Anchored Ship Café
5306 Ballard Ave. N.W., Ballard
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.
5453 Leary Ave. NW, Ballard
The main reason you go to Full Tilt is for the fun of it: This ice cream shop has a mix of new and vintage arcade and pinball machines that make an entertaining afternoon outing for the whole family. As a bonus, there's also local Northwest beers here. (In addition to the original joint in White Center, Full Tilt has locations in Columbia City, University, and Ballard.)
2034 N.W. 56th St., Ballard
The owner of Parfait, Adria Shimada, got her start in the food world with an internship at Amy's Bread in New York, before she headed to the West Coast. Billed as a farm-to-cone shop, Parfait has a garden outside where they grow mint, rosemary, lavender, and berries for their ice cream. Outside of this, they source from organic Washington farms, and get organic cream and milk delivered from local Smith Brothers Farms. Having a large-ish event catered? Parfait has a food truck that promises to be popular with guests.
Portage Bay Cafe
2825 N.W. Market St., Ballard, Seattle
Today, it’s not unusual for a restaurant to list the farmers and other local purveyors it sources ingredients from on the menu—though that wasn’t the case fifteen years ago, when Portage Bay Cafe started doing it. Four locations strong, we come here for easy lunches and all of the brunch staples, which they make with eggs from nearby Stirs farms (which, amazingly, includes plenty of actual images of their henhouses on their website). While it’s not technically grab-and-go, you can order takeout ahead and pick it up upon arrival. There are three other locations, on University, South Lake Union, and Roosevelt.
Slate Coffee Roasters
5413 6th Ave. NW, Ballard
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.
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