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17 Absolute Best Iced Coffees In Seattle

Two iced coffees with straws
Two iced coffees with straws - Agrobacter/Getty Images

Seattle is known for being the coffee capital of the U.S. It's most famous for being home to the first-ever Starbucks, but regardless of whether you're a tourist or a local, you'd be seriously missing out if you don't try a wide variety of Seattle's best coffee shops. If you're a fan of iced coffees (even in the never-ending Seattle drizzle), there are a few shops you shouldn't pass up on visiting.

It's no secret that Seattle has plenty of fantastic coffee shops to choose from, and it can be hard to narrow down the selection. To make it a little easier, we chose a variety of coffee shops that will satisfy everyone -- from coffee aficionados to casual iced coffee drinkers. Menus were judged based on the quantity and style of signature drinks; we looked out for shops with house-made syrups, unique cold drinks, and seasonal options. The most important part was, of course, the quality of the espresso. I wasn't the only one trying these coffees; other customers' opinions mattered, too. Brew strength, flavor, and any unique qualities were considered here as well. General popularity was another important factor -- you'll notice that all of the shops on this list have a lot of regulars. Lastly, these shops aren't all in the same area of Seattle. This way, you'll be able to drop in for coffee anywhere you go.

Read more: 31 Coffee Brands, Ranked From Worst To Best

Espresso Vivace

Close-up of latte art
Close-up of latte art - Espresso Vivace

Whether you're a local or a tourist, Espresso Vivace is often one of the first places mentioned if you're on the hunt for a new coffee spot. The shop is often touted as having the best espresso in the entire city (though this is admittedly a hotly debated topic in Seattle). Even if you're not a fan of strong coffee, however, Espresso Vivace is guaranteed to have something you'll enjoy -- they offer plenty of sweet drinks that aren't as coffee-focused, like their iced white velvet latte or their classic caffe caramel.

Espresso Vivace menu highlight: For fans of strong coffee, grab an iced americano. Otherwise, the iced white velvet is one of their most highly-rated unique coffee drinks. It's the perfect blend of sweet syrup and semi-strong coffee. Still not sure what to get? You can ask their baristas for advice based on your typical favorite coffee.

espressovivace.com

Multiple locations in Seattle

Ghost Note

Ghost Note's Calypso mocktail espresso
Ghost Note's Calypso mocktail espresso - Ghost Note Coffee

Ghost Note is a classic Seattle stop for fans of hot or cold drinks. Not only does Ghost Note use locally roasted beans, but they also offer a variety of house-made syrups. The most unique part about their drink selection is that you can add bitters to your coffee, too -- this adds intrigue to any drink for those who aren't usually a fan of sweet syrups, making your drink essentially a mocktail. Any Ghost Note drink with bitters or house syrups in it is specially designed for the most balanced flavor profile possible, although you're able to add individual syrups to the classic coffees on their menu as well.

Ghost Note menu highlight: Lush Life, an espresso-based cold drink with almond milk, orange blossom honey, and grapefruit. It's available year-round, so you can enjoy it no matter what time of year you go, although it's certainly worth checking out their seasonal offerings before you order, too.

ghostnotecoffee.com

1623 Bellevue Ave, Seattle, WA 98122

Anchorhead Coffee

Anchorhead Coffee counter with baristas
Anchorhead Coffee counter with baristas - Anchorhead Coffee

One of the best things about Anchorhead (and there are many) is the variety of iced drink options they have on their menu. They even offer house-made syrups and milk blends, so you know they're dedicated to the craft. Their seasonal specialties are always popular, but they're year-round cold drinks -- like the nitro mint latte -- you won't be able to find anywhere else. Another hidden benefit of Anchorhead is that all of its locations tend to have more seating than the average Seattle coffee shop. You'll find them on Western Ave, in Capitol Hill, and right inside CenturyLink Plaza downtown.

Anchorhead Coffee menu highlight: Honey bunches of cold brew. It's a special blend of their cold brew coffee, milk, maple syrup, and burnt honey -- plus a little cinnamon. This year-round signature cold brew is probably one of the most well-known drinks in Seattle; whether you're a local or a tourist -- the drink was even mentioned in National Geographic.

anchorheadcoffee.com

Multiple locations in Seattle

Hello Em Việt Coffee And Roastery

Line of iced coffees
Line of iced coffees - Hello Em

The greatest thing about Hello Em Việt Coffee and Roastery is the variety of drinks they offer. If you're looking for a regular, classic coffee -- such as plain lattes, espressos, or americanos -- you can certainly find them here. But the real star quality of Hello Em comes from their traditional Vietnamese coffee drinks. From bac xiu (a light, creamy Vietnamese coffee with extra milk) to cà phê lá dúa (a coffee made with pandan for a lightly floral, grassy taste), many drinks on their menu are actually best when they're iced. You'll find that most of their menu options come with both hot and cold options. If you're looking for an espresso, their earthy Vietnamese dark roast is another ideal pick.

