Food & Drink

The best coffee shop in 13 DC 'hoods

Published On 11/26/2014 Published On 11/26/2014
Laura Hayes
Laura Hayes
Laura Hayes
Chinatown Coffee Company
The Wydown
Laura Hayes
Peregrine Espresso
Laura Hayes
Little Red Fox
Laura Hayes
Laura Hayes
Laura Hayes
Laura Hayes
Laura Hayes
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1. Compass Coffee 1535 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20001 (Shaw)

Compass Coffee takes their brew seriously. At this minimalist space in Shaw, two former Marines roast their own beans on-site, with multiple blends and single-origin options to choose from. The team travels around the world to source beans from small farms, and their hard work pays off. This place has communal tables, and you might get a visit from the very approachable owners... or you can just buy a bag of beans so you can brew the perfect cup at home.

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2. Baked and Wired 1052 Thomas Jefferson St NW, Washington, DC 20007 (Georgetown)

Sweets take center stage at this Georgetown hotspot, where baked goods are made fresh daily. Get there as early as you can to find the best selection of cookies. But if you're not in the mood to break the calorie bank, Baked and Wired offers expertly pulled shots. They brew with beans from Stumptown, Intelligentsia, Ceremony Coffee Roasters, and more.

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3. Chinatown Coffee Co. 475 H St, Washington, DC 20001 (Chinatown)

From the bean machines behind Arlington's Murky Coffee, CCC's a brick-walled, wi-fi equipped galley serving up high-quality breakfast pastries and seasonal roasts.

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4. The Wydown 1924 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009 (U Street)

This coffee bar from two brothers is the place to go for a good cup of Joe, likely due to the standards they’ve put in place: a simple but tasty Italian-style espresso menu and a no-skim-milk policy -- it ruins the texture, they say. Its short and sweet coffee menu includes well-made basic espresso drinks, drip coffee, pour-overs, and teas. There’s also a rotating assortment of house-made baked goods, including scones, cupcakes, and cookies. Follow them on social media if you want to be in the know for upcoming coffee tastings.

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5. Blind Dog Cafe 944 Florida Ave, Washington, DC 20001

If you start your day with a buttery croissant piled high with chorizo and cheese, plus Blind Dog’s signature drink — a "Black Moses" — your day is bonded and insured to be the best. The "Black Moses" combines three shots of espresso in a chai chocolate cappuccino. Located inside Darnell’s neighborhood bar, BDC is an example of a "plop-up." That’s when a pop-up is so awesome that it makes it 2+ years. You’re drinking Vigilante Coffee and noshing on what they jokingly call "above average cookies," baked fresh throughout the day. Pay attention to the day of the week if you’re a music lover: there’s Country Western Mondays, local music Tuesdays, and Reggae Thursdays.

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6. Peregrine Espresso 660 Pennsylvania Ave SE, Washington, 20003 (U Street)

This snug spot in Eastern Market is backed by Ryan Jensen, a career coffee addict who has won plenty of awards along with his staff in barista competitions. The local chain has infiltrated the city, with other locations in Union Market and 14th Street. It sources Counter Culture Coffee for its espresso drinks, single-origin filter drip and pour-over coffee.

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7. Flying Fish Coffee & Tea 3064 Mt Pleasant St NW, Washington, DC 20009 (Mt Pleasant)

Michael Visser, coffee artist and pastry chef (who also runs Biscuit Lab), trains his employees well at Flying Fish. The coffee, made with Counter Culture beans, is skillfully crafted by informed baristas. You’ll never go back to a certain mermaid-brandished coffee company’s pumpkin spice latte after one sip of Flying Fish’s take on the cultish beverage.

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8. Little Red Fox 5035 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008 (Chevy Chase)

Husband and wife duo Anne Alfano and Matt Carr opened Little Red Fox to bring the best of Washington's own produce to Chevy Chase with gourmet spins on classic American fare. The “Portlander” with fried egg, house-made apple butter, Gorgonzola spread, arugula, and bacon on ciabatta makes the choice for breakfast pretty easy. Just don't let the mouth-watering sandwich selection distract from the highlight of this cozy café: amazing coffee, made with beans roasted by Coava Coffee.

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9. Qualia Coffee 3917 Georgia Ave NW, Washington, DC 20011 (Petworth)

Grab a seat on the front porch or rustic backyard of this Petworth coffee mecca, where you can enjoy free WiFi with a side of quality coffee. Qualia Coffee roasts its single-origin coffee in-house, and makes an effort to teach customers about the unique qualities of beans from different locations. It hosts free coffee tastings on the second and fourth Sunday of every month at 2pm, letting customers try three coffees side by side.

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10. Big Bear Cafe 1700 1st St NW, Washington, DC 20001

There's a lot to love about this all-day Bloomingdale coffeeshop and cafe. First, it's a real coffeehouse in the sense that it brews a new variety of house coffee and espresso every week. It's also a great place to eat a sit-down meal, whether it's a bagel with lox at breakfast or steak-frites at dinner. And it serves alcohol. Big Bear definitely attracts a hipster freelancer crowd, probably because it only turns its WiFi on during the workday. The best part of about this place, though, is the vine-entangled patio with ample seating.

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11. Sidamo Coffee and Tea 417 H St NE, Washington, DC 20002 (H Street Ne)

Sidamo brings you coffee that's about as close to the source as you can get: they roast beans in-house daily. They may not be the quickest baristas, but they’re thoughtful. If you’re aiming to stick around, the short wait is worth it. Embrace DC’s Ethiopian side by ordering single-origin espresso, or indulge yourself with one of their to-die-for caramel lattes.

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12. Filter Coffeehouse 1726 20th St NW, Washington, DC 20009 (Dupont Circle)

Opening next week right next door to Dupont's Real World house, Filter's a cozy, garden-level caffeine cave serving up artisan lattes (expertly poured with foam designs like leafs and such) and 7 different pour-over coffee cups.

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13. Tryst 2459 18th St NW, Washington, DC 20009 (Adams Morgan)

This Adams Morgan coffeehouse, bar, and lounge is a beloved DC institution. Coffee is made from Counter Culture beans, there's a wide organic tea selection, and the fairly extensive breakfast and brunch options are all delicious. It alsos serve beer, wine, and cocktails in the evening.

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