Spotlight: 5th Avenue Cafe

5th Avenue: our flagship cafe.

Top Pot’s second café is located on 5th Avenue in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood. This densely populated urban area is filled with old-school charm. Brick buildings line the street, while the sleek, silver monorail, built for the 1962 World’s Fair, glides overhead. Just a few blocks from the Space Needle, the 5th Avenue café is a place where famous guests, excited tourists, and neighborhood regulars come to mingle.

Beautiful two-story greenhouse windows allow passersby to observe the old-school interior, complete with Top Pot’s signature bookshelves, a 1960s-style television, and a balcony seating area. It’s a beautiful, large café and it’s a staple of Seattle’s downtown.

The roastery for all 20 Top Pot locations is housed at this location. This is where all of our coffee beans and cold brew coffee is produced. It’s amazing how much hard work and dedication the men and women of the roastery have put into their work. Whether you’re sipping a latte on top of Queen Anne hill in one of our first locations, or grabbing a quick drip coffee at our newest café, Sky House in Dallas, you’re tasting the same great quality coffee.

Tourist Hot Spot

The 5th Avenue location is conveniently close to many of Seattle’s great tourist destinations. After enjoying our doughnuts and coffee, visitors can take the 10-minute walk to the Seattle Center. There they can take a trip to the top of the Space Needle, visit the International Fountain, or spend an afternoon in the EMP/SFM, otherwise known as the “Experience Music Project/Science Fiction Museum.”

This nonprofit museum features exhibits focused on pop culture and music both nationally and internationally. Their most recent exhibits have included a Star Trek retrospective, an in-depth Hello Kitty display, and, of course, several rooms devoted to our hometown hero, Jimi Hendrix.

If you choose to set your feet walking south, you’ll arrive at Seattle’s historic Pike Place Market. Yup, that’s the place where they throw the fish. There is also fresh food from over 85 local farmers as well as various artistic wares from the 225 local artists that can be found along the market’s 9 acres.

Local Favorite/Famous Hang Out

But it’s not just tourists who love our Belltown store. It’s also a neighborhood place. With its extensive seating and retro vibe, it’s a great place to meet with a friend or five. Knitting clubs, tech workers check-ins, and senior meet-ups all take place on a weekly basis. Not to mention, it’s a great place to take the family on a Sunday morning.

Even the famous crowd gets in on the action. Over the years Top Pot 5th Avenue has been visited by many familiar faces: Conan O’Brien, Joel McHale, Sir Mix-A-Lot, and Philip Seymour Hoffman have all come to visit. But nothing quite beat then time when this guy showed up.

President Obama Top Pot Doughnuts
President Barack Obama at Top Pot 5th Avenue

That’s right, we were lucky enough to be visited by President Barack Obama. It was an incredible experience (yeah, that’s me hiding back there on the left). He greeted everyone, shook our hands and generally made us all smile. And yes, he tried a doughnut (it was the glazed pumpkin old-fashioned) and pronounced it “addictive.”

The Inside Scoop

It’s not only our customers who love the 5th Avenue location. We’re also big fans of it as well. Founder, Mark Klebeck was one of the main forces behind the build and design of the café.

When I asked him what was his favorite part of the creation and build of the 5th Avenue location, he had this to say:

“The downtown 5th avenue café is unique in that it was built slowly and carefully thought out in design. The entire space is covered in birch wood, terrazzo and was designed to match the late 1940’s structure. It is special for me because my wife and I got married inside on the stairs two weeks before it opened to the public.

“My favorite thing about the build out was working side-by-side with my brother Michael from start to finish. We took our time and carefully incorporated design as we went along.”

Our flagship store is a hustling, bustling place filled with excited customers, delicious doughnuts, and robust coffee. The line can get a little crazy from time to time, but there’s no denying it’s a lot of fun. In fact, this quote from Clara, a 5th Avenue staff member, pretty much sums it up:

“It’s a fast-paced environment that can go from zero to jam packed in seconds. Most days there are customers waiting before we even open the door. It can be hard work, but when you get into the rhythm it transforms into a doughnut-slinging dance party.”

Have you visited our flagship location? What was your experience? Let us know in the comments below!

Father’s Day Special at Top Pot

Father’s Day is coming up and we want to honor all you dads out there with a Father’s Day gift card special.

