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Sound and Fog in West Seattle is one of the top destinations for specialty coffee in the city.
Sound and Fog [Official]

Where to Get Some of the Best Coffee in Seattle

A crucial caffeine resource for a city that prides itself on fantastic brews

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Sound and Fog in West Seattle is one of the top destinations for specialty coffee in the city.
| Sound and Fog [Official]

In Seattle, coffee shops and cafes line the streets, from the city's native juggernaut, Starbucks, to the most quaint, precious pour-over stands this side of the Cascades. This is a guide for the city’s most tried-and-true jolts, from widely acclaimed roasters to seasoned latte artists, from growing local chains to single location mom-and-pops. Eater assessed these spots based on the cafe experience and made-to-order coffee, listed from north to south. For some standout small batch roasters (with or without a cafe attached), check out this guide. Sip and enjoy.

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. Preserve and Gather

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358 NW 85th St
Seattle, WA 98117
(206) 403-1149
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Greenwood’s soothing shop has built a reputation for making a wonderful cortada. Its current takeout menu also includes yogurt, take and bake cookies and scones, Salt Blade Salami, and whole bean coffee from Fulcrum, one of the more respected roasters in the region. When it returns for onsite service, the bright space is perfect for leisurely hangouts, with attentive staff.

2. Makeda and Mingus

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153 N 78th St
Seattle, WA 98103
(206) 782-1489
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This Greenwood spot specializes in not just excellent brews, but also a stellar menu of Indian fare, including aloo gobi, biryani, and spinach daal in its weekly dinner offerings. The golden milk latte, a family recipe from chef-owner Prashanthi Reddy, is a highlight as well, and customers should be on the lookout for its thoughtful collaborations with local businesses.

3. Herkimer Coffee

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7320 Greenwood Ave N
Seattle, WA 98103
(206) 784-0202
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This mini chain is home to some of the best coffee in Seattle, period. The Phinney Ridge, Ravenna, and South Lake Union shops, along with a new Belltown outpost, are open for takeout, while the roaster is selling blends, single origin bags, and subscriptions online that would make a great addition to any pantry. If one has trouble deciding, the friendly onsite baristas are happy to make recommendations.

4. Watson's Counter

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6201 15th Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98107

Ballard’s Korean cafe serves wonderful coffee and Instagram-worthy French toast, which has the perfect combination of crunchiness and sweetness thanks to cereal-coated crusts (options include Fruity Pebbles or Frosted Flakes). But the roasts are truly stellar, and the flavored lattes are meticulously crafted without going too heavy on the sugar. Open for pickup and local delivery.

5. Zoka Coffee Roaster and Tea Company

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2200 N 56th St
Seattle, WA 98103
(206) 545-4277
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Zoka is one of the city’s great older school coffee shops and roasters, truly specific to Seattle. Opened in 1997, when people started clamoring to know where their coffee came from, this destination is still just as good as it was in the late days of grunge. The Meridian location is open for takeout, and there are roasts available for sale online with free shipping.

6. Cafe Allegro

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4214 The Ave
Seattle, WA 98105
(206) 633-3030
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One of the oldest shops and roasteries in the Seattle area, Café Allegro has been serving up espresso in the University District since 1975. The store is open for takeout, and there’s a selection of coffee, tea, while the shop has even posted some brew tutorials online. Other places may have surpassed Allegro in terms of coolness, but the PNW chillness here is eternal.

7. Caffe Ladro

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2205 Queen Anne Ave N
Seattle, WA 98119
(206) 282-5313
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A little cafe on Upper Queen Anne blossomed into a mini empire 25 years after first opening, and has become a well-loved staple of the Seattle coffee scene with its own roasting program. Most of the locations remain open for takeout, and the short Yankee Dog (an Americano with a dash of cinnamon) always hits the spot.

8. Espresso Vivace

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532 Broadway E
Seattle, WA 98102
(206) 860-2722
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Another longtime Seattle classic, Vivace has been heaped with praise over the years for its devotion to espresso craftsmanship. Its shops are open for to-go orders, and its rich roasts are available online for purchase. But those who want to pay homage to Seattle’s coffee origins should be sure to pay a visit to the Capitol Hill outpost.

9. Fulcrum Café

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590 Bell St
Seattle, WA 98121
(206) 995-8779
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One of Seattle’s most esteemed roasters is run by fifth-generation Costa Rican coffee farmer Blas Aflaro, and it’s Belltown cafe delivers on the high standards set. Here, one can find order a meticulously prepared espresso from one of Fulcrum’s thoughtfully sourced roasts, or more playful lattes (the pink beetroot latte with rosewater and jasmine flowers is a crowd-pleaser). Open for takeout with online preordering.

