Start where it all began at the original Starbucks cafe in Pike Place Market. It’s a tiny space by modern standards but features exclusive souvenirs and, of course, classic coffee options. Then make your way to two unique Starbucks experiences in Seattle: on Capitol Hill has roasting and brewing equipment on full display with giant roasting drums and a maze of copper pipes that guide coffee beans from location to location. The airy space also features a coffee library and rare coffees to try. Starbucks Reserve SoDo, inside the company’s global headquarters in the SoDo neighborhood, offers another one-of-a-kind way to experience the coffee giant’s brand. Enjoy cocktails, pizzas, and a draft pour of nitro cold brew on tap.
Of course, Seattle’s coffee culture also extends to independent cafes, homegrown roasters, and others that turn caffeine into an art form. Anchorhead Coffee, with three Seattle locations in downtown, Capitol Hill, and Pike Place Market, sources beans with notable flavor profiles, from the Narwhal blend with hints of milk chocolate, cherry, and nougat to the Isimbi beans with hints of strawberry rhubarb pie and baking spices. Elm Coffee Roasters sources small-lot coffee beans from around the world and roasts them on site in its bright Pioneer Square cafe. And at local coffee chains like Caffe Vita and Caffe Ladro, each with multiple locations throughout the area, delicious lattes and americanos pair effortlessly with freshly baked pastries and a relaxed vibe in welcoming spaces.
Being a city of many international influences, Seattle’s coffee scene also encompasses different cultures. Capitol Hill’s Boon Boona imports coffee from across Africa and highlights the Ethiopian and Eritrean ceremony of roasting beans in a clay pot called a jebena. Hello Em in the Chinatown–International District and Coffeeholic House, with locations in Columbia City and Greenwood, both bring Vietnamese coffee to Seattle with dreamy flavors that incorporate coconut, condensed milk, pandan, and even ube.
Travel Info: Pike Place Market is a 5-minute walk from the heart of downtown. Pioneer Square is a 10-minute walk from downtown. Capitol Hill is a 15-minute walk from downtown and is accessible via the King County Metro 2 and 12 bus routes. Queen Anne is accessible from downtown via the King County Metro 3, 4, and 13 bus routes. Chinatown–International District is accessible from downtown via Link light rail. Greenwood is accessible from downtown via the King County Metro 5 or E line bus routes. SoDo is accessible from downtown via the King County Metro 21 bus route. Columbia City is accessible from downtown via the King County Metro 7 bus route or Link light rail.
Dive deeper into Seattle’s renowened food scene with more itinerary ideas and group dining options here.