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In a city with the highest concentration of coffee houses in the nation, it can be challenging for visitors in Seattle to find the best cup of java with so many options.

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Save the Starbucks for the airport and check out one of the city’s independently owned coffee shops. Michelle Kelly, vice president of architectural solutions, shares the best places in and around the city to grab the best cup.

  1. With locations in Bellevue and downtown Seattle, Fonte is both convenient and delicious with a strong focus on using fresh beans in unique blends. Like the café in a workplace, it’s also a great place for serendipitous run-ins with local business men and women.Touristing or visiting Seattle for business wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the iconic Pike Place market, and Storyville—located inside the market—is the perfect place to curl up on a rainy day in the Pacific Northwest. If you’re not sure the trip to the market is worth the cup, consider this: The original Starbucks opened in Pike Place in 1971, as did the first Seattle’s Best coffee in 1984. Storyville opened in the market in 2013, and has since opened locations in Queen Anne and downtown Seattle on Madison and 1st Ave. Don’t miss the chance to say “I drank Storyville coffee when.”
  2. Located between Seattle’s central business district and South Lake Union, Mr. West is the spot when you’re looking for a mutually central meeting place. Located on the ground floor of the newly-renovated 720 Olive building, Mr. West feels like more of a lounge than coffeehouse with a food menu and bar, in addition to great coffee. However, an adjacent lobby that doubles as coworking space, which helps lend some coffeehouse-buzz to the refined interiors.
  3. Milstead coffee house is a staple of the Fremont area, and currently in a state of transition as their existing space is updated. Their temporary home a few lots down N 34th Street still sources beans from across the coffee belt to craft the best brews possible. And make sure to say hi to our friend Andrew Milstead when you stop by!
  4. With 10 locations across the city, you can always find a great cup of coffee at Cherry Street. And with one located right next to Western’s Seattle office, this is an office favorite. Each location has its own unique feel to it, but is equally dedicated to making everyone feel comfortable with multiple seating options, wifi, and easily accessible electric outlets.
  5. I love bringing clients to Caffe Senso Unico; I think it’s one of the coolest spots in the city. The owner is originally from Italy, so it has a very European vibe and it’s also one of few coffeehouses in Seattle that don’t provide wifi. This makes each visit the perfect time to unplug, relax, and communicate the old-fashioned way.  
  6. Caffe Ladro has 14 locations across the greater Seattle region, and they all serve fantastic coffee. The bakery also serves locally made fresh pastries, which changes seasonally. And they do a great job of sharing the sources of their coffee with roaster profiles on their website.
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