Cafe Allegro – Seattle’s Oldest Espresso Bar

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One of my favorite things in the world to do is visit new coffee shops. On a recent  trip to the U-District I visited a cafe that claims to be the oldest espresso bar in Seattle. Cafe Allegro founded in 1975 is a rustic, artsy cafe with college vibes written all over it. It’s entrance is hidden within an alley way. It’s a chill atmosphere where students, locals and art abound. Allegro is also a roastery and imports coffee beans from all over the world they are available in store or online .

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My personal approach to visiting a new coffee shop like this is to really try to get a sense of the coffee that is being presented by doing a number of things. I like to approach the barista (if they’re not crazy busy) and ask them what’s their favorite drink and I’ll try that or ask the person ringing me up what’s the cafe’s signature drink/s and order that. Another thing I like to do is strike up a conversation with someone who is a regular and ask them what their favorite thing to order is and why they like it and order that. Lastly, I like to order at least two different drinks. By doing this you can usually gage the quality of the coffee overall and hopefully get to experience a variation of types of coffee and flavor profiles.

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If you’re interested in historical coffee sites, coffee or just want to hang in a chill environment and be served by friendly people this is the place to go.

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Located @

4214 University Way NE (Entrance is in the alley) Seattle, Wa 98105

14 thoughts on “Cafe Allegro – Seattle’s Oldest Espresso Bar

      1. Many would say my tastes are boring but I discovered coffee in a city where espresso and bean quality is more important than syrups. There are very few in Seattle I’d trust to make a macchiato, but Cafe Allegro do a very nice latte with an extra shot (3-4 in a 12 oz to get the ratios right).

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  1. Cool looking place! We will have to stop in! In the 70’s D & I would go to a place called “the Churn” and “The Last Exit” in the U district… wonder if they are still there?! The Last Exit had gourmet peanut butter sandwiches and apple pie with a huge slice of cheddar cheese on top! Usually had local musicians playing too. Ahhh the good ole days! 😉♥️

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