In the past few years, we’ve seen the number of coffee shops and chains in Washington DC expand faster than you can say “pour-over” or “French press.” New coffee shops not only cater to coffee lovers, but many coffee shops in the city appeal to a wide audience and offer options to work, have a meeting or coffee date, or quietly read a book. Given the number of coffee shops in town, sometimes we find ourselves confused about where to go to get our coffee fix and spend our time and money. To help you in the decision making process, we’ve created our own Best coffee shop DC roundup based on reading tons of reviews, hearing from friends through word of mouth, and, of course, through our own personal experience.
Here’s our list of Best DC Coffee Shops:
We may be a little biased, but we think our modern café surrounded by beautiful bikes and helpful hardware is a great spot to stop along the waterfront. Part of our new Wharf location, the Velo Café offers Vigilante Coffee, as well as delicious pastries, bagels, sandwiches and snacks, plus wine, beer and spirits. With the extensive Wharf parking garages, the convenient Southwest shuttle, the nearby Waterfront Metro, the scenic water taxi, and handy bike path and racks right in front of the Café, there are plenty of ways to get here. And the large tables and comfortable atmosphere make Velo Cafe the perfect place to plan your next career move, outdoor adventure, or DIY project.
At this coffee roaster’s airy, industrial mod Hyattsville facility, customers can check out the bean-to-cup action or linger over laptops in the cafe while sipping craft espresso and java drinks. Sure, it's a bit of a hike (or bike ride!) to get there, but the area’s small-town vibe jibes with the owners' artisanal bent. The place is a hipster’s paradise, and they teach fancy coffee craft.
Vigilante Coffee offers different varieties of coffee to suit any palate. Their coffee is made fresh daily and they offer healthy food options, including a variety of breakfast items and great acai bowls with all sorts of delicious fruit and toppings. The facility is also a good spot to read and work while enjoying great coffee. But, if you can’t make the trek to Hyattsville, Velo Café has partnered with Vigilante Coffee to bring the great coffee to the Wharf at the Southwest Waterfront.
Zeke's Coffee of DC
The aroma of fresh beans fills the air at this small-batch artisanal roaster/coffee shop in Woodridge. Zeke’s Coffee offers pour-overs, French-press pots, iced Americanos, espressos and more. Customers can also purchase pound bags of single-origin and custom-blended organic varietals from Colombian Sierra Nevada to Balinese Blue Krishna, all arranged on wire racks in a clean, minimalist space.
Swing’s is a super hip, trendy coffee shop in an industrial building with a fantastic atmosphere for light conversation or serious work. They have free Wi-Fi, a small selection of basic coffee types and a small selection of pastries. Swing’s Coffee provides plenty of seating – both tables and barstools, and offers a fully wheelchair-accessible entrance and seating. With ample street parking out front , this is a nice, chill place to bring your laptop and do some work in a clean and pleasant atmosphere while enjoying great coffee and tasty pastry options, including some delicious gluten free pastries, muffins, and cookies.
Sweet Science Coffee
Sweet Science is the perfect place for coffee fanatics! They offer superb coffee in a very cozy location. Not your typical coffee shop – Sweet Science is a must-see for those who like quaint coffee shops with a twist. It’s a cool, hip coffee shop with nice, relaxing vibe.
If you are serious about an excellent cup of coffee, this is the place to go. Qualia roasts their own beans and you can buy their beans and coffee making supplies in their stores. Qualia has a cozy atmosphere that offers some of the best fresh coffee in DC, including a rotating house coffee option, a selection of ten or more beans for individual brewing, cold-brewed and hot-brewed iced coffee, as well as espresso-based drinks. Don't bring your laptop here expecting to get work done online, they don’t offer Wi-Fi! Qualia wants you to unplug, relax and enjoy one of the best cups of coffee available in DC.
An offshoot of a San Francisco coffee specialist, Philz Coffee offers custom-crafted java made from 20 house blends, plus iced drinks, tea, pastries and light fare, all served in an airy, modern space equipped with unique artwork and outdoor seating. There’s a fun variety of coffees, and the menu is pretty self-explanatory. The hipster vibe is amazing and it has an antique feel when you walk in. The staff members are friendly and energetic and there is always a line to get coffee, so the shop is always full.
Peregrine Espresso is a place to get quality coffee you can taste. The coffee here is simple but crafted to perfection. The space itself is bright and airy, with ample seating and enough outlets scattered throughout that you can easily recharge your devices. They serve Counter Culture Coffee, a North Carolina roaster that has amazing beans. There is also a nice array of pastries for your sweet tooth.
Filter Coffeehouse & Espresso Bar
Filter Coffeehouse has knowledgeable staff, tasty coffee, and an awesome little atmosphere. The Foggy Bottom branch of the coffeehouse chainlet keeps locals caffeinated with its pour-overs, French press and espresso drinks made from locally roasted, single-origin beans. They also serve pastries such as croissants, muffins and scones, as well as beautiful chocolate desserts and drinks, too! The modern, bi-level locale boasts additional seating upstairs.
The brainchild of two former Marines, these trendy cafes offer both blends and single-origin brews sourced from Guatemala, Indonesia, Kona and other spots around the globe. You can also grab pastries and sandwiches to eat while you enjoy your coffee. The original location in Shaw is set in modern industrial digs with a handcrafted steel-and-cement counter and state-of-the-art Loring roaster, while its siblings include a location in The Shay, a hip residential building. You will love their clean and composed atmosphere, a good change from hipster-esque coffee joints. Compass was designed for productivity, offering plenty of seating for working/studying or just hanging out, and bright lighting to keep you awake. There is Wi-Fi along with plenty of outlets available for customers.
The Coffee Bar
The Coffee Bar is a small coffee shop mainly designed for people to get their artisan latte or tea to go, but if you want to stay, the atmosphere is inspiring and there's window seating and one long wooden table. It's decorated simply but has a NYC artsy vibe. The Coffee Bar offers high quality coffee from roasters like Verve. They also have skilled baristas who move fast and stay ahead of the orders even when the place is busy. Aside from their tasty coffee, they also sell an array of pastries under a small glass panel.
Calabash Teahouse & Cafe
Owner-herbalist Sunyatta Amen has a hot brew or a cold tea 'cocktail' for every mood at this vibrant Shaw hangout. Calabash also carries fair-trade coffee and kombucha on tap to wash down a vegan menu of spicy, island-inspired snacks and pastries. If you’re feeling adventurous, sample an aphrodisiac potion before settling into the colorful, exotic surrounds. Word is the customer service is amazing and the teas are delicious.
With lots of hot/cold coffee options to choose from, including some unheard of and great combinations like coffee with soda and lime, Bourbon Coffees is a unique coffee shop. It’s a nice place to meet friends, do work or read. The vibe is completely chill with comfy seating, walls of books and records on shelves around the shop and just a really cool set up.
Blue Bottle Coffee 4.6
A West Coast byword for serious coffee, Blue Bottle offers its proprietary roasts and custom cups in a spacious Georgetown setting on the C&O canal and bike trail, along with a few light breakfast and pastry items. There's a communal focus to its airy, minimalist room that eschews Wi-Fi, so customers can talk, read and enjoy the view. Coffee-lovers can expect a beautiful cafe with handcrafted espresso., The space is designed minimally, with a clean and simple aesthetic that feels bigger than it is, thanks to the high ceilings and plenty of natural light. Blue Bottle has a limited menu, but the available food options are good.