Answers from Our Experts (2)
Many first-time visitors to Seattle are surprised to hear that Starbucks is not most Seattleites' favorite coffee shop.
Instead, we like to sip artfully-crafted espresso from award-winning baristas in our neighborhood coffee shops. Walk into just about any small coffee shop in Seattle and you're likely to receive a delicious cup of coffee.
My favorites are Stumptown Coffee Roasters and Victrola, both of which use exceptionally sourced beans. They will often offer single-origin beans, so you can taste test coffee grown in different regions of the world. It's the terroir of java. My other favorite is Espresso Vivace. Get a Cafe Nico, an espresso shot, cream foam, and orange zest. Happiness in a tiny, tiny cup.
Sure, Starbucks may steal the Emerald City’s thunder, but there are plenty of small(er), locally-owned coffee shops to explore throughout the city. My go-to spot for beans and the hands down best mocha in the city is unassuming Lighthouse Roasters in Fremont. Their cappuccinos and espressos are to-die-for, but it’s their mochas that steal my foam-lovin’ heart.
Caffè Fiorè in Ballard is a four shop coffee chain with locations in Ballard, Queen Anne and West Seattle. Order the Sevilla, which is a mocha made with organic chocolate and grated orange zest.
Near Pike Place Market, Le Panier serves authentic French pastries, including sinfully rich pain au chocolate, espresso éclairs and macarons, that pair perfectly with their beans from Caffe Umbria.
Victrola Coffee is one of the city's finest, boasting serious espresso and an eclectic jazz soundtrack. Friendly baristas and spacious seating areas make it a place worth lingering.