Conceived in 2010 as a way to expose vibrant grassroots coffee culture to more people, Northwest Coffee Festival gathers local roasters, artisan chocolatiers, and other comestible makers for a weekend of food, drink, and demonstrations. During the two-day event, the pristinely appointed showrooms of the Seattle Design Center fill with the aroma of hot coffee, stirred by moving crowds who wander from booth to booth to witness artisans' brewing demonstrations or sample treats. In addition to coffee, the festival features beer, wine, and a holiday gift show where patrons can pick up the ideal trinket to stuff a stocking or booby-trap a sock.
After more than 25 years in corporate America, Charell moved to the small business world by opening Firefly Cafe & Creperie. Her cozy, artwork-adorned cafe fills daily with the inviting aromas of sweet and savory crepes, into which she piles everything from apple-smoked bacon to dulce de leche. She even whips up gluten-free and vegan versions including breakfast crepes with tofu scrambles and dessert crepes with sliced almonds and cashew cream. Along with beverages from her espresso bar, Charell complements mains with organic smoothies and juices chockfull of healthy fixings such as mango and kale.
The burgers and sandwiches served at Runway Cafe all come with a complementary side: a stunning view of airplanes landing and taxiing around the Greenville Downtown Airport. The playful menu is divided into sections with names such as “pre-flight,” “arrivals,” and “first class,” which refer to appetizers, hot sandwiches, and entrees, respectively. A full bar carries all sorts of libations to pair with these homey dishes, including draft microbrews, glasses of wine, and bottled beers that are perfect for directing air traffic when those glowing batons aren't available.
The candy-colored walls of Just Crepes evoke the saccharine flavors of its offerings, which include bubble tea, smoothies, and sweet and savory crepes. Thin, flaky crepes come topped with anything from strawberries and nutella to Thai satay chicken salad. Pair one from each column for a full meal or dive into a stack of chocolate pastries overflowing with optional ice cream and Oreo chunks. Patrons can also blind their taste buds to the next course with a variety of drinks including honeydew smoothies, jasmine tea, and toasty hot chocolate.
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.
Cintli Latin Folklore's roots are in Zapopan, Mexico. That's where entrepreneurs Sergio Cueva and Beto Yarce discovered Cintli, a jewelry store they admired that sold silver pieces. Inspired by that store's bond with local artisans, the duo decided to open a Cintli branch in Pike Place Market, calling it Cintli by Beto Yarce.
But jewelry and knickknacks alone only convey so much culture, which is why Yarce and his business partner, Rafael Sanchez, branched out again and opened Cintli Latin Folklore, a cafe that works with local businesses such as Stumptown Coffee Roasters, Rapanui, El Chito, and Leticia to serve authentic Latin American food and drink. Their signature coffee drinks, such as the Mayan Mocha ,warm hands up on chilly afternoons and their empanadas and Oaxacan-style tamales are filled with ingredients such as chicken mole. The cafe's colorful walls are covered in crosses, figurines, and ornaments, and on some nights, Latin folk bands and singers come to perform.