10. Victrola Cafe and Roastery

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310 E Pike St
Seattle, WA 98122
(206) 624-1725
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Here’s one of the most prominent roasters in the city, known for its consistently high graded coffee, including Kenyan peaberry offerings. All four of Victrola’s locations are open for takeout, including the flagship cafe on Pike Street, which also serves as a roastery, training facility, and cupping room. There are beans for sale online, as well as subscriptions to single origin roasts.

The exterior of Victrola Coffee Roasters, showing the shop’s name across the top against a light gray background.
Victrola’s Pike Street location is also its roastery and training facility.
Victrola Cafe and Roastery [Official]

11. Union Coffee

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2407 E Union St Suite B
Seattle, WA 98122
(706) 631-4474
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Geetu Vailoor purchased this Central District in 2020, continuing its devotion to specialty coffee, but with a more approachable vibe. It dials in roasts every day (weighing and testing grounds for consistency to create a “recipe”), and has some fantastic offerings from local small batch roaster Looking Homeward Coffee, flavored lattes (the rose cardamom is mind-blowing), and a selection of natural wine. Open for takeout, with onsite tasting events coming soon.

12. Squirrel Chops

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2201 E Union St
Seattle, WA 98122
(206) 485-7017
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Part hair salon, part specialty cafe, the Central District’s Squirrel Chops — staffed mostly by Caffe Vita alums — has gained a reputation for serving some of the most interesting cups of coffee around town. For instance, it’s one of the only places where one can find Thin Man (a microroaster run by an elusive guy named Larry Naylor), and the service is top notch. Open for takeout with limited patio seating.

13. Tougo Coffee

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860 Yesler Way
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 467-5042
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This First Hill spot is a welcoming haven for lovingly pulled espresso and baked goods, as well as incredibly enticing cold caffeinated beverages. The flavored lattes are not to be missed, including a honey-flavored option and the service is as warm as it gets. Items — including small batch roasts from farms that celebrate sustainable practices — are available to go.

14. Caffé D'arte

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99 Yesler Way
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 432-9068
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This company specializing in Northern Italian espresso has been roasting beans since 1985, so it knows its stuff. At the cafe’s location in Pioneer Square, there’s wood-roasted cold brew and stovetop espresso, as well as a selection of light snacks. This outpost is open for takeout and limited onsite seating.

15. Elm Coffee Roasters

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240 2nd Avenue Ext S Ste 103
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 445-7808
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It’s hard to think of another word besides "lovely" to describe Pioneer Square’s coffee haven. Beyond its great java (such as an extraordinary caramel-flavored Colombian roast), Elm features welcoming service, which can be rare in the specialty coffee world. Open for takeout and local delivery, including subscriptions.

16. Caffè Umbria

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320 Occidental Ave S
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 624-5847
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This well-respected company, with locations across the country, has a history of coffee-making that goes back decades, originating in a roastery in Perugia, Italy. Using more than 15 varietals of coffee, the blends are fantastic and prepared with precision. All locations reopened for takeout orders and beans are for sale online.

17. Hood Famous Cafe and Bar

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504 5th Ave S #107a
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 485-7049
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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. There are also delectable pandan lattes and iced calamansi espresso tonics, open for takeout with online preordering on Toast and limited walk-ins.

18. The Station

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1600 S Roberto Maestas Festival St
Seattle, WA 98144
(206) 271-7302
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Beacon Hill’s longtime shop by the Light Rail stop has been vocal and active about social justice causes, and particularly supportive of Black Lives Matter. It also has an excellent selection of coffee (available to order in bulk), plus satisfying biscuits with chorizo gravy.

19. Sound and Fog

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4735 40th Avenue SW
Seattle, WA 98116
(206) 618-1444
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In this ultra-minimalist, but inviting shop in West Seattle, beans from a variety of PNW brands are featured, with Portland’s acclaimed Heart Roasters prominent. Seasonal drinks, like espresso soda, nitro and regular cold brew on tap, and beer and wine, round out the impressive beverage selection. It’s open for takeout and offers some coffee and wine subscriptions.

20. Empire Espresso

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3829 S Edmunds St A
Seattle, WA 98118
(971) 328-0048
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Columbia City’s gem is known for excellent seasonal latte art, so every frothy cup — from sweet matcha to lavender to cayenne — ought to feature something Instagram-worthy. The snacks include crispy waffles (including vegan and gluten-free versions), and the upstairs has recently transformed into a vinyl record shop. Open for takeout.

