Papá Changó Café Opens in Ballard

Seattle isn’t lacking coffee options. It’s hard to imagine the life I lived before finding my forever home here. It was one devoid of a coffee shop within walking distance of pretty much anywhere I’m at. What Seattle does lack is a greater diversity of coffee. I’m not saying we don’t have options; just that it’s not as mainstream as typical choices. The rise of African and Vietnamese style coffee shops over the years has been a game changer. Both the roasted beans and drinks have provided a variety of experiences for coffee fans. Today, I visited Papá Changó Café, a self-proclaimed homage to Miami’s diverse Caribbean and Latin American cuisine.

Papá Changó Café opened a few days ago in Ballard, near Bergen Place. When I arrived this morning, there was a line of people waiting to order steaming hot cups of coffee and tasty bites prepare by Raíz. The space is absolutely gorgeous. Outdoor seating is available at a table or grab a spot at Bergen Place.

Drinks are made with Panther Coffee, Miami’s premier coffee bean roaster. The menu has a variety of familiar drinks like americanos and cappuccinos. After chatting with owner Sergio Garcia, I decided on café con leche. I typically don’t like sweet drinks in the morning but this was a delicious experience. I love the smell of coffee and often breathe it in before taking a sip. The coffee was the star of the show. It had great depth and body. The milk added creaminess and the sweetness was pleasant and complimentary. Overall, it was a great way to start a fall-like day!

I arrived too late in the day to try the Pastelito de Guayaba y Queso (guava and cream cheese pastry) or the Pastelito de Carne (ground beef, olive and raisin pastry) so I’ll have to return soon. I tried the Scones de Papaya with guava butter. I eat a lot of scones and am often disappointed. This one had a bit of moisture so it wasn’t super crumbly. The bits of papaya were sweet and chewy. The guava butter added a bit of sweetness and a lovely glaze to the scone. It had a slight crunch when I bit into it and was much more enjoyable to eat than the average scone. I can’t wait to try other bites on the menu!

Papá Changó Café is open daily at 7am to sell out at 5410 22nd Avenue NW. Remember, it’s a new business and it’s often difficult to tell how many customers will come each day. Be gracious and supportive.

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