Blue Saucer is loyally committed to serving only the finest Stumptown coffee, brewed to order in small French-pressed batches (starting at $1.60). Every week a different bean from the boutique coffee maker is featured for your sipping satisfaction, along with specialty drinks such as a house-mixed hot chocolate (starting at $2) and organic teas (starting at $1.60) for your steeping enjoyment.
The Maple Leaf coffee house offers a warm and toasty neighborhood atmosphere in which to sip your favored coffee drink, nosh on your favored sandwich, or ogle your favored coffee carafe. Splurge on the 10-drink punch card, and enjoy a marathon of its premium teas ($0.91+), lattes ($2.25+), chais ($2.25+), espressos ($1.25+), extras ($0.30+), or pour-it-yourself drip roasts ($0.91+). Or opt for a $20 credit for $10 towards anything in the store. In addition to the full espresso-bar offerings, Cloud City serves up a full menu of casual café fare, with filling breakfast bites, such as oatmeal ($3+) and breakfasty burritos ($2.25), alongside hand-held lunch fare, such as quiche ($3.75), fresh-made sandwiches ($3.50+), and salad sandwiches ($5.75). Your Groupon is also valid toward the purchase of any retail product. Spend a warm afternoon among Cloud City Coffee's free WiFi, cozy couches, and children's play area—at least, until its suave owner betrays you to the Empire and has you frozen in carbonite.
Meet the Owner: Rod Neldam is a third-generation baker. His grandfather ran a bakery in Oakland called Neldam’s Danish Bakery for many years, beginning in 1929.
While You’re Waiting: Take a look around. The walls sport the work of local artists, and management swaps in a new batch of pictures, paintings, and photographs at the beginning of every month.
When to Go: Grateful Bread hosts open mic nights every second Tuesday of the month from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Inside Tip: If you’re in the market for something specific, make sure to time your visit correctly. Challah is only made on Thursdays and Fridays, and wild rice and onion breads only emerge from the ovens on Saturdays.
While You’re in the Neighborhood: Take a stroll through the four acres of native plants, orchards, and nurseries at the Magnuson Community Garden (7400 Sand Point Way NE).
If You Can’t Make It, Try This: Grateful Bread hits the farmers’ market circuit Wednesday through Sunday, making stops at Wallingford, Queen Anne, and Shoreline Farmers’ Markets. Check the website for a current schedule.
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.
A pair of restaurateurs opened Pair Food & Wine so they could pair local and organic food with local and imported wine. The meat and dairy on the seasonal menu comes from Washington farms, and the produce might even come straight from Pair's back garden, harvested by the tiny farmers who live behind the sidewalk planters. While the wine list is lengthy, the bar-food menu is short, containing just a snack-size handful of dishes. "But each one," wrote the Seattle Times in 2009, "falls in line with Pair's penchant for making simple dishes elegant."