Seattle is known for many things, such as great seafood, a beautiful skyline, and the Space Needle. But nothing is it more notorious for than having incredible coffee. Seattle is, of course, the home of the original Starbucks. This most renown location is always packed with locals and tourists alike looking to enjoy a piece of history. It should be noted that the same coffee can be purchased down the street and with much less of a wait, but coffee should be an experience, should it not? Why not take a few extra minutes to enjoy the wood paneling and old fashioned design while waiting for your half-caf cappuccino with extra foam?
Starbucks was the start of the caffeinated history that is Seattle. But now, locals in Seattle consume more coffee than in any other American city. There is an average of 35 coffee shops for 100,000 residents, which is suitable given that they spend an average of $36 a month on coffee. Coffee shops stand proud in masses in commercial neighborhoods, and even residential areas will boast at least one or two for the locals to flock to. And don’t expect to just find Starbucks either! Coffee aficionados can get their fix at huge sit-down coffee shops, sidewalk stands, drive-throughs, and even delivery.
As it turns out, Seattle is also the home of the popular coastal chain Tully’s coffee. But Tully’s operates on a very different business model. Instead of the grab it and go attitude at Starbucks, Tully’s are usually bigger stores and feature large comfortable chairs and fireplaces to create a cozy experience for the customer.
But if you’re going to travel out to Seattle, skip the big chains and enjoy some local roasters. We particularly like stepping out of Pike’s Place and heading into Fremont for the day, where you can sip at a piping hot americano while visiting the famed Fremont Troll. We love the artisanal vibe at Fremont Coffee Company. For a more upscale experience, try Milstead and Co., who feature excellent coffee beans (take some home as a souvenir) in a fancy yet rustic setting.
Checking out Downtown? Check out Bedlam for a taste of the old Seattle. This spot is a great place to reminisce about the Seattle of old while enjoying a top-quality espresso. The space is filled with comfortable leather sofas and features a piano for customers to enjoy. Downtown is moreover home to Zeitgeist, where you can get your industrial chic on while waiting for your train at the Amtrak station down the street. Sounds odd? Believe us, it’s worth getting to the station early just to give their lattes a try.
But if your jam is more focused on latte art, you’ll be more likely to find happiness at Vivace’s on Capitol Hill, where the foam heart was invented. If you prefer to sit for hours and people watch while working on your latest novel, we highly recommend Little Oddfellows, which also features terrific sandwiches. Love a nice cold brew? Go around the corner to the legendary Cafe Vita.
The reality is, if you have any penchant for coffee at all, head out to Seattle and go coffee house hopping. It’s a great way to visit the city while at the same time keeping you warm during those foggy days. Don’t worry about seeming overly buzzed, you’ll fit right in with the locals.