5 Indie Coffee Shops in Seattle that will make a Local out of any Newcomer
By Angie McFarlane
When people say there’s a Starbucks on every corner in Seattle, they’re only telling you half the story. The reality is we Seattleites have a bigger caffeine addiction than most people realize!
See, the truth is we have way more indie coffee shops than Starbucks can shake a stick at.
According to one study, Seattle has one coffee shop for every 2,300 people in the city alone! That’s a lot of baristas!
Maybe it’s all the rain in this part of the country, but Seattle has a pretty strong coffee following. Each one spending an estimated $36 a month for those delicious drips, shots and heavenly lattes.
If you’re new here then we got you covered! Here are our top 5 indie coffee shops to help you fall in love with caffeine and make a local out of you in no time.
Fuel Coffee is a neighborhood coffee shop with three locations in Capitol Hill, Wallingford, and Montlake. One of our favorites is their Montlake location which is just a few blocks from the western entrance of the Washington Park Arboretum and UW’s Botanical Garden, and is known for being children and pet-friendly!
It’s the perfect coffee stop before wandering around this beautifully maintained park. The baristas are also notorious for being down to earth and friendly souls that help warm up the already chill environment.
As some locals put it, it’s a “neighborhood joint serving high-quality coffee at a fair price.” If that’s not enough, the brown lacquered chairs and classic rock playing in the background with gay pride flags and streamers create a welcoming vibe that will have you feeling right at home.
If you are a freelancer with a need to get away from your desk, then expect some kindred spirits early in the morning when the tables are full of people having meetings or working independently on their laptops giving new meaning to the term “Coworking Space.”
Cafe Allegro is full of historic charm everywhere you look. It is the home of Seattle’s oldest espresso bar, which initially opened in 1975, and is one of the country’s finest Seattle-style coffee roasters.
Beans for Cafe Allegro are imported from family farms around the world and roasted in small batches onsite. Like going to a craft brewery, the smell of roasting beans fills the air and changes with each small batch for your nostrils to take in and enjoy.
Cafe Allegro is one of those places that doesn’t really care if your cup is half full or half empty, you can perch here while the hours fly by without much fuss.
It is the speakeasy of coffee shops; well-loved by the community and newcomers alike for it’s almost “hidden” eccentricity.
Fremont Coffee Company
With its organic coffee and a “home away from home” sort of vibe, this next little coffeehouse is one you won’t soon forget because it is in fact a coffee HOUSE, aka a real house with a coffee shop inside! The Fremont Coffee Company brings back those classic coffeehouse vibes to the equally homey Fremont neighborhood.
Instead of the typical open and often loud floor plan and seating areas you might see at other coffee shops, Fremont has a cozier approach. Each room of the original home has been furnished with small tables and lounge areas for sneaking away to or finding the perfect comfy chill spot.
With a deck that goes almost all the way around the house, it’s also a great spot to catch some rays on the occasional sunny Seattle day.
Fremont Coffee Company is the kind of spot that makes you feel like you’ve been hanging out over at your buddy’s house who’s absolutely obsessed with coffee and you just might find yourself lounging here all day.
Seattle Coffee Works
Known in Seattle for one of the cutest outdoor patios and an outside spot that’s always in demand, Seattle Coffee Works is an establishment you won’t want to skip. They have several locations throughout the city, each showing the pride of the neighborhood they reside, like Ballard Coffee Works and Capitol Coffee Works.
There’s an espresso bar for those who need a quick refill and bounce in their step and a slow bar where the coffee is brewed right in front of you.
If that doesn’t impress you, maybe their subtle awareness of fair trade and traceable coffee will. Seattle Coffee Works cares about the coffee ecosystem and everyone who is a part of it from the farmers, washers, and distributors, to the roasters, baristas, and of course, the customers.
All of Seattle Coffee Works employees go through extensive training, similar to a sommelier but for coffee, learning about the different coffee regions, espresso extraction, and the various brewing methods behind the slow bar. The longer you’re around the more you’ll notice how they live their mission with a true passion for coffee.
If you’re looking to sample more than one Seattle staple at a time, Voxx Coffee is the spot to go. With two locations, (one downtown and the other in Eastlake) this spot features bakery goodies from local favorites Macrina Bakery, Blazing Bagels, and Flying Apron Bakery.
It’s also a great hangout/day drinking spot to try local beer and wine with ample window seating. Voxx Coffee is so proud of their locality that they even use the hand-built in Seattle Synesso machines in order to provide unparalleled consistency and quality for a perfect cup of joe every single time.
Go Indie Coffee or Go Home!
Whether you’re an established Seattleite, a recently arrived transplant, or just in town for a visit, make sure you take some time to visit one of these great coffee spots, you’ll be glad you did!
Angie McFarlane has spent the last 5+ years helping brand and market numerous cannabis products in the Washington State recreational market. Her expertise in the industry brings a technical and business perspective beyond the average cannabis consumer and advocate. Angie lives in Seattle, loves the outdoors and her two kitties, and is a living force against the stoner stigma!