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The Best Seattle Coffee Shops for Specialty Coffee

After drinking some of the best coffee in Seattle including cappuccinos, pour-over and cold brews, we share our picks the best Seattle coffee shops.

Coffee in Seattle Washington

Important Update
Cafes may have revised their hours and menus due to COVID-19. Some may close, either temporarily or permanently, without notice. Be sure to check cafe websites for updated information.

We’re coffee snobs. Ok, We said it.

We weren’t always this way, but the plethora of boutique coffee shops in Philadelphia has raised our caffeinated bar. From specially sourced pour-overs to handcrafted, artistically decorated cappuccinos, we are spoiled by good coffee on a daily basis.

Disclosure

Daryl despises the ‘snob’ connotation but Mindi doesn’t care what people think.

Across the country, Seattle is recognized as the epicenter for the second wave of coffee (consisting of Starbucks and the like) in the United States. Without a doubt, the city is a leader of coffee’s burgeoning third wave movement.

The Best Seattle Coffee Shops

Cappuccino at Caffe Ladro in Seattle Washington
We drank this cappuccino at Caffe Ladro in Seattle.

We made it a priority to try several different cafes to check out the best of the best coffee in Seattle. We tried both second wave and third wave shops, and we drank a mix of pour-overs, cappuccinos and cold brews. It’s fair to say that we were happily wired for the entirety of our short time in Seattle.

Without further adieu, go to the following Seattle coffee shops to drink some of the best coffee in Seattle:

Analog Coffee

Analog Coffee Seattle Coffee in Seattle Washington
Run to Analog Coffee if you want good coffee.

As we walked into Analog Coffee’s tiny Capitol Hill shop, we immediately liked the vibe set by the array of vinyl LPs behind the counter that almost made the coffee station look like a DJ booth as well as the wall decorated with sections of the Sunday New York Times.

Our positive feeling improved as we sipped on the well-crafted pour-overs prepared by the long-haired, Seahawk-capped barista and shared a cakey, maple glazed french toast Mighty-O donut.

Coffee and Donut at Analog Coffee Seattle Coffee in Seattle Washington
Coffee and Donut at Analog Coffee

At Analog, the baristas brew the coffee with flat-bottomed Kalita stainless steel drippers. The holes regulate the flow, allowing for consistent cups of coffee. It’s clearly a good system based on the quality of the coffees served to us.

Analog Coffee in Seattle Washington
Baristas at Analog Coffee work the espresso machine in front of their extensive record collection. Coffee pour-overs are performed using the Kalita system which uses three-holed metal filters that ensure an even flow of extraction.

Analog’s coffee beans were roasted by Herkimer Coffee at the time of our visit. Daryl thoroughly enjoyed his Uganda Buthale pour-over with flavors of cinnamon, caramel and cedar, as did Mindi with her Ethiopia Kochere pour-over with hints of honey, green apple and oolong.

For us, Analog Coffee represents the Seattle that we expected from the movies. If it weren’t for the 3,000 miles, we would be regulars at this ultra-hip shop both for the atmosphere and, more importantly, for the coffee itself.

Analog Coffee is located at 235 Summit Ave E, Seattle, WA 98102, United States.

Caffe Ladro

Caffe Ladro Seattle Coffee in Seattle Washington
Seattle has multiple Caffe Ladro locations including this one in downtown Seattle.

The original Caffee Ladro shop on Upper Queen Anne opened in 1994. We didn’t make it there, but we checked out the directly sourced, locally roasted coffee at a location near our hotel. No pour-overs here, the cappuccinos we drank at Caffe Ladro were traditionally crafted and went down quite easily.

Caffe Ladro has eight Seattle locations. We visited the downtown location at 801 Pine Street, Seattle, WA 98101, United States.

Milstead & Co.

Coffee Selection at Milstead and Co. in Seattle Washington
The coffee selection at Milstead and Co. is extensive.

With dinner plans in Fremont, it was a no-brainer for us to check out Milstead & Co, where some of Seattle’s best coffee choices are not limited to one roaster. This coffee shop showcases beans from the best roasters in the US and Canada such as Bows & Arrows (Victoria), Kuma (Seattle), Intelligentsia (Chicago), Wrecking Ball (San Francisco) and Ruby (Wisconsin).

Daryl chose a pour-over made with Honduras Carlos Ramos beans from Bows & Arrows and flavors of vanilla and watermelon. Mindi had a Honduras cold brew made with Intelligentsia beans and rocking flavors like raisin and jasmine flowers.

Milstead and Co. in Seattle Washington
Scenes from Milstead and Co.

Using the AeroPress and Clever methods, the shop fully realizes where the latest wave of coffee emporiums can go.

