Escape the Rain at Volunteer Park Café

 In Food, Washington

Warm up with a croissant at the Volunteer Park Cafe

It is really hard to get out of the house on a cold, windy, rain-filled day. It would be so much nicer to stay in my jammies curled up on the couch with a nice book and a fire going in the hearth. Unfortunately my toddler doesn’t usually feel the same way, which is what brought us out on a blustery morning earlier this week.

Blustery and cold on the outside but toasty warm and delicious inside

The cafe offers an open floor plan with tables for two, four or a whole group of friends

I wasn’t quite prepared to face the day, so we met my friend Nic and her daughter Lee at the Volunteer Park Café for a bite. Nic and I quickly ordered up some warm, caffeinated energy to pump into our veins. We needed to be able to keep up with the kids as we checked out another sight on our Seattle Guide.

The Volunteer Park Café is located on the corner of a quiet street in the Capital Hill neighborhood just blocks from Volunteer Park and Bruce Lee’s grave. It serves up hot coffee, chai, cocoa and tea, along with a number of fresh made pastries. You can also order hot items off of their menu.  Tempting breakfast offerings include caramelized banana brioche French toast, a daily quiche and strata special as well as a few paninis.

Fresh cookies, cakes and muffins to tempt your eyes, nose and mouth

Brie and apple with a drizzle of lavender honey on a fresh baguette

Dek helps himself to Nic’s Cafe Granola while Lee sips away on her steamed milk

Nic and I grabbed a croissant for the kids hoping it would distract them from our own breakfasts. No such luck. Dek narrowed in on the dried fruits in Nic’s Café Granola (house made with organic yogurt, seasonal fruit and lavender honey.) I quietly slid my Brie and Apple baguette with lavender honey over to Nic to share since Dek was making headway on her own breakfast and had no interest in mine. We settled in for a quiet morning of food, good company and kids.

Coming on a weekday was definitely a great decision. I had been to the café once before on a weekend and it was packed. On a quiet Wednesday morning there were plenty of seats, very few laptops and more than one table of moms enjoying the same quiet morning with their kids that we were.

A quiet cafe made for easy chatting and kid fun

Dek found a new game: breathe on the window than lick it to make patterns. Lovely. Time to pack it up and go.

Nic had snagged a front booth with lots of pillows and tall windows so the kids could watch the dogs and cars go by once they got bored with us. We were able to have a nice chat while the kids attempted not to get into too much mischief. Once they started licking the windows we knew it was time to go.

Our meals were superb. I’m still dreaming about that Brie and apple baguette. It warmed me up and kept my belly full through our morning’s excursion. Our coffee and cocoa perked up our eyelids just enough to enjoy what we would see. This is obviously going on my “visit again list.” After all, I still need to try out that French toast.

Coffee, latte, hot cocoa or chia; whatever your poison it can be found here

Know Before You Go:

  • Volunteer Park Café, 1501 17th Avenue East (at Galer)
  • Hours listed below. Closed on Mondays.
    • Breakfast & Lunch: Tues. – Fri. 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Weekends 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
    • Dinner: Tues. – Sat. 5:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Cash and Credit Cards are accepted
  • Tables inside and outside
  • No reservations necessary on weekdays, recommended on weekends
  • Kid-friendly? Definitely!
  • Prices vary. Something can be found to fit every budget.

Check out our full report on our exploration of the Volunteer Park Conservatory

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Showing 8 comments
  • Dena Rabadi

    Another great post, I loved your food collection

  • cravesadventure

    What a beautiful place to hang out and grab a hot drink and sweet treat! Thanks for sharing.

  • Cap

    Do you know if there’s wifi? Would it be a good place to hang out, drink coffee and do work for a few hours?

    Looks lovely, regardless. Thanks for the post!

    • I believe there is free wi-fi, but I would have to double check. I was too busy munching away. I did see a few people working on their laptops however.

  • Tara McLaughlin

    I love D’s game! he can teach Sophie how to play. Wish I could share the French toast and chai with you. mmmm

  • Jim Ingalls

    Looks delicious! Dek licks windows? Gives new meaning to window art. Love the posts!

  • Mom

    I’m sitting here in my corporate cubicle trying to stay warm. (Our new office configuration lets in lots of light and cold air!). How I wish I could be snuggled up with Dek, sipping some hot chocolate, and stealing some of your brie and apples. Delicious…!

  • The World of Deej

    Looks like a great spot…Wouldn’t mind passing an afternoon with a book. Or writing a blog:)

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