Coffee near Haller Lake, Seattle
Submitted by murph on 28 December 2007 - 12:55pm. neighborhoods | seattle | trips
I'm in Seattle, visiting Elias, who lives round-about the Haller Lake neighborhood, at the northern end of the city. Elias doesn't drink coffee - but this is Seattle, right? I should be able to find coffee behind every tree and under every rock.
So I set out to find some. Haller Lake's not the most pedestrian-oriented of neighborhoods (though it could be, with the addition of a few sidewalks and some rezoning of the commercial strips), and all of the available coffee within walking distance appears to be along Aurora Avenue. I knew I was in some trouble when I checked the google satellite images for "coffee near aurora ave n & n 130th st" - mmmm, strip mall-tastic - but I'm never one to shy away from a challenge of pedestrianism.
And you, gentle reader, get to benefit from the results, in case you're ever in a similar situation:
So far, I've sampled three of the fine local coffee establishments along Aurora Ave. At each, my drink of choice (as always) was a double americano, black. (I don't drink milk, and prefer americanos over drip coffee for cleanness of taste.)
Starbucks Coffee, 13035 Aurora Ave N: Okay, yes. I went to Starbucks. I'm in Seattle; I kind of have to. So far, the Starbucks is the only sit-down cafe I've found on Aurora (with a drive-through around the back, in a newly constructed building that appears to be accessory to the mid-scale brand-new senior apartment complex behind it), and, sure enough, it's a Starbucks. Service is typicallyy industrial, with the baristas behind the fortress-like counter that blocks sight but for gaps for ordering and pickup. Coffee: Starbucks. Dark roast and muddier in consistency than I prefer, but drinkable.
The Hideout Coffee Shop, 14313 Aurora Ave N: A drive-through/walk-up coffee stand. Weather was snow, melting on impact, meaning I was somewhat soaked by the time I got back. Best conversation so far - but how can you go wrong when the trivia question of the day involves Iggy Pop? Coffee was lighter roast and perhaps a little thinner than I wanted, but that may also have been the snow-rain speaking.
Gourmet Latte No. 4, 13279 Aurora Ave N: Right around the corner and down a block from Gourmet Latte? Maybe I'll compare tomorrow. Another drive-through/walk-up, involving a wait behind the Ford Focus that apparently contained a customer regular enough to merit a christmas present from the baristas. I was unimpressed with technique, which both required some clarification of the shots:water ratio I was expecting, and also involved some vigorous stirring, robbing me of the pleasure of sipping the crema off the top! Minus ten points. The coffee itself was a fairly good, clean, dark roast, but I feel like getting what I want would require too much instruction.
Today, continued with a *lot* of walking.
Gourmet Latte, 907 N 135th St: Does not exist.
Highlands Coffee Co., 14508 Whitman Ave N, Shoreline, WA: I walked all the way to the suburbs, but couldn't find this one. It may be underneath the new "Luxury Townhouse Condominiums".
So, back to Hideout I went. Then home, tiredly, for breakfast.