I am heading over to the coast this weekend, and I can't wait to dive into the local coffeehouse scene - but I don't want to be overwhelmed. I know there are many shops, and several of top quality, but I have limited time, and want to visit the very best! What are some of the must-visits that you would recommend?
Vivace has amazing espresso but it's not the best place to chill.
Victrola is a great place to hang out and their drip coffee is great (french pressed).
Stumptown cappuccino is a must.
Zoka (Greenlake) has a fun atmosphere and good pastries, but it's crazy busy on weekend mornings.
I was faced with the same question last August. there are a million shops to choose from, but there are a few gems that, in my opinion, have both great atmosphere and incredible coffee. Espresso vivace is hailed as both the mecca for the single espresso and the shop of espresso phenom David Schomer. They have a great Espresso that they use just for straight espressos and they also have a separate espresso for milk based drinks. Victrola was probably my favorite espresso that I had in Seattle and the Pike St. store is not incredibly busy if you're looking to sit down and relax a bit. Stumptown, a local favorite for those who live in Portland, has recently added a shop in Seattle. They are renowned for their Hairbender Espresso. If you aren't already shaking like a leaf, check out Caffe Umbria, Zeitgeist, Caffe Vita, and Zoka.
Noelle, north of Greenlake I would recommend swinging by Herkimer on Greenwood Ave, Seven Coffee Roasters just a few blocks north of there, Zoka's Greenlake location not too far away and Stickman Coffee (if I might say so myself) down in Fremont. Downtown you'll find Seattle Coffee Works (over a dozen locally roasted coffees available as espresso) and Trabant in Pioneer Square. On Capitol Hill you'll find Stumptown (check out their daily public cuppings), Vivace and Victrola.
But the baristas at Stickman are, by far, the cutest.
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