Seattle is known around the world as the epicenter of craft coffee, home to the original second-wave coffee juggernaut Starbucks. Second- and third-wave coffee roasters have sprung up throughout the city ever since, tracked on the city's official Seattle Coffee Heatmap.
© Victrola Coffee
Victrola Coffee is a lovely regional coffee chain offering three locations throughout the Seattle urban area, including locations in Capitol Hill and Beacon Hill. The cafe, which is named for the popular 1920s-era phonograph brand, has been a longtime local favorite, prioritizing single-origin coffees sourced from around the world. Visitors can get an education on their favorite coffees at public cupping events every Wednesday morning at 11:00am, teaching industry tasting methods and introducing coffee lovers to a wide variety of world-class brews. A variety of cold brews and espresso-based beverages are also served up at all three locations, along with kombuchas on tap and a selection of delicious pastries and cakes.
310 E Pike St, Seattle, WA 98122, Phone: 206-624-1725
© Caffé Umbria
Caffé Umbria is a famed Seattle-based coffee chain that traces its history back to an Italian roastery of the same name, founded in the 1940s by Ornello Bizzarri. Today, the chain is operated by his third-generation relative Emanuele, offering locations throughout the Pacific Northwest and Chicago, including three locations in Seattle's Pioneer Square, Westlake, and Ballard neighborhoods. Traditional Italian coffee and espresso-based beverages are served at all of the cafe's locations, along with the company's acclaimed upscale hot chocolate beverages. Visitors can also purchase packages of fresh-roasted coffee at all of the company's locations or snag baked goods from regional bakers such as Le Panier and Macrina. In addition to the company's public cafes, coffees are also sourced to some of North America's finest dining destinations, including the world-renowned Bellagio Hotel and Resort in Las Vegas.
320 Occidental Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104, Phone: 206-624-5847
3.Sound and Fog
© Sound and Fog
Sound and Fog is an elegant minimalist coffee bar in West Seattle, serving up an excellent multi-roaster program in its airy, spacious cafe setting, a perfect location for the city's laptop warriors. A permanent selection of beans from Portland's famed Heart Coffee Roasters is available, along with rotating selections from regional and national favorites such as Calgary's Monogram Coffee Roasters and Omaha's Archetype Coffee Roasters. International coffees are highlighted, with beans traveling from as far as Copenhagen, Gothenburg, and Galway. Cafe beverage selections include espresso sodas and nitro cold brews on tap, flavored with an assortment of housemade syrups. Beer and wine are also served up during the evening hours, with a focus on craft brews and Pacific Coast fine wines.
4735 40th Avenue SW, Seattle, WA 98116, Phone: 206-618-1444
4.Elm Coffee Roasters
© Elm Coffee Roasters
Elm Coffee Roasters is a delightful and hip cafe offering a modern flagship location in Seattle's Pioneer Square, located near Occidental Park. The cafe, which was founded in 2013 by New York City coffee veteran Brendan Mullally, serves up its own signature light-roasted beans prepared in house, served up in unique coffee shop beverages such as the company's espresso and tonic, a refreshing spritzer option for caffeination during the warmer months. Teas are provided by regional company Harbor Herbalist and San Francisco favorites Song Tea, with pastries delivered from Sea Wolf Bakers and neighboring company The London Plane. Visitors can hone their coffee tasting and brewing skills at cupping and brewing courses held throughout the month in the cafe's roasting area.
240 2nd Avenue Ext S Ste 103, Seattle, WA 98104, Phone: 206-445-7808
5.Seattle Coffee Works
© Seattle Coffee Works
Seattle Coffee Works is one of the roasters at the forefront of Seattle's modern coffee scene, regarded as one of the city's best craft coffee offerings. The company, which was founded as a pop-up shop on Pike Street in the autumn of 2006, has been roasting its own beans since 2008, available at four cafes in the city's downtown, Ballard, Cascade, and Capitol Hill neighborhoods. Visitors can grab quick to-go cups at the cafe's express bar or chat with baristas about blends and preparations at its slow bar, which prepares all coffees to order. Single-origin pourovers are served, along with brewed drip coffees, unique cold brews, and a selection of hot and iced teas.
