The Complete Guide to the Best Coffee Shops in Seattle

Last Updated on December 21, 2022 by admin

When you think of Seattle, chances are you think of rain, grunge music, and coffee. You will find a coffee shop on pretty much every city street. A recent study found that the city has a whopping 56 coffee shops per 100,000 people! Because of this, Seattle is known as the Coffee Capitol of the United States. Starbucks, probably the most famous coffee chain in the world, even opened its first shop in Seattle. Although you will certainly see the big name coffee shops like Starbucks and Seattle’s Best, there are dozens of local roasters that you need to check out.

I only started trying some of these local coffees recently. Although I lived in Seattle for most of my life, I somehow wasn’t a coffee drinker. When I moved to Connecticut for my clinical internship, my colleagues where surprised I didn’t drink coffee. What kind of a Seattleite doesn’t drink coffee? Even with long hours during grad school, I didn’t drink coffee. But, after the birth of my daughter, that changed. (Nothing like frequent night awakenings to make you grab a cup of coffee in the morning!) Since then, I’ve really enjoyed getting to learn more about coffee and what makes for a good cup of joe!

In this post, I’m sharing a list of 25 of the best coffee shops in Seattle. You’ll find out about local roasters, unique menu offerings, drive-thru espresso stands, and where to find the best latte art. If you’re visiting Seattle for the first time, be sure to buy a bag of beans to bring home as a souvenir. Enjoy!

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Travel Tip: If you’re planning a trip to Seattle, consider buying a Seattle CityPASS. You’ll be able to save money if you plan on visiting multiple attractions. For instance, if you plan on visiting the Space Needle, Seattle Aquarium, Museum of Pop Culture, Woodland Park Zoo, Chihuly Garden and Glass, or Argosy Cruises Harbor Tour, we highly recommend that you look into purchasing the CityPASS. For more information about CityPASS, click here.


Want the perfect donut to go with your coffee? See our post on the best donut shops in Seattle.

Why Seattle is Known for Coffee

With many overcast days and few hours of sunlight during the winter, it just makes sense that coffee would be a mainstay in Seattle everyday life. But there’s a bit more as to why Seattle is known for its coffee. The coffee scene first started in Seattle when a dock worker (Oscar Delaloye) pan-roasted coffee beans that had spilled onto the ground. Approving of the taste, he then began selling coffee from his cart around the city. Because Seattle is located right next to the port, there was no shortage of coffee bean imports. He opened Seattle’s first coffee shop: Seattle Tea and Coffee in Pike Place Market.

In 1958, Café Encore was established in Seattle’s U-District. It was a communal space for artists, and after its opening, more coffee shops opened in the area.

The First Starbucks Opens

In 1971, the first Starbucks opened near Pike Place Market on 2000 Western Avenue. That store was open from 1971 through 1976. Many tourists call the second store at 1912 Pike Place as the original Starbucks, although technically it is the second. It is, however, the oldest continuously-operated Starbucks store. There’s a commemorative plaque outside, and there’s often a crowd there. Just be sure not to call it the “First Starbucks” if you want to sound like a local! Today, there are over 33,000 Starbucks locations… all from a small store that started in Seattle.

Traveling on a budget? Be sure to see our list of 50 free things to do in Seattle.

The Best Coffee Shops in Seattle

The following list is not ranked in a particular order. We hope you read the descriptions and choose a few to check out! We created this map of the best coffee shops in Seattle for your convenience:

Trip map created with Wanderlog, the best travel planner app

Lighthouse Roasters 

400 N 43rd St, Seattle, WA 98103

Best coffee in Seattle Lighthouse Roasters
A beautiful latte and a slice of coffee cake from a recent visit to Lighthouse Roasters


Beginning in 1993, Lighthouse Roasters has been one of the most popular roasters in the city. They are an independent and locally-owned coffee roaster. They roast their coffee beans in small batches, and they’re intentional about maximizing the flavor profile of each type of coffee bean. They’ve spent years perfecting their roasting process. On their online shop, you can order their Washington Wild beans (Molasses, Roasted Peanut, Plum). A percentage of each order goes towards supporting Washington Wild, a local nonprofit. 

