[Guest post by Jeff Carlson]
When I travel to another city, one of my first questions is: where can I find good coffee?
Sure, there’s coffee in the hotel, and especially here in Seattle you don’t have to stumble far before running into one or more Starbucks stores—but this is a coffee city! Much of what we know as current coffee culture started here.
So, to ensure that you’re caffeinated with the good stuff, here’s a list of good coffee and espresso destinations I recommend surrounding the conference. Fair warning: I’m a coffee snob, so this won’t be exhaustive by any means.
I’m ordering these by proximity to the Westin:
- Anchorhead Coffee — 1600 7th Ave. — When I’m in this part of downtown, Anchorhead is my go-to place. (And not just because I wonder every time if I can pick up some power converters at Tosche Station.)
- Top Pot Donuts — 2124 5th Ave. — Okay, the coffee here isn’t exceptional, but did you not see “donuts” in the name? (To be honest, General Porpoise makes better donuts, but it’s located in the Amazon Spheres and is open only to Amazon employees, unless you head to their other location up on Capitol Hill.)
- Mr. West Cafe Bar — 720 Olive Way. — To be honest, I’ve only been here once, but it made an impression.
- Moore Coffee Shop — 1930 2nd Ave. — Although the coffee here is good, the appeal is the fanciful latte art that accompanies every milk-based drink.
- Seattle Coffee Works — 107 Pike St. — A little more of a hike from the Westin, but one of the best coffee purveyors in the city. This shop near Pike Place Market does a good job with everything.
- Starbucks Roastery — 1124 Pike St. — There’s your every-corner Starbucks, and then there’s the Roastery. This is the flagship Starbucks showcase store, and it’s as much a visual treat as a caffeinated one. You’ll find limited-edition beans, several brew methods (try the siphon if you have some time to sit and enjoy), and a bakery on-site that makes better, fresher pastries than in most stores. (As a contrast, if you’re at Pike Place Market and you want to go to the “original” Starbucks—it actually isn’t the first, but whatever—by all means take a look and remember the spot and marvel at the line of people waiting to go in; but don’t bother ordering coffee there, because it’s the same stuff you’ll get at most every other Starbucks cafe.)
Venturing further away from the hotel? I’ve put together a list of my favorite places in the area here.