The Seattle Coffee Shop Scene (Part 3)

Updated: Mar 17

#seattlecoffeeshops #cutecoffeeshops #seattle #coffeereviews


Hey, hi, hola, hello to my fellow Seattleites and coffee lovers everywhere! If you caught the first and second edition of the Seattle Coffee Shop series, here lies the long awaited (it takes time to visit 30 coffee shops) and final part 3. My app “What Coffee Shop is Becca at today?” is still in the works (I kid) so these reviews will have to do until then.


For a refresher on the previous posts, coffee shops 1-10 can be found here and 11-20 here.


I'll recap the criteria we're working with:


Ambiance

  • Is it a mellow spot for reading or studying? Or a bustling spot for your on-the-go coffee run?

Parking situation

  • Does the stress of parking make this place not worth it?

Space

  • Is it large enough to have tables when you want to work for several hours?

Coffee flavor

  • For all the coffee snobs out there, I’ll be up-front and say yes I am from the coffee Mecca of Seattle but no, I am not a Chemex, black coffee type. I rank all of these coffee shops by their iced vanilla latte unless otherwise noted.

Extra notes specific to each shop

  • Is it too pretentious to have vanilla lattes?

  • Does it spark joy, fellow Marie Kondo fans?

  • Does it have WIFI? Surprisingly still needs to be asked in 2019.


21. 203° Fahrenheit Coffee | Kirkland, WA

Ambiance

  • This coffee shop is very hip - imagine "The Jetson’s" retro meets modern minimalism. The tall ceilings allow for lots of great lighting. You'll find white tile, succulents, black and white decor, and an amazing space-like white espresso machine; I've never seen one like this! 

Parking

  • It's located in the Totem Lake shopping village so there's plenty of parking with no time limits! Can I get a "hallelujah"? You can also make your Trader Joe's or Nordstrom Rack run after you get your cup of joe. 

Space

  • There's a really great amount of seating (tables, long benches, barstool seating, and one large communal table).

Coffee Flavor

  • The flavor of my iced vanilla latte was a decent 6/10. I was a little bummed that they only did 12oz for iced drinks... I'm always a little surprised when this is the case. This makes for lots of ice and less coffee!

Extra Notes

  • This coffee shop has wireless you can just connect to without a password. It’s a small thing but I love it so much. There's no need to sit down, open your computer, and get all set up only to have to go back up to the counter and wait for everyone else to go through the line just to ask for the wifi code.


22. Pegasus | Bainbridge Island, WA

Ambiance

  • For anyone who also loves a good ivy-covered brick building, this is the spot for you! The inside is cozy and welcoming and there's an outdoor seating area that makes you feel like you're in Paris with wicker chairs and a yellow and white awning.

Parking

  • You'll find a lot of street parking here. Pegasus is also close enough to the ferry terminal where you could take a day trip from Seattle, walk on, and walk to this coffee shop right behind the marina.

Space

  • There's plenty of indoor comfy couch spots as well as outdoor seating spots for more of a café feel.

Coffee Flavor

  • This iced vanilla latte was a bit too sweet (even for me), so I'd give a score of 7/10.


23. Woodland Coffee | Seattle, WA (Ballard)

Ambiance

  • Woodland Coffee is very cozy, bright, and has an outside alley converted to a sun patio where you can find flowers and bistro lights. There's a beautiful bar and woodwork everywhere. I could hang out here for hours and soak in all the cozy vibes. 

Parking

  • Because this area is a more suburban part of Seattle, there's your typical street parking situation but without the added pressure (and hills) of downtown Seattle.

Space

  • The space here has really great seating options! There's a large shared table, bar seating, couches, and the cutest outdoor spot for even more seating. This coffee shop is definitely bigger than you first realize.

Coffee Flavor

  • They serve Olympia Coffee and get a solid 7/10 on the flavor scale. 