Planning a trip to Seattle? See our list of 101 things to do!

Anchorhead Coffee

2003 Western Ave STE 110A, Seattle, WA 98121

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With three locations in the Seattle area, you’re sure to find an Anchorhead Coffee shop nearby. Anchorhead Coffee is a specialty coffee company that brews and bottles their coffee drinks by hand. They use Arabica coffee beans which they steep for 16 hours. They don’t use heat in their brewing process, which translates to a more smooth flavor profile. They batch a lot of their drinks to go, so you can take one home and enjoy it all week long. Examples include Nitro Mint Latte, Batched Vanilla Latte, and Pistachio Matcha. (If you haven’t already, check out our post about the best donuts in Seattle. Anchorhead partnered with The Flour Box for a cold brew donut creation!)

Check out our post on the 20 best restaurants in Seattle.

Seattle Coffee Works

108 Pine St, Seattle, WA 98101

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Seattle Coffee Works is committed to ethically-sourced coffee. They make sure that they purchase coffee beans directly from farms and co-ops as much as possible, and they pay their employees a competitive living wage. They are transparent with their process (see their Meet the Farmers page), and they even have a table showing how much they pay per pound for coffee beans across a variety of farms. They also publicly show what percentage is paid directly to the farmers. We think that is pretty cool. The result of this labor of love is one delicious cup of coffee.

See our guide The Best Hotels in Downtown Seattle to help you plan your trip!

Moore Coffee Shop

1930 2nd Ave. Seattle, WA

What started as a tiny coffee shop quickly expanded into three locations due to its popularity. If you want to take photos of some seriously-Instagrammable cups of coffee, head to the Moore Coffee Shop. Their latte art is out of this world. We recommend that you also stay for breakfast. They are famous for their breakfast waffles. Their location on 2nd Ave is open Thursday through Sunday.

See our perfect weekend itinerary for Seattle here. We share what to see in 2.5 days!

Uptown Espresso

2504 4th Ave, Seattle, WA 98121

Remember how Oscar Delaloye helped to start the Seattle coffee scene? Turns out his great-grandson, Dow Lucurell, followed in his footsteps by managing Uptown Espresso for a number of years. This coffee shop is known for its Velvet Foam. Currently there are five locations open in the Seattle area.

Storyville Coffee

94 Pike Street Top, floor Suite 34, Seattle, WA 98101

If you’re read our post on what to eat and drink at Pike Place Market, you might already be familiar with this coffee shop. Storyville sources the top 2% of coffee beans in the world for their Premium Blend, so you can rest assured that you will receive an outstanding cup of coffee. 

Espresso Vivace

227 Yale Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109

Espresso Vivace was featured on the Travel Channel (linked here.) They use exacting precision to create rich and velvety espresso. (They even measure the mineral content of the water!) Espresso Vivace is also well known for latte art. Check out their gallery of latte art here

Check out our blog post on the best wineries in Woodinville, Washington. Cheers!

Empire Espresso

3829 S. Edmunds St., Seattle, WA 98118

You know what pairs well with coffee? Music! Upstairs from the Empire Espresso coffee shop is their record store. Buy a cup of coffee and browse their records for a fun afternoon date. Indulge in french press, Aeropress, and espresso. They also sell vegan waffles and chia pudding

Analog Coffee

235 Summit Ave E, Seattle, WA 98102

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Analog Coffee features a variety of local roasters. They’re located in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle. This shop was included as one of the Top 10 Coffee Shops in Seattle by Conde Nast Traveler. Check out this modern cafe the next time you are in the Capitol Hill neighborhood!