Hello Em menu highlight: A cold cà phê trúng, or egg coffee. This traditional Vietnamese coffee features a light, airy topping made of egg yolk and sweetened condensed milk. This is added to an incredibly strong espresso base, resulting in a rich yet balanced drink: sweet, flavorful, and strong.

helloem.coffee

1227 S Weller St, Seattle, WA 98144

Cafe Allegro

Coffee shop displaying artwork
Coffee shop displaying artwork - Cafe Allegro

Cafe Allegro is Seattle's oldest coffee shop, having turned 48 in 2023, so they're definitely doing something right -- when it comes to an experienced coffee shop, they're certainly the city's winner. In terms of their iced coffees, it's probably their in-house cold brews or their iced americanos that are a customer cold favorite. If you've got a sweet tooth, try out an iced mocha -- another popular regular recommendation at Allegro. If you're a fan of the cold coffee you get there, you can even order a specialized cold brew blend straight from Allegro themselves. The medium roast is lightly sweet with mixed beans.

Cafe Allegro menu highlight: The iced americano. The quality of Allegro's espresso is almost impossible to beat. If you're planning on getting a cold drink at the shop, going for one that includes a shot (or two) of their famous espresso is the best way to go.

seattleallegro.com

(206) 633-3030

Alleyway, 4214 University Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105

Herkimer Coffee

Coffee cup with latte art
Coffee cup with latte art - Herkimer Coffee

Herkimer Coffee is best known for its simple, straightforward, delicious iced coffee. It's got plenty of regulars who will recommend it as one of the top spots in the city, and it's easy to see why; not only do they roast their own beans, but they also provide coffee blends to other local shops in the area. If you're planning on heading to all the shops on this list, you'll definitely be drinking Herkimer beans more than once -- they're quality roasts that most regulars agree you won't be able to replicate with other roasters.

Herkimer Coffee menu highlight: You really can't go wrong with any cold drink starring a few shots of Herkimer's espresso. A classic americano is guaranteed to give you a flavorful cold coffee drink. Their full-bodied espresso blend is a sell-out all on its own thanks to its complex flavor profile; if you don't mind a little bit of bitterness, it's definitely worth getting an extra shot for even more flavor.

herkimercoffee.com

Multiple locations in Seattle

C&P Coffee Company

Glass with iced latte
Glass with iced latte - AliceCam/Shutterstock

C&P is great for a solid, high-quality iced coffee. The biggest draw-in for C&P's regulars (besides the variety of unique, locally-roasted drinks) is its location; it was converted from a house into a coffee shop, so there's plenty of space to relax. There's even a garden to enjoy -- perfect for dropping by with an iced drink in the summer. If you're an iced coffee fan who loves live music, C&P also hosts plenty of local events on the regular. Best of all, C&P is one of the city's only coffee shops open late in the evening. Their main coffee menu is extremely straightforward, especially if you're looking at cold drinks, but that can actually be a bonus if you're mainly on the hunt for strong, local coffee. They also have a seasonal menu offering iced drinks that are both creative and delicious.

C&P Coffee Company menu highlight: Americanos are highly rated here. C&P's signature roast is from Lighthouse Coffee -- a rich, smooth, and lightly spiced blend. It's safe to say that anything with their signature espresso will satisfy coffee lovers.

candpcoffee.com

(206) 933-3125

5612 California Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98136

Elm Coffee

An iced coffee and soda
An iced coffee and soda - Elm Coffee Company

Elm Coffee prides itself on its iced coffees -- so much so that its website even details the methods of brewing its iced coffee offerings. This shop roasts its own beans, which makes it well-known for the high quality (and unique flavor) of its espresso. Elm Coffee is also known for having a preference when it comes to iced drinks; Elm enjoys providing the strength of an iced coffee, as the shop states the method of brewing an iced coffee lends more flavor to its roasts. All of Elm's drinks come highly recommended by coffee aficionados (though if you're not a fan of strong coffee, you might opt to add some flavored syrups to your drink, too). If you love a good classic iced coffee or iced latte, you can't miss Elm Coffee.

