If you’re like us, while you’re on vacation, you linger over breakfast (especially if you’re staying in our Lodge), take slow sips of your steaming cup of coffee, and chew mindfully on your omelet and granola while gazing out onto the Lake. 

Once you’re properly sated, it’s time to explore the island, and since every San Juan Island adventure is 99% likely to include time in Friday Harbor, you may need a second (or third—no judgment here!) caffeinated pick-me-up while you’re out. 

So, where should you go and what should you order? These are the subjects of our roundup of our seven favorite coffee shops in Friday Harbor. Start taking notes and plan to visit a few to find your favorites. We don’t have your go-to Starbucks order, but we do have even more to love.

overhead view of different coffees on San Juan Island

What are the best coffee shops in Friday Harbor?

The following list of coffee shops is in alphabetical order, not necessarily our order of preference. We love them all for different reasons, as you’ll see.

Crows Nest Coffee Shoppe operates out of a tiny hole in the wall. Yes, really! When its original location burned down in the Friday Harbor fire a few summers back, the team moved to this narrow location a little up the block on Spring Street where they have been brewing drinks and making breakfast sandwiches since. If you like mushrooms and adaptogens, try their Golden Milk or Chaga Lattes. They have a wide selection of alternative milks, too. 

Barista paking flower design in coffee on San Juan Island

Friday Harbor Espresso is a drive-thru stand on your way to a lot of island attractions. With an ever-rotating and seasonal menu sure to please, you’ll want to stop at this stand every time you visit to see what’s new. They offer both drinks and hot and cold lunches (we’re talking chowder, sandwiches, and more). Note before you drive there all sleepy-eyed, though: This shop accepts cash and local checks only. 

ugly donuts at Medio coffee shop on San Juan Island

For house-made syrups, self-described “ugly donuts,” and a chia bowl that will keep you full, spend some time at Medio Cafe, and not just for your breakfast foods. A great place for long chats and lounging, this cool space on Spring Street inside Friday Harbor Suites operates under limited hours—seasonally and on weekends. They also host food pop-ups and make a mean tamale. 

drinking coffee at the Riptide Cafe overlooking the Friday Harbor Marina on San Juan Island

If your goal is to stick close to water views (who could blame you?), order your drinks at Riptide Cafe on Front Street. The only waterfront cafe in Friday Harbor, they have the market almost cornered on coffee with a view. This is where you can find an even better version of that Starbucks Caramel Macchiato you treat yourself to at home. You can also order local, organic egg bites, a cup of oatmeal, breakfast bagels, coconut milk smoothies, and more. 

roasting coffee beans at San Juan Island  Roasters on San Juan Island

San Juan Island Roasters has been a Friday Harbor staple since 1990. Head here for small batch, specialty coffee located on the dock at Cannery Landing right by the ferry terminal. They have sandwich board signs pointing you in the right direction, a delicious lavender latte, ice cream, and chocolate. Waiting to go out on a wildlife tour? This is a perfect stop to start your next adventure. 

Front of Salty Fox coffee on San Juan Island

Salty Fox Coffee is usually our first stop to or from the ferry. Right next to the waiting area, it is housed in a beautiful historical home and offers a to-go window for both drinks and eats. Their Chai is made in-house and, many days, a cup of their drip does the trick. We’re big Americano fans (with room so we can doctor the drink ourselves, naturally), so we’ll walk into the shop and wait for ours to brew while we check out the latest little giftables on display, many of which are created by local makers. The food selection is as hearty as you want it to be, too, which is nice. You can order anything from a breakfast sandwich to an acai bowl, and if you’re a basil lover, the pesto breakfast bowl is to die for. 

eating shaved ice outside on San Juan Island

At The Sweet Retreat & Espresso, everything is made to order from their small footprint on Spring Street. They’ll make you anything from a tall breve to an ice-blended energy drink and send you on your way. Pick your sandwich bread and add your sides to your cold sandwich or order a gyro loaded with Tzatziki. During the summer bustle, they even have shaved ice! 

BONUS: Have yourself a second breakfast

If you’re not staying in the Lodge where our continental breakfast is included, or you are simply a big fan of morning meals, check out our list of breakfast spots in Friday Harbor. We even gave you a few from around the island because we know your exploration will be wide-ranging. Check it out here. 

If we may be so bold: Take us to-go on your island adventure and show us all the spots you hit by tagging @lakedaleresort in your Instagram and Facebook posts. 

Happy sipping! 

breakfast on the Lakedale lodge deck with coffee