But did you know Bellevue has over 110 coffee shops of its own? Many of these local gems have some of the best locally roasted, sourced, smooth and delicious coffee we’ve ever tasted. Listed below are a few of our favorite local hangouts to spend a morning lingering over a latte, or dropping by for a delicious cup to go.
And with all there is to explore and do in Bellevue, you’ll be amazed at how much you can accomplish in the time it takes you to finish that to-go cup!
Just a ten-minute walk from Lincoln Square or a quick drive from just about anywhere in Bellevue, Café Cesura is all about local beans and sourcing. Step inside and you’re in for a real treat. Large windows create a bright, airy, clean and sleek environment. Single-origin coffees, loose-leaf teas and delicious, creative sandwiches are offered all day long. It’s a place you’ll want linger and chat with a friend over a warm mug.
Beyond the tasty coffee and tea offerings, you can choose from fabulous pastries like almond croissants and the ever-popular cronut—a cross between a croissant and donut. And don’t forget to try their award-winning egg sandwich.
New to Bellevue in 2016, Honor Coffee, the local shop that started in Seattle, can now be enjoyed in Bellevue. Honor features beans from Olympia Coffee Roasting, a small, quality focused coffee roaster from the Pacific Northwest.
Walk into the spacious, inviting digs and you’ll first notice the large communal wood table with plenty of room for playing games or just hanging out with the family or friends.
But what we love most about Honor is the coffee itself. Rich and smooth, along with baristas who know their stuff, it’s not a bad way spend a morning or afternoon. Their specialties include cold brews and pour over methods. Speaking of which, you’ll love checking out the Yama–a cold brew drip glass tower, prominently displayed on the counter. This funky glass contraption will make you a super smooth cup of cold brew. Alexis, our barista, was an expert on the process.
Started by Micah Pittman, owner of 99 Park Restaurant in Bellevue, Fika House Kafé is the perfect place to relax for any true coffee connoisseur. When you open the door, it’s clear this small, sleek space belongs to someone who knows what he’s doing.
We were lucky enough to pop in on a Monday, the day of the week when Micah himself serves up some of the most delicious craft brew east of Seattle, not to mention the fluffy, melt-in-your-mouth homemade waffles to go with it. We asked him what inspired him to open a coffee shop—in the midst of running a successful restaurant close by:
“I had a real passion for coffee and wanted a place that was part of the local community. I also wanted our waffles to be like nothing else you could find in the area.”
And the waffles certainly are. He and his chef from 99 Park, Derek Bugge, spent time in Belgium and Amsterdam just to perfect the waffle recipe. They even brought home a special waffle iron you will only find in Europe. You can get your waffle bacon wrapped, or even gluten-free. It’s no wonder the waffles have become as much as a draw as the coffee at Fika House.
This new, community-driven coffee shop does more than just serve a delicious cup of joe. Bellden Café’s owner, Claire Sumadiwirya, added a unique twist on the traditional coffee shop model by regularly partnering with and supporting local charities.
And where did that inspiration come from? Sumadiwirya credits her young son: “A few years ago, we were traveling in Shanghai and my son got very sick. He ended up in the hospital for two weeks. We were far from home, in a foreign country, and the community there was amazing. They nurtured and took care of us in such a lovely way.” After that experience, she decided to open a coffee shop for the Shanghai community within the hospital. “We were there during a time before large coffee chains had come in. They just didn’t have a place for community gathering.”
With that success, she came back to the United States and settled in Bellevue, deciding to open a shop here with that same community building in mind.
“We wanted to create an atmosphere where customers would not only enjoy great coffee and food– but also have an opportunity to do something bigger for the world. We decided to pair with non-profits to elevate our business to one that gives back,” she says.
Bellden Café offers special food and drink items for each featured charity. All the proceeds from the sale of these items go directly to the charity. In addition, employees and the owners volunteer for every non-profit they partner with.
Coming in June to the soon-to-be opened Market at Lincoln Square, is Dote Coffee. Dote is the brainchild of Lisa Dupar, local celebrity chef and owner of Pomegranate Bistro, along with her partner, Sarah Doud. Together, they are launching an innovative new coffee experience.
They tapped local artisan roaster Phillip Meech of Café Lusso to create the perfect blend, specifically for Dote. That means all of Dote’s signature chocolates were made to pair with and complement the finest coffee there is.
According to Dupar, Dote will be more than just an ordinary coffee destination. “We really wanted to create a unique experience in coffee. Bellevue has “grown up” over the past several years and we set out to honor that. I have always believed in the idea of nurturing the community with the best local, simple ingredients—and wanted to apply that same concept to Dote by creating a one-of-a-kind experience you won’t find anywhere else.”
What does that mean? Imagine sipping a warm mug of the best chocolate truffle you have ever come across. Look for tantalizing house signature flavors like Dote Honey Dark Chocolate, Dote Vanilla Bean White Chocolate and Dote Hazelnut Milk Chocolate. All created exclusively by world-class chocolatier Ewald Notter. Notter will also invent exclusive Dote candies, bars and snacks. You can even get a “boozy” dote after dinner or an evening at the movies.
Want to do even more coffee exploration? Stop by Seattle Coffee Gear right off Northeast 8th Street in downtown Bellevue. Not only will you find the latest methods and demonstrations on how to make a perfect cup—there’s even a coffee wall.
Here you’ll find over 40 local roasts and taste them via pour-over or espresso brew method. Customers are encouraged to create their own “tasting flight” by selecting a few to try, brewing them up and sampling right there in the store.
Written by – Tami Rogers
Photo Credits – Top to Bottom: Coffee and Champagne via Fika House Kafé, Coffee Cup and Bellevue Backdrop via Café Cesura on Instagram, Table Spread via Honor Coffee, Coffee and Waffle via Fika House Kafé, Barista with Latte via Bellden Cafe, Coffee Tasting Wall via Seattle Coffee Gear (Bellevue)