In Search of Liquid Sunshine? 12 South Seattle Coffee Shops

In Search of Liquid Sunshine? 12 South Seattle Coffee Shops

Does this weather have you nearly bedridden with depression? Have no fear, neighbors for Spring is almost here. In the meantime, how about some liquid sunshine from one of these fine south-end cafes? From independent mom ‘n pops to corporate behemoths and everything in between, we’ve got all the best South Seattle spots to get your java on. What’s your favorite?

1. Both Ways Cafe
Both Ways Cafe & Catering is a cozy little kid-friendly spot tucked away in a quiet corner of the Rainier Valley where Genesee Business District meets the Lakewood/Seward Park neighborhood. Breakfast and lunch menu with plenty of vegetarian options, fresh-squeezed juices and homemade biscuits. Yum! (4922 S. Genesee St./206-722-5799) Genesee

2. Caffe Vita
This independent, locally-owned company has been roasting coffee in Seattle since 1995. From its humble beginnings at the base of Queen Anne, Caffe Vita now operates nine cafes in the Pacific Northwest, a roasteria cafe in New York City, and a cafe in Los Angeles. (5028 Wilson Ave. S./206-721-0111) Lakewood/Seward Park

3. Columbia City Bakery
Sure, the coffee’s good, but have you seen the pastry cabinet?! Scones, sticky buns, bostok, oh, my! Owner Evan Andres, trained in the art and science of bread at Macrina, bakes some of the city’s best bread, cakes and pastries. (4865 Rainier Ave. S./206-723-6023) Columbia City

4. Empire Espresso
Voted Best of South Seattle over and over and over again, this popular neighborhood cafe serves up beer/wine, coffee/tea, signature waffles and more. (3829 S. Edmunds St./206-659-0588) Columbia City

5. Kaffa Coffee & Wine Bar
This Ethiopian restaurant recently took over the former home of the Rose Cafe and Restaurant. Specialties include coffee, espresso drinks, tea and Ethiopian food. Established earlier this year, the restaurant is named after the Kaffa region in Ethiopia is the birthplace of coffee. (8136 Rainier Ave. S./206-453-3558) Rainier Beach

6. Mioposto
This quaint little spot is tucked away in a picturesque corner of Mt. Baker right across the street from Mt. Baker Park. Also offering wood-fired pizza and an intimate bar featuring house-made limoncello, local brews, tasty Walla Walla wines on tap & classic cocktails. (3601 S. McClellan St./206-760-3400) Mt. Baker

7. Redwing Cafe
With great coffee, a lovely ambiance, crazy good sticky buns and other yummy treats, Redwing is a great addition to what some are calling “Old Town Rainier Beach.” (9272 57th Ave. S./206-420-1706) Rainier Beach

8. Starbucks Columbia City
It’s Starbucks, so who needs a description? You’ve got your free wi-fi, coffee that tastes just like it does at every other Starbucks and cashiers obligated to ask about your day, so there it is. (4824 Rainier Ave. S./206-721-8871) Columbia City

9. Starbucks Mt. Baker
Former LA Laker Magic Johnson established this popular south-end location in 2000 after teaming with Starbucks to develop cafes in inner-city neighborhoods all over the country. Ten years later, Johnson sold his interest in 105 Starbucks franchises back to the company for an estimated $27 million. (2921 Martin Luther King Jr. Way S./206-721-1543) Mt. Baker

10. The Station
Home of the (Slightly Less) Bitter Barista, The Station is a hiphop mecca and one of the coolest spots in the city. Owner Luis Rodriguez is extra-proud of the mocha Mexicano, made with Ibarra chocolate. (2533 16th Ave. S./206-453-4892) Beacon Hill

11. Tin Umbrella Coffee
It didn’t take long for this funky little java joint to become all the South Seattle rage, as evidenced by its prompt Best Coffee Shop win in the 2013 Best of South Seattle Awards. Owner Joya Iverson is building community AND roasting her own beans. (5600 Rainier Ave. S./206-743-8802) Hillman City

12. Tutta Bella Neapolitan Pizzeria
What? Coffee at the Best Kid-Friendly Restaurant in South Seattle? Yep, but not like they do at Starbucks. Just delicious authentic Italian espresso (with a little Nutella if you’re feeling naughty). Owner Joe Fugere likes to keep it real. Morning espresso bar open every day at 8 am. (4918 Rainier Ave. S./206-721-3501) Columbia City

BONUS: Starbucks drive-thru
We didn’t think this one belonged in a list of sit-down coffee shops, so consider it a bonus. (6310 Martin Luther King Jr. Way S./206-725-0718) Brighton



  1. We have Rainier Beach Bakery now too. If the coffee doesn’t get you in the door, then their peanut butter and jelly bars should do the trick!