Coffee shops are some of the best places to hang out in Seattle, but sometimes, you want to have the option of something a little stronger than caffeine. Maybe a very successful first date is on its fifth hour, and if you have one more macchiato, your brain activity will start sounding like a double-time version of the Super Mario Bros. theme music. Or, maybe you need to get some work done, and you’re most productive when you alternate between coffee and whiskey. In those situations, you’ll want to use this guide. It’s full of versatile espresso bars that happen to serve alcohol, too.
Almost all of the coffee shops in town that serve alcohol are limited to beer, hard cider, and/or wine. But Mr. West is different. First off, it’s from the same team behind Bottlehouse (our favorite wine bar in town), so know that the wine is going to be excellent - you could even get a glass of something orange. Beyond the wine and beer, they have very good cocktails, too, like a prosecco slushie and a vermouth spritz. Or, you could just order a sherry. Sherry and a cappuccino - Frasier Crane would be proud of you.
We wish that every date started with a cappuccino and ended with Gamay and a cheese board. This bright coffee shop in Fremont doubles as a wine bar, which makes any bean-to-grape transition pretty seamless. There’s a great selection of wines by the glass here, but if you like the looks of a bottle on the front wall display, you can buy it for the shelf price plus a $10 corkage fee. That’s way cheaper than ordering one at a restaurant, so you should just go ahead and splurge on that chicory salad, too.
Watching your friend Barbara push a stroller loaded with triplets around the 2.8 mile Green Lake loop sure is exhausting. Head to Retreat afterwards, where you and Babs can drink stiff cocktails and americanos in the same sitting. It’s the kind of spacious, relaxing spot that’s always buzzing with activity, but still provides a solid space nursing a couple glasses of Chardonnay with the triplets by your side.
Hate to break it to you, but Central Perk isn’t a real place. And even if it were, there’s no way all of the characters in Friends could afford buying approximately 17 coffees every day. The Dane is the non-fictional Seattle version of Central Perk. You’ll find a healthy hybrid of sofa and table seating, fun weeknight activities like trivia and live music, and delicious espresso. They also have 25 taps of beer. Suddenly, an espresso seems boring now.
The Dray is more like a beer bar where you can also grab a coffee (as opposed to the other way around), but it still counts for this guide. The space is small, but was designed to look like a treehouse, so it’s a great place to spend a few hours if you never had one growing up and still resent your parents for it. The beers sourced here are some of the most interesting we’ve found in the city, but the tap list should have something you’re familiar with.
This two-story spot in the International district reminds us of a college town cafe in the middle of finals week. Most people in here are tapping away relentlessly on their keyboards, eating Nutella-filled crepes, and mixing caffeine and IPA as if it weren’t 9:45 in the morning. You’ll probably enjoy it even if you have a 16-page paper due tomorrow that you may or may not have started yet.
Even if you don’t own a Harley, it’s still cool to grab a drink at The Wick, which in addition to serving coffee and alcohol, also acts as a motorcycle body shop. The espresso bar part of the space is small, but there’s plenty of room for a one-on-one meeting. If it’s nice out, the front patio is spacious and comfortable. You’ll find some crunchy drinks like maca matcha lattes, but they also serve a few beers on tap for under $6 a pint. You could even get a flight.
It’s pretty difficult to find a calm place for beer drinking on Capitol Hill that isn’t The Stumbling Monk, or someone’s coat closet in a craftsman way up on Aloha. That’s where Metier comes in. Yes, it’s a store that sells cycling accessories, but there’s also a big picnic table and a long coffee/beer bar where we often see busy people with laptops working away over pints of hard cider and kombucha shandies. It’s an ideal hang if you want people to think you’re really into cycling, when maybe you don’t even know how to ride a bike (and that’s OK).
Ventoux is also cycling-themed, but in a more subtle way. Well, except for the bike frames hanging on the walls. It’s located on a calm stretch in Ravenna, and almost feels like the rural coffee shop you’d stumble upon in some small town near a forest. There are always a few beers available, and their lattes are tasty too.
We’d like to make it known that you can drink wine in a bookstore, and it doesn’t have to be from a Swell bottle between stacks in the epistemology section where no one can hear you hiccup or cry. Just go to Little Oddfellows, the adjoining cafe to Elliott Bay Book Company. Drink some red or white on tap while perusing a stack of magazines you will not be purchasing.
This coffee shop loaded with tables and velvet sofas is owned by Starbucks, but it’s supposed to be a secret - even though your credit card statement is still going to say “Starbucks” at the end of the day. Smooth move, green mermaid. The combination of a reservable back room and beer/wine available is perfect for things like your book club or a production meeting for your quirky slice-of-life web series that is just never going to pan out.
QED is really tiny. We’re talking maybe 12 seats, tops. Which means if you secure a table in here to get some work done, it’s acceptable to ditch your second oat milk latte for a can of celebratory sparkling wine. And yes, sparkling wine definitely pairs well with a piece of banana bread.
We understand how enticing it is to drink an iced orange rind-infused mocha out of a Kerr mason jar. We do. That’s not why we love Broadcast, but it is one contributing factor. It’s located on a street corner that isn’t heavily trafficked - as in, you’d probably only discover this place on your own if your GPS calculated a reroute in the Central District. Anyway, they have beer and hard cider here, and you should take advantage of that.
Cherry Street Public House
Cherry Street has a lot going for it. It’s located in the heart of Pioneer Square, they serve tasty espresso, and there’s an attractive wooden bar where you can drink both wine and beer. And, unlike the random array of cookies you’ll see at other coffee shops in town, Cherry Street serves Middle Eastern food like falafel wraps and Persian stew. You’ll still find a display case of cookies, though. They’re very good.