21. Coffeeholic House

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3700 S Hudson St
Seattle, WA 98118
(206) 722-3327
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Over the past year, there have been several coffee shops in Seattle opening up with Vietnamese roasts as the focus. Coffeeholic was the first of the bunch, and there’s no denying its popularity, with customers regularly lined out the door to grab excellent ube lattes, ice cold coffee topped with cheese foam, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch-filled drinks, as well as some light bites (it also started roasting its own beans sourced from Da Lat). Open for takeout with online preordering.

22. Cafe Red

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7148 Martin Luther King Jr Way S
Seattle, WA 98118
(206) 257-1267
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This Othello spot focuses on eco-minded and fair trade-focused coffee from purveyors like Seattle’s own highly respected Fulcrum. There are some rare finds, including a roast from Thailand with lemon and chocolate notes, and great vegan breakfast items The vibe is shaggy, like an underground indie rock club, but the craftsmanship with which owner Jesiah Wurtz and his team prepare each cup rival any shop in town. Open for takeout, and an expanded patio is on the way.

23. Kaffa Coffee and Wine Bar

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8136 Rainier Ave S
Seattle, WA 98118
(206) 453-3558
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This longtime Rainier Valley Ethiopian favorite is more of a full-fledged restaurant than a cafe, but its single origin roasts have incredible depth, best paired with any of the wonderful wots or fuls. Even though the pandemic has necessarily limited in-person interaction, Kaffa will perform the immersive Ethiopian coffee ceremony upon request (if scheduled far enough in advance), and it’s a wonderful experience for those who treasure cultural connections.

24. Moonshot Coffee

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9622 16th Ave SW
Seattle, WA 98106
(206) 620-0315
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White Center’s minimalist cafe on 16th Avenue SW’s main drag serves up a variety of fantastic, seasonal lattes and other flavored drinks, including the decadent Mocha Arbol, made with an infusion of Chile de Arabol, panella, cinnamon, and Theo dark chocolate). It’s a small place with affable baristas willing to help customers navigate some of the more complex roasts on offer. Open for takeout at the moment.

25. Dubsea Coffee

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9910 8th Ave SW
Seattle, WA 98106
(206) 708-6806
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One of White Center’s best neighborhood cafes nestled into a residential area features a standout cardamom latte, as well as art made by students from the nearby high school. While generally a great place to camp out for a morning work session (and dig into a Mighty-O doughnut), it’s currently open for takeout online with online preordering set up.

1. Preserve and Gather

358 NW 85th St, Seattle, WA 98117

Greenwood’s soothing shop has built a reputation for making a wonderful cortada. Its current takeout menu also includes yogurt, take and bake cookies and scones, Salt Blade Salami, and whole bean coffee from Fulcrum, one of the more respected roasters in the region. When it returns for onsite service, the bright space is perfect for leisurely hangouts, with attentive staff.

358 NW 85th St
Seattle, WA 98117

2. Makeda and Mingus

153 N 78th St, Seattle, WA 98103

This Greenwood spot specializes in not just excellent brews, but also a stellar menu of Indian fare, including aloo gobi, biryani, and spinach daal in its weekly dinner offerings. The golden milk latte, a family recipe from chef-owner Prashanthi Reddy, is a highlight as well, and customers should be on the lookout for its thoughtful collaborations with local businesses.

153 N 78th St
Seattle, WA 98103

3. Herkimer Coffee

7320 Greenwood Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103

This mini chain is home to some of the best coffee in Seattle, period. The Phinney Ridge, Ravenna, and South Lake Union shops, along with a new Belltown outpost, are open for takeout, while the roaster is selling blends, single origin bags, and subscriptions online that would make a great addition to any pantry. If one has trouble deciding, the friendly onsite baristas are happy to make recommendations.

7320 Greenwood Ave N
Seattle, WA 98103

4. Watson's Counter

6201 15th Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107

Ballard’s Korean cafe serves wonderful coffee and Instagram-worthy French toast, which has the perfect combination of crunchiness and sweetness thanks to cereal-coated crusts (options include Fruity Pebbles or Frosted Flakes). But the roasts are truly stellar, and the flavored lattes are meticulously crafted without going too heavy on the sugar. Open for pickup and local delivery.

6201 15th Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98107

5. Zoka Coffee Roaster and Tea Company

2200 N 56th St, Seattle, WA 98103

Zoka is one of the city’s great older school coffee shops and roasters, truly specific to Seattle. Opened in 1997, when people started clamoring to know where their coffee came from, this destination is still just as good as it was in the late days of grunge. The Meridian location is open for takeout, and there are roasts available for sale online with free shipping.