Starting Monday, June 13, a $10 gift card can be purchased for only $5. Take dad out for his favorite doughnut and coffee and still have enough to get something for yourself. It’s our way of saying thank you for making your family part of Top Pot’s family.

This offer will run through Father’s Day, Sunday, June 19, and is available at all locations.


In the spirit of the holiday, I asked some of our younger patrons to tell me what they thought was their father’s favorite doughnut. Here are some of the answers:

“…I’m not sure what would be my dad’s favorite doughnut. I’m probably pretty sure he likes them all.” – Daniel, age 6

“Umm…I don’t know. I only know the ones that I like.” – Olivia, age 10

“My dad doesn’t eat doughnuts, he just drinks the… [whispers to dad] …the expresso” – Matt, age 8

“I eat the top and my dad eats the rest.” – Jackson, age 5

“If I had to guess, I’d say my dad is a cinnamon sugar old fashioned.” Katelyn, age 16

“Glazed because he’s big like the glazed doughnut.” Madison, age 8

Happy Father’s Day from all of us at Top Pot Doughnuts!

Top Pot Doughnut Eating Contest!

How many doughnuts can you eat in 5 minutes? Our last doughnut eating contest was in 2008 so we’re bringing it back! 

Join us this Friday June 3rd at our downtown flagship cafe for this fun-filled event. Hosted by Nancy Guppy and music by @recess_monkey ! 

Win a dozen doughnuts a month for a year! To enter, sign up from 12 noon until 3:00 pm Friday June 3rd at the 5th ave cafe. Six participants will be selected to compete!

National Doughnut Day–An Unexpected History

National Doughnut Day? What will they think up next? But there is more to the story than you might expect.

On the first Friday in June, America celebrates National Doughnut Day. I know what you’re thinking: “National Doughnut Day? What will they think up next?” But there’s more to the story than just a quirky reason to indulge in a sweet treat.

The calendar is full of strange holidays commemorating everything from cheesecake to teddy bears. Each holiday has its own quirky history and devoted followers. Top Pot loves National Doughnut Day, but we love it for more than the obvious reasons. The story of the creation of NDD is more complicated than you might expect. It’s a story about caring for others and being brave in the face of danger. Didn’t expect that from a doughnut holiday, did you?

WWI and the “Doughnut Dollies”

In 1917, not too long after America entered WWI, The Salvation Army sent volunteers to France. The idea was to set up huts where the soldiers could receive baked goods, write letters back home, and have their clothes mended.

It wasn’t long before two of the volunteers had the idea to serve doughnuts. The life of a soldier was hard, and doughnuts were the perfect treat to brighten their spirits. The doughnuts were an instant hit, with one of the volunteers reporting that she made 300 doughnuts and 700 cups of coffee in one day!

Due to the doughnut’s instant success with the service men, the women became known as the “Doughnut Dollies.” Although the nickname was cute, no one forgot the immense service these men and women were contributing to the fight for freedom.

National Doughnut Day is Born

National Doughnut Day was born out of the struggles of the Great Depression. In 1938, the Salvation Army created the holiday as a way of fundraising for those in need. It also served the dual purpose of commemorating the men and women who had fought in WWI.

The tradition continued throughout the years. The Red Cross took over the Dollies’ work during WWII and the Vietnam War, raising spirits wherever they went.

Top Pot and Northwest Harvest

Top Pot is proud to contribute to the history of NDD. Each year, we partner with Northwest Harvest, a local nonprofit, to collect donations for those in need in our community. Each cafe will be collecting non-perishable food items to support Northwest Harvest’s mission to eliminate hunger.

“Northwest Harvest is Washington’s own statewide hunger relief agency. Our mission is to provide nutritious food to hungry people statewide in a manner that respects their dignity, while fighting to eliminate hunger. Our vision is that ample nutritious food is available to everyone in Washington.”

But that’s not all! In addition to food collections, we host a raffle with the chance to win some awesome prizes. A single ten dollar ticket gives you the chance to win one of ten prizes.

Come by any cafe to purchase your tickets. All raffle proceeds go to Northwest Harvest, so you can win big and do good.

We would love to see you at one of our locations on NDD. It’s a very busy day for us, so if you would like a large order it’s best to call ahead! Come support a great local nonprofit and celebrate the surprising history of National Doughnut Day.

Come into any Top Pot location this Monday through Thursday and show the barista this blog post to receive a free 12 ounce drip coffee.  This offer is good through June 2, 2016.