107 Pike St, Seattle, WA 98101, Phone: 206-340-8867
6.Mr. West Cafe Bar
© Mr. West Cafe Bar
Mr. West Cafe Bar is a hip midcentury-styled coffee shop and eatery in Seattle's downtown district, serving up an extensive menu of cafe fare and classic coffee shop beverages throughout the day. Diners looking for their caffeine fix can choose from simple drip coffees, classic espressos and cappuccinos, or gourmet beverages such as coffee egg creams or latte-style Seattle Fogs, blending Earl Gray tea with milk, vanilla, cinnamon, and honey. Mint lemonades and Mystic kombucha are served up on tap, along with an impressive menu of craft beers and fine Pacific Coast wine offerings. During the morning hours, diners can enjoy craft toasts, gourmet grilled cheeses, or fresh pastries sourced from regional bakeries. At dinner, a full bar menu of charcuterie boards and bar snacks is served, along with delicious desserts such as Nutella mousse and matcha affogatos.
720 Olive Way, Seattle, WA 98101, Phone: 206-900-9378
7.Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room
© Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room
Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room is a must-visit for fans of the famed international chain, which was founded in Seattle in 1971 and is considered to be the prime example of distinguished and upscale second-wave coffee. The company operates its flagship location within Seattle's historic Pike Place Market, but its Capitol Hill tasting room offers up some of its most interesting concoctions, worth a visit even for tourists who have grown weary of its more than 28,000 locations worldwide. Specialty beans are roasted on site, with exclusive beverages served that are not available at most Starbucks locations. The roastery and tasting room is also home to the high-end Italian-style bakery Princi, which serves up delicious pastries and cornetti croissants.
1124 Pike St, Seattle, WA, 98101, Phone: 206-624-0173
© Empire Espresso
Empire Espresso is one of Columbia City's favorite caffeination destinations, recently named by Seattle Met Magazine as the neighborhood's best coffee shop. The charming neighborhood cafe partners with regional bakers Amandine Bakeshop to serve up a delicious variety of pastries and goodies prepared by executive chef Sara Naftaly, including macarons crafted in unique flavors such as guava and cajeta or Indian blood peach. Coffees are brewed via AeroPress or French press, infused with housemade cashew milk or clever ingredients such as matcha and cayenne. The cafe is noted for its Instagram-worthy latte art, which tops all hot espresso-based beverages. Cafe fare includes gluten-free waffles, clever paninis, and health-conscious hummus plates.
3829 S Edmunds St A, Seattle, WA 98118, Phone: 971-328-0048
© Dubsea Coffee
Dubsea Coffee is a friendly neighborhood spot on Seattle's 8th Avenue, serving up cafe beverages prepared with beans from North Carolina's widely-acclaimed roasters Counter Culture Coffee. The cafe strives to be a neighborhood gathering and meeting space, offering free wireless internet for all diners and ample space for community meetings throughout the month. Displays by regional artists are rotated on the cafe's walls, with expansive windows providing natural light and opportunity for people-watching along the city's bustling business corridors. Standout beverages include cardamom lattes, served up alongside a selection of Rishi teas, Morning Glory chai beverages, and bottled Italian sodas. Pastries and bagels are sourced from a variety of regional bakeries, with gluten-free and vegan sandwich options prepared by Molly's and White Knuckle.
9910 8th Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98106, Phone: 206-708-6806
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© Caffé Vita
Caffé Vita has been a Seattle staple since 1995, offering 13 locations today throughout the Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, and New York City metropolitan regions. The cafe, which roasts all of its own beans on site at its Pacific Northwest and Brooklyn locations, is a pioneer of the coffee industry's Farm Direct movement, which strives to maintain fair-trade relationships with private coffee growers throughout the world. 11 distinct cafe locations are offered in Seattle's Fremont, Queen Anne, Pioneer Square, Capitol Hill, Seward Park, Alberta, Old Town, Olympia, Silver Lake, Phinney Ridge, and Lower East Side neighborhoods. Customers can watch in-house roasting processes while sipping on unique brews such as the cafe's Theo blend, which infuses local Theo Chocolate with excellently-roasted beans.
1005 E Pike St, Seattle, WA 98122, Phone: 206-709-4440
11.Tougo Coffee Co.
© Tougo Coffee Co.
Tougo Coffee Co. is one of Seattle's longest-running spots for third-wave coffee aficionados, opened in 2007 in Seattle's Minor Park neighborhood. Though the cafe does not roast its own beans, customers can select from a multi-roaster program that includes brews from top regional roasters such as Portland's Heart Coffee Roasters, San Francisco's Ritual Coffee Roasters, and Seattle's own Kuma Coffee. Down-to-earth baristas are on hand to explain every aspect of the roasting, brewing, and crafting process as they serve up drip coffees, V60 filters, and classic cafe beverages such as Americanos, macchiatos, and cold brew. A children's play area is offered for families, with a long communal table encouraging customer interaction.
