Seattle is home to some great coffee. After all, it’s the city where Starbucks was born. But Seattle’s thriving cafe culture goes beyond the ubiquitous chain, brewing up a slew of eclectic neighborhood cafes that range from the artsy and independent to the sophisticated and venerable. We’ve taken a look at the coffee shops around Emerald City to find the best cafes in Seattle.
Here’s where to get your next caffeine fix:
Analog Coffee: Looking for an espresso drink? Analog Coffee might just be the macchiato mecca of Capitol Hill. The pop-up shop turned full-blown cafe has been highlighted in Kinfolk magazine, the Guardian, and other publications for its macchiato, cold-brew coffee on tap, and friendly vibe. If you plan to sit and stay awhile, you might need to wait for a spot to open up—there are only a handful of seats—but it’s worth it for the chilled-out vinyl music, delectable pastries, and browsable periodicals (newspapers, magazines, and even comic books!).
Elm Coffee Roasters: Elm Coffee Roasters doesn’t just roast any beans on site at their Pioneer Square cafe; they scour the world’s small-lot farms to find the best coffee beans for their brews. The cafe is pioneered by coffee mavens Brendan Mullally (who helped open New York’s Joe Pro Shop) and Drew Fitchette (with experience working at Stumptown Coffee in Seattle), so you know their taste is good. In addition to high-quality coffee and espresso drinks, you’ll also find house-made chai, teas from Song and Harbor Herbalist, and pastries from The London Plane at this sunny cafe. It's not hard to see why it's one of the best cafes in Seattle!
Milstead & Co.: Fans of this Fremont coffee shop will not find their favorite cafe in the same location they’ve been going to since 2011. Milstead & Co. has recently moved to a temporary location, just across Troll Ave., while their home base gets a facelift. They haven’t left behind their integrity for bold brews and great customer service, however. The new location features fine coffees from top roasters, including Coava, Intelligentsia, and Stumptown, along with milk, chocolate, pastries, and other special treats.
Cloud City Coffee: Cloud City Coffee bills itself as more than just a place to relax and enjoy a coffee and a muffin. It’s a center for the Maple Leaf community to gather on comfy couches, borrow reading material from the in-house lending library, play games, and socialize. They offer delicious coffee and espresso-based drinks, along with housemade breakfast and lunch foods, hand-poured coffees, $1 self-serve drip coffee, baked goods, and more. Got a special event coming up? Let Cloud City Coffee take care of the beverages with its “Joe-To-Go” airpot, filled with 96 ounces of bold coffee.
Herkimer Coffee: You can’t talk about Seattle cafes without mentioning Herkimer Coffee, with locations in Phinney Ridge, Ravenna, and Dexter. The renowned Seattle cafe is responsible for the high-quality roasted beans found in respected cafes throughout Emerald City. Their uncompromising standards result in dynamic, complex coffees and espresso blends that are down-right addictive. Stop by one of their cafes to try a beverage made by one of their expert baristas.
When it comes to coffee in America, no other town does it better than Seattle. Stop by one of Seattle’s best cafes to try some for yourself. For more on local Seattle shops, visit NearSay.