Indie Coffee Shops to Perch & Work
There’s something singularly compelling about a great coffee shop—particularly when you’re trying to pound out an overdue novel/screenplay/thesis/PowerPoint something. The presence of other procrastinators, the really good coffee, the ambient buzz of community are inherently appealing. It’s not all that surprising that the number of work-friendly cafés is constantly on the rise, so we’ve updated our guide to reflect the latest and greatest spots in ten major cities, whether you drop in for quick macchiato or set up shop for the afternoon. (We’ve noted when they don’t offer internet, a blessing for those who can’t get off email. You know who you are.)
Slate Coffee Roasters602 2nd Ave., Pioneer Square
The baristas at Slate are total connoisseurs—from the source of the beans to the grinding process to the water quality, they're obsessed with every detail of the coffee-making process. What's more, they're extraordinarily friendly and happy to give you a full education on the current (generally always light) roast. While the original Ballard location has Wifi, the tiny space can get pretty crowded: The newer University and Pioneer Square locations are better suited for working.
Top Pot Doughnuts2124 5th Ave., Downtown | 206.323.7841
Top Pot Doughnuts is Seattle's sophisticated take on the doughnuts-and-coffee love affair, and a popular one at that—they're now more than 20 locations strong, and expanding into Texas, too. With so many outposts and free WiFi at each, it's a convenient alternative to Starbucks, with the notable addition of doughnuts that are baked fresh every day. Other locations: Capitol Hill, Queen Anne, plus many more.
Ada’s Technical Books & Café425 15th Ave. E., Capitol Hill | 206.322.1058
Ada's has been a popular home for nomadic office workers since they first opened their awesomely geeky concept store in 2013. Though the coffee and food are enough to draw the laptop-wielding crowd, the airy, open space and ample community events around their bookstore (which features math, architecture, and engineering books) are also powerful motivators. Last year, they made it official when they opened their formal co-working space, The Office, in the space above the café. Monthly and daily rentals are available for short-term needs, but there's still free WiFi downstairs if you just want to pop in for a few hours.
Queen Bee Cafe2200 E. Madison St., Capitol Hill | 206.757.6314
This sweet café specializes in English crumpets, with a menu that offers countless iterations of them (both sweet and savory). But just because you’re eating British fare doesn’t mean you can only drink tea—the baristas here do a full range of coffee drinks using Stumptown beans. Bonus: Both the Capitol Hill and Queen Anne locations are registered 501c3s—all profits are donated to a rotating group of local charities.
Anchored Ship Coffee Bar5306 Ballard Ave. N.W., Ballard | 206.484.5143
This small little coffee shop in Ballard is decidedly no-frills, in the best possible way. The upstairs space above the bar (lit by twinkle lights) is quiet and secluded, making it a great place to hide out with your computer for an afternoon. Anchored Ship is known for really excellent espresso, but they also serve coffee soda—a caffeinated, carbonated cold brew over ice that tastes a lot better than it sounds—and coffee cocktails in the afternoons.