Tuesday, January 2nd, 2018
10 Best Coffee Shops in Bellingham
Annette Bagley

The beer scene in Bellingham has been a hot topic for a while now, but there’s another beverage in town that is also quite popular for this region – coffee.

Coffee is the lifeblood of many in the Pacific Northwest and beyond, and we are fortunate enough to have a robust coffee scene in Bellingham too.

We may have been inspired by the Seattle scene, but the coffee in Bellingham has a much more lowkey vibe. You can enter any of these coffeehouses and feel like there’s room to breathe and get work done if you need to work remotely. Not only do these quirky coffeehouses have beautiful and unique spaces, they each have a unique approach to coffee culture.

This list is not in any order, they all offer different examples of the thriving coffee culture in Bellingham.

Woods Coffee, Roastery and Bakery – 10 Bellingham locations

  • 1135 Railroad Ave., Bellingham (downtown Bellingham)
  • 10 Prospect St., Bellingham (downtown Bellingham)
  • 813 Lakeway Dr., Bellingham (Woods Roastery)
  • 470 Bayview Dr., Bellingham (Boulevard Park)

Woods’ savory sandwiches and cold brew are perfect for on-the-go occasions. / Photo from Woods Coffee.

Woods Coffee has been a local staple for a long time. The company made their start in Lynden, Washington, and now has a total of 19 stores. Of those stores, 10 can be found in Bellingham, the others stretch between British Columbia to King County. Woods is a staple brand that has been a favorite of locals for over 15 years.

Woods also has a Roastery that is an extension of their Lakeway coffeeshop. At this location visitors have a first-hand look at their coffee roasting process. Recently their family business that employes their four children and 250 others, has been recognized for the 2017 Family Business Award for Best Practices from Seattle Business Magazine.

Woods Coffee, Boulevard Park / Photo from Woods Coffee

Each location is different, but you can count on quick service and yummy baked goods (I suggest any of the sandwiches, scones or the Monster Cookies). The most iconic location is a local a visitor favorite, the Boulevard Park Coffee Shop, which has a walkup window that’s great for strolls around the park, especially when you have a dog with you.

Camber Coffee – Downtown Bellingham

221 W. Holly St., Bellingham
Monday – Friday 7 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Camber coffee / Photo from Camber

Camber Coffee is one of the newest members of the coffee scene in Bellingham, although the owners are no rookies. Camber Coffee first began as a roasting company out of Bellingham, and supplies coffee to The Willows Inn on Lummi Island. After mastering their roasting techniques, they made their dream a reality and opened up the downtown flagship location in August 2017. Most recently, Camber was recognized for their unique blends, coffee knowledge and expertise as one of the Best Coffee Roasters in the Country by Thrillist.

Camber coffee / Photo from Camber

The space is breathtaking, bright and open. (For those who don’t know, the space used to be a comic book shop, so the transformation alone was incredible.) You get feeling that you’re in a space that’s more than just coffee. They also serve wine, beer, cider, tea and incredible food for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The Camber space welcomes you to stay and work a while, or relax for a short minute. It is also important to note that this place is a craft stop. If you’re looking for quick coffee on-the-go you may want to check out what’s going on at Woods across the street.

Primer Coffee – Downtown Bellingham

1400 W. Holly St. #102, Bellingham
Everyday 6 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Shuksan Arm Primer Coffee / Photo by Sarah Climaco

Primer is the spot where true coffee lovers go. The experience and taste of Guatemalan coffee are what sets this place apart. Primer works closely with Onyx coffee company, which distributes Guatemalan coffee all over the United States. And, they’re located next to the coolest bottle shop in town, Elizabeth Station.

The Primer menu is composed of a variety of sophisticated coffee drinks, espresso and other specialty drinks. (I highly recommend trying the Shuksan Arm or the Sparkling Cascara, if you’re looking for something new.) You can also expect to see meat and cheese plates, weekend waffles and, of course, avocado toast.

Primer Coffee / Photo by Sarah Climaco

In my opinion, Primer has some of the most unique and best-tasting coffee drinks. You MUST try the Shuksan Arm (espresso, brown sugar, served sparking over ice and topped with Twin Brooks whipped cream and orange zest) or the Sparkling Cascara (coffee cherry tea served over ice, topped with grapefruit bitters and rosemary.)

