Since opening in 2002, Cloudy City Coffee has become a neighborhood staple, going so far as to crown itself the “town hall of Maple Leaf.” Read on to learn more about this popular gathering place.
Long waits and harsh lighting are just two inconveniences that can plague a standard trip to the post office. The process leaves little room for relaxation, let alone time to kick back and enjoy a freshly made latte. That's what Sip and Ship hopes to remedy. The family-owned business combines two different worlds—the post office and a coffee shop—into an operation that runs as smoothly as its coffee goes down.
The process is both friendly and simple: customers bring in items they need to send far away, such a piece of art, an old-fashioned letter, or a cursed monkey's paw. The Sip and Ship team wraps, packs, and ships it—all while customers wind down with organic, locally roasted drinks and homemade cookies and scones. In between all the sipping and shipping, customers can squeeze in some shopping, too; the store stocks its shelves with bottled wine, bath products, and even children's toys.
In an interview in the Stranger's Chow Bio, 3.14 Bakery owner Jessica Haury admits to being a math geek, which is why she pulled in that famous irrational number to represent her bakery's specialty: pie. Haury sees baking as therapeutic, asking "Who can feel bad when there's a homemade pie in the house?" With that in mind, she sells each freshly baked morsel hoping it can bring some good to someone’s day. The bakery’s seasonal menu captures the bounty of nature throughout the year with the flavors of cherry, rhubarb, or apple in the personal pies, pie pops, and single slices. The bakery doesn't stop at perfecting pie, the team also rolls cake balls and bakes seven-layer bars, cookies, and gooey cinnamon rolls perfect for sticking to coworkers' foreheads. Diners who wish to enjoy their goodies onsite can settle into a chair with a fork and a steamy cup of coffee on the side.
In the kitchen of Fainting Goat Gelato, batches of dense, velvety goodness are churning slowly. Organic milk from Fresh Breeze Farms absorbs organic sugar, thickening as it gets colder, before Yalcin folds in the flavor. He infuses one vat of his low-fat treat with local berries and another vat with Turkish hazelnuts. Maybe later he'll make use of some pistachios from Sicily. He uses local ingredients whenever he can but recognizes that sometimes nuts grow better across the Atlantic, and more than anything he wants to make his gelato sing with rich, full, true flavors.
By using such prime ingredients, the gelato that Yalcin and his wife make in Fainting Goat Gelato takes guests on a journey as expansive as their own. The husband and wife moved to Seattle from Turkey in 1997 and subsequently focused on raising their daughters, but after their youngest started applying to college, they wanted to begin a new adventure. Today they keep their shop stocked with 18 flavors at all times, creating an ever-rotating menu that at any time might include fig-vanilla, honey-lavender, or Nutella gelato. Cups of Turkish coffee, espresso, and tea help round out the experience and thaw tongues chilled from licking a scoop of strawberry or lips frozen from kissing a snowman.
"Hip" and "kid-friendly" aren't often adjectives that go together, but Rebecca changed all that when she founded Twirl Caf?. A mother herself, Rebecca envisioned Twirl as a place where kids and adults could come to have fun in their own ways. For children, there?s a custom-built jungle tree house, which oversees a play area replete with a train table, a reading area, and a play kitchen. For adults, the caf? stocks coffee, espresso, and craft beers, and provides access to free Wi-Fi so guests can catch up on the news or send out urgent chain emails.
Another all-aged pleaser is the caf??s menu, which includes items made with locally sourced ingredients. Dishes include breakfast sandwiches on Macrina Country biscuits with nitrate-free bacon, eggs, and Tillamook cheddar or sweet grilled melts with cinnamon, raisins, and cream cheese. And, each week the caf? also serves a rotating menu of dinner specials, which can include anything from barbecue chicken sliders to butternut squash lasagna. Friday nights are the real draw though, when Twirl Caf? invites kids to don their PJs and adults to wear their comfiest usher costume for the weekly "pizza and a movie" night.
Named for the Hungarian word for chocolate in what one UPC Times writer calls “a nod to the Slavic history of the neighborhood,” kakao serves café drinks with a local bent and craft chocolate bars from chocolate makers such as Dandelion, Dick Taylor, and Lillie Belle. Baristas draw rich espresso from locally roasted Herkimer coffee beans and steep loose-leaf teas from Miro Tea. They also serve mochas and Ghirardelli and Valrhona hot chocolates—in flavors such as salted caramel or cardamom—from machines that swirl the drinks throughout the day, keeping them ready to pour. Conveniently, kakao complements its warm beverages with pastries from Le Panier and Macrina Bakery.
High ceilings with exposed beams hint at kakao’s warehouse past, but the space's soft track lighting and carefully selected furniture preclude the temptation to drop off a shipment of 10,000 fur coats for storage. Free WiFi also keeps patrons connected to the buzz of the Internet throughout visits.