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Where to Find the Best Coffee Shop Seattle

Where to Find the Best Coffee Shop Seattle

Cedric Thomas
Jan 25, 2024

Table of contents

  • History of Where Fancy Coffee Began
  • Where to Find the Best Coffee in Seattle
  • Downtown Seattle WA
  • Pioneer Square
  • Ballard
  • Capitol Hill
  • South Lake Union
  • University District
  • Uptown
  • West Seattle

It seems that the world of coffee as we know it today started in Seattle, WA. Maybe it is the rainy weather, the cold temperatures, or the location on the water that makes Seattlites reach for a warm mug of caffeine. One thing is for sure: coffee is everywhere in the Emerald City. You can often find multiple places on the same block, and some brands have stores so close together that you wonder if you’re in a glitch of the matrix. 


As of 2016, there were a whopping 843 coffee shops in Seattle per capita. However, that number still made Seattle the 2nd in line to San Francisco for the most per capita. When it comes to finding a cup of joe nearby, Downtown Seattle, Pike Place Market, and parts of Capitol Hill held the top spots.

Space Needle. Seattle WA


History of Where Fancy Coffee Began

While it may be true that Starbucks wasn’t the first coffee shop in Seattle, WA no one can doubt that this coffee giant put Seattle coffee on the map. 


The first Starbucks location opened up in 1971 near Pike Place Market. While the world was sipping cheaper coffee at the time, the founders envisioned an elevated coffee experience. Fresh roasted coffee beans coupled with a unique coffee atmosphere catapulted Starbucks to what we know today as one of the most well known coffee shops in Seattle. 


However, the stardom of Starbucks quickly encouraged other coffee roasters and companies to bloom out of the Emerald City. In fact, there are substantially more coffee businesses owned by individuals in Seattle than chain-owned ones. 


Starbucks has continued to race around the world in both stores and holdings of other companies. In 2003, Starbucks purchased Seattle’s Best Coffee to expand its overall reach. Seattle’s Best Coffee is a common grocery store brand drip coffee that features a smooth taste.


As with any diehard obsession, there is some division when it comes to the best coffee in Seattle, WA. While some brand-loyal enthusiasts will always choose Starbucks, there are plenty of other options as well. Check out where to find the best coffee in Seattle and visit one of these shops soon for your next pick me up.

Where to Find the Best Coffee in Seattle

Whether you like the comfort and convenience of chain coffee or want to try out some original local indie coffee shops, there is plenty of java to go around. Most of these shops feature what is known as Seattle-style coffee, a rich and dark roasted bean featuring nutty notes of caramel. These cafes can be ideal study spots in Seattle as well. 

Downtown Seattle WA

You’ll find plenty of hustle and bustle in Downtown Seattle. This district located off of Elliot Bay includes Pike Place Market, Smith Tower, and plenty of piers.

Anchorhead Coffee

1600 7th Avenue #105

Check out the quaffle, a waffle and croissant pastry, on 7th Avenue. Anchorhead Coffee features amazing espresso drinks with a great shop atmosphere, perfect for chatting with friends or lounging with your laptop. 

Caffe Ladro

801 Pine Street

Unique drinks and house-made pastries are the heart of Caffe Ladro. With many locations throughout the city, this shop near Pike Place Market is a favorite. Check out their lighter option, a single-origin roast that is always on tap at this interesting location.

Monorail Espresso

510 Pike Street

If you’re willing to wait in line, check out Monorail Espresso that only features espresso-crafted drinks. This tiny espresso bar started in the 1980s and is a local favorite of pups as well. 

Moore Coffee Shop

1930 2nd Avenue

If you’re looking for fancy latte art, look no further than the Moore Coffee Shop. This fun shop was featured in a Food Network Magazine as the #2 shop in Seattle, making it a definite shop when trying to find the best coffee here in Seattle. Add a sandwich or waffle to your order for a tasty meal.


