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The interior of Ember Goods, with the name of the cafe is scripted bright neon and a giant Slayer espresso machine in the foreground
Ember Goods in Olympia, Washington, is part cafe, part boutique.
Seiji Nanbu

Cool Cafes on the Road Between Portland and Seattle

Tacoma, Vancouver, and Olympia are among the locales with terrific coffee along the I-5 corridor

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Ember Goods in Olympia, Washington, is part cafe, part boutique.
| Seiji Nanbu

Portland and Seattle are well-known coffee destinations, but the cities in between shouldn’t be overlooked. Tacoma and Olympia actually have quite a bit of coffee history, with several acclaimed roasters headquartered in town. Meanwhile, suburbs such as Vancouver have also experienced a surge of specialty coffee shops and continue to increase the roster every year. Here’s a guide that covers great caffeinated options along the I-5 corridor, from micro roasters to motorcycle garage cafes, 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.

Cosmonaut Coffee Co.

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Located near Wright Park in Tacoma, Cosmonaut has built a loyal following since its beginning in 2007. While the shop is small, Cosmonaut is impossible to miss with its colorful blue and red mural of a Russian astronaut. Coffees served here are medium to light roast and from renowned Cat & Cloud, based out of Santa Cruz, California, and it also serves a wonderful cardamom latte, using syrup made by the folks at MyChai in Bend, Oregon.

Manifesto Coffee

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One of Tacoma’s staple coffee roasters, Manifesto sits right in the heart of the city. While the shop’s interior design feels a little dark, the matte black Slayer espresso machine and San Franciscan roaster make great focal points. Just like the decor, the coffee menu here sticks to the essentials — with roasts ranging from dark to light — but the velvety nitro cold brew is the best bet for a major caffeinated boost.

The gothic-style sign outside Manifesto Coffee in Tacoma, Washington
Manifesto in Tacoma sticks to the essentials, with a velvety nitro cold brew.
Seiji Nanbu

Campfire Coffee Co.

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One of Tacoma’s hottest new coffee shops, Campfire is located right off the 705. An adventurous ethos marks the vibe here, with coffee roasted over an open fire, a practice uncommon in the specialty coffee world. The results are medium-dark roasts, and batches that each have a distinct profile. Campire’s menu also leans into the outdoorsy theme with offerings such as S’mores lattes, marshmallow cream cold brews, and hot cocoa bombs.

Revival Motors & Coffee Co.

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Located just a block away from Olympia’s downtown waterfront, Revival Motors is the capital city’s very own motorcycle garage coffee shop. Diners can admire the custom bikes while they wait for drinks from Seattle roaster Caffe Umbria, which specializes in Italian-style espresso blends. While Main Street Cookie Company provides the pastries here, some lucky guests might be able to score Oly’s Malasadas on the weekends, a local treat.

The interior of Revival Motors shows a vintage motorcycle, along with goth-style artwork (a poster with a skeleton in a tuxedo), and an old advertisement for gasoline.
Revival Motors leans into the biker theme, but also makes an excellent brew.
Seiji Nanbu

Bar Francis

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Old school, laidback, and a little weird, Bar Francis is a truly no frills coffee shop, primarily serving San Francisco’s Four Barrel Coffee. The artsy cafe feels designed to encourage conversation in a loft-style space, with a second story above the main seating area. For those looking for alternatives to coffee, there are drinks such as Hong Kong style milk tea and a selection of different shrub-based beverages.

Ember Goods

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Olympia’s most stylish coffee shop, Ember Goods is part cafe and part boutique store, adorned with tons of gorgeous plants and minimalist decor. The shop also serves its own medium roast blend made at Rivers Coffee in Morton, Washington. Current seasonal drinks here include matchai, made with Portland’s One Stripe Chai, and house-made lavender syrup lattes.

The interior of Ember Goods, with the name of the cafe is scripted bright neon and a giant Slayer espresso machine in the foreground
Ember Goods is part cafe, part boutique store.
Seiji Nanbu

Olympia Coffee Roasting

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With over six locations in Washington (including Seattle), Olympia is one of the most successful roasters in the Pacific Northwest. Its flagship coffee shop and roastery is located right across from city hall, with a gleaming custom La Marzocco Strada machine sitting atop a massive coffee bar. Meanwhile, the Poursteady machine does automated pour overs, and those looking for sweeter beverages can opt for honey lavender lattes or mocha milkshakes.

Shelves stocked with bags of Olympia Coffee roasts
Olympia Coffee is one of the most successful roasters in the Pacific Northwest.
Seiji Nanbu

Hearth Coffee & Cafe

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Located right in the heart of downtown Longview, Hearth is the town’s main coffee shop. Among the offerings are coffee from McMinnville’s Flag & Wire, which offers both light single origins and darker blends, as well as a robust breakfast menu with items such as bacon breakfast tacos and caramelized pearl sugar waffles. With spacious indoor seating and a solid food and coffee program, roadtrippers should mark it for a high-priority pitstop.

