Road trip between Vancouver and Seattle this winter? If so, you can stop in downtown Bellingham, Washington on the way to warm up at The Black Drop Coffee Shop!
On a brief visit to Bellingham for a wedding last winter, I found myself without a road trip buddy. My friend had gotten sick, so I headed north alone. My first destination? The Black Drop. I couldn’t wait to sink my lips into a steaming hot mug of local coffee. Overall, I found the shop to be cozy and very comfortable, even for solo visitors.
I’m one for feeling a bit odd when out in public without a friend by my side, but there were more than a few people at The Black Drop also without a companion–reading, on their phone, or captivated by a laptop.
I appreciate that neither the music, customers, nor employees were too loud. Though the coffee shop was busy while I was there, it still felt chill. I’d like to go back midday, midweek, and see how relaxing the Black Drop could be.
I would describe the style of The Black Drop as “funky”. (Does that make me old-fashioned?) Your first hint at this is the metal-robot-man-sign at the entrance. Inside, the blue walls feature alternative art work and paper cutouts. The decor is completed by vintage ceiling lamps.
What to drink
Browsing the menu, I looked for something unique that I couldn’t get anywhere else, and yet preserved the strong taste of coffee. I opted for the Cuban. This specialty drink consists of two shots of espresso with cream and two raw sugars.
The staff were both cheerful and helpful. They obligingly granted my strange request to replace the cream in the Cuban with soy milk. It would have turned out a lot prettier, though, if I could have cream (but I’m dairy-free).
The Black Drop Coffee House uses roasts from Maniac Roasting, a local company. I would describe the taste of the roast used in my drink as more smokey-smooth than bitter. As a whole, the Cuban has a gentle bite of espresso with no bitter aftertaste.
Where to sit
Take a seat while waiting for your order number to be called.
At the window, you will find a tall table with the perfect people-watching vantage point. There wasn’t much going on outside, though.
If you like to knit, sit where I did–in the corner farthest from the cash register. There, two comfy easy chairs sit with a small table in between. Next to my chair, I found a yarn basket complete with knitting needles. Even patterns are included to help the less experienced knitters!
There is plenty of public parking available on Railroad Avenue. You can’t miss it. If the parking areas on Railroad fill up, look elsewhere. There are parking garages and other options around.
Bring quarters for public parking at the decent price of 75 cents per hour. Parking is free after 5 PM, on weekends, and on holidays. (Don’t be an idiot like I was, using the parking meter on a Saturday. Wasted my quarters! Man, that could’ve been donated to my favorite arcade game…) Remember to check your meter for a limit of hours.
Honestly, I got kind of confused on my way to the coffee shop. I parked in the busiest area and walked northward, on Champion. (Not the most direct route, but I was exploring anway.) On my way, the people traffic started to dwindle, so I began to wonder if I was headed in the right direction. But, yes, I was!
This is probably not a regular occurrence at The Black Drop, but it happened to me:
I was absorbed in taking notes for this review when I heard, “Hi.” I don’t know how I knew that the single word was meant for me, but I lifted my head and saw a smiling girl holding a rose.
She held the rose out to me, saying, “This is for you!” I took it in confusion and then she walked away, cheerfully saying, “Have a good day!”
As random as the event may have been, it pretty much made my day. The rose was yellow–yellow roses are my favorite smell.
This was during my last winter in the States, before I headed to Vietnam to start my new life abroad! Thanks for reading, and please keep following my travel adventures!