffee, beer, and food, and play Warcraft. If you love fun and games, you’ll love Mox Café.
Previous article on Mox Café
Address: 5105 Leary Ave NW
39. Firefly Café & Creperie – West Seattle
Americanos and Crepes are always a good combo in my book. This family-owned West Seattle gem crafts the best Crepe-Coffee offerings you’ll find anywhere in Seattle. Sure, they’ll pull some tasty Zoka Coffee, but the success they’ve had in their first year has come from consistently offering warm and genuine service and amazing crepes. Say hello to Charell, the owner, and discover why if I could come here every day, I absolutely would. (CLOSED)
Previous article on Firefly
Address: 4160 California Ave SW
38. Market Tours & Espresso – Pike Place Market
I don't want to be a spoiler here, but if you’re in the mood for a great local tour as well as some locally roasted coffee, you’ll want to check out Market Tours & Espresso. Mercedes, the owner, has blended Seattle’s wild history with its amazing coffee for a must-see and ghostly experience coffee bar.
Previous article on Market Tours & Espresso
Address: 1499 Post Alley, Seattle
37. Vovito Caffé – Downtown
Vovito Caffé came to Seattle – by way of Bellevue – and has really upped the ante with its sleek style, superb customer service, well poured coffee art, and excellent in-house made gelato. Owners, Ariff and Shairose, are truly passionate about offering their customers the very best experience – and it shows.
Previous article on Vovito Caffé
Address: 1100 4th Avenue Seattle
36. Allegro Café – University District
Some may argue that this is where it all began… Allegro is the oldest running coffeehouse in Seattle and was used to be the inspiration for Starbucks cafes everywhere – at least in the beginning. In fact, the first owner and founder Dave Olsen, went on to work for Starbucks. Allegro is a University District favorite drawing in a mixture of students and locals.
Previous article on Allegro
Address: 4214 University Way Northeast
35. Analog Coffee – Capitol Hill
Classy. Clean. And focused on pouring a great cup of coffee. Analog Coffee on Capitol Hill is a sweet neighborhood café created by two passionate owners who love what they do.
Previous article on Analog Coffee
Address: 235 Summit Avenue East
34. Anchored Ship Coffee Bar – Ballard
Ballard has some great coffee options, and Anchored Ship Coffee Bar is one of my favorites. Though it is small in space, it is big on charm, down-home customer service offered by classy baristas, and wonderful Herkimer Coffee.
33. Bulldog News – University District
Part coffee stand, part news stand, but completely focused on delivering great service, Bulldog News will always be close to my heart. In the center of the U District, this place rocks. There are simply not too many places any more that offer a wide assortment of newspapers and magazines from around world to enjoy with your coffee. A must-visit for the news junkie in you.
Previous article on Bulldog News.
Address: 4208 University Way NE
32. Voxx Coffee – Eastlake
Over the last couple of years I’ve dropped in at Voxx several times, but it wasn’t until this year where I spent more time in Eastlake than usual and found myself spending hours in this very stylish coffeehouse. Nicely situated for beautiful sunny mornings where the giant windows open towards the sidewalk, Voxx is the perfect place to meet up with friends. The baristas are passionate about every coffee they serve. A must-stop in Eastlake.
Previous article on Voxx Coffee
Address: 2245 East Lake Ave E
31. Café Zingaro – Lower Queen Anne/Key Arena
Whether you’re at the Key Arena or enjoying an uppity night at the PNB, you will want to make your way to Café Zingaro, which has built their reputation on excellent service and well-pulled coffee.
Previous article on Café Zingaro
Address: 127 Mercer Street
30. Neptune Coffee – Greenwood
Neptune Coffee is a throwback from the past. It reminds me of my high school science class, which makes it perfect for experimenting offerings of Neptune Coffee. Whatever you choose, the baristas are sure to make you a wonderful cup – every time.
Previous article on Neptune Coffee.
Address: 8415 Greenwood Avenue
29. Fuel Coffee – Capitol Hill
Created by one of the most inspiring coffee professionals in this town, Dani Cone, Fuel Coffee is always my go-to place when I want great coffee served by baristas who are genuine and believe in what they’re doing. While I enjoy their Wallingford location, I really like the Capitol Hill hideaway on 19th Street.
28. Chocolati – Greenwood
Coffee and chocolate is hard to beat. Experience great service by friendly baristas who seem to be laughing with their customers as they work and you'll know why this is one great place to get coffee and take a breather from the hectic world outside its doors.
Previous article on Chocolati.
Address: 8319 Greenwood Avenue North
27. Café on the Ave – University District
This place is great if you want to feel the raw anxiety of UW students during finals week. Actually, while bustling, it is one of my favorite camping spots in Seattle to get work done. Perfect for meeting friends, working on assignments, or simply enjoying Caffe Vita coffee, Café on the Ave has it all. The owner, Song, is also a terrific guy who is passionate about providing excellent service every single day.