Relevant Coffee

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Located near downtown Vancouver, Relevant is one of this southwest Washington city’s biggest and most popular coffee shops, with more roasting space since a move to a bigger location in 2019. Relevant generally serves a light to medium roast, and carries a wide variety of Ethiopian coffees. For those looking for something sweet, the shop also carries house-made syrups made onsite with flavors such as piloncillo and earl grey lavender.

A barista with a face mask works behind the counter at Relevant Coffee in Vancouver, Washington, surrounded by pantry items, paper cups, and coffee-making equipment.
Relevant is one of the most popular coffee shops in Vancouver, Washington.
Seiji Nanbu

Compass Coffee

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While Compass has several locations in the Portland-Vancouver area, the main location and roastery is located in NE Vancouver. Here, one will find a wide variety of light to dark roast coffees from all over the world, including Ethiopia, Kenya, Mexico, and Sumatra. And one must not forget the refreshing cold brew lemonade and iced americanos with sweet and salty cream.

The Great North

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A new outpost of the popular St. John’s coffee shop recently took over the former Albina Press location in central Vancouver, serving up a variety of Portland’s sought-after Coava roasts in a minimalist space. Notable specialty drinks here include an horchata cold brew and a spiced cold brew latte, and there are terrific breakfast sandwiches using Olympia Provisions ham on a Dos Hermanos English muffin.

The wall at the Great North in Vancouver, Washington, shows the name of the shop displayed on a painted pennant.
The Great North serves Coava roasts and excellent breakfast sandwiches.
Seiji Nanbu

Thatcher's Coffee

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Vancouver’s best multi-roaster shop is located right off the Lewis and Clark highway, featuring lots of light to medium roast coffees from Methodical, Olympia, Roseline, and Heart. Thatcher’s operates in a big airy space with a huge garage door and some ambient moka pot lights. The cafe also boasts its own pastry program, offering items like rosemary walnut scones and earl grey shortbread cookies, while must-order drinks include espresso frappes and vanilla rose lattes.

Cosmonaut Coffee Co.

Located near Wright Park in Tacoma, Cosmonaut has built a loyal following since its beginning in 2007. While the shop is small, Cosmonaut is impossible to miss with its colorful blue and red mural of a Russian astronaut. Coffees served here are medium to light roast and from renowned Cat & Cloud, based out of Santa Cruz, California, and it also serves a wonderful cardamom latte, using syrup made by the folks at MyChai in Bend, Oregon.

Manifesto Coffee

The gothic-style sign outside Manifesto Coffee in Tacoma, Washington
Manifesto in Tacoma sticks to the essentials, with a velvety nitro cold brew.
Seiji Nanbu

One of Tacoma’s staple coffee roasters, Manifesto sits right in the heart of the city. While the shop’s interior design feels a little dark, the matte black Slayer espresso machine and San Franciscan roaster make great focal points. Just like the decor, the coffee menu here sticks to the essentials — with roasts ranging from dark to light — but the velvety nitro cold brew is the best bet for a major caffeinated boost.

The gothic-style sign outside Manifesto Coffee in Tacoma, Washington
Manifesto in Tacoma sticks to the essentials, with a velvety nitro cold brew.
Seiji Nanbu

Campfire Coffee Co.

One of Tacoma’s hottest new coffee shops, Campfire is located right off the 705. An adventurous ethos marks the vibe here, with coffee roasted over an open fire, a practice uncommon in the specialty coffee world. The results are medium-dark roasts, and batches that each have a distinct profile. Campire’s menu also leans into the outdoorsy theme with offerings such as S’mores lattes, marshmallow cream cold brews, and hot cocoa bombs.

Revival Motors & Coffee Co.

The interior of Revival Motors shows a vintage motorcycle, along with goth-style artwork (a poster with a skeleton in a tuxedo), and an old advertisement for gasoline.
Revival Motors leans into the biker theme, but also makes an excellent brew.
Seiji Nanbu

Located just a block away from Olympia’s downtown waterfront, Revival Motors is the capital city’s very own motorcycle garage coffee shop. Diners can admire the custom bikes while they wait for drinks from Seattle roaster Caffe Umbria, which specializes in Italian-style espresso blends. While Main Street Cookie Company provides the pastries here, some lucky guests might be able to score Oly’s Malasadas on the weekends, a local treat.

