Hoping to find new places to meet with friends and clients, I decided to search for the best coffee shops in Bellingham. It was a great excuse to spend time with friends and other small business owners, and I'm hoping that it helps build community, too! Though I love my lattes, I'm no coffee expert, so I encourage you to try each of these shops on your own. Comment below to let me know which ones you like best!
I've tried many coffee shops in Bellingham and enjoyed them all, but these six are the ones that quickly had me coming back for more!
The Co-op Bakery Cafe
The Co-op values using quality and local ingredients, and for that it will probably always be one of my very favorite coffee shops. I'm a proud Co-op member and talk them up whenever I can! Their bakery is full of bright natural light, there are plenty of treats to choose from (made from scratch!), and the staff members are always friendly and willing to make a recommendation. I bring my friends, family, and clients to the Co-op Bakery to catch up or talk about wedding photography, and I'm so glad that they created this space that's separate from the store across the street. Whether you want to study, meet with a friend, or just take yourself out for a treat, I really recommend the Co-op. There are plenty of four-seat, two-seat, and one-seat tables, outlets for your phone or laptop, and lots of parking in the front and back of the building.
My favorites include the coconut matcha latte, the tropi-kale smoothie, and the iced old town berry tea with agave nectar!
You can find The Co-op Bakery Cafe on Holly across from the Co-op store: 405. E Holly St, Bellingham, WA.
Wow! I can see why this coffee shop has been filling up my Instagram feed. Not only is Camber's coffee incredible, it's beautiful and the service is amazing. The baristas bring fresh water to your table in addition to your order—a special touch that I really like—carefully carry over your drinks and treats, and check in to see how you're doing. As silly as it sounds, it's like the spa of coffee shops in Bellingham, and I love it. I can't wait to get my clients hooked on this place!
You can find Camber in downtown Bellingham at 221 W Holly St.
Rustic Coffee + Wine Bar
I had never heard about Rustic Coffee + Wine Bar until Karen (of Kirsch Photography in Seattle) told me about it. She was in town for the day, so we decided to meet over coffee, catch up, and talk about photography. This coffee shop has kind of a mellow, cozy, sophisticated feeling to it, and I love the tall ceilings. They have a variety of options to choose from including coffee, teas, and treats. I ordered a plain latte, and it was incredible! No sugar necessary and so smooth! I returned in the summer for some AC and a quiet place to study, and their iced decaf latte was good, too. I love the way the light comes in from the east-facing windows in the evening! When I stopped by one day for a coffee to-go, I noticed they even added beautiful latte art before closing the lid, and I think that's so sweet. Rustic Coffee has me coming back again and again!
You can find Rustic Coffee + Wine Bar in Fairhaven at: 1319 11th St, Bellingham.
The Black Drop
I debated between ordering a plain latte and one of Black Drop’s fancy specialty drinks. I ended up selecting a “Just Like Heaven,” and I’ll assure you it was the right decision! It was jaw-dropping good. The latte art was beautiful, and it was topped with plenty of foam that lasted through every heavenly sip. It was the perfect balance of coffee, sweet vanilla, white chocolate, and lavender. I’m usually one to stay away from syrups in my coffee, but if I could have handled a double dose of caffeine, I would have ordered a second one of these in a heartbeat.
The inside of the coffee shop felt very Bellingham to me, and that’s just how I like it. We moved to an outdoor table, and it was a great place to relax and people-watch. When I came back for the Bellingham Cold Brew Coffee Crawl, I was so impressed with how good the Black Drop's sample was. Nothing fancy to hide behind, just a plain cold brew, but it tasted so good! Street parking is available, but I recommend walking or biking if you can.
The Black Drop is in downtown Bellingham at: 300 West Champion.
Avellino has been a favorite of mine for years, ever since a classmate recommended their Bellingham-famous caramel Americano. They make the caramel sauce themselves, and they have forever spoiled me. It's so rich and creamy, and I want to go back just thinking about it. If you love caramel, you have to try their caramel Americano. You won't be sorry! The shop itself is cozy and on the smaller side, and it will warm you right up on a rainy day. I hear they have great breakfast sandwiches and biscuits, too. PS: discounts for bringing your student ID!
Park on Railroad and find Avellino at: 1329 Railroad Ave, Bellingham, Washington.
If you want the genuinely thoughtful customer service of Onyx but you're looking for a larger menu, try Primer Coffee! The owners of Onyx opened Primer in Fall 2016 and it's beautiful! The inside is so light and bright, and their minimalist style stands out from the rest of the coffee shops on my list. Because of their limited seating, it's often peaceful and quiet on the inside.
Ask for their menu when you walk in and you'll find their drinks come in a variety of sizes. I chose a 9 oz latte, though they do have smaller 3 and 6 oz options. Ty asked about my photography business and Kevin asked how I liked my latte. The first sip was a little different than I'm used to, and it really grew on me, though I'm not sure how to put it into words. I've since tried their weekend waffles, vanilla latte, and their creamy delicious hot chocolate. I definitely recommend them!
If you're coming from downtown, follow Holly toward the water and Primer Coffee will be on your right at Elizabeth Station: 1400 W Holly St #102, Bellingham, WA.
What's your favorite? Let me know in the comments below!
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My name is Caylie and I'm a Bellingham and Mount Vernon, WA wedding and engagement photographer. My husband Vinny is my go-to second shooter, and we love what we do. Read more about us here!