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The Best Iced Coffee In Seattle

When you need an elaborate iced latte, look no further than these 13 coffee shops.

The Best Iced Coffee In Seattle guide image

photo credit: Nate Watters

For some, iced coffee is a refreshing avenue to caffeinate and a way to cool down when the weather is so hot that it’s concerning scientists. To others, it’s a way of life no matter what season it is. Thankfully, there’s room for both types of people in the coffee capital of the country. From frosty phin-dripped Vietnamese lattes to espresso tonics, these are the best iced coffees in Seattle.

THE SPOTS

photo credit: Nate Watters

Espresso Vivace imageoverride image

Espresso Vivace

Vivace makes the best espresso in town, so it’s no surprise that this stuff also tastes excellent when dropped into a glass of cold milk with the best type of ice (a.k.a. the flat chips known as crescent cubes). Between that, fresh dairy, and a pump of velvety homemade chocolate sauce or caramel, this is a summer standard that should be in your car’s cup holder at all times.


photo credit: Nate Watters

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Ghost Note Coffee

$$$$
Hours:SUN
8AM-6PM

You can find hand tampers, steamer wands, and baristas who think they’re too cool for you at any Seattle cafe. But at Ghost Note, cocktail shakers are also part of their toolkit. There’s a lot of precision that goes into their caffeinated drinks—there’s even a cold espresso infused with smoked grapefruit rosemary syrup that’s served neat in a coupe. We’re big fans of the mocha shake that comes with chocolate shaken with espresso and toasty malt, complete with orange rind for zing. But the greatest concoction under their roof is the espresso float. It’s an iced latte cut with local root beer, vegan cream, and root beer bitters that has a great combination of stiff coffee and sarsaparilla spice, which then gets calmed down with a touch of creamy sweetness.


Burnt honey, cinnamon, oat milk, and cold brew combine to create one of the most refreshing iced coffees in town: Anchorhead’s honey bunches of cold brew. And much like nature’s elements or the Teletubbies, you need all four for things to be just right. With a warm spiced kick, creamy oat milk, bracing cold brew, and caramelized sweetness, we could slurp that frosty creation all day, even well after the jitter-induced panic sets in. The cafe has other rotating seasonal beverages to explore as well, like mint-steeped nitro or cold brew swirled with homemade blueberry milk. If you’re not feeling coffee but are still looking to wake the f*ck up, the pistachio matcha latte tastes superb on the rocks.


If you get bored with a plain pour over, but you’re not exactly thrilled by the idea of loading it up with cream and sugary syrup, there’s Root. It’s a plant shop in Ballard that casually has a sleek espresso counter in the back, past the abundance of ferns and cacti. Their iced concoctions tend to lean savory, with things like herby rosemary lattes, cold short rose-cardamom espressos, and orange-vanilla bean shaken lattes. Each has a barely-there sweetness and a lot of complexity, and they still do a great job showcasing the coffee.

This Vietnamese cafe serves some of the best bánh mì in Seattle, and they happen to serve terrific phin-dripped coffee as well. You can’t go wrong with a cinnamon-kicked iced latte topped with foam and an entire cinnamon stick, but there’s also a phở-spiced option that will thankfully not taste like soup. While you’re at it, grab a pork sausage bánh mì for lunch.


This Rainier Valley coffee shop understands that coconut flavors hit just right when it’s warm outside. Enter the Oatnilla, a cold brew creation involving oat milk and organic vanilla—and during the summer, Cafe Red adds chocolate and coconut to this chilly coffee elixir, which makes for a tropical-inspired drink that you'll want to consume at 8am. If you’re reading this in November because you believe that iced coffee is a way of life, they have pumpkin spice and peppermint mocha versions, too.


Coffeeholic House is a great spot that’s devoted to Vietnamese iced coffee. To add to your phin drip, choose between additions like pandan syrup or salted cream cheese foam, a.k.a. cheesecake that can glide through a straw. If you want something classic, you can order a traditional Vietnamese iced coffee with a smidge of condensed milk. For everyone in between, there are latte flavors like white chocolate hazelnut or lavender rose, plus, you can select the amount of ice and sweetness.


photo credit: Nate Watters

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Aroom Coffee

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You might mistake Aroom for a minimalist interior design firm, but it’s actually somewhere that will make you feel like you’ve been launched into a swimming pool full of roasted espresso beans. The Vietnamese iced coffee here is very strong, which pairs well with more mellow toppings like salty foam, homemade coconut ice cream, or our favorite: black sesame cream. It’s nutty, sweet, and just rich enough to slice through the coffee’s boldness. 


photo credit: Nate Watters

Sip House imageoverride image

Sip House

$$$$2064685358
Hours:SUN
8AM-5PM

Artificial pistachio flavoring is 10,000 times better than the real thing. Yes, we’re ready to die on this hill. Sip House, a Vietnamese coffee shop that specializes in iced coffee, proves our point with their pistachio cream latte. It’s a stiff glass of hazelnutty phin-dripped brew topped with a salted pistachio- and matcha-spiked cream cheese froth. It sounds like chaos, but it’s nicely balanced with the coffee’s bitterness and tang from the cream cheese. In other words, it's artificial pistachio flavoring for grown-ups.


We love this Filipino bakery for ube-flavored everything, like miniature cheesecakes, cookies, and their sweet and earthy iced ube latte. You might have to wait in line behind people looking to snap photos of the espresso-ube syrup-milk gradient before it all mixes up to become a shade of gray, but it’s worth it. And if drinking a liquified purple yam isn’t for you, try a tangy calamansi espresso tonic. 


If you’d like to guzzle a small beverage that packs a mighty punch of caffeine, go for Cloud City’s black sugar iced espresso. With a double shot, a jolt of smoky black sugar syrup, and a splash of cream, it’s a delicious way to sample the notes of Cloud City’s homemade roast. You might feel like your soul is dancing the Electric Slide outside of your own body, but it’s a small tradeoff.


If sipping your coffee in a space that looks like a million-dollar Redfin listing is important to you, come to Santo in Roosevelt. With a surplus of tables, a velvety green sofa, and slick black marble counter, it’s particularly useful if you have a meeting and want to appear like you have your sh*t together. Their panela latte should be your order—it’s spiked with just a touch of Colombian sugar cane and orange bitters, so it’s perfect for folks who want some additional sweetness without feeling like a cavity might be in your future.


Imagine a saucepan of sticky sugar bubbling on a stove, full of sea salt and just enough butter to get things tasting like toffee before it hardens. Then, imagine that mixture poured into an iced latte with oat milk and Victrola espresso. Finally, imagine someone placing it directly into your open hand as you drive away with slices of freshly-baked coconut layer cake in the backseat. You actually don’t have to imagine that at all—in fact, you just have to go to Deru Market. This Kirkland spot serves some of the best lunch in the entire Puget Sound (we’re talking about you, farm salad), but it shouldn’t be ignored as a morning option.

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