Café Allegro

Cafe in U District

You can dispel a few urban myths in Café Allegro. It is this place, not Starbucks, that is the oldest functioning coffee bar in Seattle. Founded in 1975, it was a bona fide espresso bar when Starbucks was still just a store that sold coffee beans and machinery.

Stuffed into a back alley between NE 42nd and NE 43rd Sts, the cafe hasn't changed much since its pioneer days. Bevies of industrious students still drop by to scribble over papers, or moon over professors, although nowadays they're frequently distracted by their iPhones.