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The view of a coffee bar. A cursive, neon light says “Cafecito” above a drink menu behind the bar. Palm fronds are painted on the wall.
Papa Chango is a new Miami-style cafe in Ballard.
Sergio Garcia

The Hottest Coffee Shops to Check Out, November 2021

Here’s the newest cafes keeping Seattle caffeinated.

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Papa Chango is a new Miami-style cafe in Ballard.
| Sergio Garcia

There’s nothing more quintessentially Seattle than hanging out at a cafe on a rainy day. With the recent vaccine mandate for all dine-in customers, more cafes are opening up their spaces for dine-in — with other COVID-19 protocols still in place — and there’s a handful of newly-opened cafes keeping Seattleites well-caffeinated. Columbia City’s Vietnamese cafe Coffeeholic House opened a second location in Greenwood. Coffeeholic 2.0 isn’t far from Streamline Coffee, a new drive-thru coffee stop in an airstream trailer. Papa Chango brings a taste of Miami to Ballard, and the highly anticipated coffee and adaptogenic mushroom brand Wunderground Coffee opened its flagship store in Capitol Hill.

This map tracks the latest and greatest coffee shops to have arrived over the past six-to-10 months, give or take. The cafes are listed from north to south.

Added this month: Ballard’s Papa Chango, Greenwood’s Coffeeholic 2.0 and Streamline Coffee, Leon Coffee House in the University District, 203° Fahrenheit in South Lake Union’s Google building, and Wunderground Coffee in Capitol Hill.

All cafes listed offer takeout and indoor dining (except for Streamline Coffee). King County requires proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours for everyone ages 12+ at indoor establishments, restaurants, and bars. Studies indicate there is a lower exposure risk when eating outdoors, and the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines. Please visit King County’s COVID website for resources and current information.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Coffeeholic House 2.0

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Columbia City’s Vietnamese cafe Coffeeholic House opened its second location in Greenwood at the beginning of October. Sourcing coffee directly from Vietnam, Coffeeholic offers modern takes on traditional Vietnamese drinks, like its ube latte (Purple Haze), and best-seller Coffeeholic Dream, made with salted cheese foam.

Streamline Coffee Drive Thru

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The latest coffee addition to Greenwood happens to be a drive-thru coffee stand housed in a 31-foot Airstream trailer. Streamline Coffee Drive-Thru has coffee and espresso beverages, as well as a selection of energy drinks. Co-owner Andrea Sligar has polished Streamline’s Palm Springs vibe by planting palm trees on the property and filling in the area with gravel that looks like sand. Check out Streamline’s s’mores cold brew with marshmallow whipped cream, or basil lime spritzer for something on the lighter, non-caffeinated side. Streamline also sells some sandwiches and gluten-free treats.

Papá Changó Cafe

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Not quite ready for the rainy days? Head to Ballard’s Papa Chango for a Miami-style coffee bar and Pasteleria sure to induce a sunny state of mind. Papa Chango makes drinks with Miami-based Panther Coffee, and sells pastries and goodies like sweet bread cookies, papaya scones, and Pastelito de Guayaba y Queso — a puff pastry stuffed with cheese and guava filling.

Leon Coffee House

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Owner Lupe Chavez opened Leon Coffee House at the end of October in the University District. Leon Coffee House has a vibe that’s both decadent and whimsical, with tall windows offering a view to Northeast 45th Street and a loft on the second floor. Check out Leon’s Mexican Mochas, purple taro lattes, matcha, and selection of sandwiches and waffles.

203° Fahrenheit Coffee

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203° Fahrenheit Coffee’s second location in South Lake Union is only a city inspection away from opening. Owner Alen Fikic has over 23 years of experience in coffee, including a stint as president of Zoka Coffee Roasters. Expect high quality, fairly-traded coffees at 203°, with an emphasis on excellence and simplicity. 203°’s first shop opened in Kirkland in 2019.

Rey Amargo

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Sweets are the main attraction at this new Capitol Hill shop, the first US location for Jalisco-based chocolatier Rey Amargo, which has been around for more than 80 years. But along with a wide variety of bars, truffles, and chocolate-covered fruits for sale, there’s also a substantial drinks menu, with coffee (hot or iced), herbal tea, five different chai options, and some fantastic hot chocolate, of course.