2200 N 56th St
Seattle, WA 98103

6. Cafe Allegro

4214 The Ave, Seattle, WA 98105

One of the oldest shops and roasteries in the Seattle area, Café Allegro has been serving up espresso in the University District since 1975. The store is open for takeout, and there’s a selection of coffee, tea, while the shop has even posted some brew tutorials online. Other places may have surpassed Allegro in terms of coolness, but the PNW chillness here is eternal.

4214 The Ave
Seattle, WA 98105

7. Caffe Ladro

2205 Queen Anne Ave N, Seattle, WA 98119

A little cafe on Upper Queen Anne blossomed into a mini empire 25 years after first opening, and has become a well-loved staple of the Seattle coffee scene with its own roasting program. Most of the locations remain open for takeout, and the short Yankee Dog (an Americano with a dash of cinnamon) always hits the spot.

2205 Queen Anne Ave N
Seattle, WA 98119

8. Espresso Vivace

532 Broadway E, Seattle, WA 98102

Another longtime Seattle classic, Vivace has been heaped with praise over the years for its devotion to espresso craftsmanship. Its shops are open for to-go orders, and its rich roasts are available online for purchase. But those who want to pay homage to Seattle’s coffee origins should be sure to pay a visit to the Capitol Hill outpost.

532 Broadway E
Seattle, WA 98102

9. Fulcrum Café

590 Bell St, Seattle, WA 98121

One of Seattle’s most esteemed roasters is run by fifth-generation Costa Rican coffee farmer Blas Aflaro, and it’s Belltown cafe delivers on the high standards set. Here, one can find order a meticulously prepared espresso from one of Fulcrum’s thoughtfully sourced roasts, or more playful lattes (the pink beetroot latte with rosewater and jasmine flowers is a crowd-pleaser). Open for takeout with online preordering.

590 Bell St
Seattle, WA 98121

10. Victrola Cafe and Roastery

310 E Pike St, Seattle, WA 98122
The exterior of Victrola Coffee Roasters, showing the shop’s name across the top against a light gray background.
Victrola’s Pike Street location is also its roastery and training facility.
Victrola Cafe and Roastery [Official]

Here’s one of the most prominent roasters in the city, known for its consistently high graded coffee, including Kenyan peaberry offerings. All four of Victrola’s locations are open for takeout, including the flagship cafe on Pike Street, which also serves as a roastery, training facility, and cupping room. There are beans for sale online, as well as subscriptions to single origin roasts.

310 E Pike St
Seattle, WA 98122

11. Union Coffee

2407 E Union St Suite B, Seattle, WA 98122

Geetu Vailoor purchased this Central District in 2020, continuing its devotion to specialty coffee, but with a more approachable vibe. It dials in roasts every day (weighing and testing grounds for consistency to create a “recipe”), and has some fantastic offerings from local small batch roaster Looking Homeward Coffee, flavored lattes (the rose cardamom is mind-blowing), and a selection of natural wine. Open for takeout, with onsite tasting events coming soon.

2407 E Union St Suite B
Seattle, WA 98122

12. Squirrel Chops

2201 E Union St, Seattle, WA 98122

Part hair salon, part specialty cafe, the Central District’s Squirrel Chops — staffed mostly by Caffe Vita alums — has gained a reputation for serving some of the most interesting cups of coffee around town. For instance, it’s one of the only places where one can find Thin Man (a microroaster run by an elusive guy named Larry Naylor), and the service is top notch. Open for takeout with limited patio seating.

2201 E Union St
Seattle, WA 98122

13. Tougo Coffee

860 Yesler Way, Seattle, WA 98104

This First Hill spot is a welcoming haven for lovingly pulled espresso and baked goods, as well as incredibly enticing cold caffeinated beverages. The flavored lattes are not to be missed, including a honey-flavored option and the service is as warm as it gets. Items — including small batch roasts from farms that celebrate sustainable practices — are available to go.

860 Yesler Way
Seattle, WA 98104

14. Caffé D'arte

99 Yesler Way, Seattle, WA 98104

This company specializing in Northern Italian espresso has been roasting beans since 1985, so it knows its stuff. At the cafe’s location in Pioneer Square, there’s wood-roasted cold brew and stovetop espresso, as well as a selection of light snacks. This outpost is open for takeout and limited onsite seating.

99 Yesler Way
Seattle, WA 98104

15. Elm Coffee Roasters

240 2nd Avenue Ext S Ste 103, Seattle, WA 98104

It’s hard to think of another word besides "lovely" to describe Pioneer Square’s coffee haven. Beyond its great java (such as an extraordinary caramel-flavored Colombian roast), Elm features welcoming service, which can be rare in the specialty coffee world. Open for takeout and local delivery, including subscriptions.

