Mugs & Steins


Seattle is famous for its rainy climate and dense cloud cover. Without all that sunlight and blue sky to stimulate our intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells, we stay awake by resorting to coffee, and coffee culture is a major part of life in the Pacific Northwest.


front view of Starbucks headquarters building in SeattleThe most visible part of that is the fact that Seattle is famously the home of Starbucks. The first Starbucks can be found in the famous Pike Place Market. Additionally, a larger Starbucks reserve roastery is located not far from the Conference Center in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. If you enjoy souvenir mugs, either location should serve. The Starbucks corporate office is also in Seattle, located in a neighborhood called SoDo. While it’s a more out-of-the-way destination, it’s still a uniquely recognizable building south of the Seattle skyline.


Seattle is also home to a variety of excellent local coffee roasters and cafes! If you need to get a fix mid-Meeting, it’s a relatively short walk to reach a Monorail Espresso window, and if you’re willing to walk a little further you might enjoy Café Ladro or Victrola Coffee Roasters. Other notable local names are:

  • Onda Origins
  • Café Vita
  • Elm Coffee Roasters
  • Lighthouse Coffee Roasters

There are of course many other amazing roasters and cafes in the city, so I recommend you explore the bustling Seattle coffee scene!


Of course coffee is not everyone’s…cup of tea. But we are also known for our local beer scene! The city itself is home to over 60 craft breweries, with an even greater number if you include towns and cities near Seattle. This might have something to do with a close proximity to Washington’s Yakima Valley Hop Farms, I cannot be certain. But if the weather is serviceable during ARVO 2024, you might want to consider spending some time enjoying the weather, a cold beer in hand, discussing experiments and ideas with collaborators.


So “Which brewery?” you may ask. Closer (<1 mile) to the Convention Center you can find:

Many of the local and non-local craft brews are carried in restaurants and bars (I highly recommend Stumbling Monk, Brouwer's Cafe and Queen Anne Beer Hall), but if you specifically want to spend time at a brewery, many can be found in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood.


And keep in mind that whether your blood runs hot with a need for coffee or cold with a need for beer, Seattle has drinks (cultured or not) for you!

Daniel Hass, PhD

Daniel Hass received his PhD in neuroscience from Pennsylvania State University where he was a member of Colin Barnstable, DPhil's lab. Since then he has joined the lab of James Hurley, PhD, at the University of Washington where he is a postdoctoral scholar. Hass is studying physiological metabolism in the retina and retinal pigment epithelium, and how metabolic physiology is altered in degenerative diseases of the retina. He enjoys drawing as well as hiking and backpacking in the mountains near Seattle.