1410 18th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122, Phone: 206-329-2869
© Caffe Ladro
Caffe Ladro is a beloved staple of the Seattle coffee scene, originally founded in the 1990s in the city's Upper Queen Anne neighborhood. Today, the roasters have become a household name throughout the city, offering 15 locations and a roastery facility that produces the company's famed single-origin roasts. Excellent cafe beverages include medicis, shakeratos, and frozen caramel, vanilla, and mocha coffee beverages to rival a certain area competitor's internationally-famous blended beverages. A selection of baked goods is available daily, including biscotti, scones, and cream cheese danishes. Diners can enjoy gourmet quiches, ham and Swiss croissants, or turkey bacon wraps, with gluten-free and vegan dining options also served.
2205 Queen Anne Ave N, Seattle, WA 98119, Phone: 206-282-5313
© La Marzocco
La Marzocco is a famed Italian cafe and coffee manufacturer that has been in business for more than a century, best known today for its signature upscale espresso machines and coffee machinery that are used by many of the nation's finest cafes and roasters. The company, which is named for the lion that serves as the symbol of Italian city Florence, has led the way throughout the 20th and 21st centuries with industry innovations such as the first double boiler and the first commercial-operation PID controllers. Since the 1980s, it has been an integral part of the Seattle coffee community, offering a flagship location adjacent to the city's internationally-renowned KEXP radio station. A rotating roaster program serves up carefully-selected brews from around the world, complemented by pastries from beloved Pioneer Square bakery The London Plane.
472 1st Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109, Phone: 206-706-9104
© Espresso Vivace
Espresso Vivace is one of Seattle's most acclaimed coffee roasters, founded in 1988 as a partnership between business partners Geneva Sullivan and David Schomer. The cafe, which is named for an Italian phrase that roughly translates as "enthusiasm for espresso," has been roasting up its own signature Northern Italian-style beans since 1992, searching the world to bring customers the finest mild arabica beans possible. It has been praised by industry professionals such as renowned chef Emeril Lagasse as one of the finest coffee roasters in the world, offering three locations today throughout Seattle's Capitol Hill and South Lake Union neighborhoods. Next-level cappuccinos are served up at all three cafes, along with signature cinnamon and orange zest-infused Cafe Nicos.
532 Broadway E, Seattle, WA 98102, Phone: 206-860-2722
Analog Coffee is one of Seattle's hippest coffee shop offerings, noted as the first cafe in the city to install a tap system for delivery of its cold brew offerings. The cafe, which offers a location in the city's Capitol Hill neighborhood at the corner of East Thomas and Summit, serves up beans prepared by area roasters Herkimer Coffee, along with a rotating program showcasing brews from a variety of regional and national roasters. Espresso-based beverages infuse milk from regional producers Fresh Breeze Organic, with alternative milk options also available. Bottled Herkimer cold brew is available to go, with growler fills sold for tap offerings. Visitors can relax at the laid-back coffee shop and listen to a selection of music on vinyl at the company's record station or select a reading option from its collection of comic books and magazines.
235 Summit Ave E, Seattle, WA 98102, Phone: 206-678-7443
16.Milstead and Co.
Milstead and Co. may have been named as one of the United States' snobbiest coffee shops by Food and Wine magazine, but for its owner and namesake Andrew Milstead, the distinction is merely a signifier of the company's dedication to high-quality coffee purveying and education. The cafe, which was also named as Seattle's best coffee place by Food and Wine in the same issue, serves up a multi-roaster program that strives to cultivate its coffee offerings with the same level of discerning selection and variety as draft list programs at acclaimed beer bars. Fine coffees from top national roasters such as Coava, Intelligentsia, and Stumptown are frequently highlighted, along with lesser-known beans from regional roasters. Baristas are on hand to explain all aspects of the roasting, brewing, and preparation process as they serve up pourovers and a variety of espresso-based beverages.
754 N 34th St, Seattle, WA 98103, Phone: 206-659-4814
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© Lighthouse Roasters
Lighthouse Roasters have been an integral part of the Seattle coffee community for more than two decades, known as one of the city's original craft coffee houses. The high-quality coffee roasters, which are headquartered out of Fremont, serve their beans at a variety of coffee shops and restaurants throughout the city, but coffee lovers are best served by going directly to the source at the company's public cafe, which roasts all of its beans in house. 14 varieties of internationally-sourced coffees are served regularly, available in excellent cafe beverages such as cappuccinos, breves, Americanos, and flavored mochas. Local artwork is also featured at the cafe on a rotating basis, with different local artists showcased each month.