240 2nd Avenue Ext S Ste 103
Seattle, WA 98104

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16. Caffè Umbria

320 Occidental Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104

This well-respected company, with locations across the country, has a history of coffee-making that goes back decades, originating in a roastery in Perugia, Italy. Using more than 15 varietals of coffee, the blends are fantastic and prepared with precision. All locations reopened for takeout orders and beans are for sale online.

320 Occidental Ave S
Seattle, WA 98104

17. Hood Famous Cafe and Bar

504 5th Ave S #107a, Seattle, WA 98104

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. There are also delectable pandan lattes and iced calamansi espresso tonics, open for takeout with online preordering on Toast and limited walk-ins.

504 5th Ave S #107a
Seattle, WA 98104

18. The Station

1600 S Roberto Maestas Festival St, Seattle, WA 98144

Beacon Hill’s longtime shop by the Light Rail stop has been vocal and active about social justice causes, and particularly supportive of Black Lives Matter. It also has an excellent selection of coffee (available to order in bulk), plus satisfying biscuits with chorizo gravy.

1600 S Roberto Maestas Festival St
Seattle, WA 98144

19. Sound and Fog

4735 40th Avenue SW, Seattle, WA 98116

In this ultra-minimalist, but inviting shop in West Seattle, beans from a variety of PNW brands are featured, with Portland’s acclaimed Heart Roasters prominent. Seasonal drinks, like espresso soda, nitro and regular cold brew on tap, and beer and wine, round out the impressive beverage selection. It’s open for takeout and offers some coffee and wine subscriptions.

4735 40th Avenue SW
Seattle, WA 98116

20. Empire Espresso

3829 S Edmunds St A, Seattle, WA 98118

Columbia City’s gem is known for excellent seasonal latte art, so every frothy cup — from sweet matcha to lavender to cayenne — ought to feature something Instagram-worthy. The snacks include crispy waffles (including vegan and gluten-free versions), and the upstairs has recently transformed into a vinyl record shop. Open for takeout.

3829 S Edmunds St A
Seattle, WA 98118

21. Coffeeholic House

3700 S Hudson St, Seattle, WA 98118

Over the past year, there have been several coffee shops in Seattle opening up with Vietnamese roasts as the focus. Coffeeholic was the first of the bunch, and there’s no denying its popularity, with customers regularly lined out the door to grab excellent ube lattes, ice cold coffee topped with cheese foam, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch-filled drinks, as well as some light bites (it also started roasting its own beans sourced from Da Lat). Open for takeout with online preordering.

3700 S Hudson St
Seattle, WA 98118

22. Cafe Red

7148 Martin Luther King Jr Way S, Seattle, WA 98118

This Othello spot focuses on eco-minded and fair trade-focused coffee from purveyors like Seattle’s own highly respected Fulcrum. There are some rare finds, including a roast from Thailand with lemon and chocolate notes, and great vegan breakfast items The vibe is shaggy, like an underground indie rock club, but the craftsmanship with which owner Jesiah Wurtz and his team prepare each cup rival any shop in town. Open for takeout, and an expanded patio is on the way.

7148 Martin Luther King Jr Way S
Seattle, WA 98118

23. Kaffa Coffee and Wine Bar

8136 Rainier Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118

This longtime Rainier Valley Ethiopian favorite is more of a full-fledged restaurant than a cafe, but its single origin roasts have incredible depth, best paired with any of the wonderful wots or fuls. Even though the pandemic has necessarily limited in-person interaction, Kaffa will perform the immersive Ethiopian coffee ceremony upon request (if scheduled far enough in advance), and it’s a wonderful experience for those who treasure cultural connections.

8136 Rainier Ave S
Seattle, WA 98118

24. Moonshot Coffee

9622 16th Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98106

White Center’s minimalist cafe on 16th Avenue SW’s main drag serves up a variety of fantastic, seasonal lattes and other flavored drinks, including the decadent Mocha Arbol, made with an infusion of Chile de Arabol, panella, cinnamon, and Theo dark chocolate). It’s a small place with affable baristas willing to help customers navigate some of the more complex roasts on offer. Open for takeout at the moment.

9622 16th Ave SW
Seattle, WA 98106

25. Dubsea Coffee

9910 8th Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98106

One of White Center’s best neighborhood cafes nestled into a residential area features a standout cardamom latte, as well as art made by students from the nearby high school. While generally a great place to camp out for a morning work session (and dig into a Mighty-O doughnut), it’s currently open for takeout online with online preordering set up.

9910 8th Ave SW
Seattle, WA 98106

Related Maps