Seattle Coffee Shops Worth the Drive

Posted on Apr 24, 2014
Seattle Coffee Shops Worth the Drive

It’s #SCAA2014 this week in Seattle and I’m highlighting a few of my favorite coffee shops and photos.  Check out a list of shops in Seattle that are worth the drive for their coffee but even more worth the drive for the people behind the counter.

I’ve made some great friendships with people around town over coffee and my goal is to not write reviews but instead introduce the stories and the people behind these shops around town.  It’s once thing to go and get a coffee, it’s another thing to have a human experience and I appreciate each of these places for the unique and genuine people behind the counter or that I meet just because I walk through the door.  Exploring coffee in Seattle is more about meeting the faces and people to me.  The coffee is good, but the people are what make this city special and why I keep going back.

StreetBean Espresso

04244014_Jeffscottshaw_Streetbean-1StreetBean Espresso is a Belltown coffee bar that serves up delicious coffee while supportively employing youth working to exit street life.  They are currently partnered with Verve Coffee & Heart Coffee Roasters and if you are down exploring Pike Place Market or close to the Seattle Center, they are a delicious and beautiful shop to check out.  Even if you aren’t in the neighborhood, it’s a great spot.


On April 25th at 5pm they are hosting an event: Farmlevel to Streetlevel with Colby Barr & Chris Baca of Verve Coffee.  Details are here:


Empire Espresso

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Coffee & Waffles done right by a couple of great guys.  Located in Columbia City (a ten min drive from Capital Hill), you will find a tiny shop that feels almost like a sports bar where they pull & brew Kuma exclusively unlike any other place in town.  Plus, it’s one of the few places you can get organic grass fed milk with a single origin espresso.  It’s a hidden gem that has a great vibe and is worth the drive.


Milstead & Co.

04244014_Jeffscottshaw_Milstead-1Located in Fremont and close to town Andrew Milstead and his crew have been brewing up great coffee (multi-roaster) but while the coffee is good, go for the conversation.  The crew behind bar are a great bunch of unique people and don’t be afraid to ask them what’s good on bar for that particular day.  They won’t do you wrong.


Analog Coffee


Simple, clean, and full of comics…that’s what you will find at Analog.  Just a short walk from the hustle and bustle of Capitol Hill, Analog is a great spot to take a break or grab a cold brew (on tap) to go.  Your coffee will be delicious but don’t go here to geek out over the coffee.  Go take a break, read a comic, and interact with whomever is behind the bar or the local who is just out for a walk.


Slate Coffee


Slate earned the honors of Best Coffeehouse in 2013 and while you may go for a deconstructed espresso + milk or a shaken iced coffee you will find that Slate is a people first shop.  From regulars to new friends alike, Chelsea and crew does a great job of connecting with the people who make their business possible. It’s a small space and might be jam packed this week, but if you have a chance to introduce yourself, it’s worth the short drive from downtown.


Vif Coffee|Wine


If it’s bright and sunny (and even if it’s not) escape downtown, park on Fremont Ave and walk into Vif.  Lauren and Shawn combine great coffee (from Olympia Coffee Roasters) with house made sweets as well as a small lunch/snack menu.  Huge windows make it a great place to enjoy the spring sun and you will leave with a smile and can walk and explore a bit of Fremont while you are there.


Neptune Coffee


A short drive north of downtown, Neptune Coffee is right in the heart of Greenwood and if you are looking to see more of Seattle and maybe even head north to Green Lake for a walk to catch some fresh air, this is your spot.  Neptune is well connected in the neighborhood and it shows as Baltazar and Christine and their crew are typically busy talking everything from coffee to art to life with those that come through their doors.  They have Kuma and Veltons on bar and if you ask for what is good that day you will almost always see a smile as they know what’s dialed in.  Even though I originally went there for the coffee, I keep coming back because it’s a great space with great people.

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