Seattle is home to epic mountains and endless trails, art & music, and (one of our personal favorites) so much good food! While Seattle is known to be a relatively pricey place to visit, a budget friendly trip is 100% possible! There are so many free things to do in Seattle and many of the most famous eateries in Seattle are budget friendly, too!
Without further ado, here’s our complete list of the best cheap foods and drinks in Seattle. Be sure to leave a comment below if you’ve been to one of these places or have other recommendations. We always love to try new foods!
Y’all know we love our coffee. (Maybe that’s subconsciously a huge reason why we love Seattle?) It’s no secret Seattle is home to some amazing coffee shops! While we haven’t been to every one in the city, we’ve tried quite a few including the most popular and underrated spots. Here are our favorite few coffee shops in Seattle city limits.
Storyvilles has multiple locations in town, but we recommend the Pike Place location. Located upstairs right above the famous fish market, this Seattle coffee shop offers wonderful views of Elliott Bay and the bustling Pike Place Market below. Grab a drink (we recommend a hot latte) and sit by the fireplace for a bit. This coffee shop roasts and serves delicious sustainably sourced coffee beans is why we consider this spot to be one of the best coffee shops in America.
Getting there: 94 Pike Street, Top floor suite 34, Seattle, WA | Use Google Maps
Union Street Coffee will make all your aesthetic dreams come true, just take a quick glance at their instagram and you’ll see the crisp white walls paired with vibrant pops of color and the aesthetic runs through their beautifully crafted coffee and natural wines as well. They also have pop-ups with other restaurants nearby like Good Shape Pizza. We highly recommend grabbing a latte with a dash of their homemade lavender syrup. They even have a beautiful patio so you can sip those drinks outside!
Getting there: 2407 E Union St Suite B, Seattle, WA 98122 | Use Google Maps
If you’re looking for a shop that knows their coffee, look no further than Milstead in Fremont. Located under the Aurora bridge, Milstead allows you to experience all that Seattle has to offer including some of the best coffee in town. They also have ample seating in their shop so you can park yourself there for a while to work or just take in the beautiful views! If you’re looking for cheap foods and drinks in Seattle with rich views, Milstead is the place to be.
If you can’t decide between a waffle, cinnamon roll and croissant for breakfast, you may want to try Anchorhead Coffee. Known for their beautiful breakfast (or lunch or dinner, we’re not judging) called the “quaffle” which combines three of your favorite carbs into one. The baristas also make your coffee look beautiful with their foam art so you’ll be able to take some insta-worthy vacation photos! They also have lots of whole bean coffee you can take home with you or gift to family and friends as a west coast souvenir!
Call us basic, but we love a good breakfast/brunch spot. Whether it’s grabbing a quick donut on the way to the mountains or brunching with your best friends on the weekend, Seattle has lots of options!
If you find yourself in the University District and looking for cheap foods and drinks in Seattle, be sure to stop into Morsel for some of the best biscuits in the city. They are known for their biscuits and gravy but we are huge fans of their breakfast sammies. You can pair them with a nice cup of coffee, be sure to get a little bit of their syrups or caramels in your coffee, it’s made fresh in-house!
Getting there: 5000 University Way NE Suite D, Seattle, WA | Use Google Maps
Trust me when I say I know a good donut. We’ve traveled to 49 of the 50 states so far and we’ve tried a lot of donuts along the way. General Porpoise Donuts consistently ranks as one of the best donuts in America (in our opinion). Their dough is incredibly soft and the sugar coating on top is the perfect amount of sweet. Their selection of rotating fillings are always perfectly fruity or perfectly fluffy cream. Trust me, you’re going to want to stop for a donut here. They also serve some of the best coffee Seattle has to offer so grab a cup (or two) of coffee and enjoy sitting in their bright, fun shops.
Note: They have multiple locations around town but we’re partial to the Capitol Hill location.
With tons of shout outs from local papers all the way to the New York Times, Biscuit Bitch is definitely a well known place for cheap foods and drinks in Seattle. Their bestsellers include the bitchwitch and their grits, we highly recommend getting both though, you won’t be disappointed! They also have their famous Seattle Fog drink, which is a fun twist on a London Fog and tastes great with their biscuits.
One of our favorite things about Oddfellows is that it’s open both morning and night to serve either your breakfast or happy hour needs! We also love their dreamy brick walls and super cute outdoor alley patio (definitely instagram-worthy). They have an “aperitivo hour” from 3-4pm that includes deviled eggs and aperol spritz. We definitely recommend heading there for a weekend brunch and trying the lemon curd pancakes or brioche french toast. You’ll also want to grab one (or a dozen) of their mouth watering pastries or cookies on your way out!
I know Chicago is really the city known for donuts, but Seattle does a good job bringing some serious contenders to the competition for best donuts in America. Top Pot is a longtime favorite among Seattlites. I tasted my first top pot donut on my first trip to Seattle and have returned [too] many times since. Top Pot Donuts offers lots of different flavor and pastry options, but if there’s one you’re particularly after, get there early! It’s not uncommon for Top Pot to sell out of donuts (especially on the weekends in Seattle). While it might seem boring, you can’t go wrong with their classic glazed ring-- yum!! Our Saturday tradition was to grab a Top Pot Donut on the way out to the mountains to do some hiking (we highly recommend this routine!).