24. Little Oddfellows | Seattle, WA (Capitol Hill)


Ambiance

  • Little Oddfellows is a quaint little coffee shop hidden inside the Elliott Bay Book Company, the perfect spot to grab your latte and read the afternoon away. The hardwood floors, retro chairs, and faux bookshelf wall all make for a beautiful setting! I love that Little Oddfellows is not only connected to a huge bookstore but it's right next door to it's larger café location, Oddfellows Cafe & Bar, another must-visit spot for your next weekend brunch (you've got to try their beignets & jam, they're incredible).

Parking

  • Capitol Hill has lots of parking spots but they can be tricky to find and maneuver (unless you're a pro parallel parker and that I am not). Go on a Sunday for the free parking.

Space

  • It's a tight space so you have to be quick to claim a spot. There are lots of outlets available for your charging needs and a larger community table in addition to a few two-seater tables.

Coffee Flavor

  • I once heard this coffee shop was quintessential Seattle with it's strong coffee and cozy ambiance and I couldn't agree more. My iced vanilla latte comes in at an 8.5/10.

Extra Notes

  • Here's a little pro tip for you: if you're thinking of going to Oddfellows Café and get stuck in a crazy long wait for brunch (which is very often the case here), put your name on the wait list then pop on over to Elliott Bay Book Company to peruse the large book selection and get your brunch started early with Little Oddfellows Coffee. A wonderful day to spend a lovely Seattle Sunday afternoon.

  • Little Oddfellows has a surprisingly large amount of food options so if the line at the café is just too long for you, this is a great sample of the Oddfellows experience!


25. Fulcrum Coffee Roasters | Seattle, WA (Belltown)


Ambiance

  • When you walk into Fulcrum, you'll experience a modern, bright, and minimalistic ambiance. There's a cool mural on the wall with bright neon colors that contrasts the wood-paneled walls behind the counter, bringing in a bit of a retro flair. The vaulted ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows make for an airy space.

Parking

  • There is a lot of street parking and a paid parking lot right across the street.

Space

  • For being a larger space, there isn't as much seating as there could be. You'll find a mix of two-person small tables and a few countertop/barstool seating spots. On a sunny day, take advantage of more seating available outside.

Coffee Flavor

  • This was a muted vanilla latte, light on the vanilla but creamy. I didn't feel like I could taste a whole lot of coffee so this one gets a score of 5/10. 


26. Herkimer Coffee | Seattle, WA (Phinney Ridge)


Ambiance

  • Alright, North Seattle area folks - this is definitely your friendly neighborhood coffee shop. There was an old man in every corner doing his crossword puzzle with a "for here" mug, greeting his friends as they strolled in to join him. Lots of working and studying was also being done so it felt pretty quiet. If you're meeting up for a coffee date here, you can add some entertainment to your cup of joe by looking in on the Herkimer roaster!

Parking

  • Neighborhood street parking means no time limits!

Space

  • You'll find diner barstools that look out onto the street (or roaster), two-seater tables, as well as one larger communal table. The more coffee shops I visit, the more I realize that this seems to be the standard for coffee shops and it feels wrong if they don't have these three types of seating options.

Coffee Flavor

  • Herkimer produces tasty, really strong coffee. I definitely enjoyed my 7.5/10 iced vanilla latte.


27. Café an' Clair | Seattle, WA (South Lake Union)

Ambiance

  • True to it's name, this coffee shop has café vibes with an open kitchen, marble tables, and white tile. Upon walking in, you instantly notice the baristas are super friendly. Not an understatement here! It feels like everyone here is a regular which is surprising because there’s constantly a rush of Amazon employees. There's a feeling of hustle and bustle mixed with classical music playing in the background, which made me chuckle.

  • Because I work from coffee shops a lot, I'm always excited when I find one that has REAL (beyond pastries) food if I'm there all day and need an actual lunch. Though the avocado toast here is over $7 (yikes), you will find toasts, paninis, acai bowls, etc. in addition to pastries.