Elm Coffee menu highlight: The iced coffee, of course. Elm's coffee beans make for a full, rich flavor profile -- if you're looking to add a little sweetness, you can always leave a little extra room for Elm Coffee's hazelnut milk.

elmcoffeeroasters.com

(206) 445-7808

240 2nd Ave S #103, Seattle, WA 98104

Hood Famous Cafe + Bar

Hood Famous' iced 'Halo Halo' latte
Hood Famous' iced 'Halo Halo' latte - Hood Famous

Hood Famous is right in the middle of the International District, and it's always busy -- a testament to how delicious their drinks are. The Filipino cafe and bakery offers a variety of signature drinks alongside special seasonal options. Alongside their many food options, they also offer several beloved signature iced drinks, including their iced pandan latte and their calamansi (citrus hybrid) espresso tonic. Another bonus of this classic cafe is that the drinks aren't too overpriced -- they don't charge much for their unique syrups and iced signatures. And yes, they do turn into a bar at night!

Hood Famous menu highlight: The iced ube latte. You might spot tourists or food influencers taking pictures of the bright purple drink outside the shop, but it's not one of their signature drinks just because of its recognizable color. The light sweetness of the ube brings out the flavor of the espresso.

hoodfamousbakeshop.com

(206) 485-7049

504 5th Ave S #107a, Seattle, WA 98104

Monorail Espresso

Monorail Espresso's lively storefront
Monorail Espresso's lively storefront - Monorail Espresso

Monorail Espresso is more of a coffee bar than a coffee shop -- it's a walk-up coffee shop with no seating, so anyone looking to try Monorail's coffee will order from an outdoor takeout window. They have plenty of quality coffee for anyone looking for a quick cold drink (their americanos, in particular, are always highly rated), but fans of Monorail know that the flavored lattes are where it's at. They offer seasonal specials that are fun and often holiday-themed, as well as specialty flavors. They're also the only coffee shop in Seattle that charges for directions -- and it'll definitely cost ya'.

Monorail Espresso menu highlight: The burnt creme latte -- iced, of course. Most regulars will agree that you have to try it at least once. The drink is sweet but not overwhelming, thanks to the espresso and lightly burnt flavor; it's a smooth latte that enhances the flavor of the espresso without being overly strong.

monorailespresso.com

Multiple locations in Seattle

The Station

The Station's coffee menu
The Station's coffee menu - The Station Coffee Shop

The Station is a Seattle classic known for offering delicious food and coffee. It's not just about the espresso (although, trust us when we say The Station will never pull a dead shot) but also about the variety of unique drinks they offer. It's actually almost difficult to run out of iced coffee drinks to try at The Station; their menu includes their popular signature cold drinks like the Mocha Mexicano (a mocha made with Mexican chocolate) or the Diangelo, a brown sugar latte that is also available iced. Plus, you can always add a shot to their cold Chai drinks to make a dirty Chai latte for a flavorful twist on The Station's espresso.

The Station menu highlight: The Haitian cold brew for a bold, flavorful brew that isn't at all bitter. Whether you get it with or without milk, it's guaranteed to be strong but not bitter. Plus, it's only $4 for a 16-ounce cup.

thestationbh.com

Multiple locations in Seattle

Overcast Coffee

Glass with affogato and spoon
Glass with affogato and spoon - Overcast Coffee Company

Overcast is popular enough that it has two different Seattle locations, and they're both equally highly rated. The shop's coffees are smooth, and -- if you're adding some of their special house-made syrup -- never too sweet. Overcast definitely knows how to focus on utilizing syrups to bring out the flavor of their espresso, not mask it, and it's one of the reasons they have a regular customer base full of people who love experimenting with quality coffee. For their iced drinks, you'll be able to enjoy the syrups and signature blends that best enhance their espresso.

Overcast Coffee menu highlight: It's more than worth checking out Overcast's signature iced drinks when you drop by. For a year-round option, an iced dark mocha is one of their most popular latte drinks; thanks to the dark chocolate, Overcast's mocha has a better coffee flavor and more flavorful syrup than other mochas.

overcastcoffee.co

Multiple locations in Seattle

Wunderground Coffee

Milk pouring into iced coffee
Milk pouring into iced coffee - Wunderground Coffee

Wunderground Coffee is probably one of the most unique coffee shops in Seattle. Why? Because they use herbal mushroom blends (yes, the strictly herbal kind -- it's even safe for kids) to help you holistically reduce stress and prevent caffeine crashes. It's basically regular coffee with a bunch of extra benefits. If you're looking for a unique coffee mix you won't be able to find anywhere else, Wunderground is a must-visit stop on your iced coffee search.

