Anchorhead creates a space that’s more inclusive than a coffee temple, but more restrained than a full-menu cafe. The coffee shop makes all of their baked goods from scratch in-house. Biting into a home-made quaffle (think croissant and waffle had a pastry lovechild) is an enlightened pairing to a dialed-in espresso drink. A traditional table setup mixes with bar seating and a pair of couches to encourage morning bites, hours-long laptop sessions, some lounging, or an afterwork meet up—all without losing the sense that this is, in fact, still a specialty coffee shop.
Neither a boutique roaster nor a big chain, Broadcast enjoys the benefits of both. Each shop feels like a neighborhood secret, while the catalog of blends and single origins can stand up to the bigger operations in town. Psst, we can't wait for the forthcoming cafe and bakery arriving in the Central District at 26th and Jackson next fall. The roastery has teamed up with the talented baker behind Temple Pastries for a most caffeinated, baked good union.
Participate in the decades-long tradition of academic caffeinating under the tall ceilings of the self-proclaimed oldest continually running espresso bar in Seattle. This UW-adjacent hub, accessible through an old alleyway—a real old-cafe-in-Cambridge sort of situation—has strong coffee, tons of tables, and overflow seating upstairs for finals week.
Founded in 1994, Ladro is a middle ground between old- and new-school Seattle. Dark roasts like the Diablo pair well with the darker shops, like the original location in Queen Anne. Or check out lighter stuff at the new Fairview space.
It’s no secret that Seattleites love coffee—hot, cold, saturated with booze—so there’s no excuse not to venture outside for a latte or americano. Or, have an authentic Italian cafe experience with gelato, espresso, panini, and even beer and wine. With three local addresses, plop down at the bar, then slurp and savor the espresso-forward taste of Italy.
Seattle Coffee Works—one of the city’s original geeky coffee temples—opened a Capitol Hill outpost, where it’s less espresso factory and more reading nook; there’s even a hanging macrame chair in the back. But that doesn’t mean the coffee is any less exacting. Expect a minimal yet on-point approach to coffee, with a handful of espresso and milk drinks plus the standard brewed-to-order slow bar options.
The family behind the venerable Cherry Street Coffee House also runs this amiable all-day cafe, which combines third wave coffee with a slightly Australian-style breakfast menu (think toasts and waffles sweet and savory), but also gyro, falafel, and deeply flavored Persian rice bowls for lunch, a nod to owner Ali Ghambari’s heritage. Not to mention cocktails whenever you might need them—all enveloped in the Weyerhaeuser Building’s floor-to-ceiling windows.
The baristas at Empire take that extra step to make the day easier— brewing your cup of coffee by French press or AeroPress (your choice) and making cashew milk in house every morning for the lactose wary. It’s the little things that elevate quotidian caffeine into something of a personal indulgence.
The coffee is smooth and fine—roasted in a gleaming flagship space on Bainbridge Island—but it’s the midcentury-cozy Pike Place Market space (two other locations are Downtown Seattle and Queen Anne), an upstairs aerie in the Corner Market Building with a fireplace and an iconic Seattle view out demilune windows, that draws loyalists. Baked goods and sandwiches are careful too. And, a pro-tip for you, if you're in the shop at the right time, say, Sunday at 4 perhaps, servers doles out free slices of cake for a moment dubbed "Cake Gift."
There’s coffee, to be damn sure, but this Beacon Hill caffeine stop is also known for community. The Station hosts a neighborhood-wide block party every year and is unfailingly vocal in support of artists and activists. What’s more, the Mexican mocha is one of the city’s finest.
Don’t be ashamed of a sweet tooth at this multiroaster. The baristas have chops and can dial in a citrusy Ethiopian espresso with the best, but you’ll get no side-eye when ordering menu offerings like the shaken cold brew or horchata iced coffee. Chase your bliss. It’s encouraged.
Look to Victrola as an example of how to be a purveyor of coffee that values accessibility as much as quality. If you want to break down roast profiles, the baristas are game. Laptop workers seeking a drip coffee bleached with cream and sugar are also welcome.