Where to Get Coffee in Seattle

Other than Starbucks ☕️

Seattle is obsessed with coffee. As such, the city welcomes hordes of coffee acolytes every year. While tourists always pack out the “original” Starbucks in Pike Place Market and its buzzy roastery on Capitol Hill, you’re not getting the real Seattle coffee experience by just visiting these spots. Locally beloved cafes like Caffe Vita and Espresso Vivace are good places to start—just ask Jeff Goldblum—but here are some more Seattle coffee houses you absolutely cannot miss during your visit to the Emerald City. 

Ghost Alley Espresso 

Pike Place Market

The biggest tip I can give you as a Seattleite is to skip the ridiculous line at the “first” Starbucks and head down the street to Ghost Alley Espresso. Located right next to the gum wall, this pint-sized coffee shop was built into the old attendant’s room to the market restrooms right on Post Alley. In 2012, founder and former owner Mercedes Carrabba turned the spot into Ghost Alley Espresso, named for their resident ghost, Arthur Goodwin, which could explain any shivers you get while ordering your cup of joe. But Ghost Alley is well worth the spookiness with their toasty coffee roasts and in-house syrups. Seating inside is limited, so their brews are best enjoyed while traipsing through the fish-slinging Pike Place Market. 

Analog Coffee

Capitol Hill

Snuggled right onto Summit Avenue is Analog Coffee, a tried and true favorite for coffee lovers on Capitol Hill. Most weekend mornings, there will be a line (it goes quick!) of sleepy Seattleites waiting to get their americanos or sweet treats (courtesy of Temple Pastries) while a vinyl record plays some vintage tunes. This spot is even better because it’s connected to b~side foods, one of the best breakfast places in the city. Order a delicious rice bowl or spicy country ham egg sandwich with your locally roasted coffee at Analog, then run around to b~sides to pick up your grub. This combo is guaranteed to cure any hangover you have—thank me later!

Cafe Allegro

University District

Hidden in an alley of Magus Books in the University District is a bit of Seattle history. When Cafe Allegro opened in 1975, it was the first espresso bar in the city, and for the past nearly fifty years, it has supplied university students and WFHers alike with cups of delicious coffee. While Allegro has some lore with Starbucks—Cafe Allegro founder Dave Olsen developed roasts for the now coffee behemoth and eventually became an executive at the company—you’ll find no corporate flourishes here. They have a wide selection of drinks made using their in-house roasted espresso and a selection of pastries and hot breakfast offerings. There’s a lot of seating (including a patio upstairs), but you’ll be competing with many undergrads. Good luck!

More local coffee houses we love ❤️

☕️ Espresso Vivace (Capitol Hill)
☕️ Caffe Vita (Multiple locations)
☕️ Fremont Coffee Company (Fremont)
☕️ Aroom Coffee (Fremont)
☕️ Root (Ballard)
☕️ Fulcrum Coffee Roasters (Belltown)
☕️ Elm Coffee Roasters (Chinatown-International District)
☕️ Hood Famous (Chinatown-International District)
☕️ The Station (Beacon Hill)
☕️ Empire Roasters & Records (Columbia City)

Boon Boona

Renton, First Hill, and University Book Store

Since 2018, Renton-based coffee roaster and cafe Boon Boona has exploded in popularity and established itself as a powerhouse in the Seattle coffee scene. Founder Efrem Fesaha started the business after visiting family in Asmara, Eritrea. The coffee culture that’s part of daily life in Eritrea and Ethiopia inspired him, and he wanted to bring some of it to the mossy Pacific Northwest. Their drinks are bright and smooth, focusing on highlighting beans from Ethiopia, Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya, and other African countries. Grab a rose cardamom latte or an “africano” at one of their three locations in Renton, First Hill, or their newest spot inside the University of Washington bookstore. 

Voi Cà Phê


If you find yourself picking up some graphic novels at Fantagraphics in Georgetown, swing by Voi Cà Phê just around the block. Founded in 2022, Voi Cà Phê highlights Vietnam’s vibrant coffee culture and heritage. Located inside a small storefront on 13th Avenue South, this spot sources beans from Vietnamese farmers for their espresso and phin coffee. Their menu reflects a confluence of Western and Vietnamese influences—try their tofu pudding latte that tastes just like silken tofu or their “Saigoneer,” which features their housemade tamarind syrup. I personally always go for their phin drinks, specifically their classic Cà Phê Đen Đá, an iced phin coffee with condensed milk. It’s strong, sweet, creamy, and divine. Paired with Voi Cà Phê’s delicious bánh mìs (get the pork sausage patty!!!), coffee doesn’t get any better than this.

Herkimer Coffee

Phinney Ridge, Ravenna, and 4th & Blanchard

Scene stalwart Herkimer Coffee is one of theeee most quintessential coffeehouses in Seattle. When you walk into their Phinney Ridge or Ravenna locations, you see what you’d expect—lots of seating, people chatting or working quietly, and, of course, folks enjoying delicious coffee. After selling his founding share in Caffe Vita in 2002, Herkimer founder Mike Prins started Herkimer in 2003. Named in honor of his father’s birthplace in Herkimer, New York, this coffeehouse emphasizes the basics so they can make everything as good as possible. With pastries from Macrina Bakery, grab a classic, silky latte at any of their three locations, including their more fast-paced spot in South Lake Union. 


An author pic of Jas Keimig. They have blue braids.

Jas Keimig

Jas Keimig is an arts and culture writer in Seattle. Their work has previously appeared in The Stranger, i-D, Netflix, and Feast Portland. They won a game show once and have a thing for stickers.

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