If you’re anything like me, you probably can’t start a busy and active day without a good cup of coffee to boost your spirits and your energy.
So, when you’re choosing where to stay in DC, it makes sense to choose somewhere near a great coffee shop. While there’s certainly no shortage of great coffee shops in Washington (in fact, it was pretty difficult choosing just a handful of them for this list!), there are some pretty dire ones too, so it’s worth doing your research!
I’ve lived in DC for many years now and I’ve visited more coffee shops than I can remember. So, I’ve decided to spill the beans (no pun intended!) below and share some of my local insider knowledge.
Local knowledge is everything!
1. The Coffee Bar
This “eco-chic” coffee shop sits between the U Street corridor and Logan Circle in a historic building dating 1880, and uses reclaimed and recycled materials for that cozy urban-green look.
Not only a great spot for tasty coffee, but they also have some of the best 24 and 48 hour cold brews for that extra kick of caffeine on hot days (and it definitely gets pretty hot in D.C. during the summers). The Coffee Bar or TCB uses single origin coffees from a rotating roster of roasters for a great pour-over coffee!
Fun (or maybe not so fun depending on the person) fact: TCB shuts off their wifi on weekends to promote more conversation between people.
2. Qualia Coffee
Qualia Coffee isn’t very big or fancy. But, what Qualia Coffee does have is house-roasted coffee beans.
If you’re a big fan of coffee, you’ll know why that makes this shop so special. Freshly roasted coffee enhances the flavors and makes the taste of coffee that much more pronounced.
Nestled away in the Petworth neighborhood, and only a few blocks from the Georgia Ave-Petworth Metro station, Qualia gives you that amazingly fresh cup of coffee that’s been roasted to perfection by the Qualia staff, in a nice homey environment surrounded by locals and neighbors.
They also do regular free coffee tasting sessions, which are well worth a visit!
3. Chinatown Coffee Co.
When you think of Chinatown, you may typically think of the famous Chinatown Friendship Gate, dim sum, and maybe those big cat statues. When I think of Chinatown, I think of the Chinatown Coffee Company.
Chinatown Coffee is a small coffee shop, with a surprising amount of seating, hidden away in Chinatown, near the metro station, with a sleek industrial urban style. It really pops out as “hip”.
The coffee here is good and micro-roasted in house, but their espresso is some of the best you can get! You really will get a huge caffeine kick and have enough energy to run around the National Mall a few times.
If you’re staying near the Chinatown area, I definitely recommend giving this place a visit!
4. Northside Social Coffee & Wine
I know what you’re thinking, and no I didn’t pick this coffee shop because they serve wine. I picked it for the coffee and was only semi-influenced by the wine.
All in all, Northside Social Coffee & Wine is a great coffee shop located in the Arlington, VA area, just outside the DC proper. It is larger than most coffee shops and has a great patio area to enjoy your coffee drink and snack outside.
One of the reasons I picked this coffee shop is its extremely convenient location in Arlington, right by the Clarendon Metro Station and one of the hotels we frequent for D.C. trips. But of course, we can’t forget the coffee! The coffee is good and the latte is even better.
Friendly tip, Northside Social is a very popular spot on weekends. So, if you’re looking to relax and unwind in a quiet environment, stick to mornings and late nights on weekdays.
Dolcezza is a unique experience for anyone who loves coffee. In fact, Dolcezza grew so popular with their gelato and coffee that they have 8 locations scattered throughout DC! The original Dolcezza is located in Georgetown but the one I like to visit is located in Dupont Circle, closer to the hotels.
Dolcezza was born from adventure by a couple traveling through South America in Buenos Aires. Their goal was to create their craft, by hand, and locally sourced. To say they succeeded is without question! The coffee is delicious through a chemex brewer and has that full body taste.
If you’re a fan of espresso, they use the beans from Stumptown Coffee Roasters located in Brooklyn, NY for the Hair Bender espresso. The espresso has a rich taste and a great kick to start your morning.
This post was written by Kate Howard, a kindergarten teacher from Washington, DC.
Her favorite time of year is restaurant week in D.C. She’s also a mom! Learn more about her here.
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