Previous article on Café on the Ave.
Address: 4201 University Way Northeast
26. Volunteer Park Café – Capitol Hill
I wish I could call this place my own. But the fact is that many locals call this place their favorite spot too. Ultra local, this café has its attention focused on great food, serving excellent coffee, with friendly service. And they have chickens in the back!
Previous article on Volunteer Park Cafe
Address: 1501 17th Ave E
25. Solstice Café – University District
I used to call Solstice home, but I figured that I needed to stop coming here so I could actually explore more Seattle coffee houses. I love this place. If you like loud music, great Lighthouse roasted coffee, and service, then you should stop by. They have a great selection of in-house baked goods and a nice beer selection too.
Previous article on Cafe Solstice.
Address: 4116 University Way NE
24. Motore Coffee – Denny Triangle
Motore Coffee is a beautifully designed café. Its theme is motorcycles – specifically mopeds. I like themed cafes because it means that the owner spent time creating something that incorporates his or her passions. This place is wonderful and is worth a visit.
Previous article on Motore Coffee
Address: 1904 9th Avenue
23. Kaladi Brothers – Capitol Hill
By way of Alaska, Kaladi Bros. has been a staple on Capitol Hill for about 8 years now. They’ve designed a beautiful café that incorporates other community organizations to be integrated within their business – a layout which should be studied by designers everywhere, in my humble opinion. Great coffee, great service, and an emphasis on community activism, makes Kaladi Brothers wonderful.
Previous article on Kaladi Brothers.
Address:517 East Pike Street
22. Odd Fellows Café – Capitol Hill
With an open floor and tremendously high ceilings, I could spend hours here. Odd Fellows Café is a destination spot that is worthy of wrestling your neighbors for parking over.
Previous article on Odd Fellows Cafe.
Address: 1525 10th Avenue
21. Java Bean – Ballard
If “Jack and Diane” from John Mellencamp’s hit song ever created a café, they would have created Java Bean. This place is super hip and inviting with a cool mix of locals – it is one of my favorite spots in Ballard. I mean seriously, these baristas are wonderful and Friendly – yes, that’s Friendly with a capital F.
Previous article on Java Bean
Address: 5819 24th Ave NW
20. Caffé Umbria – Pioneer Square
I spent my fair share of tourist dollars in Italy and can appreciate a great caffé when I see one. I simply enjoy Caffé Umbria. Their attention to pouring beautifully crafted coffee, makes this spot a worthwhile Pioneer Square destination.
Previous article on Caffé Umbria
Address: 320 Occidental Avenue South
19. Zoka Coffee – Tangletown/Green Lake
Over the last couple of years I have really grown to appreciate Zoka. Their passion and effort in bringing their very best is always evident – especially over the last couple of years. While I enjoy their University Village location, Tangletown is my favorite spot.
Previous article on Zoka Coffee.
Address: 2200 N 56th St, Seattle
18. Wheelhouse Coffee – Denny Triangle
Seattle’s a big city. If you walk the streets as much as I do (uh, wait that sounds bad.). I mean if you spend any time enjoying the neighborhoods, you’ll most likely want to stop for a rest in a welcoming place like Wheelhouse and grab a cup of Joe. With great coffee and friendly staff, and in a great historic wedge building, I highly recommend this place.
Previous article on Wheelhouse Coffee
Address: 2113 Westlake Ave
17. Herkimer – Phinney Ridge/Greenwood
Herkimer Coffee is one of the best in Seattle. Their passion of roasting delivered in a beautiful cup of coffee is hard to match. After a few long conversations with Scott, their roaster, I love these guys ever more. This small but growing coffee roaster has a great future in this town. Packed with friendly baristas, a beautiful space, this neighborhood café has everything you want in a coffee house – and should be one your list.
Previous article on Herkimer Coffee.
Address: 7320 Greenwood Ave N
16. Caffe Fiore – Queen Anne & Ballard
Their Queen Anne and Ballard locations are simply wonderful. But aside from their ambiance, their service is even better. In fact, every single time I walk in to Caffe Fiore, I leave a little happier and content that I live in a city that has such fine coffee houses as Fiore.
Previous article on Caffe Fiore
Address: 224 W. Galer St.
15. Trabant Coffee and Chai – University District & Pioneer Square
At Trabant Coffee and Chai it’s really all about the coffee…and chai. I spoke at length to owner Tatiana Becker about her mission with her coffee houses. It’s clear that she’s focusing on providing Seattle with amazing coffee and super customer service.
Previous article on Trabant Coffee
Address: 1309 NE 45th St
14. Cafe Pettiroso – Capitol Hill
Café Pettiroso is a wonderful place to grab a cup of coffee, perhaps a delicious eclair, and a tasty meal on their superb menu. With excellent service and coffee in the Pike/Broadway area of Capitol Hill, it's worth many visits.
