Seattle’s 10 Most Cutting Edge Coffee Shops slideshow

The best coffee in Seattle is found in the city’s eclectic neighborhoods

Seattle’s 10 Most Cutting Edge Coffee Shops

What follows are the city’s 10 most cutting-edge coffee shops, the ones that consistently produce outstanding cups of coffee, staff knowledgeable baristas, offer a range of brewing styles, and source from among the world’s best coffee beans. 

#1 Espresso Vivace

Espresso Vivace has been a Seattle staple for nearly 30 years. With two locations in Seattle, the espresso here is roasted to deep, caramel-y perfection. Opt for the Caffe Nico, a gorgeous shot of espresso with steamed half and half and a bright spritz of orange.

#2 Victrola

Neighborhood favorite Victrola, in Capitol Hill and Beacon Hill, always seems packed. They’ll reliably have several single-origin coffees on hand, about which the baristas speak knowledgeably. And they offer “cupping” classes so the uninitiated can learn more about terroir and roasting. 

#3 Caffe Vita

Vita started in Seattle and has since expanded to Portland and New York City. At their Capitol Hill spot, you can watch the roasting process just downstairs from the café. Beans come from more than 11 countries and go straight from the roaster to the cup

#4 Milstead & Co.

A relative newcomer, Milstead has often been called the best shop in the city, and it draws legions of fans. The multi-roaster shop carries only the best beans from the best roasters and showcases the beautiful simplicity of the pour-over and the AeroPress.

#5 Slate Coffee Bar

Tiny Slate in the Ballard neighborhood pares it down to hand-brewed coffee and espresso, served in glassware as if it were wine. Expertly prepared every time, these drinks employ single-origin beans roasted lightly to bring out regional characteristics. 

#6 Analog Coffee

Neighborhood favorite Analog has also honed its menu to focus on pour-over and espresso from top-notch local roaster Herkimer. A refreshing alternative on a hot day, their cold-brew coffee on tap is superb.

#7 Tougo Coffee

Hidden in the Central District neighborhood, family-friendly Tougo is quietly brewing some of the best coffee in town. They offer an impressive range of brewing styles, from siphon to AeroPress, and loads of single-origin beans that rotate constantly. 

#8 Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room

Once you get past the sensory overload of the space, it’s easy to see why this might just be Seattle’s most cutting-edge coffee shop. Here, you can watch the finely tuned roasting process and then request a demo of their high-tech coffee brewing equipment. 

#9 Herkimer Coffee

The roaster’s three cafés use coffee that is blended and roasted for outstanding complexity, along with a handful of single-origin specialties.


#10 Vif

Low-key, friendly Vif manages to excel at pouring the best coffee and wine. The shop sources from roasters who aim for light to medium roasts, which helps the beans’ origins sing. Get yours via pour-over or as espresso.