Seattle Cafés: Shareable Small Plates and Neighborhood Flair

Cafes in Seattle combine the indulgence of ordering a tasty cup of coffee with passing some hours in a cozy, intimate atmosphere where locals gather for work, relaxation and conversation. Whether these venues display artwork by regional artisans, support local farms and sustainable practices by sourcing all of their ingredients locally or offer cafe menus with a twist (think Egyptian, Middle Eastern, Greek and more), these destinations prove wonderful places to meet others and to relax in a convivial atmosphere.

Throughout Seattle's downtown core and its dispersed neighborhoods–from Ballard and Fremont to Queen Anne and Capitol Hill–you'll find these inviting spaces sprinkled liberally. At such eateries, you can enjoy a sandwich, salad, sweet treats or, of course, heartier meals, too. 

Whether you're looking for a quick bite, a hot drink, a good conversation or even a stiff cocktail, we've found places that will keep you wanting to take off your coat and stay awhile longer. While most places offer free Wi-Fi, several have no-phone policies that contribute to an even mellower vibe. Tote along a book, a journal or perhaps a friend. Enjoy!

14 Carrot Cafe

A breakfast haven for locals since the late '70s, this friendly, offbeat cafe in the Eastlake neighborhood is known far and wide for its great breakfasts. From traditional eggs-bacon-potatoes combos to more unusual dishes like tahini French...  Read More

Cafe Presse

This charming spot on South Capitol Hill near Seattle University (open since 2007) offers full coffee service featuring Caffe Vita, house-made pastries, affordable French wines, a full bar open daily until 2 a.m., a newsstand of various...  Read More

Grand Central Bakery
Photo courtesy of Grand Central Bakery

A Portland and Seattle favorite, Grand Central is a locally-owned artisan bakery that lures loyal patrons with its fresh bread, buttery pastries, housemade soups and tasty sandwiches (from egg salad to BLTs with avocado), not to mention its...  Read More

The Essential Baking Company
Photo courtesy of The Essential Baking Company

These citywide cafe-bakeries offer fresh breads, pastries, crackers and desserts, made using "time-honored techniques and only the best organic and natural ingredients." Skilled artisans craft the cakes, croissants and loaves of bread that range...  Read More

These vibrant cafes in the U District and also West Seattle are set in a warm Southwestern decor; their mission is "to provide delicious organic sustenance for a wide variety of needs and individual tastes." The venue is proudly certified...  Read More

Flying Apron
Photo courtesy of Flying Apron Bakery

Flying Apron bakery celebrates good health by using gluten-free, vegan ingredients; whole grain wheat-free flours and non-hydrogenated oils. Diners can use alternative methods to sweeten items with such ingredients as agave, maple syrup and...  Read More

Cafe Besalu

This quaint, if a tad noisy, little bake shop is a must for any sweet tooth gallivanting around the Ballard area. The lattes are hot and frothy, and any early morning appetite is appeased by goodies from ham and cheese-stuffed pastries to...  Read More

Fresh Flours
Photo courtesy of Fresh Flours

This cafe-bakery has two locations--one in Ballard, one in Phinney Ridge--that includes items ranging from breakfast pastries and salads, soups and sandwiches to Japanese-fusion goods like green tea muffins, azuki croissants and black sesame...  Read More

Perk up your afternoon with a piping hot cup of organic coffee at Macrina. Happily, a wide variety of cakes, artisanal breads and pastries is available to accompany your java. You'll have trouble deciding between chocolate cranberry coffeecake...  Read More


Meet Corinne Whiting

Corinne hails from the other Washington, where she caught the travel bug early on. Corinne studied abroad in Strasbourg, France (undergrad) and in Edinburgh, Scotland (graduate school). She's...  More About Corinne

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