Local artwork adorns the walls within Java Zombie, a Kirkland café with an ambience as cozy and comforting as a pantsuit sewn from deconstructed teddy bears. Baristas here brew Vivace espresso, steam milk for lattes, and top rich hot chocolate with dollops of whipped cream.
In the morning, patrons can sink teeth into breakfast sandwiches and burritos. Later in the day, the focus turns to gourmet sandwiches made with Boar's Head meats and artisanal breads from The Essential Baking Company. The menu also includes vegetarian and vegan options and gluten-free pastries from Stone Layne. Free WiFi signals drift through the air, and bands play live music during special events.
Each crowd-pleasing trio comes on a reusable platter that is handy for later serving B-list house guests. The Wandering Café asks that customers call 48 hours ahead. Home delivery costs extra (call for more information, as pricing varies by area), but The Wandering Café's highway-convenient location makes pick-up easy.
You could call brothers George and Marcos Trejo artists. They make their small-batch, handcrafted chocolate bars and truffles right in their Green Lake storefront and transform their tasty treats into edible works of the imagination. What makes their chocolates unique is partly the high quality of the cocoa they use and partly the creative flavor combinations they come up with. On any given day, they might be infusing heavy dark chocolate blends with the citrusy tang of orange oil or mixing their truffles with the flavor of bourbon pecan or Mexican mango. In their store, they complement their cocoa-rich wares with other artful treats, such as small-batch ice cream—coincidentally, da Vinci’s first medium for the Mona Lisa.
From the bakers who stoke hot ovens every morning to the baristas who brew imported Lavazza beans, Caffè Torino strives to capture the warmth and flavors of Turin, Italy in their intimate café. Piping-hot cups of coffee pair perfectly with flaky croissants, delicate polenta and nutella cookies, and delicious amaretto flan. During weekday happy hour feasts, guests sip wine while munching on kale chips or savoring small plates of crostini. Main courses tempt diners with crunchy-chewy caprese sandwiches or rustic salads made with seasonal combinations of beans, root veggies, greens, and pasta. Bakers labor at hot ovens every day to create delectable pastries, cookies, biscotti, croissants, and much more. Like a teacup that constantly reminds you to lift your pinky, Caffè Torino cultivates high dining culture by covering walls with canvases from local artists and hosting Italian lessons from Percorso Italiano.
Cherry Street Coffee House displays local art, hosts live music, and holds events at each of its locations. Steam rises from blends of house coffees, forming the shape of perfume bottles that spritz the cafes with the aromas of Brazil nuts and dark cocoa. A medley of coffee beans from Papua New Guinea and Central and South America flavor the signature espresso, which guests can enjoy in between bites of house-made breakfast bagels, quiche, pastries, sandwiches, soups, and salads. Cherry Street's kitchen staff supplies a list of ingredients, highlighting which vibrant dishes are vegan, contain dairy and nuts, or plan to transform into dairy and nuts.
At locations dotted all over the Pacific Northwest, Black Rock Coffee Bar’s baristas dazzle patrons' taste buds with their simple and elaborate coffee creations. Served in ink-black cups emblazoned with their understated lowercase logo and red stars, their hot drinks range from brewed coffee to chai-tea lattes to flavored mochas. The baristas infuse the mochas with extras—including white chocolate and caramel to create the caramel blondie and hazelnut to concoct the blackout mocha, which, unfortunately, will not make you black out for the entire workday. On the chilly side of the menu, their blended drinks include shake-like delights made sweeter with Oreos, mint chips, and chai, as well as smoothies and icy coffee granitas.