Caffe Fiore

★★★☆☆
  • 5405 Leary Ave NW

    Seattle, WA 98107

    Map & Directions
  • 206-706-0421

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I had made a quick stop in Caffe Fiore one Sunday after walking through the Ballard Market - no complaints. Great coffee and very cool atmosphere. Which is why I decided to bring my parents back while they were visiting from out of town for coffee and a pastry one morning.

We parked in the 15 minute parking spot, not intending to stay very long. It was a short line and we ordered our coffees right away. The employee ringing us up was not very friendly, but I didn't think much of it. I asked him to warm up the ham and cheese croissant my dad ordered and he obliged. When we got to our table, my cinnamon roll was difficult to cut into (extremely hard) so I took it back to the counter to get warmed up. After a long time of just standing there, with no acknowledgement from either barista, the same one came over and took the roll back to warm up. However, I watched from my table for nearly 5 minutes as it sat on the counter and he helped other customers. Then he put it in the microwave, but after several more minutes, there was still no acknowledgement that the pastry was done. I walked up to the counter and was ignored for several more minutes. When he finally handed over the roll (now lukewarm) his only unfriendly comment was 'you're in a 15 minute parking place and you need to move'. Now had he not taken 10 minutes to get my my roll back, we still would have had plenty of time to get back out to the car before the 15 minute limit was up.

We decided to stay longer so my dad moved the car. My mom noted that the two baristas were very friendly to the people they wanted to be friendly to (probably the regulars?), but we all agreed that the service we received was below average. When we were done we swiped the crumbs onto one of the plates and stacked everthing neatly in the middle of the table and we left.

I ran back into the cafe shortly after to grab a couple of dog bones and when I did one barista commented (in a voice loud enough for me to hear) "would be nice if people would bus their tables." The other one, in an equally loud voice, "yeah, some people, can't even bus their table." I know this was directed toward me as I watched someone clear our table. Now had I realized it was a 'bus your own table' place, I would have had no problem doing this. It was a simple oversight on our part, but I did not deserve to be berated in front of several customers like that. I was shocked because even though we had horrible service, for some reason I felt the need to throw a couple dollars in the tip jar. Wish I hadn't.

I got back to the car and realized that I wasn't just going to let this go. I calmly walked back in and confronted the two baristas about the situation. I apologized for not bussing my own table, but let them know that the way they treated me was not appropriate. Both of them denied doing this over and over. I must have been hearing things then? I think not.

All in all, I was very disappointed. I made a special trip there with my parents because I was so impressed with the atmosphere after my first visit there. From the fact that it was like asking for the barista's first-born child to get my pastries warmed, to being ignored for quite some time after asking this, to asking us to move our car (after he had taken up 10 of those 15 minutes warming up my food!), to embarrassing me in front of several people, it was not a good experience. The coffee was good, but we're in Seattle, good coffee (along with good service) exists in many other places. The pastries were okay, nothing that was special enough to deal with another experience like that.

Like I said, this place usually gets good reviews, so maybe these baristas were having a bad day...who knows. But, I know I won't be back and I will continue to tell people about the experience I had there.

0
★☆☆☆☆

I had made a quick stop in Caffe Fiore one Sunday after walking through the Ballard Market - no complaints. Great coffee and very cool atmosphere. Which is why I decided to bring my parents back while they were visiting from out of town for coffee and a pastry one morning.

We parked in the 15 minute parking spot, not intending to stay very long. It was a short line and we ordered our coffees right away. The employee ringing us up was not very friendly, but I didn't think much of it. I asked him to warm up the ham and cheese croissant my dad ordered and he obliged. When we got to our table, my cinnamon roll was difficult to cut into (extremely hard) so I took it back to the counter to get warmed up. After a long time of just standing there, with no acknowledgement from either barista, the same one came over and took the roll back to warm up. However, I watched from my table for nearly 5 minutes as it sat on the counter and he helped other customers. Then he put it in the microwave, but after several more minutes, there was still no acknowledgement that the pastry was done. I walked up to the counter and was ignored for several more minutes. When he finally handed over the roll (now lukewarm) his only unfriendly comment was 'you're in a 15 minute parking place and you need to move'. Now had he not taken 10 minutes to get my my roll back, we still would have had plenty of time to get back out to the car before the 15 minute limit was up.

