Even in a bibliophilic city like Seattle, Ada’s Technical Books stands out as an exceptionally geek-friendly haven. For one thing, it presides over some of the best themed book clubs in town — human thought and sexuality, classics of science fiction, nonfiction, and general science fiction — plus it has a charming little cafe serving coffee, beer and wine, baked goods, and vegetarian comfort food. In addition to computer and engineering manuals, they carry architecture, math, science, and sci-fi books, but even English majors can enjoy the popular-science and general-interest books. Wooden puzzles, electronic kits, jewelry, and notebooks make excellent gifts for your favorite nerd; we love the “I Read Technical Books” T-shirt.
At Ada's Technical Books and Cafe on Capitol Hill, a unique selection of largely tech-focused books shares a lovely, light-filled space (light-filled on the sunny day I visited, in any case) with a charming cafe. Get a cup of coffee and a pastry, or have one of their small plates for lunch. I enjoyed the lightly spicy chai latte and a quiche with a crust so flaky it was almost puff pastry.