Seattle >Food & Dining > Cafe Solstice
4116 University Way Northeast, Seattle, WA | Directions 9810547.657404 -122.312906
Monday To Sunday From 06:30 AM To 10:00 PM
Neighborhoods: Northeast, University District, Northeast Seattle
Hip Study Joint in the U-District – Solstice was my go-to study spot when I was an undergraduate at UW. The vibe is eclectic, often with pumping dance music playing almost too loudly, but just right to drown out the conversations around you so one can study. There’s a couch, cozy tables that seat two or three, and a couple of over sized tables with almost throne-like chairs for communal studying. They also have a bar with a few tall modern stools with hooks underneath to hang your bag.
The baristas match the ambiance and are all a little different and quirky. You can always tell what type of music will be playing depending on the barista behind the bar.
There is a nice spread of pastries, sandwiches, and soups made in-house. The cardamom cake and the scones are my favorites. The mochas are the best on the Ave, and the baristas are fast too. If you come often they will remember you and ask how it’s going.
There is no menu, except for tea. But everyone in Seattle knows what’s on a café menu. It’s a busy place bursting with college students. So busy that they’ve added heat lamps to the front and back covered, outdoor seating areas so more people can enjoy this café. In the summer this front porch is a lovely place to enjoy a cold beer and people watch. On Fridays and Saturdays they often have small, eclectic bands come in to play. It’s definitely a hotspot in the U-District and a great place to relax.
Free wifi, happy hour, good mochas, and pumping music. The moment you walk in you know it’s the place to be.
Good coffee & food, poor service – I like the food, coffee, and atmosphere, but those baristas are awfully grumpy (the cashier usually is friendlier). I asked them to turn down the music a little, and they responded that they would "just a bit". I noticed no difference. We were sitting right across from the speakers, because there were no other seats available, and we could barely hear one another.
Good cofee, unfriendly baristas – The place itself it very cool, I love the way Solstice looks. The coffee is tasty and so is the food. Not a great study place because often the music is so loud it is hard to hold a conversation (and sometimes the music is just BAD). I used to go here often and the baristas are never rude, but just seem uninterested in people and kind of like they hate their job.
No longer the best... – Offering large tables with plenty of space and a soundtrack that never fails, the atmosphere of Solstice is unmatched. The grilled cheese and tomato soup are amazing along with their very tasty cookies and brownies. Espresso drinks are crafted by very skilled and friendly baristas.
Until recently, Solstice, Trabant and Zoka were neck and neck for the title of best cafe. As Trabant and Zoka are raising the bar of coffee standards in the U-District by implementing Clover machines, Solstice seems oblivious to the trend in its recent actions by deciding to no longer offer French Press as their standard $2 cup of coffee. It's been replaced by a drip coffee machine that brews coffee reminiscent of Tully's or Seattle's Best.
Without the quality coffee, I cannot get myself to give any more than a very unenthused recommendation. Please bring back the French Press, Solstice, I really thought you had achieved perfection in the cafe equation.
best coffee and pseudo studying in the u district – this has always been my favorite place to study and socialize over a good cup of coffee (or a cheap beer).
Editorial Review – Popular U-District coffee shop crammed with students, both during the day and through the night. Coffee is from Lighthouse Roasters.
Consistent excellent coffee – This place has excellent and consistent coffee. They use Lighthouse roasters, and I was suprised to find that they seem to make better lattes than at the lighthouse store. A nice outdoor seating area on the ave, relatively large interior and a good selection of pastries make this one of the better stops on the ave.
A great -if loud- college coffee house – Funky ironwork on the outside catches your eye. Hours later you realize you've been sucked in by the ambiance, the throbbing dance music, the great coffee, and the nibbles. The clientele is a typical mix of studious kids oblivious to the noise, informal meetings, hipsters looking to unwind, and the occasional old geezer (that'd be me). This is my favorite coffee house on The Ave, but then I like my coffee with cream, sugar, and funk.
I love Cafe Solstice – Everything about this Cafe is great. The coffee is amazing, the shots are always fresh, and the baristas are probably the fastest and highest quality in town. They keep the walls interesting with new art by local artists, and have good taste in musice (with a breadth of tastes represented).
Fantastic coffee – As a coffee snob, I often head to Vivace on Capital Hill, or Zoka's in Wallingford. The u-district finally has a place that I can patronize for that fantastic coffee (and friendly baristas). Plus, they have dog biscuits for my mammoth dog!
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