Welcome to Seattle, where we don’t fuck with Starby’s, the Arby’s of coffee. Fortunately, Seattle has BEEEE-YEAUTIFUL world-class coffee in pretty much every neighborhood. From homey hippie-shit coffeehouses with folk music nights to slick Hardie-boarded condo-cafes serving shade-grown, grass-fed beans, we’ve got it all here, and on every corner. Here are a few favorites, from a truly massive list of extremely legit options. I’d better not catch you drinking corporate coffee after this.


Moore Coffee is Latinx-owned, with colorful Mexico City-style decor and house-roasted beans (and a big jar of marshmallows to decorate your beverage to spec!). There’s no better coffee in Pike Place Market than at Ghost Alley Espresso in Post Alley, and don’t miss Monorail Espresso, reportedly the world’s first espresso cart, which has been selling its iconic ristrettos and creme brulee lattes since 1980.


Since 1997, Zeitgeist has been the king of the coffee game in Pioneer Square, with lofty ceilings, exposed-brick, and cool industrial vibes of your dotcom-boom dreams. But if Zeitgeist is the old king, then Hood Famous is the cocky young upstart who threatens to steal the crown. It has a spectacular single-origin Asian Pacific coffee program, featuring pandan, ube lattes, and Filipino meryenda snacks (get the coconutty-caramel biko, omg).


When I think about coffee culture in Seattle, Cafe Allegro is what immediately comes to mind: exposed brick, big windows, tons of wacky art, top-shelf coffee, with plenty of students and professors discussing fuckin’ Goethe and shit. On the Ave proper, David Pierre-Louis is running Konbit Cafe out of a little window next to Urban Outfitters. Serving beans from the coffee commune of Dondon, Haiti, proceeds go to benefit Kay Tita, a nonprofit that supports both working Haitian artists and clean water systems in Haiti.


Watson’s Counter has a full Korean menu, ’90s hiphop on the aux, and fun soft serve flavors. Don’t miss the Korean fried chicken and waffles or the Fruity Pebble French toast. Just a few blocks away, exquisite La Copa Cafe has ethically sourced/locally roasted beans, beer and wine on tap, and a dog-friendly garden space in the back. It’s a sweet secret hideaway. Venture Coffee Co’s got a Scando thing going on, with beans from their sister company, Hagen Coffee Roasters, and gorgeous Nordic pastries from Freya Bakery.


Aroom Coffee serves high-level Vietnamese phin coffee in various permutations, including some delightfully weird shit like avocado coffee, which is just half an avocado mashed into your iced latte. It’s good! In a pristine Edwardian house with a wraparound porch, Fremont Coffee Company is a scene out of a bygone era—right on busy Leary Way. Brew is fair trade and organic, wallpaper is ornate, and pastries are on point.


Prashanthi Reddy named her coffee shop Makeda and Mingus after an ancient queen of Ethiopia, thought to be the birthplace of coffee, and her rat terrier, Mingus. She serves great coffee and also hosts weekly Indian dinners and sells beer, wine, and fantastic chai. And I can’t not shout out Chocolati Cafe in Greenwood. A chocolatier first and coffee shop second, Choco is where I loiter with my laptop on most days. The coffee’s... okay, but they’ve got a lush urban patio in back and everyone who works there is cool as fuck.


Voi Cà Phê serves specialty phin-brewed coffee from a teeny tiny shop off Airport Way. Coffee’s phenomenal, and they offer a handful of bánh mìs too, like sardines in tomato sauce and clay pot-braised vegetarian “fish” with mushrooms. Big, sunny All City Coffee is the place to hang out and be seen in Georgetown—and sit around reading indie comic books from Fantagraphics Books next door!


Sound & Fog has more wine bar vibes than coffeehouse ones, and there’s no wifi. The coffee’s glorious, though, and they have all kinds of fancy chocolate bars, natural wine, and coffee with turmeric in it and things like that. Go with your bestie, split an expensive chocolate bar from Luxembourg, and talk shit about people you knew in high school. In a twee Craftsman house, C & P Coffee Company is a neighborhood staple, with live music, poetry nights, and cool lectures. Nos Nos Coffee House is named for a Moroccan-style beverage of half espresso and half milk, which it serves, and the chai-like Moroccan spice latte is a standout too. All of the coffee drinks here are powerful in caffeine, so maybe start with a small.


Caffe Vita is the city’s undeniable coffee powerhouse—it’s the only Seattle coffee roaster to send baristas to compete in the National Coffee Championships and the only reason we can get nice coffee at Sea-Tac International Airport. At Ghost Note Coffee the thing is bespoke coffee cocktails—e.g., the Sun Ship with espresso, smoked grapefruit rosemary syrup, coconut water, seltzer, and lime. And FYI, it was Espresso Vivace, not Starbucks, that “made coffee huge in Seattle,” per former Stranger editor-in-chief Tricia Romano. It’s also where latte art was invented! Vivace’s beloved coffeehole shuttered in April, but you can still get all your pretty coffee flowers at their cafe on Broadway between Republican and Mercer.