Every city has that one place where all visitors tend to be drawn, but, once they get there, they only end up filling duped and disappointed.

What’s that one place in Seattle that’s super-touristy and really has no redeeming value?


The Original Starbucks

Do you enjoy long lines?

Do you enjoy buying over-priced coffee served by people who are really tired of tourists?

Do you like being in the midst of crowds of people taking selfies?

Do you like over-priced merchandise?

Do you feel a need to go somewhere solely for the reason that you can say you’ve been there?

If the answer to the above question is “yes,” then there’s special place for you in Seattle.

This is not just any old Starbucks – it’s the original Starbucks – the very first one that started the empire. It’s conveniently located right at Pike Place Market, making it easy to walk over, get a coffee, and check “the original Starbucks” off of your bucket list, leaving only the Great Wall of china and Machu Picchu.

The place is old and quaint, and the original logos can be seen everywhere – it feels just like going back to a much simpler time a few decades ago. To document your journey, you can buy cups and mugs with the original logo  and take them home with you.

There are no chairs here, however, so don’t bring your laptop and expect to catch up on emails. Take a picture instead.

Just one problem.

Starbucks Crowd

It’s not the original Starbucks.

The first Starbucks was opened in 1971 a few blocks north at 2000 Western Avenue. The location of the current “original Starbucks” opened in 1976 when the fledgling coffee company relocated.

Oh, well.

Should you go?

If you decide where to go based on the fact that you can tell people you’ve been there, then you should definitely go.

If you are obsessed Starbucks and already in Seattle at Pike Place Market, then you should go.

If you are in the area and just really want Starbucks coffee, then there’s another location only like a block or two away.

Our advice

If you truly feel the need, then come, take a pictures, and call your experience complete. Otherwise, save your time and money. Better yet, for a true coffee/Starbucks experience, head to the Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room, which makes coffee using Willy Wonka-type coffee contraptions and extra special reserve beans.

Seattle also has great neighborhood bars all over the place – try one of those instead.

See our list of the 49 best things to do in Seattle here.

Featured photo by daveynin, Starbucks Logo photo Michael Allen Smith, Crowded photo by Nick Amoscato. All photos CC-BY-2.0.


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