For the past few months, you’ve had the option to stop by an espresso bar to grab a latte to go. But that’s really only half of the experience of Seattle’s coffee shops. Now that many across the city have opened their patios, catching up with a friend or listening to some music over a cortado is possible again. If you’ve been missing that, head to one of these spots. They all have ideal outdoor seating situations and excellent coffee.
Call us a broken record at this point, but you won’t find better espresso in town than Vivace. And there are two ways to enjoy their perfectly brewed coffee outside while people-watching on Capitol Hill: you could visit their main location between Republican and Mercer, where there are a few patio tables and an open-air situation inside. Or, make your entire experience outside by heading to their sidewalk cart a few blocks south - they have a couple of bistro tables set up on the side.
Sitting on this Fremont coffee shop’s wraparound porch with a stiff coconut iced mocha is one of our favorite ways to spend an hour - aside from watching two episodes of Frasier back-to-back. And if you like to get up early, they open at 6am during the week.
This coffee shop serves some of the tastiest pastries in town (looking at you, delicious red bean bars). While their Beacon Hill location has a couple of outdoor bistro tables, their West Seattle location has a much larger, dog-friendly gravel patio with lots of socially-distanced spots to take a seat.
Monorail Espresso doesn’t let the fact that they’re on an extremely busy Downtown street get in the way of having an excellent patio situation. Even before the pandemic, there was a roomy picnic table set up right in the middle of the sidewalk. It’s perfect if you’re out exploring Pike Place and feel like grabbing a really good espresso drink. And please, don’t forget to add on one of their amazing “chubbie” cookies.
Part beer bar, part coffee shop, The Dane is one of our favorite spots in Ballard for a drink and light snack. They’ve converted their side parking lot into a dog-friendly patio space with tents to block out shade and rain drizzle, so you can relax no matter what the sky’s doing.
If slowly sipping a cardamom latte and staring at a body of water is your ideal form of self-care, look no further than Ampersand Cafe in West Seattle. It has an adjoining deck right on Alki Beach with a bunch of little tables, so it’s perfect for some caffeination before or after a morning walk.
This bottle shop and cafe Downtown has a great patio, but if you want even more space, check out their second location in University Village. It has a bunch of bench seating for you, some avocado toast, and a frothy oat milk matcha. As per usual with U-Village, best of luck finding parking.
If you’re trying to spend as much time outside as possible before the weather gets nasty, Green Lake is probably where you want to be. Thus, Retreat should be one of your most frequented coffee shops for hanging out at one of their handful of patio tables. From smoothies to cocktails, this cafe is great if you don’t necessarily want a cup of coffee. And if you do, their espresso drinks are terrific.
Pettirosso is a Capitol Hill espresso bar that doubles as a sit-down brunch spot, and there’s a portion of 11th Avenue completely closed off to car traffic where plenty of tables are set up. They use beans from Lighthouse coffee, a great local roaster, for their drinks.
This spot that we love for almond macchiatos and lavender lemon cold brew normally doesn’t have any outdoor seating, but they recently took over Ballard Ave. to make room for a makeshift patio. Plus, Anchored Ship serves Counter Culture coffee, a.k.a. espresso bean royalty.
Armistice Coffee Roasters
Both of Armistice’s locations (in Roosevelt and Eastlake) have expanded their patio seating to accommodate more people safely, but we’re big fans of the Eastlake location. And the fact that they serve terrific coffee from house-roasted beans is a nice bonus. Plus, the sidewalk never gets too busy with pedestrian traffic, so it’s a pretty peaceful place to be.
If you’re worried about not having enough room to spread out, Citizen has the largest patio on this guide. This Queen Anne brunch spot serves sandwiches, crepes, and a very tasty Nutella mocha - and you can sit on their massive artificial-turf-covered space to eat and drink it all.
At the back of this vegan-friendly coffee shop in Columbia City is an open garage door that leads to a few little tables. If you’re in the mood for a waffle washed down with a latte made with homemade cashew milk (a fantastic mood to be in), this is your place.