Anacortes has plenty of places to get your daily dose of caffeine.
To soak up the local coffee house scene, I suggest visiting one of these nine coffee houses. Each location has a unique ambiance, and many support local businesses through the products they choose and donations to the community. No matter where you go there is no lack of creative drinks and alternative milk selections like almond, hemp, and coconut.
The Store Grocery
The Store Grocery is an old-school neighborhood market that roasts eleven varieties of fair trade and certified organic beans. They also have an espresso bar, deli, and wine shop. Another specialty is their baked goods, particularly their tasty and moist muffins, like butter pecan, blueberry peach, and chocolate covered cherries. The perfect way to start the day is with one of their roasted coffees and a fabulous muffin.
For fifteen years, Penguin Coffee has been an Anacortes staple. Found almost at the halfway point on Commercial Ave. their location is cozy with street views. They make their drinks with Café Darte beans, and one of my favorite things to do is indulge in a sweet from Anacortes’s own Jalillah’s Cookies or a gluten-free treat from 5 B’s Bakery from Concrete. If you are a chocolate lover, be sure to try the Dilettante dark chocolate mocha or anything with white chocolate.
When coffee drinkers think of Washington, they most likely think of Starbucks, which opened its Pikes Place Market store in 1971. Anacortes has two Starbucks locations; a stand inside Safeway and a store on Commercial Avenue. The store recently expanded and every Sunday there is free live music from 6-7 p.m. New menu items include protein boxes and salads. Summer favorites are the Starbucks Refreshers, tea infusions, Frappuccino and housemade small batch nitro cold brew.
Pelican Bay Books & Coffeehouse
Books and coffee are a perfect pair. You can enjoy both at Pelican Bay Books & Coffeehouse in their new location in historic downtown. The owner’s goal was to “create someplace we wanted to hang out at,” and they’ve accomplished this mission with wood tones, open spaces, shelves of books and plenty of seating. They brew their drinks with Olympia Coffee Roasters beans, and a cortado is a favorite, as well as the Harmony Chai, which is brewed on Orcas Island. They also make fresh baked goods, including a mouthwatering rosemary roll.
Over ten years ago, this art café and shop was my first coffee house experience in Anacortes. It quickly became my place to go for a hot chocolate “JP style,” which has a touch of vanilla. Now, I have a new favorite, the Turtle Latte with espresso, chocolate, caramel, and hazelnut. Johnny Picasso’s serves Moka Joe Coffee, and you can also fuel up with breakfast burritos, freshly made deli sandwiches, salads, soups, which include a vegan or vegetarian option, their signature chocolates and homemade baked goods. Be sure to try one of their savory scones; my favorite is pesto and goat cheese.
Moka Joe Coffee
At the roasting facility along Highway 20, Moka Joe Coffee roasts up to 20 different kinds of Fair Trade Certified beans. The roastery also has a coffee house with indoor and outdoor seating, and their homemade baked goods, including their popular scones. To beat the heat try the Espresso Milkshake made with Lopez Island Creamery espresso ice cream or Joe’s Favorite, a chocolate caramel cold brew with cream. If you happen to be at the Swinomish Casino & Lodge, you can also order a brew from their new coffee bar near the lodge entrance.
You can also enjoy Moka Joe Coffee inside The Market grocery store. Their unique alternative milks include macadamia milk and coconut milk sweetened with coconut water. They also have protein pucks and make smoothies with fresh produce from the store.
If you are in a hurry, there are also a handful of drive-thru stands like Diedrich Espresso, Whidbey Coffee, Cruisin’ Coffee, Sips Ahoy, and Strawberry Bay Coffee Co.
by Lara Dunning
Photo Credit: Top photo, Acme Creative; Coffee with heart by Lara Dunning