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A plate of Indian food, including naan and lentils, at Makeda and Mingus in Greenwood
Makeda and Mingus in Greenwood features stellar Indian fare.
Makeda and Mingus [Official]

The Best Coffee Shop Bites in Seattle

Yes, the coffee’s great here, but what of the snacks?

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Makeda and Mingus in Greenwood features stellar Indian fare.
| Makeda and Mingus [Official]

It’s not hard to find excellent coffee in Seattle. But when it comes to great coffee shop food, a little more hunting is often required. This guide picks out the best bites at local cafes, from pastries made onsite to noteworthy snacks and sandwiches. It excludes places that are primarily bakeries rather than coffee shops, and shops that primarily bring in food from outside purveyors. Here, the best snacks to go with a well-crafted cup of java, listed from north to south.

The latest CDC guidance for vaccinated diners during the COVID-19 outbreak is here; dining out still carries risks for unvaccinated diners and workers. Please be aware of changing local rules, and check individual restaurant websites for any additional restrictions such as mask requirements. Find a local vaccination site here. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Makeda & Mingus

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This Greenwood spot specializes in not just excellent brews, but also a stellar menu of Indian fare. Chef-owner Prashanthi Reddy serves up naan pizza, spiced nuts and popcorn, mac ‘n cheese (both “gluten-full” and gluten free), biryani, curried eggplant, and spinach daal. It’s all available in the 25-seat, dog-friendly space.

Red Arrow Coffee & Cafe

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Ballard gastropub Brimmer and Heeltap has dedicated its delightful back garden space to a coffee venture called Red Arrow. Homemade scones, granola, salads, and pimento cheese sandwiches are served in the plant-filled space complete with fire pits.

Lassi & Spice

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This South Lake Union shop’s menu features a selection of lassis, chais, and coffee brewed from Indian-grown beans. The food menu is entirely vegetarian, and combines traditional flavors with modern interpretations. Standouts include the Mumbai sliders — potato patties with chutney on Hawaiian rolls — and mini samosas. There’s also a Wallingford outpost.

Mr. West Cafe Bar

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This downtown retreat calls itself a Cafe Bar, a reference to the all-day drinking available here, from coffee to wine and beer. On the food side, the menu ranges from cured salmon on toast to Mediterranean street fries topped with feta and chickpeas to salads and sandwiches.

Cherry Street Coffee House

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Cherry Street Coffee serves solid brews across its four locations, but the extensive food menu is a definitive draw. The menu is mostly built from ingredients made onsite, from pastries baked daily to bagel breakfast sandwiches to the Persian rice bowl and falafel.

Hood Famous Cafe and Bar

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At this Chinatown International District shop, chef and co-owner Chera Amlag has drawn high praise for her delectable Filipino treats, including the cafe’s famed bright purple ube cheesecakes. But there’s plenty more worth trying here, including the creamy coconut custard pie, affogatos, ube cookies, and ice cream sandwich cookies. 

Hello Em Việt Coffee & Roastery

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This new coffee standout in Little Saigon roasts its own beans imported directly from farmers in Vietnam. The food menu is outstanding — and photogenic. There are pressed banh mi sandwiches, including a breakfast sandwich version, with fried shallots, pork charcuterie, lemongrass sauce, and pate made onsite. On the sweeter side, there’s the popular “cloud mochi” — mochi balls stuffed with fruit, whipped cream, and Oreos.

The Station

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Beacon Hill’s longtime shop by the Light Rail stop melds coffee shop and wine bar. Alongside the lattes and mochas is a short-but-excellent food menu, with standouts like biscuits with chorizo gravy and the El Centro sandwich with Chicken, avocado, spinach, pepperjack, jalapeño, and tomatoes.

Makeda & Mingus

This Greenwood spot specializes in not just excellent brews, but also a stellar menu of Indian fare. Chef-owner Prashanthi Reddy serves up naan pizza, spiced nuts and popcorn, mac ‘n cheese (both “gluten-full” and gluten free), biryani, curried eggplant, and spinach daal. It’s all available in the 25-seat, dog-friendly space.

Red Arrow Coffee & Cafe

Ballard gastropub Brimmer and Heeltap has dedicated its delightful back garden space to a coffee venture called Red Arrow. Homemade scones, granola, salads, and pimento cheese sandwiches are served in the plant-filled space complete with fire pits.

Lassi & Spice

This South Lake Union shop’s menu features a selection of lassis, chais, and coffee brewed from Indian-grown beans. The food menu is entirely vegetarian, and combines traditional flavors with modern interpretations. Standouts include the Mumbai sliders — potato patties with chutney on Hawaiian rolls — and mini samosas. There’s also a Wallingford outpost.

Mr. West Cafe Bar

This downtown retreat calls itself a Cafe Bar, a reference to the all-day drinking available here, from coffee to wine and beer. On the food side, the menu ranges from cured salmon on toast to Mediterranean street fries topped with feta and chickpeas to salads and sandwiches.

Cherry Street Coffee House

Cherry Street Coffee serves solid brews across its four locations, but the extensive food menu is a definitive draw. The menu is mostly built from ingredients made onsite, from pastries baked daily to bagel breakfast sandwiches to the Persian rice bowl and falafel.

Hood Famous Cafe and Bar

At this Chinatown International District shop, chef and co-owner Chera Amlag has drawn high praise for her delectable Filipino treats, including the cafe’s famed bright purple ube cheesecakes. But there’s plenty more worth trying here, including the creamy coconut custard pie, affogatos, ube cookies, and ice cream sandwich cookies. 

Hello Em Việt Coffee & Roastery

This new coffee standout in Little Saigon roasts its own beans imported directly from farmers in Vietnam. The food menu is outstanding — and photogenic. There are pressed banh mi sandwiches, including a breakfast sandwich version, with fried shallots, pork charcuterie, lemongrass sauce, and pate made onsite. On the sweeter side, there’s the popular “cloud mochi” — mochi balls stuffed with fruit, whipped cream, and Oreos.

The Station

Beacon Hill’s longtime shop by the Light Rail stop melds coffee shop and wine bar. Alongside the lattes and mochas is a short-but-excellent food menu, with standouts like biscuits with chorizo gravy and the El Centro sandwich with Chicken, avocado, spinach, pepperjack, jalapeño, and tomatoes.

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