What makes a coffee shop a good place to work from? Is it the coffee? The hospitality? The music? Everyone has their favorite spot to>"/>
What makes a coffee shop a good place to work from? Is it the coffee? The hospitality? The music? Everyone has their favorite spot to park their laptop, whether it's a small café in their neighborhood or the hottest coffee shop on the other side of town. We here at Seattle Weekly are jealous of those who are within walking distance from a great café that welcomes laptops and loungers equally. For those of us who have to get in our cars and drive, however, we've come up with a list of places that cater to those looking for a warm spot to sit and sip for hours while they work.
"Why isn't my favorite coffee shop on this list?" you may wonder. We totally admit there are some awesome coffee shops in the city that aren't on this list, which could be due to several circumstances: they didn't have enough outlets, their wi-fi was slow or spotty, they didn't accept debit cards, or perhaps the baristas treated non-regulars with the same enthusiasm as a dial-up connection. We risked parking tickets, tasteless playlists and the jitters to bring you the Top 5 Coffeehouses to Park Your Laptop.
5. Revolutions Espresso (left),
7012 Woodlawn Ave. N.E., 527-1908
This little hideway is directly behind Gregg's Greenlake Cycle, so it should be no surprise to see spandex-clad cyclists coming in for a quick pick-me-up before a ride. What's great about Revolutions is that they're never really busy. You can always find a seat, a plug-in and a short wait (if any) for coffee. Not only is there a lot of street parking around the coffee shop, there's a lot of space. Revolutions is so spacious that it almost seems depressing. "What's wrong with this place?" is not an unusual reaction when first entering the café. But once you realize the Herkimer coffee is brewed fresh, the pastries made on-site and the refills only 44-cents, your tune will probably change to, "How soon until people find out about this place?" Besides the neighborhood crowd, Revolutions attracts local police officers, fitness addicts and those who don't want to deal with the nearby Starbucks congestion.
4. Uptown Espresso (right),
This Uptown is actually in Belltown
2504 4th Ave. (4th & Wall), 441-1084
For a coffee shop that's located in the heart of Belltown, it's amazing how professional the clientele is. Walk inside and take a look around; we guarantee the majority will be wearing a jacket and tie. The signature green carpet and shabby chic decor of this popular coffeehouse is a dead giveaway that you're in the "home of the velvet foam." If you come in the morning, prepare to wait in line for coffee. Come in the afternoon and prepare to wait for a table to open up. During a recent jaunt, the place was packed at 4 p.m. and only a third full 30 minutes later. Once you're seated, you can stay for the long haul. Why wouldn't you? Fonte coffee refills are only 55-cents; there's ample street parking nearby; and there's lots of natural light and good tunes to make your stay comfortable.
227 Yale Ave. N., 388-5164
You can hear Vivace before you walk through the doors. The hiss of the espresso machine, the thud of the coffee basket being knocked against the grind box, and impatient customers waiting up to 15 minutes for a carefully crafted cup of joe are sure signs of a great coffee joint. Vivace is loud in the mornings, especially before 11 a.m.. If you come after that, you'll be rewarded with baristas who've had a chance to catch their breath and lots of seating with ample outlets. There's a couch area facing the wall for a private workspace. We recommend grabbing a barstool overlooking the sidewalk for some of the best people watching South Lake Union has to offer. And don't worry about parking in this neck of SLU; there's both two and 10 hour street parking available, which means you don't have to duck out of the café every couple of hours to move your car. On the off-chance that the weather's nice, the sidewalk windows slide open to let a nice breeze pass through. Even in the rain, the wafting smell of freshly roasted Vivace coffee is enough to make you feel all warm inside.
2. Caffe Fiore (left),
224 W. Galer St., 282-1441
There's something magical about a coffeehouse in the middle of a tree-lined neighborhood where locals stop in for some of the city's best lattes every morning and sit outside on wooden chairs during sunny afternoons. This particular coffee shop is on top of Queen Anne, situated between Trader Joe's and Top Pot Donuts. There's plenty of free street parking outside, but the real deal is inside: Fiore coffee refills for just 75-cents and the chance to lounge inside one of the city's most charming java shops for as long as your caffeine intake can handle it. Come after 10 a.m. if you want to beat the coffee rush and grab workspace. There's usually a nice R & B soundtrack and lots of outlets and natural lighting to make your laptop time more enjoyable. If it's teamwork you're after, there's round communal tables. For those who like to study solo, pull up one of the window seats and see how long you can hold out before you cross the street for an apple fritter.
And the number one coffeehouse to park with your laptop is....
1. Oddfellows Cafe & Bar (right)
Drew Zandonella-Stannard Laptops not so odd at this cafe
1525 10th Ave., 325-0807
We're not sure if this place exists to cater to diners or laptop users. On any given afternoon, we'd say it's a 50-50 split. The wooden bench-lined walls of this Capitol Hill sanctuary are filled with folks head-down, typing away on their laptops while sipping Stumptown coffee and snacking on sandwiches and other fancified American classics from the menu. The old-timey, straight-from-your-grandma's pantry décor makes this airy space comforting. The fact that the servers are constantly refilling your water glass and coffee while not judging you for taking up space for hours on end makes this café accommodating. Add to the mix a kick-ass 80s soundtrack and bottomless coffee for $2.75, and you'll begin to understand why we picked Oddfellows as our favorite place to park with our laptop. The only drawback? You may not want to leave, which could make for a very messy parking ticket situation.