Wunderground Cafe

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Wunderground Coffee made its debut in June as a direct-to-consumer brand featuring coffee mixed with mushroom blends like chaga, reishi, lion’s mane, and cordyceps — mushrooms believed to have a range of healthful benefits. Wunderground’s flagship cafe opened in Capitol Hill on Halloween weekend, offering drinks like Brain Wash, a mushroom vanilla latte, and Strange Magic, a dark chocolate mushroom mocha, as well as food offerings like bowls, bone broths, and sandwiches.

The Melo Cafe

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This Central District shop built up from a small Instagram-based juice business took over the former Cortona Cafe space and serves up wonderful ginger-turmeric drinks, Herkimer coffee, stellar empanadas, and those famed Cortona waffles (the owners bought the recipe). Eventually, the business plans to offer live music and community events, and will add some more items to the menu soon, such as smoothies.

Overcast Coffee Bar

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In May 2021, Overcast Coffee Bar joined Metier Racing and Coffee on East Union, its second location after a debut inside the north building of Kaiser Permanente on 15th Avenue in 2020. In addition to single origins and coffee blends, the shop offers wine, beer, and pastries that are locally sourced, with a focus on partnering with minority-owned businesses. And the vivid mural by Stevie Shao is a great attraction while waiting for Americanos, masala chais, or a bike tune-up. 

Armistice Coffee Pike Place

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Armistice Coffee Roaster has locations in Eastlake and Roosevelt neighborhoods, and opened a third near Pike Place Market. Owner and head roaster Rebecca Smith cultivates an approachable vibe at her cafes, a space for people to call a “truce” on their stressful day. There are usually seasonal rotations of two or three single-origins, a selection of Smith teas, and breakfast sandwiches, quiches, and pastries from Italian restaurant Limoncello Belltown.

URL Coffee

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Capitol Hill recently landed a slick-looking cafe on Broadway, serving up matcha lattes, mocha, drip coffee from Portland’s Coava Coffee Roasters, cold brew, and pastries. The shop comes from wife and husband duo Zoey Jung and Ethan Choi, who bring a mid-century modern attention to design detail.

This striking Little Saigon cafe specializes in Vietnamese roasts and light desserts. On the menu are takes on café sữa đá, a Vietnamese iced coffee with condensed milk made onsite, mochas, and Vietnamese yogurt coffee. For dessert: pandan waffles and flan with shaved coffee ice. Read more about owner Bao Nguyen’s deeply personal journey from Saigon.

A photo of a phin, brewing coffee at Phin coffee shop in Seattle
Phin in Little Saigon opened in 2020.
Suzi Pratt

Hello Em Việt Coffee & Roastery

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Located in the Friends of Little Saigon Creative space, this new cafe from Pho Bac Sup Shop co-owner Yenvy Pham has its own roastery, with beans imported directly from Vietnamese farmers. There’s a creamy cà phê trứng and a coconut-flavored cà phê cốt dừa, plus fun takes on pressed banh mi (“banh mi ni”), including one stuffed with hot dogs, and pastries as well.

Coffeeholic House 2.0

Columbia City’s Vietnamese cafe Coffeeholic House opened its second location in Greenwood at the beginning of October. Sourcing coffee directly from Vietnam, Coffeeholic offers modern takes on traditional Vietnamese drinks, like its ube latte (Purple Haze), and best-seller Coffeeholic Dream, made with salted cheese foam.

Streamline Coffee Drive Thru

The latest coffee addition to Greenwood happens to be a drive-thru coffee stand housed in a 31-foot Airstream trailer. Streamline Coffee Drive-Thru has coffee and espresso beverages, as well as a selection of energy drinks. Co-owner Andrea Sligar has polished Streamline’s Palm Springs vibe by planting palm trees on the property and filling in the area with gravel that looks like sand. Check out Streamline’s s’mores cold brew with marshmallow whipped cream, or basil lime spritzer for something on the lighter, non-caffeinated side. Streamline also sells some sandwiches and gluten-free treats.

Papá Changó Cafe

Not quite ready for the rainy days? Head to Ballard’s Papa Chango for a Miami-style coffee bar and Pasteleria sure to induce a sunny state of mind. Papa Chango makes drinks with Miami-based Panther Coffee, and sells pastries and goodies like sweet bread cookies, papaya scones, and Pastelito de Guayaba y Queso — a puff pastry stuffed with cheese and guava filling.