Broadcast Coffee

6515 Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115

Broadcast Coffee focuses on “spreading love through great coffee & hospitality.” The coffee shop’s name pays homage to the broadcasting field, as the owner’s father spent a career in radio. In addition to roasting their own coffee beans and serving high-quality drinks, the coffee shop gives back frequently to the local community. Their cafes are designed to be light and bright to counter the gloomy Seattle weather. It’s the perfect place to go for a pick-me-up. This is a company with a lot of heart, and we hope you visit them!

Black Coffee Northwest Café

16743 Aurora Ave N, Shoreline, WA 98133

Black Coffee Northwest Café is a locally-owned and youth-run coffee shop. The coffee shop supports Black youth in their leadership development, they focus on serving the Black community, and they offer a safe space for all. They’ve been featured on King 5 News’ Evening Magazing, NPR, and other publications. Their cafe has a cozy interior with lots of wood finishes. The coffee shop truly serves the community. Stop by for a cup of coffee or donate to their mission here

Sound and Fog

4735 40th Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98116

Sound and Fog is the ultimate cafe for drinks! They serve beer and wine in addition to their coffee creations. They purchase their beans from a variety of domestic and international roasters.

Monorail Espresso

10 Pike St, Seattle, WA 98101

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Monorail Espresso is a well-loved company that has been around since 1980. It’s credited as the world’s first espresso cart! The cart spent many years operating near the entrance of the monorail. Currently, the takeout window is located on Pike Street. When you order from Monorail Espresso, you are sampling a piece of Seattle’s coffee history!

Tougo Coffee Cafe & Bakery

860 Yesler Way, Seattle, WA 98122

Stewarded by Brian Wells, Tougo Coffee Cafe & Bakery focuses on serving the community. There’s an emphasis on love and respect. The shop sells top-notch coffee and baked goods (especially sourdough breads). They also have a fun signature drink menu, which includes items like the Espresso Fizz (Sant Aniol Mineral Water, Espresso, and Simple Syrup). 

Fulcrum Roasters

590 Bell St, Seattle, WA 98121

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Fulcrum Roasters has a roastery located in the SODO district of Seattle, and a modern cafe located in the Belltown neighborhood. They use 100% traceable coffee beans that are sustainably sourced. They partner with many local shops, so you’re likely to see Fulcrum while you are in Seattle!


411 15th Ave E, Seattle, WA 98112
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When you step into Victrola, you will feel as if you are stepping into the 1920s. The name Victrola harkens back to the old phonographs of that era. In addition to serving excellent coffee, Victrola roasts their own beans. It’s a great place to hang out,  as Victrola was created intentionally to serve as a community gathering space. At their Capitol Hill location, you can watch the roasting process and even engage in a tasting. If you can only visit a handful of coffee shops in Seattle, make sure that this one is on your list. They were voted as the Best Coffee Shop in Seattle by Travel and Leisure, and they were also rated as one of Food & Wine’s Top Cafes in America. (The only cafe in Seattle to be recognized.)

Ghost Note Coffee

1623 Bellevue Ave, Seattle, WA 98122

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If you’re looking for a modern cafe, look no further than Ghost Note Coffee. One thing that’s really cool about this coffee shop is that they offer a menu of seasonal bitters to add as aromatics for lattes and mochas. Examples include Spiced Chocolate, Scorched Pear & Ginger, and Fig & Cinnamon. For a fun dessert drink, try the Espresso Float (pictured above). Espresso and root beer make for an excellent combination! You can find their updated Signature Drink menu here.

Caffe Ladro

600 Queen Anne Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109

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Caffee Ladro is a very popular coffee shop with 16 locations in the greater Seattle area. Each shop is unique and a reflection of the local neighborhood. Caffe Ladro is a Seattle Coffee Roaster and they roast their own beans. I had a lot of study meetings at their Fremont cafe in grad school. Their baked goods are also delicious!