400 N 43rd St, Seattle, WA 98103, Phone: 206-633-4444
18.Vif Wine and Coffee
© Vif Wine and Coffee
Vif Wine and Coffee is a unique cafe offering in Seattle's Fremont neighborhood, transforming a former burger joint location into an airy, relaxing tasting room serving delicious espresso beverages and pourovers from Olympia Coffee Roasting Company. The delightful cafe serves extensive breakfast and lunch menus throughout the day, highlighting upscale dishes such as avocado tartine, grilled Gruyere sandwiches, and daily soup selections. Natural wines are also available throughout the day, produced via native yeast fermentation without additives. A gourmet snack menu includes selections such as marinated olives, anchovy toast, and chicory lettuces with fennel and parmesan, while a brunch menu features bread pudding French toast, breakfast sandwiches, and organic yogurt sweetened with honey and dukkah. Visitors should note that laptop use is not permitted at the cafe during brunch serving hours on Saturdays and Sundays.
4401 Fremont Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103, Phone: 206-557-7357
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© Herkimer Coffee
Herkimer Coffee may be a staple on the Seattle coffee scene, but it takes its name and roots from the Upstate New York community of the same name, where owner and founder Mike Prins' father was born in 1930. The charming neighborhood cafe's logo utilizes the city's iconic Trolley Bridge, which spans the length of the West Canada Creek. Green coffees are sourced from traditional coffee farms throughout the world and roasted in house, served up in classic espresso-based beverages such as Americanos, con pannas, and flavored mochas and lattes. Hemp and soy milk are available as substitutes in all beverages, with a selection of teas, juices, and Italian sodas also sold. Locations of the coffee shop can be found in the city's Dexter, Ravena, and Phinney neighborhoods.
7320 Greenwood Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103, Phone: 206-784-0202
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20.Zoka Coffee Roaster and Tea Company
© Zoka Coffee Roaster and Tea Company
Zoka Coffee Roaster and Tea Company is one of Seattle's most acclaimed second-wave coffee shops, originally opened to the public in 1997 by Jeff Babcock in Seattle's Tangletown neighborhood. The roaster, which has been named as one of the United States' top independent coffee shops by Fodor's Travel, offers four locations today in Greenlake, University Village, Kirkland, and South Lake Union, known for its impeccable farm-sourced beans brewed to top industry quality standards. The chain has produced a large number of championship-winning baristas throughout its tenure, and Babcock himself has served as a judge for the Alliance for Coffee Excellence's prestigious Cup of Excellence competition. Outstanding beverages such as lavender mochas and gilbratars pair with house-baked pastries and free wireless internet service at all of the cafe's locations.
2200 N 56th St, Seattle, WA 98103, Phone: 206-545-4277
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21.Slate Coffee Roasters
© Slate Coffee Roasters
Slate Coffee Roasters is a hip coffee shop offering locations in Seattle's Ballard, University District, and Pioneer Square neighborhoods, known for its unique exposure roasting process, which is meant to highlight the unique flavors of its globally-sourced single-origin roasts. The company, which was opened as a family-operated enterprise in 2011, is known for its unique deconstructed espressos, which serve up a trio of glasses meant to single out the flavors of each beverage ingredient before bringing them together in harmony in the last glass. Tasting flights of coffees are also served up at each of the company's cafes, with knowledgeable baristas on hand to answer any customer questions about the roasting, brewing, and preparation process.
5413 6th Ave NW, Seattle, WA, 98107, Phone: 206-240-7174
21 Best Coffee Shops in Seattle
- Victrola Coffee, Photo: Victrola Coffee
- Caffe Umbria, Photo: Caffé Umbria
- Sound and Fog, Photo: Sound and Fog
- Elm Coffee Roasters, Photo: Elm Coffee Roasters
- Seattle Coffee Works, Photo: Seattle Coffee Works
- Mr. West Cafe Bar, Photo: Mr. West Cafe Bar
- Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room, Photo: Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room
- Empire Espresso, Photo: Empire Espresso
- Dubsea Coffee, Photo: Dubsea Coffee
- Caffe Vita, Photo: Caffé Vita
- Tougo Coffee Co., Photo: Tougo Coffee Co.
- Caffe Ladro, Photo: Caffe Ladro
- La Marzocco, Photo: La Marzocco
- Espresso Vivace, Photo: Espresso Vivace
- Analog Coffee, Photo: leszekglasner/stock.adobe.com
- Milstead and Co., Photo: pixbox77/stock.adobe.com
- Lighthouse Roasters, Photo: Lighthouse Roasters
- Vif Wine and Coffee, Photo: Vif Wine and Coffee
- Herkimer Coffee, Photo: Herkimer Coffee
- Zoka Coffee Roaster and Tea Company, Photo: Zoka Coffee Roaster and Tea Company
- Slate Coffee Roasters, Photo: Slate Coffee Roasters
- Cover Photo: Jelena/stock.adobe.com