The all-day café is, perhaps the most comforting, welcoming trend in dining these days: come, stay awhile, have a cup of coffee, a snack, perhaps a light meal. They are the new third place, they have wi-fi and people working on computers, but also people that are just there for the good food, the wine, or the cocktails. And Seattle’s got them in spades. Here are a few of our favorite places that keep us eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner all in the same spot.
The place that began it all, perhaps, remains the best. Come for a baguette smeared in chocolate and an espresso in the morning, spend the day staring out the window onto Twelfth until it’s time to level up with a glass of Lillet and a few French fries. If you’ve forgotten your reading materials, the magazine rack at the front has you covered, and if you’ve got enough time, the roasted chicken is rightfully famous.
What do you get when two former fine-dining employees combine their cooking skills and wine knowledge into a café? A light-strewn space where the rose selection rivals the best cellars in town and you can get smoked sprats on your toast. The menu here morphs throughout the day (only the avocado toast never disappears—perhaps a metaphor for life?), but you can count on simple foods gussied up with chef-y touches: grilled cheese sandwich with gruyere and smoked ham, quinoa salad with dukkah and preserved Meyer lemons.
Where do you go to see and be seen before noon? The cool kids get their coffee here, where the décor looks like what your house would if your Pinterest projects were actually successful and the food excels at being Instagrammed. Tahini toast shares the food menu with a ploughman’s lunch, and kombucha shares the tap with a selection of beers, so all you need to fit in is a Moleskine notebook of your very own.
The only thing Seattleites like as much as their coffee is their pho, so chef Eric Banh combined the two into the all-day café that, perhaps, best embodies Seattle as a whole. It’s a place where you transition from espresso to pho, then onto craft cocktails without so much having to scootch down the dark-wood banquettes.
Light and bright, and filled with greenery—both the plants in the décor and the avocado on the toast—this sweet spot performs magic on an office-building lobby space. The coffee is good, but the wine list is better: no surprise, given that it was opened by the owners of Madrona’s Bottlehouse. The food menu—from Fuji Bakery croissants to weekend waffles—is upstaged only by the drinks of all types. Syrups for coffees are made in-house, they have a coffee egg cream, and a Seattle Fog tea drink, and, while the drinks are all beer and wine, they have a selection of amari, aperitifs, sherries, and digestifs worth stopping by for.