Starbucks Latte Drink on Cafe Table

Grab a coffee at the oldest Starbucks in Seattle, WA

Starbucks #1

1912 Pike Place

While the first location is no longer there, the oldest operating Starbucks store sits just a block away from the original site. It is one of those places to check off your caffeine bucket list but doesn’t have much room to sit and hang out. Still, with so many stores on the planet, it is neat to be at the oldest one still around and view the vintage signs and logos.

Pioneer Square

Located just south of the heart of the city, Pioneer Square is a history-rich community that is easy to get to and the perfect place to spend some downtime.

Cafe D’arte

99 Yesler Way

Opening in 1985 in Pioneer Square, Cafe D’arte is a staple for many Seattle, WA residents. It features Italian-style coffee thanks to its founder, Mauro Cipolla. Wood-roasted cold brew espresso is a must-have item at Cafe D’arte.


Located on the Northwest side of Seattle, Ballard is a trendy district that features plenty of style and boutiques. 

Makeda and Mingus

153 North 78th Street

Bring man’s best friend to this dog-friendly coffee shop, that features Mingus the dog himself. Enjoy coffee from Seven Roasters Coffee and check out the many milk alternatives available in this unique spot. Order a beautiful golden milk latte that features unique flavors and is topped with the best foam art around at Makeda and Mingus.

Seattle Coffee Works

2060 NW Market Street

As a native standard, Seattle Coffee Works offers slow bar brewing methods and single-origin coffee beans for a classic drip coffee. Check out their Seattle Space blend as well as the cafe' current single-origin bean choice for a fresh taste.

Capitol Hill

Capitol Hill is also home to a variety of coffee shops that are perfect for a quick pick-me-up or a cozy spot to relax with friends. Whether you're looking for a classic cup of coffee or something more unique like a latte with lavender syrup, you'll find it here. 


Many of these coffee shops have become community hubs, hosting events and gatherings for local residents to come together and socialize.


Capitol Hill's coffee shops are not just places to grab a drink; they are also a reflection of the neighborhood's unique character and cultural diversity. From trendy cafes to cozy independent shops, there is something for everyone here. Whether you're a local or just visiting, exploring Capitol Hill's coffee shops is an essential part of experiencing the neighborhood's vibrant atmosphere.

Espresso Vivace

532 Broadway East

This Capital Hill classic is a favorite cup of coffee for many Seattle residents and visitors alike. Espresso Vivacefeatures a strong hand in espresso and crafting the perfect drink. Check out this shop for a deep dive into espresso.

Victrola Coffee Roasters

310 E Pike Street

Looking for a unique blend of beans with a twist? Victrola Coffee Roasters in Capitol Hill is a great spot to find the latest roast. They specialize in experimenting with all kinds of flavors and beans to create one-of-a-kind masterpieces in a cup.

South Lake Union

Located between the vibrant neighborhoods of Uptown and Capitol Hill, South Lake Union is a bustling district that has become a hub for the city's tech industry. Alongside the tech scene, the district also boasts a thriving culinary scene with a variety of unique and locally owned restaurants to choose from. 

Among these establishments, coffee shops in South Lake Union are a popular choice for locals and visitors alike, providing a perfect spot to relax, socialize or grab a quick caffeine boost. With an abundance of specialty coffee drinks, pastries, and light bites, these coffee shops offer a perfect respite from the busy streets and provide a welcoming atmosphere to unwind in.

Elm Coffee Roasters

230 9th Avenue North

Opening in 2018, Elm Coffee Roasters in South Lake Union is a spin-off from the original location. This location features simple decor where you can watch the roasting happen on-site. Order an drink and take some beans to go to enjoy at home. 

University District

One of the most notable features of the U-District's culinary scene is its coffee shops. The neighborhood is teeming with a wide range of coffee shops, from small independent cafes to larger chain establishments. These coffee shops are popular hangouts for students and locals alike, offering a perfect spot to study, socialize or simply relax with a cup of coffee.