Leon Coffee House

Owner Lupe Chavez opened Leon Coffee House at the end of October in the University District. Leon Coffee House has a vibe that’s both decadent and whimsical, with tall windows offering a view to Northeast 45th Street and a loft on the second floor. Check out Leon’s Mexican Mochas, purple taro lattes, matcha, and selection of sandwiches and waffles.

203° Fahrenheit Coffee

203° Fahrenheit Coffee’s second location in South Lake Union is only a city inspection away from opening. Owner Alen Fikic has over 23 years of experience in coffee, including a stint as president of Zoka Coffee Roasters. Expect high quality, fairly-traded coffees at 203°, with an emphasis on excellence and simplicity. 203°’s first shop opened in Kirkland in 2019.

Rey Amargo

Sweets are the main attraction at this new Capitol Hill shop, the first US location for Jalisco-based chocolatier Rey Amargo, which has been around for more than 80 years. But along with a wide variety of bars, truffles, and chocolate-covered fruits for sale, there’s also a substantial drinks menu, with coffee (hot or iced), herbal tea, five different chai options, and some fantastic hot chocolate, of course.

Wunderground Cafe

Wunderground Coffee made its debut in June as a direct-to-consumer brand featuring coffee mixed with mushroom blends like chaga, reishi, lion’s mane, and cordyceps — mushrooms believed to have a range of healthful benefits. Wunderground’s flagship cafe opened in Capitol Hill on Halloween weekend, offering drinks like Brain Wash, a mushroom vanilla latte, and Strange Magic, a dark chocolate mushroom mocha, as well as food offerings like bowls, bone broths, and sandwiches.

The Melo Cafe

This Central District shop built up from a small Instagram-based juice business took over the former Cortona Cafe space and serves up wonderful ginger-turmeric drinks, Herkimer coffee, stellar empanadas, and those famed Cortona waffles (the owners bought the recipe). Eventually, the business plans to offer live music and community events, and will add some more items to the menu soon, such as smoothies.

Overcast Coffee Bar

In May 2021, Overcast Coffee Bar joined Metier Racing and Coffee on East Union, its second location after a debut inside the north building of Kaiser Permanente on 15th Avenue in 2020. In addition to single origins and coffee blends, the shop offers wine, beer, and pastries that are locally sourced, with a focus on partnering with minority-owned businesses. And the vivid mural by Stevie Shao is a great attraction while waiting for Americanos, masala chais, or a bike tune-up. 

Armistice Coffee Pike Place

Armistice Coffee Roaster has locations in Eastlake and Roosevelt neighborhoods, and opened a third near Pike Place Market. Owner and head roaster Rebecca Smith cultivates an approachable vibe at her cafes, a space for people to call a “truce” on their stressful day. There are usually seasonal rotations of two or three single-origins, a selection of Smith teas, and breakfast sandwiches, quiches, and pastries from Italian restaurant Limoncello Belltown.

URL Coffee

Capitol Hill recently landed a slick-looking cafe on Broadway, serving up matcha lattes, mocha, drip coffee from Portland’s Coava Coffee Roasters, cold brew, and pastries. The shop comes from wife and husband duo Zoey Jung and Ethan Choi, who bring a mid-century modern attention to design detail.

Phin

A photo of a phin, brewing coffee at Phin coffee shop in Seattle
Phin in Little Saigon opened in 2020.
Suzi Pratt

This striking Little Saigon cafe specializes in Vietnamese roasts and light desserts. On the menu are takes on café sữa đá, a Vietnamese iced coffee with condensed milk made onsite, mochas, and Vietnamese yogurt coffee. For dessert: pandan waffles and flan with shaved coffee ice. Read more about owner Bao Nguyen’s deeply personal journey from Saigon.

A photo of a phin, brewing coffee at Phin coffee shop in Seattle
Phin in Little Saigon opened in 2020.
Suzi Pratt

Hello Em Việt Coffee & Roastery

Located in the Friends of Little Saigon Creative space, this new cafe from Pho Bac Sup Shop co-owner Yenvy Pham has its own roastery, with beans imported directly from Vietnamese farmers. There’s a creamy cà phê trứng and a coconut-flavored cà phê cốt dừa, plus fun takes on pressed banh mi (“banh mi ni”), including one stuffed with hot dogs, and pastries as well.

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