For Roasters & Retailers

The Best Coffee in Seattle Has Been Here for a Really Long Time


One of America’s best cappuccinos comes from a kiosk in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. Espresso Vivace‘s Sidewalk Bar, as it is formally known, has been a presence on Broadway for decades now, a stealth enabler of civilized habits in a part of the city that for years had been regarded as a center of the counterculture, a place for the lost to find themselves, or not, a place where misfits might easily fit in.

The Sidewalk Bar, often referred to as The Stand, is an entirely modest affair, a sliver of a space adorned with ample amounts of red and green neon, tucked between an actual building and a parking lot; a few chairs and tables scattered out front function effectively as a community gathering place. Caffeine-deficient commuters in a hurry, locals on coffee dates, panhandlers trying their luck, pre-gamers out for a night on the town, the occasional reverent tourist—it all comes together here, in a loosely-organized environment bearing no resemblance to the minimal, carefully-programmed spaces in which we increasingly find our coffee being made.

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