My five favorite coffee shops if I were sipping coffee not shopping on a Monday


September 29, 2014 by Terumi

Happy National Coffee Day.  I still may sneak out and try a new coffee shop in honor of the day, and there are lots I need to explore thanks to Seattle Weekly who recently put out a list of the top 15 inventive indie coffee shops in Seattle. We’ve been to many of them because my husband and I LOVE coffee, and I would definitely have to agree if I was coming to Seattle for a cup of coffee, I’d stop in at Slate coffee as my first choice.  Whenever the hubby and I get a chance to actually drink coffee IN a coffee shop, that’s the one I like to go to, especially when the kids are not in tow.  (And have the chocolate dipped orange with my coffee in stemware, thank you very much.)

espresso vivace, where kids love their steam milk

I also love Espresso Vivace.  This is our go-to coffee shop because we almost always have kids with us and it has a neat reading nook for them, they make lovely steam milk and hot chocolate drinks for them too and I love that sitting there helps balance a trip to REI with a little time to relax and think over big outdoor purchases.  They have an amazing Hawaiian bread in their case (I’m sorry, but I can’t order the pastries that are not in the case-that’s my only pet peeve) and it’s divine.

And the Wandering Goose is not a coffee shop, but I have had nice coffee there and their pastries are good and they have the most adorable sayings carved into their tables and that alone is worth visiting for.

I also love Fresh Flours because they have Japanese-style pastries and a matcha latte for days that I want to change my caffeine source and it’s right next to the Woodland Park Zoo, one of my favorite places in the world.

Finally I’d choose Herkimer because they’re the only place I’ve ever bought a souvenir espresso cup from.  (I love the color and design of their espresso cups.  I think they are perfect.  (Oh wait.  Add Cafe Umbria in Pioneer Square as a number 6 to this list.  I love that they are a gorgeous shop and they have delicious ice cream!)

cafe umbria in seattle

And of course everyone in Seattle has a different top five favorite shops, but at least we have no shortage of coffee in the city.  Thank goodness for that.  So today, while I figure out how to carve pottery and pin pottery designs to my inspiration board and decide if I want/need/should get printed rainboots to cheer up the endless rainy season we have here, I hope you are out there shopping and sipping a cup too.  What’s your favorite coffee shop where you are?  I’d love to try it if I ever come to your town.  (Below are some neat ones we’ve visited from all over the world.)

little nap coffee shop in tokyo Mokka Reykjavik's oldest coffee shop coffee in a train station in japan  matchstick coffee in vancouver bc rose cafe in paris coffee in denmark

little nap coffee shop in tokyo

(PS. if you are looking to find a unique Starbucks in Seattle, my favorite Seattle Starbucks location is the one on the 40th floor of the Columbia Center if it’s still there.)

starbucks tasting room at their HQ

(PPS. the featured image is from my husband’s coffee art repertoire.  I do love sweet coffee art on my lattes, don’t you?)


  1. Ali says:

    Just found your blog today via Kalaloch lodge, and love it. I just moved here about 2 months ago with my boyfriend and puppy. Great posts and super informative for this newbie!

    • Terumi says:

      Thanks Ali that is so sweet! Welcome to the Pacific Northwest. Did you celebrate national coffee day today or have you found a favorite coffee shop yet?

  2. Lily Lau says:

    If I had one of those cute coffees with a drawing I don’t know if I’d be able to drink it… it’d be a pity!

    • Terumi says:

      🙂 That’s true. At least now, we can take instant pictures before we drink them so it doesn’t feel so destructive. But, I totally get it:)

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Terumi-author of An Emerald City Life

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