We decided to stay longer so my dad moved the car. My mom noted that the two baristas were very friendly to the people they wanted to be friendly to (probably the regulars?), but we all agreed that the service we received was below average. When we were done we swiped the crumbs onto one of the plates and stacked everthing neatly in the middle of the table and we left.

I ran back into the cafe shortly after to grab a couple of dog bones and when I did one barista commented (in a voice loud enough for me to hear) "would be nice if people would bus their tables." The other one, in an equally loud voice, "yeah, some people, can't even bus their table." I know this was directed toward me as I watched someone clear our table. Now had I realized it was a 'bus your own table' place, I would have had no problem doing this. It was a simple oversight on our part, but I did not deserve to be berated in front of several customers like that. I was shocked because even though we had horrible service, for some reason I felt the need to throw a couple dollars in the tip jar. Wish I hadn't.

I got back to the car and realized that I wasn't just going to let this go. I calmly walked back in and confronted the two baristas about the situation. I apologized for not bussing my own table, but let them know that the way they treated me was not appropriate. Both of them denied doing this over and over. I must have been hearing things then? I think not.

All in all, I was very disappointed. I made a special trip there with my parents because I was so impressed with the atmosphere after my first visit there. From the fact that it was like asking for the barista's first-born child to get my pastries warmed, to being ignored for quite some time after asking this, to asking us to move our car (after he had taken up 10 of those 15 minutes warming up my food!), to embarrassing me in front of several people, it was not a good experience. The coffee was good, but we're in Seattle, good coffee (along with good service) exists in many other places. The pastries were okay, nothing that was special enough to deal with another experience like that.

Like I said, this place usually gets good reviews, so maybe these baristas were having a bad day...who knows. But, I know I won't be back and I will continue to tell people about the experience I had there.

Cons: Bad service

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I've tried it twice and they make it WAY too salty with barely any caramel. I thought I'd give it one more chance and it was still terrible. My friend tried it and said it tasted like salted milk. I went back in and asked the barista to put more caramel in it. He did and when I went to stir it and taste it, it was still so salty I put a sugar in the raw packet in it as well just to make it drinkable. It's disgusting. You would think they'd have come up with some kind of recipe to make it perfect every time. With that said, they have a good mocha but don't waste your time with the salted caramel latte. YUCK.

1
★★☆☆☆

I've tried it twice and they make it WAY too salty with barely any caramel. I thought I'd give it one more chance and it was still terrible. My friend tried it and said it tasted like salted milk. I went back in and asked the barista to put more caramel in it. He did and when I went to stir it and taste it, it was still so salty I put a sugar in the raw packet in it as well just to make it drinkable. It's disgusting. You would think they'd have come up with some kind of recipe to make it perfect every time. With that said, they have a good mocha but don't waste your time with the salted caramel latte. YUCK.

Pros: nice shop

Cons: can't make a drinkable salted caramel latte

.

The coffee is fabulous! This is the only place where I will order a mocha, because most are too sweet for my tastes. The chocolate they use is high quality and really good. The baristas are friendly and always remember my usual drink. They also carry Morning Glory chai. I love the vegan baked goods, too few places carry options for those of us who don't do dairy and/or eggs. They have lots of tables, so there is plenty of room to spend some time with your laptop. This has become my first choice for working on homework. One thing to note - they serve french press rather than drip coffee at this location. While I personally love french press, my husband prefers drip so that is his one complaint. He just orders an americano instead, which is a delicious alternative.

2
★★★★★

The coffee is fabulous! This is the only place where I will order a mocha, because most are too sweet for my tastes. The chocolate they use is high quality and really good. The baristas are friendly and always remember my usual drink. They also carry Morning Glory chai. I love the vegan baked goods, too few places carry options for those of us who don't do dairy and/or eggs. They have lots of tables, so there is plenty of room to spend some time with your laptop. This has become my first choice for working on homework. One thing to note - they serve french press rather than drip coffee at this location. While I personally love french press, my husband prefers drip so that is his one complaint. He just orders an americano instead, which is a delicious alternative.

Pros: Great drinks, friendly service, spacious

Cons: Parking

Editorial from

Organic coffee shop in the heart of old Ballard offers quality espresso, baked goods, free Wi-Fi and a welcoming atmosphere.

 

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