Restaurant review: Poverty Bay offers great coffee, food and conversations

Poverty Bay Coffee Company Coffee Shop and Deli

Location: 1108A S. 322nd Place, Federal Way (located between Safeway and Celebration Park)

Hours: 5:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday; 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; and 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

Info: (253) 945-0012

Prices: $2-$8 for pastries, coffee, breakfast or lunch.

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From the outside, Poverty Bay looks like any strip mall deli, but on the inside it is cozy and inviting. There are lounge chairs in the corner and local newspapers always stacked in a basket for customers to read. Fresh flowers usually adorn each table, although on this day the setting featured a miniature pumpkin and fall leaves. It’s the kind of place where you could stop for a quick bite or hang out reading, working on a laptop or chatting with friends for hours. Many people choose the latter. Poverty Bay hosts a loyal group of regulars who gather each morning to discuss the ins and outs of Federal Way.

I go to Poverty Bay several times a week for a quick relaxing lunch and sometimes to get a scoop on local happenings from the regulars.


Poverty Bay is a small, local coffee company. The deli serves Poverty Bay coffee as well as pastries, breakfast and lunch.

Every latte I’ve ordered at Poverty Bay has been fresh and delicious. They have a variety of flavors. If you stay and drink your coffee there, they will serve it to you in a mug which, for some reason, always tastes better than in a paper cup.

For breakfast, Poverty Bay serves up such staples as oatmeal, waffles and egg and bacon sandwiches. There are also pastries, juice and muffins.

For lunch, Poverty Bay offers deli sandwiches, salads, grilled paninis and soups. They frequently offer daily specials that aren’t on the menu.

I estimate I’ve eaten lunch or breakfast at Poverty Bay more than 120 times in the past two years. Each time my meal has been fresh and delicious. It seems one of the healthier choices for lunch in Federal Way. The food conjures up images of a jolly grandma type wearing an apron bustling around in the kitchen.

On this day, I ordered a cup of coconut chicken curry soup and a side salad with bleu cheese dressing for $6.51 after tax. The soup was hot, sweet and a little spicy. The salad greens were crisp and the croutons flavorful. The portion size was perfect to tide me over for the afternoon.

Poverty Bay also offers menu items for take-out.


I was greeted immediately by Nicole when I approached the counter. She was friendly and accommodating. She took off into the kitchen with my order and Michelle finished cashing me out.

As usual, my food was prompt. I was in and out of there in 20 minutes time.

The service is always good. They never complain or scowl when I order my salad or sandwich with excessive modifications. They seem to have a low employee turnover rate because it’s always the same friendly girls behind the counter. The owner, Alice, is almost always in the building keeping a watchful eye and greeting customers.

If work weren’t buying, would I eat here again?

Of course! I always do. And apparently work isn’t buying today either, because I forgot to get a copy of my receipt. — Margo Horner, Mirror staff

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