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A selection of Funko Pop figurines gathered around a mug of coffee
Distant Worlds Coffee in Roosevelt offers a welcoming space for gamers and crafting groups.
DIstant Worlds Coffee/Instagram

The Hottest Coffee Shops to Check Out, August 2021

Here are some newer cafes to try around the Seattle area

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Distant Worlds Coffee in Roosevelt offers a welcoming space for gamers and crafting groups.
| DIstant Worlds Coffee/Instagram

When it comes to coffee and tea, this city has many tried-and-true industry veterans, solid neighborhood cafes, and a growing crop of newcomers pushing the scene forward. This map tracks the latest and greatest coffee shops to have either arrived over the past six-to-10 months, give or take, or have reinvigorated their menu of late. All the places listed offer takeout and are listed from north to south.

Added this month: Roosevelt’s geek-friendly Distant Worlds, the new Pike Place location for Armistice Coffee, and Overcast Coffee’s new outpost at Metier.

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.

1. Black Coffee Northwest

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16743 Aurora Ave N
Shoreline, WA 98133

Shoreline’s new Black-owned cafe is a youth-driven nonprofit with ambitions to be not just a spot to grab a great cup of coffee, but also an uplifting community center as well, with social justice work at the forefront and a barista training program. It features roasts from Boon Boona, pastries from Salmonberry, and treats from Zuri’s Donutz in Lynnwood; there’s a drive-thru for takeout.

2. Distant Worlds Coffeehouse

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6417 Roosevelt Way NE
Seattle, WA 98115
(206) 525-5191
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In a city that has no qualms about letting its geek flag fly, this cafe fits right in. Though it opened earlier in the pandemic, Distant Worlds is hitting its stride now as a place for crafting folks, Dungeons & Dragons gamers, and other fan groups to enjoy the space with advanced reservations. On the regular menu are lattes and drip coffee from Herkimer, as well as killer sandwiches and vegan fare, plus a regular lineup of food pop-ups.

3. Post Pike Bar & Cafe

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212A Broadway E
Seattle, WA 98102
(206) 402-4983
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This cafe on Broadway East hopes to have a little something for everyone, no matter the time of day. It serves a variety of breakfast sandwiches using bagels from partner business Westman’s, a full coffee menu (roasts are from Vashon Island-based Pollard Coffee), and some cocktails, including mimosas for brunch. Those who want takeout can preorder through Toast.

4. La Rue

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1525 E Olive Way Unit B-1
Seattle, WA 98122

Capitol Hill recently welcomed a crepe and espresso specialist that’s been starting to build buzz for both. The food side offers a mix of sweet and savory offerings that rotate regularly, such as the Cheeseboard, featuring wine poached pears, brie, candied walnuts, arugula, and balsamic honey, which goes well with any of the caffeinated beverages on the short list.

5. Rey Amargo

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722 E Pike St
Seattle, WA 98122

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.

6. The Melo Cafe

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2425 E Union St
Seattle, WA 98122
(206) 327-9728
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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.

7. Overcast Coffee Bar

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1017 E Union St
Seattle, WA 98122
(206) 816-3436
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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. 

8. Armistice Coffee Pike Place

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1914 1st Ave
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 708-7420
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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.

9. Boon Boona Coffee

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1223 East Cherry Street Ste. C121B
Seattle, WA 98122

Renton’s hugely popular cafe focused on African roasts opened its first Seattle location near Seattle University this spring. In addition to drip coffee and beans for retail, there are also some seasonal lattes and espressos available, flavored with ingredients such as hand-whisked matcha and syrups made onsite.

10. URL Coffee

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524 Broadway
Seattle, WA 98122

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.

11. Phin

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913 S Jackson St Ste D
Seattle, WA 98104

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

12. Hello Em Việt Coffee & Roastery

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1227 S Weller St
Seattle, WA 98144

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.

1. Black Coffee Northwest

16743 Aurora Ave N, Shoreline, WA 98133

Shoreline’s new Black-owned cafe is a youth-driven nonprofit with ambitions to be not just a spot to grab a great cup of coffee, but also an uplifting community center as well, with social justice work at the forefront and a barista training program. It features roasts from Boon Boona, pastries from Salmonberry, and treats from Zuri’s Donutz in Lynnwood; there’s a drive-thru for takeout.

16743 Aurora Ave N
Shoreline, WA 98133

2. Distant Worlds Coffeehouse

6417 Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115

In a city that has no qualms about letting its geek flag fly, this cafe fits right in. Though it opened earlier in the pandemic, Distant Worlds is hitting its stride now as a place for crafting folks, Dungeons & Dragons gamers, and other fan groups to enjoy the space with advanced reservations. On the regular menu are lattes and drip coffee from Herkimer, as well as killer sandwiches and vegan fare, plus a regular lineup of food pop-ups.

6417 Roosevelt Way NE
Seattle, WA 98115

3. Post Pike Bar & Cafe

212A Broadway E, Seattle, WA 98102

This cafe on Broadway East hopes to have a little something for everyone, no matter the time of day. It serves a variety of breakfast sandwiches using bagels from partner business Westman’s, a full coffee menu (roasts are from Vashon Island-based Pollard Coffee), and some cocktails, including mimosas for brunch. Those who want takeout can preorder through Toast.

212A Broadway E
Seattle, WA 98102

4. La Rue

1525 E Olive Way Unit B-1, Seattle, WA 98122

Capitol Hill recently welcomed a crepe and espresso specialist that’s been starting to build buzz for both. The food side offers a mix of sweet and savory offerings that rotate regularly, such as the Cheeseboard, featuring wine poached pears, brie, candied walnuts, arugula, and balsamic honey, which goes well with any of the caffeinated beverages on the short list.

1525 E Olive Way Unit B-1
Seattle, WA 98122

5. Rey Amargo

722 E Pike St, Seattle, WA 98122

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.

722 E Pike St
Seattle, WA 98122

6. The Melo Cafe

2425 E Union St, Seattle, WA 98122

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.

2425 E Union St
Seattle, WA 98122

7. Overcast Coffee Bar

1017 E Union St, Seattle, WA 98122

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. 

1017 E Union St
Seattle, WA 98122

8. Armistice Coffee Pike Place

1914 1st Ave, Seattle, WA 98101

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.

1914 1st Ave
Seattle, WA 98101

9. Boon Boona Coffee

1223 East Cherry Street Ste. C121B, Seattle, WA 98122

Renton’s hugely popular cafe focused on African roasts opened its first Seattle location near Seattle University this spring. In addition to drip coffee and beans for retail, there are also some seasonal lattes and espressos available, flavored with ingredients such as hand-whisked matcha and syrups made onsite.

1223 East Cherry Street Ste. C121B
Seattle, WA 98122

10. URL Coffee

524 Broadway, Seattle, WA 98122

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.

524 Broadway
Seattle, WA 98122

11. Phin

913 S Jackson St Ste D, Seattle, WA 98104
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.

913 S Jackson St Ste D
Seattle, WA 98104

12. Hello Em Việt Coffee & Roastery

1227 S Weller St, Seattle, WA 98144

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.

1227 S Weller St
Seattle, WA 98144

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