The interior of Revival Motors shows a vintage motorcycle, along with goth-style artwork (a poster with a skeleton in a tuxedo), and an old advertisement for gasoline.
Revival Motors leans into the biker theme, but also makes an excellent brew.
Seiji Nanbu

Bar Francis

Old school, laidback, and a little weird, Bar Francis is a truly no frills coffee shop, primarily serving San Francisco’s Four Barrel Coffee. The artsy cafe feels designed to encourage conversation in a loft-style space, with a second story above the main seating area. For those looking for alternatives to coffee, there are drinks such as Hong Kong style milk tea and a selection of different shrub-based beverages.

Ember Goods

The interior of Ember Goods, with the name of the cafe is scripted bright neon and a giant Slayer espresso machine in the foreground
Ember Goods is part cafe, part boutique store.
Seiji Nanbu

Olympia’s most stylish coffee shop, Ember Goods is part cafe and part boutique store, adorned with tons of gorgeous plants and minimalist decor. The shop also serves its own medium roast blend made at Rivers Coffee in Morton, Washington. Current seasonal drinks here include matchai, made with Portland’s One Stripe Chai, and house-made lavender syrup lattes.

The interior of Ember Goods, with the name of the cafe is scripted bright neon and a giant Slayer espresso machine in the foreground
Ember Goods is part cafe, part boutique store.
Seiji Nanbu

Olympia Coffee Roasting

Shelves stocked with bags of Olympia Coffee roasts
Olympia Coffee is one of the most successful roasters in the Pacific Northwest.
Seiji Nanbu

With over six locations in Washington (including Seattle), Olympia is one of the most successful roasters in the Pacific Northwest. Its flagship coffee shop and roastery is located right across from city hall, with a gleaming custom La Marzocco Strada machine sitting atop a massive coffee bar. Meanwhile, the Poursteady machine does automated pour overs, and those looking for sweeter beverages can opt for honey lavender lattes or mocha milkshakes.

Shelves stocked with bags of Olympia Coffee roasts
Olympia Coffee is one of the most successful roasters in the Pacific Northwest.
Seiji Nanbu

Hearth Coffee & Cafe

Located right in the heart of downtown Longview, Hearth is the town’s main coffee shop. Among the offerings are coffee from McMinnville’s Flag & Wire, which offers both light single origins and darker blends, as well as a robust breakfast menu with items such as bacon breakfast tacos and caramelized pearl sugar waffles. With spacious indoor seating and a solid food and coffee program, roadtrippers should mark it for a high-priority pitstop.

Relevant Coffee

A barista with a face mask works behind the counter at Relevant Coffee in Vancouver, Washington, surrounded by pantry items, paper cups, and coffee-making equipment.
Relevant is one of the most popular coffee shops in Vancouver, Washington.
Seiji Nanbu

Located near downtown Vancouver, Relevant is one of this southwest Washington city’s biggest and most popular coffee shops, with more roasting space since a move to a bigger location in 2019. Relevant generally serves a light to medium roast, and carries a wide variety of Ethiopian coffees. For those looking for something sweet, the shop also carries house-made syrups made onsite with flavors such as piloncillo and earl grey lavender.

A barista with a face mask works behind the counter at Relevant Coffee in Vancouver, Washington, surrounded by pantry items, paper cups, and coffee-making equipment.
Relevant is one of the most popular coffee shops in Vancouver, Washington.
Seiji Nanbu

Compass Coffee

While Compass has several locations in the Portland-Vancouver area, the main location and roastery is located in NE Vancouver. Here, one will find a wide variety of light to dark roast coffees from all over the world, including Ethiopia, Kenya, Mexico, and Sumatra. And one must not forget the refreshing cold brew lemonade and iced americanos with sweet and salty cream.

The Great North

The wall at the Great North in Vancouver, Washington, shows the name of the shop displayed on a painted pennant.
The Great North serves Coava roasts and excellent breakfast sandwiches.
Seiji Nanbu

A new outpost of the popular St. John’s coffee shop recently took over the former Albina Press location in central Vancouver, serving up a variety of Portland’s sought-after Coava roasts in a minimalist space. Notable specialty drinks here include an horchata cold brew and a spiced cold brew latte, and there are terrific breakfast sandwiches using Olympia Provisions ham on a Dos Hermanos English muffin.

The wall at the Great North in Vancouver, Washington, shows the name of the shop displayed on a painted pennant.
The Great North serves Coava roasts and excellent breakfast sandwiches.
Seiji Nanbu

Thatcher's Coffee

Vancouver’s best multi-roaster shop is located right off the Lewis and Clark highway, featuring lots of light to medium roast coffees from Methodical, Olympia, Roseline, and Heart. Thatcher’s operates in a big airy space with a huge garage door and some ambient moka pot lights. The cafe also boasts its own pastry program, offering items like rosemary walnut scones and earl grey shortbread cookies, while must-order drinks include espresso frappes and vanilla rose lattes.

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