Coffeeholic House

3700 S Hudson St, Seattle, WA 98118

Coffeholic House is Seattle’s first Vietnamese coffee shop. Their single-origin beans are imported directly from Vietnam and roasted locally. This coffee shop, owned by husband and wife team Chen and Trang, are elevating Seattle’s coffee scene by showcasing a modern take on traditional Vietnamese coffee. They brew with traditional phin-dripped methods, which is a paper-free, no-waste method popular in Vietnam. The phin-drip is a bit like a blend between a French Press and a V60 Pour Over. It was voted as Favorite Seattle Coffee Shop by the Seattle MET in 2021. Their bestselling drink is their signature coffee topped with a cream cheese foam. It’s a sweet and salty combination that has earned them a huge following.

Cafe Allegro

Alleyway, 4214 University Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105

Established in 1975, Cafe Allegro is the oldest espresso bar in Seattle. They use imported beans from family farms around the world. Every day, the beans are roasted in small batches onsite. If you’re completing a tour of Seattle coffee shops, definitely add this one to your list.

Mr. West Cafe and Bar

720 Olive Way, Seattle, WA 98101

When I used to work downtown, this is the coffee shop I would frequently visit. At the time I wasn’t much of a coffee drink, but their chai tea latte was heaven. Mr. West Cafe and Bar fuels Seattle’s workforce morning, noon, and night. They have an excellent coffee selection, light meals, and alcoholic beverages. Their cafe is trendy with lots of comfortable tables and nooks. They use Stamp Act Coffee in Seattle as their local roaster.

Hood Famous Cafe + Bar

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

The Hood Famous Cafe + Bar focuses on Filipino desserts and Asian-Pacific flavors. They are currently open Wednesday through Sunday. Their cafe is located in Seattle’s International District. While you’re there, be sure to try their purple ube cheesebake. It’s a bestseller for a reason! For their coffee, they use beans exclusively sourced from the Asian-Pacific (particularly the Philippines, Thailand, Myanmar, and China). They have a partnership with Philippines Kalsada Coffee. As a result, they are the first business in the United States to feature a single origin coffee from the Philippines. 

Herkimer Coffee

7320 Greenwood Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103

Herkimer Coffee focuses on sustainability. They use beans from small farms that grow coffee practicing traditional methods within its natural environment. They have four locations in the Seattle area. 


1912 Pike Pl, Seattle, WA 98101

The first Starbucks, otherwise known as the “original Starbucks”, was only open from 1971-1976. You can find the second Starbucks, which is sometimes called the “original Starbucks” across the street from Pike Place Market. There’s a commemorative plaque outside the door and a simple sign that is over 45 years old. This shop is often very busy with tourists. (Read: There is a massive line.)You’ll find all the same coffees as you would at any other Starbucks. If you’re looking for a cup of coffee here, we recommend you visit right when they open, or much later in the day.

See our complete guide to visiting Pike Place Market to find out what to eat and drink at the market!

Caffé D’arte

99 Yesler Way, Seattle, WA 98104

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Caffé D’arte specializes in artisanal Italian coffees. The founder, Mauro Cipolla, was trained in Naples, Italy, by a fourth-generation master roaster. Today, you can enjoy the fruit of his labors by sampling coffee roasted in a variety of Italian styles. This coffee shop is closed on Sundays.

Visiting Seattle on a rainy day? No problem! Check out our post on 24 Rainy Day Activities in Seattle.

Espresso Drive-Thru Stands

Having lived in Seattle, I thought espresso drive-thru stands were a mainstay of life all over the country. It wasn’t until I started traveling that I realized they were more of a unique cultural phenomenon to the Pacific Northwest.

These tiny espresso stands are often alongside major streets, within gas station parking lots, and other small commercial lots. 