Note: Top Pot has lots of locations in Seattle and surrounding suburbs.
I love bakeries that make you feel as if you’ve stepped into an old friend’s cozy kitchen. That’s exactly how Volunteer Park Cafe makes you feel! It’s cozy interior with fresh baked good savory and sweet treats make you feel right at home. Grab a seat by their window or get your treats to go to walk around Volunteer Park (one of our favorite free activities in Seattle, Washington!).
Here’s the thing-- Seattle has loads of more expensive dinner food options. That being said, there are lots of Seattle staples as well as some lesser known personal favorites on this list that are sure to meet your cravings.
It doesn’t get cheaper than Dick’s Drive-In for a quick, classic Seattle food. This long time favorite is a staple of cheap foods and drinks in Seattle. While it doesn’t look like much from the street, the line regularly gets so long it extends down the sidewalk as people wait for their milkshakes and burgers. They have multiple locations around town, but we recommend stopping by the Capitol Hill location then taking your food for a picnic over in Cal Anderson Park.
Note: Most of the locations do not have inside seating. If you’re looking for a sitdown meal, be sure to visit the Queen Anne location.
Taco Chukis started as a small “secret” taco shop in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. You actually wouldn’t know the restaurant was there if you weren’t looking for it. In the years since it was started, they expanded to 4 restaurants all over the city. We definitely recommend grabbing their classic Chuki Taco with mouthwatering grilled pineapple on top. But really you can’t go wrong with any of the items on their menu! Did we also mention each taco is only $2.35 which makes this one of the best cheap foods and drinks in Seattle.
Getting there: 219 Broadway E, Seattle, WA (2nd floor, inside The Alley Building) | Use Google Maps
If you’re hoping to bring a little southern comfort to your west coast trip, be sure to stop into Fat’s Chicken and Waffles. Inside you’ll find dark walnut siding, greenery hanging from the ceiling, moody lighting and of course, tons of hot sauce everywhere. Obviously we recommend trying the chicken and waffles but we’ve heard any dish with their biscuits is pretty out of this world as well! You can also add a fun bloody mary and you’ve got yourself the west coast’s take on a southern meal.
If you’re looking for yummy cheap foods and drinks in Seattle, Wood Shop BBQ will not disappoint. You won’t be compromising taste for the great price tag on this barbecue. They have everything you need from brisket to pulled pork sandwiches and mac and cheese bowls. There’s an outdoor patio with classic red picnic tables for you to munch on your meal while enjoying the warm breeze. They even have cornhole sets so be sure to stay a while with friends and play some games!
If you’re lucky enough to get a reservation at Kedai Makan, we promise it’ll be worth the wait. Kedai Makan serves authentic Malaysian dishes and also creates Chinese medicinal infusions, many of which are served in their drinks. Their most unique items are the medicinal infused shots which are said to be just as helpful as any over the counter medicine and taste much much better! You really can’t go wrong with any of their dishes but be sure to add the homemade chili ginger that’s offered on your table, it’s incredible!
Tutta Bella is known to be the best pizza in Seattle. Authentic Neapolitan influence pizza served in a casual but industrial chic setting. Tutta Bella has two locations in town: Wallingford and the Denny Triangle area. Due to the more relaxed and neighborhood feel of Wallingford, that’s the location we recommend.
Talk about aesthetic goals, Harry’s Fine Foods is such a pleasant place to enjoy a meal! They have a beautiful covered outdoor area that mimics the look of an old greenhouse, and keep it simple inside with dreamy wooden tables and fun mismatched tableware. Harry’s has you covered from brunch to happy hour to dinner. They also have great happy hour specials in case you’re not wanting to spend a lot. Their bartenders will be happy to recommend their favorite eats and drinks as the menu can change from time to time.
If you’re a burger and beer kind of person, you’ve got to check out King’s Hardware! There’s definitely no frills here, but that’s what we love about it. They have mismatched chairs, old wooden tables, skee-ball machines and a patio out back. We recommend the King’s burger (with the special King’s sauce) and a King’s lemonade, if it’s a nice day the lemonade tastes even better on their back patio. With a lower price tag than most restaurants, King’s Hardware definitely fits the bill for yummy cheap foods and drinks in Seattle!
I know what you’re probably thinking, not another sandwich shop, right? Wrong. This is not just another sandwich shop (see ya later Subway and Jimmy John’s) this is THE sandwich shop. It’s honestly so hard to choose just one item from their menu because they are all SO GOOD. Although you can’t go wrong with any of the options, the D.A.M. burger and Buon Appetito are world famous, so that’s a great place to start! Obviously you’ll want to add their “skins-&-ins” to your order, their fun and delicious take on the potato! The Mean Sandwich shop is quite small but they have a great patio out back that has picnic tables and umbrellas!