It’s common for bars to offer multiple selections from breweries, distillers and vintners. We ask if the same can thing apply to coffee. Milstead & Co. answers this question with a resounding yes.

Milstead & Co. is located at 770 N 34th St, Seattle, WA 98103, United States.

Storyville Coffee Company

Cappuccino at Storyville in Seattle Washington
The cappuccinos at Storyville are both pretty and tasty.

Located on the second floor of the historic Pike Place Market, Storyville serves up cappuccinos in a tony space with outstanding views of the Seattle waterfront. Starting at 6:59 each morning, the Storyville baristas artfully prepare espresso drinks with expertise and finesse.

Storyville Coffee in Seattle Washington
Daryl enjoyed his morning Joe at Storyville Coffee in Seattle.

After taking a moment to appreciate the heart art, we practically inhaled the smooth cappuccinos made with Storyville’s freshly roasted signature blend of beans sourced from three different continents.

Storyville Coffee has three Seattle locations. We visited the Pike Place Market location at 94 Pike St #34, Seattle, WA 98101, United States.

Victrola Coffee Roasters

Victrola Coffee Roasters in Seattle Washington
Outside Victrola Coffee Roasters in Seattle

Based on a recommendation by Evan Iatome, owner of Elixr Coffee in Philadelphia, Victrola was a must-stop on our Seattle coffee shop tour. We hoped that it would set the tone for our mini-odyssey in the coffee capital.

Inside Victrola Coffee Roasters in Seattle Washington
Inside Victrola Coffee Roasters in Seattle

With limited time and feeling hot from the uphill walk, we both opted for Victrola’s cold brew coffees. Our excitement grew as the cream slithered into the cups.

Cold Brew at Victrola Coffee Roasters in Seattle Washington
Cold Brew at Victrola Coffee Roasters in Seattle

We hoped that the coffee would meet our high expectations, but we’ve been disappointed before. Victrola’s cold brew managed to be both refreshingly light and deeply flavorful at the same time.

After just one sip, we suspected that we were in for some of the best coffee of our life during the long weekend. We’re pleased to report that our suspicion about coffee in Seattle was correct.

Victrola Coffee Roasters has three Seattle locations. We visited the Capitol Hill location at 310 E Pike St, Seattle, WA 98122, United States.

Bonus – Original Starbucks

Line at the Original Starbucks in Seattle Washington
Lines are not uncommon in front of the Original Starbucks in Seattle.

The original Starbucks location is located just a block from the Pike Place Market. Sure, there’s always a line. Sure, you can drink Starbucks in cities around the world.

But Seattle is the only city that can claim the original location as its own. Decide for yourself if you want to join the queue.

The original Starbucks is located at 1912 Pike Pl, Seattle, WA 98101, United States.

Plan Your Seattle Stay

Click here to research the best rates for hotels in Seattle.

Or, if you want access to a kitchen, click here to find an Airbnb apartment.

Hungry for More in Seattle?

Check out the best places to eat like a local in Seattle.

Red Beach Selfie in Santorini

About the Authors

Daryl & Mindi Hirsch

Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.

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Disclosure

We update our articles regularly. Some updates are major while others are minor link changes and spelling corrections. Let us know if you see anything that needs to be updated in this article.

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JAMES O'BRIEN

Saturday 7th of March 2020

I was surprised to not find Vivace on this list.

Steph

Wednesday 29th of October 2014

Loved this post! I am such a coffee addict ( well, I'm Italian after all!) and I'll make sure to visit these places when I get to Seattle. Thanks for the tips!

Tracie Howe

Saturday 25th of October 2014

I'm glad you enjoyed your coffee tasting in Seattle! I live in Seattle and have tried a few of these places. Honestly, we have so many cafes serving great coffee that I tend to go for atmosphere more than anything these days! I am no coffee snob, but there are some snobby baristas around that definitely make me want to avoid some places. A perfect balance is good coffee, proximity, atmosphere, and friendliness. And if you do visit a cafe with not so friendly baristas, I suggest an overly cheerful greeting just to throw them off. ;)

Carissa

Friday 24th of October 2014

I am a major coffee snob also, living in Melbourne has opened my eyes to the fine art of coffee brewing and the perfect cup. I am trying to get as many Latte's in my system as I can while I am in Australia, because I fear I will not be able to get the same type of brew elsewhere. I am a major instant coffee phobe and hope I can find in Canada and Washington state somewhere that is just right. Thank you for some options :) any tips for BC, Canada?

Bianca

Thursday 23rd of October 2014

wow, its been a year since my visit to Seattle. I was stunned to see just how many starbucks coffee shops there are over there. A bit too much.

Daryl and Mindi Hirsch

Thursday 23rd of October 2014

We noticed that too. Luckily, there are lots of better coffee shops there too.