Harris Avenue Coffee – Fairhaven

1101 Harris Ave., Bellingham
The Cafe: Monday – Sunday 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Coffee Shop: Monday – Sunday 7 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Tony’s Coffee House / Photo by Brandon Sawaya

Harris Avenue Café is often known as Tony’s Coffee because it used to be the original coffee roasting location for Tony’s Coffee (and because it’s written huge on their front window.) However, Tony’s Coffee roastery has moved to a different location in Bellingham. The two businesses still work together as partners since the coffeehouse only serves Tony’s Coffee.

This is a charming coffeehouse where you can sit and sip, or you can order something for breakfast or lunch. Their drink menu has all the classics, and all their food is to die for.

The Black Drop Coffeehouse – Downtown Bellingham

300 W. Champion St., Bellingham
Monday – Friday 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Black Drop Coffeehouse / Photo by Juline Bajada

If you’re looking for a unique coffee experience, then you should check out The Black Drop Coffeehouse. Locals know this spot for the unique flavor combinations that fill the menus. The Black Drop also provides a space where you can get comfy and stay a while. And when the sun is shining, there is wonderful seating outside that lines the streets.

I often have a hard time deciding between the French Toast (French toast syrup, maple, cinnamon latte) or Just Like Heaven (white chocolate and lavender mocha) when I need a mid-day pick-me-up.

The Lettered Streets Coffeehouse – Bellingham

1001 Dupont St., Bellingham
Monday – Friday 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Saturday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Pumpkin Chai or Chai Nog / Photo from Lettered Streets Coffeehouse

Located near the heart of downtown Bellingham, is the Lettered Streets Coffeehouse. This is the neighborhood spot that has many locals coming back for more. They have breakfast and lunch items, as well as a menu of full-bodied coffees.

‘Tis the season for chai flavored everything. But for me, I love chai all year long. And their Chai Nog is a definite favorite when you want to treat yourself.

Avellino Coffeehouse – Downtown Bellingham

1329 Railroad Ave., Bellingham
Monday – Friday 6 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.

You will love their latte art. / Photo from Avellino.

This coffee shop is a local staple in downtown Bellingham. Located centrally on Railroad Avenue, their coffee is made from a blend of Indonesian, Guatemalan and Brazilian beans from Bellingham’s Lotus Coffee Company. For over two decades, Avellino has welcomed visitors to their comfy, at-home feeling space. For those who are on gluten-free diets, you will be amazed by their tasty gluten-free options.

One of my absolute favorites is the Fantasia (espresso, cinnamon and orange zest.)

Trove Coffee – Bellingham

228 N. Samish Way, Bellingham
Everyday 7 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Trove Coffee / Photo by Trove

Trove Coffee has just recently opened on Samish right next door to Trove Cannabis and is striving to bring more than just coffee to the table. At Trove, you can enjoy Bellingham beers or ciders, wine, and a wide-open space. Their menu also is full of sandwiches and pastries from local bakeries like Avenue Bread and Wake ‘N Bakery for breakfast or lunch, and small plate items for you to enjoy while trying to get some work done.

You can even test your skills and go to their weekly Trivia Night as well.  Trivia is held every Thursday night at 5:30 p.m., for only $2 to join.

Caffe Adagio – Downtown Bellingham

1435 Railroad Ave., Bellingham
Monday – Saturday 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sunday closed

Caffe Adagio is where you go when you have some serious work or relaxing to do because their spot is so spacious. The location of the coffee shop is perfect, as it’s right across the street from the downtown bus station. (While in college, often I would stop in for a quick bite and espresso while I waited for the bus.)

Their Italian coffee shop has tasty sandwiches, soups, pastries and more. And be sure to check out how talented they are with their latte art.

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About the Author:

Annette Bagley is the Director of Marketing for Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism. As a writer and media relations consultant, her work has appeared in local and national media. She has been enjoying life in the Bellingham and Whatcom County region for more than a decade. Her ideal escapes include water, mountains, a farm visit, or a history lesson, accompanied by good food and a glass of wine.