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Milk is poured artfully into a coffee mug, making a foamy white pattern on top of the espresso.
It’s all in the wrist: great coffee drinks come with great latte art.
I love coffee/Shutterstock

Where to Get Some of the Best Coffee in Seattle

A crucial caffeine resource for the city of rain and coffee

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It’s all in the wrist: great coffee drinks come with great latte art.
| I love coffee/Shutterstock

Seattle’s rainy season is right on time, and what the Emerald City lacks in daylight it makes up for with some of the best coffee there is. Seattle’s coffee culture is diverse, growing, and continuously inventive. Throughout the pandemic, neighborhood coffeeshops became vital hubs for community connections and resources, like The Station cafe in Beacon Hill, and Black Coffee Northwest in Shoreline. Hello Em has introduced Seattle to Vietnamese-style coffee with whipped egg crème, and Fulcrum Cafe features coffees roasted by fifth-generation Costa Rican coffee farmer Blas Aflaro. This guide highlights some of the city’s finest coffee shops, including traditional espresso drinks from Seattle institutions like Caffè Umbria and Espresso Vivace, to ube and pandan lattes from Hood Famous Cafe and Bar. 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.

As of October 25, King County will require proof of vaccination for everyone ages 12+ at indoor establishments, restaurants, and cafes. Studies indicate there is a lower exposure risk when dining 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.

1. Black Coffee Northwest Café

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16743 Aurora Ave N
Shoreline, WA 98133
(206) 316-8366
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Although technically about a mile north of city limits, Shoreline’s Black-owned cafe is an important hub for BIPOC community in North Seattle. The nonprofit cafe has youth-focused programs like barista training, internships, and leadership opportunities. Swing by and pick up a Melanin Mocha or Supa’ Fly Chai.

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.

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.

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. Check out the short Yankee Dog, an Americano with a dash of cinnamon, that 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 its 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).

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. Victrola’s flagship location on Pike Street, 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.

12. 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. Try the Honey Goat Latte, Salted Caramel Mocha, or the Lavender Good Good.

13. 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.

14. 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.

15. 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.

16. Hood Famous Cafe and Bar

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504 5th Ave S #107a
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 485-7049
Visit Website

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. On the coffee side, Hood Famous’ pandan lattes and iced calamansi espresso tonics, are distinctly Filipino takes on specialty coffee drinks.

17. Hello Em Việt Coffee & Roastery

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1227 S Weller St
Seattle, WA 98144

Hello Em sources Vietnamese coffee and roasts in-house at its coffee shop in Little Saigon. Menu offerings include espresso drinks topped with fluffy Egg Crème, from the yolks, and Egg Cloud, from the whites. Popular in north Vietnam, egg coffee drinks originate from milk shortages during the First Indochina War. Hello Em also sells pressed Bánh mì sandwiches and pastries.

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 station has been vocal and active about social justice causes, hosted pop-ups and food drives, and been a hub for community organizing. It also has an excellent selection of coffee (available to order in bulk). The Station is a lively and welcoming neighborhood gathering place where you can sip on a Mexican Mocha or hot chocolate.

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 also 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 popular house made cashew milk sells out fast, so owner Ian Peters often has to whip up extra batches throughout the day. Snacks include crispy waffles (including vegan and gluten-free versions), and the upstairs has recently transformed into a vinyl record shop.

21. Coffeeholic House

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3700 S Hudson St
Seattle, WA 98118
(206) 722-3327
Visit Website

Over the past year, there have been several coffee shops in Seattle opening up with Vietnamese coffee 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).

22. Kaffa Coffee and Wine Bar

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8136 Rainier Ave S
Seattle, WA 98118
(206) 453-3558
Visit Website

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), an exceptional way to experience coffee from the birthplace of the bean.

23. Resistencia Coffee

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1249 S Cloverdale St
Seattle, WA 98108
(206) 906-9241
Visit Website

Resistencia Coffee is a hub for the South Park Latinx community where all are welcome. Art from local artists hangs on the walls, and every month Resistencia hosts an open-mic night. Specialty drink Xingona Latte is made with cinnamon, sugar, and a pinch of cayenne.

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.

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. Enjoy Dubsea’s outdoor plaza seating area on an (increasingly rare) sunny afternoon.

1. Black Coffee Northwest Café

16743 Aurora Ave N, Shoreline, WA 98133

Although technically about a mile north of city limits, Shoreline’s Black-owned cafe is an important hub for BIPOC community in North Seattle. The nonprofit cafe has youth-focused programs like barista training, internships, and leadership opportunities. Swing by and pick up a Melanin Mocha or Supa’ Fly Chai.

16743 Aurora Ave N
Shoreline, WA 98133

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.

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.

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. Check out the short Yankee Dog, an Americano with a dash of cinnamon, that 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 its 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).

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. Victrola’s flagship location on Pike Street, 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.

2407 E Union St Suite B
Seattle, WA 98122

12. 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. Try the Honey Goat Latte, Salted Caramel Mocha, or the Lavender Good Good.

860 Yesler Way
Seattle, WA 98104

13. 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.

99 Yesler Way
Seattle, WA 98104

14. 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

15. 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.

320 Occidental Ave S
Seattle, WA 98104

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16. 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. On the coffee side, Hood Famous’ pandan lattes and iced calamansi espresso tonics, are distinctly Filipino takes on specialty coffee drinks.

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

17. Hello Em Việt Coffee & Roastery

1227 S Weller St, Seattle, WA 98144

Hello Em sources Vietnamese coffee and roasts in-house at its coffee shop in Little Saigon. Menu offerings include espresso drinks topped with fluffy Egg Crème, from the yolks, and Egg Cloud, from the whites. Popular in north Vietnam, egg coffee drinks originate from milk shortages during the First Indochina War. Hello Em also sells pressed Bánh mì sandwiches and pastries.

1227 S Weller St
Seattle, WA 98144

18. The Station

1600 S Roberto Maestas Festival St, Seattle, WA 98144

Beacon Hill’s longtime shop by the Light Rail station has been vocal and active about social justice causes, hosted pop-ups and food drives, and been a hub for community organizing. It also has an excellent selection of coffee (available to order in bulk). The Station is a lively and welcoming neighborhood gathering place where you can sip on a Mexican Mocha or hot chocolate.

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 also 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 popular house made cashew milk sells out fast, so owner Ian Peters often has to whip up extra batches throughout the day. Snacks include crispy waffles (including vegan and gluten-free versions), and the upstairs has recently transformed into a vinyl record shop.

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 coffee 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).

3700 S Hudson St
Seattle, WA 98118

22. 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), an exceptional way to experience coffee from the birthplace of the bean.

8136 Rainier Ave S
Seattle, WA 98118

23. Resistencia Coffee

1249 S Cloverdale St, Seattle, WA 98108

Resistencia Coffee is a hub for the South Park Latinx community where all are welcome. Art from local artists hangs on the walls, and every month Resistencia hosts an open-mic night. Specialty drink Xingona Latte is made with cinnamon, sugar, and a pinch of cayenne.

1249 S Cloverdale St
Seattle, WA 98108

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.

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. Enjoy Dubsea’s outdoor plaza seating area on an (increasingly rare) sunny afternoon.

9910 8th Ave SW
Seattle, WA 98106

Related Maps