Four great cafes to drink your way through Seattle

Coffee culture in Seattle is huge and goes way beyond it’s roots of Starbucks. Whether you’re on a weekend trip to Seattle or just there for the day, you should make time to check out at least one of these cafes.

It’s humbling to see coffee shops working together instead of against each other, especially in a business atmosphere like Seattle’s. Many of these coffee shops sell beans from other roasters, even if they roast their own. Bringing in beans from other companies proves they want to foster communities, not only in their own city, but in the communities they are supporting by purchasing coffee.


A look inside Elm Coffee Roaster.

Elm Coffee Roasters

It’s time to step up your coffee game with Elm in Seattle’s Pioneer Square. Just a 15-minute walk from touristic Pike Place Market, this coffee shop is worth the trip. The minimalist decor helps to keep you focused on amazing coffee and whatever you need to get done.

Staff are friendly, welcoming and relaxed, but not slow. They’re also one of the only good coffee shops open on Sunday in the area. It’s a wonderful retreat from the rain and usual busyness of downtown Seattle. Quiet, cheerful indie tunes play in the background to make you feel warm and comfortable. The location, design and coffee the shop produces is incredible.

For non-coffee drinkers, Elm also has tea, and if you feel inclined to snack, there’s pastries from their neighbour The London Plane. They also house a huge selection of products to make your coffee at home, from beans to grinders.

240 2nd Avenue South, Seattle, WA.


A barista at Slate Coffee Roasters preparing a pour-over.

Slate Coffee Roasters

If you’re looking for an innovative coffee lightly roasted to perfection, Slate has it. This family-run business treats customers as they would guests in their home. On entering, you feel the calm and friendly atmosphere and may end up staying for hours.

The coffee Slate roasts and serves is different from other coffees in Seattle. They focus on lighter roasted beans to enhance flavours instead of burning them away. Ideally, this leaves the flavours more delicately played.

Similar to the other coffee shops in Seattle, Slate has welcoming and cool staff ready to help out whenever you’re ready. High ceilings with black and white simple decorations in the space let your mind flow. The floor to ceiling windows showcasing the (probably) rainy Seattle makes it look more like a show than reality.

602 2nd Ave Seattle, WA.


A sunny day inside Metier showing the comfortable millwork in the space.


Métier is a coffee and bike lovers’ paradise. This half-bike shop, half-café with a strong food menu will keep bikers and non-bikers going all day. It’s a bit of a walk from Pike Place Market — 20 minutes — but centrally located, next to craft breweries such as Optimism and Elysian Captiol Hill for when you want to grab a drink. Bonus: part of that food they serve is Belgian waffles with toppings such as home-made chocolate-hazelnut spread or Applewood-smoked salmon with a fried egg on top. Food is made in-house from natural ingredients, but it’s not bland. It’s naturally dressed and thoughtfully assembled. Making it a perfect place to start your day, or wake-up after too many craft beers. The bike part of the shop offers training, bikes, repairs and more.

They also have sandwiches and snacks such as fresh pretzels to enjoy with your coffee or libation. The coffee they serve and sell is from Slate, Elm, Sightglass, and Temple — some of the best roasters on the West Coast. Decor is an abundance of custom millwork filling the space with warmth all year.

1017 E. Union Street, Seattle, WA.


The huge seating area for La Marocco seats over 100 comfortably lit by natural light from outside.

La Marzocco

La Marzocco is the brand of Italian espresso machines handmade in Florence. They are arguably the most popular machines for making espresso. Here in Seattle, they have opened a cafe and not just to showcase their machines.

Every month, there is a different resident coffee shop featured. A barista will come from that cafe and train the baristas at La Marzocco to make their coffee perfectly. They throw a big party for the new coffee shop in residence and the barista will stay or go back to their own roaster depending on their availability. For the rest of the month, the baristas at La Marzocco continue to brew the coffee with the same methods and standards they were trained with.

The space is a rock studio mixed with a upscale art studio, literally. But it’s also comfortable like your best friends apartment. The coffee shop is located inside the KEXP (90.3 FM) building and features music from the station. There’s also a mini art gallery, record shop and huge seating area. There’s a stage used for public and private concerts.

KEXP, 472 1st Ave N, Seattle, WA

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