Original chai tea recipes, kava-infused beverages, and live-music are just a few of the ingredients Mr. Spot’s Chai House has used to earn its reputation as one of the best lounge-about cafes in the Seattle area. Located in Ballard, Mr. Spot’s has nestled itself among the liveliest part of the city center, attracting its share of the city’s nightlife. At night customers often crowd out the café onto the street in full view of the Ballard area.
Mr. Spot’s Chai House is best known for its comfortable atmosphere. Customers often come by themselves feeling welcome among the generous selection of comfortable furniture and the friendly crowd. The baristas, despite being usually busy, are friendly and often include themselves among the customers.
Kava, a widely used herbal supplement, is infused in the majority of the beverages catered at Mr. Spot’s. The use of kava originates from the islands of the Pacific Ocean such as Hawaii and Fiji. In the Pacific islands, locals have used kava to promote relaxation similar to how alcohol has been used by Western cultures. Today, kava is one of the most widely used herbal supplements in the world. Kava has been used recreationally more and more by Western cultures and acts as a subtle tranquilizer, responsible, perhaps, for much of the general mood at Mr. Spot’s.
The café specializes in its chai latte. Mr. Spot’s is the “home of the morning glory chai,” their own original chai recipe popular among Ballard residents. In addition to coffee variants, the café also offers a respectable selection of herbal and traditional teas, such as gingko or St. John’s Wort, which are dried in bulk before being brewed.
Beverages are complemented by a great selection of health-conscious foods. The menu includes Greek cuisine, falafels, and even American classics like the popular PB&J. Scones, muffins, and other common coffee house offerings are also available. Food is not too expensive and during the 5-7pm happy hour, food goes for $4 and pints and pitchers sell for $3 and $10, respectively.
The café offers a popular open mic to local residents and artists, dubbed the “scratching post open mic.” Live music and performance, such as spoken word or comedy, is hosted nearly every night on the small stage located towards the center of the room. Last month, the Chai House hosted “Chaistock”, a miniature music festival that featured three all-day lineups of performances by local musicians and artists.
The Chai House is open to all ages usually up until 10 pm, when the Mr. Spot’s opens the bar to customers 21 and over. At the bar, the café offers mid-priced beer and wine, but not mixed alcoholic drinks. Of course, if it still fits your fancy, coffee, chai, and kava remain on the menu.