If there is such a thing as a typical Seattle café, this is it: casual and comfortably disheveled, nutritionally enlightened, and perfumed inside and out by the aroma of coffee. Its ownership has changed a few times since it opened in 1977, but its character (and menu) remains familiar and eater-friendly. Those desperate for a quick caffeine fix when there no seats are available inside (a likely situation on weekend mornings) can avail themselves of barista John Hornall’s coffee cart on the sidewalk outside. Seattle’s coffee cognoscenti know the latte from this particular cart as the city’s best.
Although lunch is served every day, and it includes some excellent salads and soups as well as vegetarian plates and no-beef hamburgers (and meat-eaters' items, too), most fans of the 14 Carrot Café consider it a breakfast place. Omelets are big and beautiful, served with good hash browns and a choice of toast, English muffin, or streusel-topped coffee cake. Star of the show is Tahini toast: brioche French toast filled with sesame butter, dipped in egg and grilled. Cinnamon roll French toast is another winner.