The real question: Does the coffee taste any different because of the mushrooms? Well, it tends to depend on what drink you get (and how sensitive your taste buds are). We don't think there's a mushroomy taste; the most you'll get is the taste of an extra earthy blend. If you're worried about it, opt for an iced drink with syrups and/or flavoring.

Wunderground Coffee menu highlight: Strange Matcha Magic. This drink comes hot or iced, but the matcha-mocha combination removes any mushroom flavors for even the most sensitive coffee connoisseurs.

wundergroundcoffee.com

Multiple locations in Seattle

Analog Coffee

Glass with espresso tonic
Glass with espresso tonic - Analog Coffee

Analog Coffee is an extremely popular coffee shop located in Capitol Hill. You might find that the line is already out the door if you're heading in on a busy day, but don't let that stop you from dropping in -- even busy regulars swear it's worth the wait. Analog uses locally-roasted beans and even local organic milk in all of their coffees, so they're all about high-quality coffee ingredients. Many of Analog's regulars love to boast that Analog has the best espresso in the city; in the interest of fairness, the battle for 'Seattle's best espresso' will likely never stop raging. But Analog's espresso is incredible, and the other local add-ons make the quality of their coffee even better.

Analog Coffee menu highlight: If you're not heading to Analog to try one of their quality americanos or cold brews, their espresso tonic is a more unique cold drink. It still features their beloved espresso with a little more of a refreshing pop.

analogcoffee.com

235 Summit Ave E, Seattle, WA 98102

Fulcrum Cafe

Iced coffee with star anise
Iced coffee with star anise - Fulcrum Coffee Roasters

If you're heading to Fulcrum for iced coffee, you should definitely try one of their creative signature seasonal drinks. They always have several running seasonal options, around half of which are iced. Each signature drink is entirely different and relies on a wide variety of ingredients and flavor profiles to make it pop -- their website even offers pictures of the aesthetic offerings. A few signature seasonal examples include their recent Boom Chaga Latte, an immunity-boosting coffee that features monk fruit, chaga mushrooms, and cacao, along with their locally roasted espresso. The seasonal 'Pretty in pink' is a beetroot latte made with rosewater -- it's even topped with jasmine flowers.

Fulcrum Cafe menu highlight: Any of their iced signatures! It's hard to say what will be on the menu during each season because they love to change things up, but there will always be plenty of fun, unique options to try.

fulcrumcoffee.com

(206) 995-8779

590 Bell St, Seattle, WA 98121

Victrola Coffee Roasters

Two Victrola iced coffees
Two Victrola iced coffees - Victrola Coffee Roasters

Seattle locals, you didn't think we'd leave Victrola off this list, did you? For the uninitiated, Victrola is a coffee roastery with four locations that casual coffee lovers and coffee experts can both enjoy. Victrola uses its very own coffee beans (and even has a coffee bean subscription service), making them known amongst locals for making some of the best coffee in the city. It's popular enough that the line is always long, but the baristas move quickly (and the coffee is more than worth the wait). The cold brew and Victrola's many iced latte options are the best bet for iced coffee lovers; the shop even offers seasonal drink options.

Victrola Coffee menu highlight: An iced latte. If you're looking for something on the sweet side, a vanilla latte or maple latte is the way to go. Otherwise, you'll be impressed with just the flavor of Victrola's espresso.

victrolacoffee.com

Multiple locations in Seattle

Root

Man pouring espresso into cup
Man pouring espresso into cup - Root

Root, as the name hints, isn't strictly a coffee shop -- it's actually one of Ballard's best plant shops. Push past the variegated monsteras to find a small coffee bar in the back of the shop. Although the shop's main focus technically isn't coffee, the menu is unique enough to make it a must-visit on many locals' lists -- especially for iced coffee. Root prides itself on providing unique coffee drinks and roasts that you wouldn't expect from a small plant shop. The seasonal flavor combinations are what makes Root most interesting because it offers blends that you won't be able to find at other coffee shops, and Root loves experimenting with seasonal ingredients.

Root menu highlight: Root's iced seasonal drinks are always unique and changing, thanks to its seasonal ingredients and house-made syrups. The signature drink offerings you'll find on the menu will depend on the season, but some recent examples include the rosemary honey latte and even the butternut squash latte.

root-plants.com

(206) 403-1266

5000 20th Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107

Read the original article on Tasting Table.