The coffee shops in the U-District are also known for their unique and creative offerings. Many of them source their beans from local roasters, and they often experiment with different brewing techniques and flavor profiles to create a distinctive taste. Additionally, many of these coffee shops also offer food options, such as pastries, bagels, sandwiches, and salads.


Apart from the delicious coffee and food offerings, the coffee shops in the U-District also serve as community hubs. Many of them host events, such as open mic nights, poetry readings, and live music performances, making them a great spot to socialize and meet new people.


Overall, the University District is a must-visit destination for coffee lovers in Seattle. With a wide variety of coffee shops to choose from, there is something for everyone in this lively and diverse neighborhood.

Cafe Allegro

4214 University Way NE

Touted as the city’s oldest coffee establishment, Cafe Allegro opened its doors in the University District back in 1975. You’ll find a classic coffee culture here with art hanging off the walls, the smell of fresh-roasted beans filling the air, and plenty of history to serve up alongside its signature drinks. 

Mr. West Cafe Bar

2685 NE Village Lane

This contemporary coffee spot features an upscale look and a new fresh take on beans. Mr. West Cafe Bar serves Campos Coffee, a Sydney-based bean, offers unique taste and variety to your go-to cup. Check out this place for a great coffee experience.


One of the most popular coffee shops in the area is Uptown Espresso, which has been serving coffee to locals and tourists alike since 1984. The coffee shop is known for its delicious espresso drinks and its cozy atmosphere, which features a fireplace and comfortable seating.


Another popular coffee spot in Uptown is Caffe Ladro, which offers a variety of coffee drinks, pastries, and sandwiches. The coffee shop has a warm and inviting ambiance, with plenty of natural light and comfortable seating.


For those looking for a more modern coffee experience, there's Storyville Coffee Company. The coffee shop is known for its sleek design, with a beautiful interior that features a marble bar, leather seating, and plenty of natural light. Storyville Coffee Company offers a range of coffee drinks, including pour-overs and espresso shots, as well as snacks and pastries.


Uptown is also home to several local coffee shops that offer a more intimate and personal experience. For example, Citizen Coffee is a small coffee shop that prides itself on its community-oriented approach. The coffee shop offers a variety of coffee drinks, as well as pastries and light snacks, and features a cozy interior with plenty of seating.


Overall, the Uptown district in Seattle offers a diverse range of coffee shops, each with its own unique atmosphere and offerings. Whether you're looking for a cozy and intimate coffee experience or a modern and sleek coffee shop, there's something for everyone in Uptown.

La Marzocco

472 1st Avenue North

Learn more about the history of coffee at La Marzocco Cafe, an extension of the La Marzocco Italian espresso machine manufacturer. You’ll know that your bean is perfectly roasted and extracted at this unique coffee location.

Uptown Espresso

2504 4th Avenue

This laid-back coffee spot started in 1984 in Uptown and has quietly grown to seven locations around Seattle, WA. Uptown Espresso in the Belltown area is known as the “home of the velvet foam” featured on lattes. Each store is spacious and invites customers to sip a latte and stay awhile.

West Seattle

Located on the Southwestern edge of the city, West Seattle is a laid-back and comfortable place to live just minutes from city life.

Sound and Fog

4735 40th Avenue SW

Get a coffee subscription at Sound and Fog located in West Seattle. This chic spot offers a minimalist feel and features roasts from all over the PNW. You’ll find fun seasonal drinks like nitro and cold brew, as well as espresso soda.


There are plenty of places to find a cup of coffee in Seattle, WA at any time of day. Your location in the city has no bearing on the quality and excellence that Seattle coffee throws down. No matter where you choose to live in Seattle, WA, it is bound to have a coffee location just around the corner. 

While indie shops outweigh the chain shops in town, there are many styles and vibes to choose from when looking for your next cup of coffee. 


Coffee Pot Seattle WA




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