Bottlehouse is a great option if you’re looking for a nice happy hour option with great charcuterie and a nice selection of wines. Not to mention they have some great deals with their happy hour specials! We also love their laid back environment, it’s a perfect place to kick back after a long day and spend time with friends or even just on your own! Most of their menu is seasonal and changes often but they never disappoint! We recommend grabbing your favorite glass of wine and one of their cheesemonger boards, relax and enjoy the evening! *Has great happy hour specials
Located right in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, Optimism Brewery is a staple in Seattle. They renovated a 100 year old warehouse and made it into a brewery and beer garden. When I think of the ideal brewery, I think of Optimism. It’s a huge “beer hall” as they call it, with plenty of open spacing. They also partner with local food trucks to provide great food to pair with your beer. They pride themselves in only creating great craft beer so they want local businesses to make the food because that’s what they do best. There is a schedule on their website so you can be yourself updated on what’s there! Optimism is also family-friendly and dog-friendly and even has a kids corner so they can play while you enjoy a pint!
To be honest, we were surprised that there could be a whole shop devoted just to ginger beer much less 4 shops all around Seattle but there is nothing quite like Rachel’s Ginger Beer! We highly recommend stopping in one of their shops and sipping on one of their many amazing flavored ginger beers. Although the ginger beer itself doesn’t have any alcohol in it, they do serve some pretty great cocktails! You can also buy refillable growlers to take home and enjoy this delicious drink anytime! Be sure to check out their website for great recipes that use their ginger beer to make at home and impress all your friends!
With a Great Blue Heron as their logo (the official bird of the city) you can’t get much more Seattle than Fremont Brewery. Located right in Fremont, the brewery is intentional about making their beer with as many local ingredients as possible. Fremont Brewery has a great community feel with huge wooden picnic tables both inside and outside, but also has great areas for small groups as well. It’s super laid back and we love picking our beer selections from their huge chalkboard wall! You’ll frequently find folks gathered there on a sunny afternoon playing games and having great conversation. We recommend trying their Lush IPA or the Sky Kraken!
This is definitely one of my favorite cheap foods and drinks in Seattle. Not only do they serve great desserts, but they also serve delicious savory pies for dinner and fun cocktails. With two brick and mortar locations in Seattle (plus a food truck in Kirkland), you’re never far from delicious pie! While we’d 100% encourage trying their delicious savory pies, they’re best known for their sweet pies (get the classic apple pie!) and cocktail pairings. The bartenders can suggest the perfect craft cocktail to accompany whatever pie you decided on.
When looking for some of the best and truly homemade ice cream in Seattle, be sure to check out Molly Moon’s. They make it their goal to buy all ingredients from local farmers and producers and all the ice cream is made in-house in one of four kitchens in their shops. You can even go see it be made there! They have “always” flavors but also seasonal options that change every couple months, but every flavor is incredible. We would personally recommend trying the rose milk tea or honey lavender flavor! Since there are nine locations, it’ll be really easy to add this to your list.
Getting there: Flagship Store 70 102nd Ave NE, Bellevue WA | Use Google Maps
If you’re looking to satisfy your sweet tooth, check out Frankie and Jo’s plant-based ice cream flavors. They have really funky and unique flavor options like Chocolate Tahini Supercookie and Salty Caramel Ash and every scoop is plant-based! Each Frankie and Jo’s shop you walk into is sure to cheer you right up with beautiful floral wallpaper and brightly colored walls, not to mention the bright pink door! There are multiple shops around Seattle; Capitol Hill, Ballard and University Village so be sure to add it to your sweet treats list!
If you love Molly Moon’s we’re sure you’ll want to stop into Hello Robin as well. Molly and Robin are good friends and Molly and her husband actually begged Robin to open up a cookie shop so they could have a way to eat her yummy cookies all the time. Hello Robin also uses Molly Moon’s ice cream for their cookie sandwiches (which we HIGHLY recommend grabbing a few). Her most loved cookie is the Mackles’more which is a s’more cookie between Theo chocolate and a graham cracker. We would recommend grabbing a few cookies just to be sure!
Theo is a must-visit while in Seattle! We know you can probably grab a chocolate bar from your local market but we think it tastes even better straight from their store! Theo started in Seattle, they actually have a factory you can visit for a small admission fee but we recommend visiting their Flagship store right in Fremont. There are even some Theo products there that can’t be bought anywhere else! Also, all of Theo’s chocolate is organic, fair trade and made from scratch right in Seattle!
Hot Cakes started at the Seattle farmers market and grew in popularity so quickly that they opened their first “dessert restaurant” in Ballard, right near the market. They are known for their molten chocolate cake, the Dark Decadence, which is absolutely incredible! You can also pick up frozen molten cakes to bring home and bake yourself for when you’re craving them (whether that be at midnight or 7 A.M.). If cake isn’t your thing, don’t worry they still have a ton of great dessert options for whatever you’re craving from cookies to bread pudding to milkshakes!
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We're Chris and Sara
A creative husband and wife duo from a small-town in Tennessee with passion for all things travel. Checkout the links below to join us on our past, present, and future adventures!