One of my favorite espresso stands in Seattle is Kelly Cannoli. They serve Caffé Umbria and Dunkin’ Donuts Coffee, but my favorite thing about their espresso stand is the food! They are a New York themed espresso stand and they have New York bagels flown twice per week. If you’re craving an authentic New York bagel while on the West Coast, this is the place to go! Kelly Cannoli also sells (you guessed it) cannolis! The cannolis are hand-piped and made-to-order. We recently got a box of their mini cannolis and tried one of the large ones too. They were absolutely delicious! If you’re craving a cannoli with your morning espresso, be sure to visit Kelly Cannoli.

Kelly Cannoli Espresso Stand in Seattle
These cannolis were so delicious! The Cookies & Cream was my favorite!


Bikini Baristas in Seattle

In the early 2000s, the concept of “bikini baristas” took off, in which (typically) women wearing bikinis or lingerie served coffee. Most of the espresso stands in the Seattle area are family-friendly, but you might be surprised if you pull up to one of these stands by accident!


What to Pack on a Trip to Seattle

If you’re traveling to Seattle, we recommend that you pack the following:

  • Packable rain jacket (Even if rain isn’t in the forecast, the weather can change quickly. This rain jacket folds down small and can be easily packed in a bag for when you need it.)
  • Comfortable daypack (When exploring the city, you’ll want a comfortable daypack to place all of your belongings, snacks, and souvenirs.)
  • Portable charger (You’ll be using your phone for maps, navigation, and photos, so make sure you don’t run out of battery while you’re on the go.)
  • Insulated water bottle (This water bottle will keep your water cooler for longer.)
  • Comfortable walking shoes (When exploring a new city, you’ll be walking quite a bit. Make sure you have comfortable shoes! Brooks has been my favorite brand so far.)
  • Flannel shirt (This is Seattle after all. Time to look the part in your photos!)

(Click on any of the above images for current pricing and shipping information.) 

Where to Stay in Seattle  

The Four Seasons Hotel Seattle is a 5-minute walk from Pike Place Market. It’s a gorgeous 5-Star hotel located centrally in downtown Seattle. If you can afford it, this is our first recommendation. The hotel has an outdoor infinity pool with a view of the Seattle waterfront, lots of amenities, and is within walking distance of a lot of Seattle attractions.

The Charter Hotel Seattle is a moderately-priced hotel that’s only one block away from Pike Place Market. It’s also only a mile away from the Seattle Center (where the Space Needle is located). The hotel is sleek and many of the rooms have nice city views.

The Seattle Marriott Waterfront has views of the water, as well as an indoor-outdoor pool. Every room has a view of the mountains and water.

For a full list of hotels in Seattle, click here.

We wrote an article about our favorite hotels in downtown Seattle. You can check it out here! We go into greater detail about hotel locations, amenities, and more.



Where can you get coffee late at night in Seattle?

There are several coffee shops in Seattle that are open later in the day. Caffe Vita has several locations that are open until the early evening. Dilettante is another coffee shop that typically has early evening hours. Liberty is a bar that is usually open until 2am, and they serve coffee drinks (espresso, roasted coffee, and cold brew). 

Why is Seattle so famous for coffee? 

Seattle has a long history of famous coffee. The coffee scene got its start at Pike Place Market, in which there was a coffee cart that sold hot coffee to patrons. The world’s most famous coffee maker, Starbucks, also got its start in Seattle. Fast forward to today, and there are dozens of top-notch coffee shops in the Seattle area.

Where are some cute coffee shops in Seattle?

There are lots of coffee shops in Seattle with a cute ambiance. These include Atulea (botanic-themed decor), Moore Coffee Shop (cozy vibes), and Storyville Coffee (lots of wood paneling).

What are the best coffee shops in downtown Seattle?

Some of the best coffee shops in downtown Seattle include Moore Coffee Shop, Anchorhead Coffee, Monorail Espresso, and Storyville Coffee

Summary: The Best Coffee Shops in Seattle

We hope that you enjoyed this post on the best coffee shops in Seattle! We worked hard on researching the different shops and sharing with you the best of the best. 

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