In Search of Caffeine (and a place to meet)

June 29, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog

I work from my home, which contains varying numbers of teenage boys, so when I meet clients it’s either at their work or at a coffee place.

Over the course of tax season, it seems like I went to every caffeine-dispensing venue in Seattle, so I thought I’d share my travels.

Ballard Sip & Ship – My office away from home, with business services including package mailing and delivery, notary, shredding, printing and a copier/fax machine.  Also cool notecards and chocolate chip cookies. Power outlets in the loft seating area. A few parking spaces behind the store. (Ballard)

Aster Coffee – Also in Ballard, but stays open until 10 pm and has beer! They have one of the few Clover coffee machines not in a Starbucks, and yummy waffles. There are power outlets cleverly placed under the bench seating by the wall and free password-protected wifi. Street parking is fine. (Ballard)

Mosaic Coffee House – Lots of seating, and a meeting room you can reserve for events. No fixed prices for the food and drinks – it’s pay what you will. Free wifi & lots of outlets, parking in the lot behind Dick’s . (Wallingford)

Cupcake Royale – Right on Market St next to the Majestic Bay theatre. They have cupcakes! What more could you ask? They also have power outlets under the benches against the wall, and free wifi with signup. Also t-shirts that say €œLegalize Frostitution€ . (Ballard)

Fresh Flours – A bit crowded, but I was there on a weekend morning. The coffee was good and the pastries looked tasty. (Ballard)

Miro –  Tea instead of coffee. Vast array of teas, and the tea comes with a warmer underneath, and a timer to tell you when to pour it. They also have fancy crepes but I didn’t try them. Nice space with lots of tables and wifi. You’ll probably have to walk a few blocks for street parking. (Ballard)

Makeda –  Small but welcoming, great coffee and nice staff. Wifi and outlets, street parking readily available. (Phinney)

Chocolati Café – Bigger than it looks from the outside, with more seating in the back. The European hot chocolate was killer. Street parking. (Greenwood)

Neptune – Another evening option with beer as well as coffee, and Jarritos sodas too. They have fun trivia nights, and a blend of coffee named after Hyperbole and a Half‘s Allie.  Street parking nearby. (Greenwood)

Holy Grounds – In a strip mall, but nice and uncrowded. The coffee was fine. They don’t seem to have a website – is that legal? (Crown Hill)

Caffé Ladro – Only in Seattle is  €œthe Queen Anne Caffe Ladro€ not a specific enough meeting place.  I was waiting at the lower one by the Seattle Center, while my client was waiting at the upper one at the top of the hill. We eventually figured it out ; ) Both are on the small side and popular enough that getting a table is not a given. The upper one has better street parking. (upper and lower Queen Anne)

Teacup – Lovely big sunny airy space, lots of tables. The tea was quite nice. There’s an incredible chocolate place down the street;  no seating, but the most amazing chocolates – like the Platonic ideal of ultimate chocolateness. (Queen Anne)

Victrola Coffee – Funky space with an actual coffee roaster on the premises. Smells wonderful, and the coffee was delicious. Parking is horrible – I had difficulty finding a space even in a pay lot, on a weekday morning. (Capitol Hill)

Roy Street Coffee – Huge with tons of tables. This is apparently a variant of Starbucks with a more independent coffee shop look. Street parking difficult but achievable. (Capitol Hill)

Herkimer – Nice little place near Cowen Park. Cash only, but when I didn’t have cash the kind barista gave me my coffee anyway and told me to pay later. (I did return and pay the next week.)  Street parking is fine.  (University District)

Peet’s – Right at the corner of the Center of the Universe. Has two levels but still was pretty crowded. I believe you can park in the PCC lot since it’s a neighboring business. If you’re there at lunchtime Baguette Box is next door. (Fremont)

Zoka – Really nice place, chill ambience, great coffee. It looked like many folks use this as their co-working space – MacBooks galore. Street parking is fine. (Greenlake)

Third Place / Honey Bear Lake Forest Park Towne Centre -Lots of tables, food court ambience and privacy levels. About as far north as I’m willing to drive, so a good in-between place to meet clients from Bothell and beyond. (Lake Forest Park)

Starbucks – lots and lots of Starbucks. The only one rating a special mention is the Madison Park Starbucks, since it’s conveniently located to meet people from the Eastside. Quite large and reputedly the home Starbucks of Howard Schultz, so everything should be the newest and best. The small parking lot is usually full but street parking was easy.

*If I don’t mention wifi, that doesn’t mean they don’t have it, just that I had no need to check it out while I was there and don’t remember.

Honorable mention to the late great Wayward Coffeehouse -How can you not love a place that serves drinks like Minbari Mocha and Kobiyashi Maru? It had the Serenity emblem and was the home of the Seattle Browncoats. Victim of a fire, there’s a Phoenix Fund to raise money so they can €œkeep flyin’€.



Matt at has developed a map of places where it is fun to grab a cup of coffee (or a beer, or a lunch) with other founders and tech people.



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