Previous article on Café Pettiroso.
Address: 101 E Pike St
13. Tougo Coffee – Minor Park/Madison Area
Passion for great coffee is what defines Tougo Coffee in my book. This café is nestled in the Madison/Minor Park area of Seattle and makes the perfect neighborhood spot to meet with friends and neighbors.
Previous article on Tougo Coffee
Address: 1410 18th Avenue/Union
12. Victrola – Capitol Hill
Victrola is one my favorite coffee companies. They love their coffee and they love what they do – which is immediately apparent in the beverages they place in front of you.
Previous article on Victrola
Address: 310 E Pike St
11. Caffe Vita – Capitol Hill
Caffe Vita on Capitol Hill is their flagship café and roasting operation. Whether you come to peer through the glass window to see how the magic is done or whether you’ll want meet up with a friend, you’ll enjoy your time here.
Previous article on Caffe Vita
Address: 1005 East Pike Street
1o. Milstead Coffee – Fremont
I’ve said it before and I’d say it again, Milstead Coffee is sexy. They also know their stuff. Passionate about coffee and providing a beautiful space to enjoy it in, makes Milstead a wonderful Seattle coffeehouse to visit.
Previous article on Milstead Coffee.
Address: 770 N 34th St, Seattle
9. Zeitgeist Coffee – Pioneer Square
Zeitgeist Coffee provides a beautiful space to enjoy coffee with a friend. The high ceilings, red brick, and art deco design, makes the one of the easiest-on-the-eyes coffeehouses in Seattle. If I have was able to start a coffee shop business, I would love to deliver the same ambiance as Zeitgeist.
Previous article on Zeitgeist Coffee
Address: 171 S Jackson St
8. Hotwire Coffee – West Seattle
Don’t let this coffeehouse’s size fool ya. This place is a BIG in West Seattle. For the last decade Hotwire Coffee has been serving great coffee and pouring innovation at every turn to provide the best service possible.
Previous article on Hotwire Coffee
Address: 4410 California Ave SW
7. Seattle Coffee Works – Pike Place Market
Sebastian got it right when he created Seattle Coffee Works – offer well roasted, direct-trade coffee, and serve it to people who want to learn how to enjoy it. His “slow bar” offers patrons a way to try his coffee brewed from different methods so that you can compare them. Whether you want to come in for a quick Latte to go or you want to stay around and learn about brewing coffee, this Seattle coffeehouse is definitely worth a visit.
Previous article on Seattle Coffee Works.
Address: 107 Pike Street
6. Slate Coffee – Ballard
Though new on the coffee scene, Slate Coffee has really impressed me with their innovative thinking about service. Sure, these guys are coffee geeks, but they understand that enjoying a cup of coffee can be a pleasant human experience and they welcome everyone at their café with open arms. Seriously, don't be surprised if these baristas give you a hug with your coffee.
Previous article on Slate Coffee.
Address: 5413 6th Ave NW
5. Espresso Vivace – Capitol Hill
David Shommer works to make his coffee as best as it could be. Delivering each cup of coffee to each of his customer in the most perfect way is always evident during every visit.
Previous article on Vivace
Address: 532 Broadway Ave East
4. Caffe Ladro – Lower Queen Anne
Caffe Ladro is another café that delivers great coffee. They are intimately involved throughout the entire supply chain ensuring quality all the way through.
Previous articles on Caffe Ladro
Address: 600 Queen Anne Ave N
3. Black Coffee – Capitol Hill
Black Coffee is the ultimate coffeehouse with a unique business model. They serve amazing Kuma Coffee and offer a space that is open to the community quite unlike other coffeehouses.
2. Easy Street Café – West Seattle
Easy Street Cafe is one of my favorite spots to grab a cup of coffee or have breakfast in West Seattle. With great food, Caffe Vita coffee, a ridiculous amount of great music, this place is worth your visit.
Previous article on Easy Street Cafe
Address: 4559 California Ave SW
1. Street Bean Espresso – Belltown
My top pick of 2013, Street Bean Espresso makes Seattle a better city. In fact, if we could clone this coffeehouse into 100 locations and disperse them around Seattle, I wonder the impact they would have. Offering excellent service by excellent baristas who are turning their lives around and offering a different alternative to homelessness and joblessness in the city, this coffeehouse is amazing. From the coffee they serve, to the people that serve it, and to the community it helps, Street Bean Espresso is worth every visit.
NOTABLES: I’d like to also mention several superb and notable coffeehouses in addition to this list. Cintli Café, Porchlight Coffee, Louisa’s Bakery, Macrina’s Bakery, Monorail Espresso, Caffe Appassionato, and Diva Espresso in West Seattle are all also amazing places to get coffee.