Broadway Coffee Shop Crawl Detour: Victrola Coffee and Art

The metroblogging mind is willing, but the caffeine-seeking flesh is weak. Yes, I’m supposed to be working my way down Broadway, one coffee shop at a time. But the next scheduled stop was the Starbucks in the new QFC (le grand sigh) and I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.


So, instead let’s take a little detour to Victrola (411 15th Avenue East), where I know I can get a good cup of coffee.

Victrola is everything a Seattle coffee shop should be. First and foremost, the coffee is excellent — I’ve never had a bad cup here. The owners purchase beans directly from coffee growers and have their own roaster in the back room. The barristas take their coffee-making seriously and can be relied on for a good pour.

Excellent coffee’s the bottom line, but Victrola also provides a comfortable, welcoming environment, frequently changed displays of high quality art work by local artists, and free live music several nights a week. Panini and baguette sandwiches are available, as well as a good selection of locally-made pastries (usually including vegan options), and a variety of non-coffee beverages. None of the sandwiches are vegan, so I’ve never eaten one, but they look quite yummy.

Victrola’s clientele reflects the solidly gentrified 15th Avenue neighborhood — affluent, mature as compared with Broadway, wired, slightly bohemian. (All of which translates into a ratio of roughly three Apple laptops to every one baby stroller.) On the weekends, the place is packed with families and shoppers — Rainbow Market and Horizon Books are almost next door. On weekdays, solitary students and retired Microsoft millionaires stare intently into the screens of their laptops, tapping furiously at their keyboards and downing triple lattes.

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