Parking

  • Café an' Clair is located in South Lake Union, home of the Amazon craziness, so better to just take the bus.

Space

  • You'll find less than ten tables but there is one larger workspace table and some patio seating outside where you can even see the Space Needle. Coffee with a view!

Coffee Flavor

  • I found the coffee quite sweet but still good so I went with a solid 6/10.

Extra Notes

  • I just love their Parisian name and logo!

  • I wasn't able to find any power outlets so that shortened my visit once my laptop started dying.

  • They only have a single-person bathroom where you have to ask for the key. This normally wouldn't be that big of a deal but I had been there for a few hours and was dying to use the restroom but couldn't get the key to work for the life of me. I therefore panicked and left to go down the street to another coffee shop because the place was so busy and crowded, I dared not ask for help. I can't be the only this has happened to, right...?


28. Santo Coffee Co. | Seattle, WA (Ravenna)


Ambiance

  • This brand new coffee shop (as of just a few weeks ago) is really impressive! It's very sleek and modern. There are also touches of mid-century modern with a velvet green couch. And then there's an ancient Grecian mural on the wall...? I did get a bit confused as to what look they were going for, but I loved the striking black marble countertops.

Parking

  • I just love when a coffee shop is in a residential area because that means there’s a good chance of finding street parking! Santos is just about five minute drive from Greenlake which makes for a great location.

Space

  • Santos has a really large open space with a garage door that opens up to the sidewalk for outdoor seating. There's plenty of seating ranging from a swanky velvet green couch, barstools, tables, and outdoor seats. Come here on a sunny day for the best experience.

Coffee Flavor

  • The coffee flavor was unfortunately where they lost me. I will say I checked out this spot on their opening day so the barista may have been really new at making coffee but it was pretty bad. It was bitter and hard to even finish. That's not to say I wouldn't try again because the space was so impressive but I'm giving it a 3/10.

Extra Notes

  • Even for an iced drink, they only offer 8oz or 10oz drinks and the prices were shockingly high for such a small amount of coffee.


29. Stumptown Coffee | Seattle, WA (Capitol Hill)


Ambiance

  • This experience was the ultimate definition of hipster: minimal decor, plants, booth seating with the upholstery falling apart and even an odd smell wafting in made for a grunge coffee shop. Funniest part of my experience was sitting across from a man in Chacos, with a mustache, sketching in his notepad, and scoffing at anyone who dared to take a picture of the space.

Parking

  • There is some street parking but I went the bus route so as to not have to deal with finding parking.

Space

  • You walk into a long narrow layout with minimal seating and barely any tables to work at. There’s some barstool seating that was being used for a cupping demonstration while I visited. The tables that are available are quite low end tables so they’re more for setting your coffee down than a laptop; mine had to actually go on my lap (imagine that) and it got quite uncomfortable. 

Coffee Flavor

  • So here's the thing - you go here not to be comfortable or to get any work done but to pretend you’re a hipster (and if that is your vibe already, then you'll enjoy it) and taste the amazing coffee that Stumptown provides. The coffee flavor is what would bring me back. I gave it a 9/10 - delicious!


30. Kakao | Seattle, WA (South Lake Union)

Ambiance

  • With large artwork on the walls, a vaulted wooden ceiling, and cement floors, it feels like you're walking into an urban art gallery. Kakao is all about the chocolate and the coffee, a winning combination if you ask me! There was a steady flow of customers but the large open space made for a really enjoyable experience.

Parking

  • Located in the hub of South Lake Union, there is street parking but it’s quite limited. What’s new in Seattle? 

Space

  • Seats abound and you don’t feel like you’re sitting on top of anyone or getting in people’s way. There’s even a large space that can be used as a rental space for weddings and events. During my visit, someone was sitting at the grand piano in that space and it filled the room with the loveliest music. 

Coffee Flavor

  • Their coffee has a rich flavor and a great amount of sweetness so my iced vanilla latte gets an 8/10. 


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