Food & Drink

DC's 5 best places to work outdoors

Published On 07/25/2014 Published On 07/25/2014
Best Places to Work Outdoors DC
Laura Hayes

For those days DC gets lucky with weather that doesn’t lead to your shirt sticking to your back in an interpretive Rorschach blot of a sweat stain (is that Pharrell’s hat?), we’ve rounded up the best places to get work done outdoors. Just bring SPF, a fully charged battery, and your MIND. Oh, and remember your laptop, in case you're the kind of weirdo who goes places with just a laptop battery.

Laura Hayes

Le Pain Quotidien

Listen to a fountain gurgle as you toil away in a secret garden setting on Le Pain Quotidien's back patio in Georgetown. The Wi-Fi signal out there is as strong as the coffee, so not to worry (the coffee is quite strong). Tartines, which is fancy French talk for open-faced sandwiches, will keep your brain fueled. For best results, get the prosciutto & ricotta, or any of the seasonal specials. 

Laura Hayes

Canal Park

This new park in Southeast is high tech enough for you to make it your office for the day. Snag a shady table, or better yet -- a bench that’s fully equipped with electrical outlets. Instead of worrying about losing your charge mid-Gchat, you can focus on more pressing things like avoiding bird poop and sunburn. There are strong Wi-Fi networks available, but you must login through your service provider. If you get hungry, the park has a cafĂ© serving wood-fired pizzas, sandwiches, beer, and wine, which always help with the creativity. 

Laura Hayes

Pleasant Pops

Adams Morgan
If you could take a popsicle break every time you accomplished something big, wouldn’t you? Of course you would. Grab a bench outside Pleasant Pops and alternate between your to-do list and flavors like Mexican chocolate, Carolina sweet tea, and watermelon mint. If you work up a bigger appetite, there are salads and sandwiches too, along with endless cups of Joe. Their Wi-Fi signal remains super strong all the way to their outdoor picnic tables.

Laura Hayes

Big Bear Café

You’ll feel like a Tarzan (or a Jane!) on this storybook patio in Bloomingdale. That’s because it’s entangled in vines that create optimal shade for you and your laptop (or paper and pen if you fetishize old-timey stuff, which is very much the vibe here). Pound a pork belly pastrami sandwich or apple-studded grilled cheese (just wipe your hands before you fire Gmail back up). Coffee, beer, wine, and cocktails are all available, so drink whatever suits your purpose. If you're planning on working late, know that the Wi-Fi shuts off at 6pm.

Qualia Coffee

Qualia Coffee

Grab a seat on the front porch or rustic backyard of this Petworth coffee mecca, both are within Wi-Fi range of the café. The focus here is on the beans, so you will always be fueled and focused. Bonus: those desiring four-legged distractions can feel free to bring their dogs to these outdoor areas. Note: the last weekend of every month, Qualia shuts off the Wi-Fi, you know, so you can spend some qualia (!) time actually talking to people.

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1. Le Pain Quotidien 2815 M St NW, Washington, DC 20007 (Georgetown)

Outdoor seating, beer, coffee, and a full food menu (get yourself a prosciutto & ricotta tartine) make this iteration of Le Pain a great option for your out-of-home workstation or just a lunch when you are in Georgetown.

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2. Canal Park 200 M St SE, Washington, DC 20003

This sweet park in Southeast has plenty of places for you to plant yourself with a laptop and a coffee and get some work in -- they have solid Wi-Fi coverage and even a café that'll hook you up with pizzas and sandwiches to keep you going, plus beer and wine to celebrate when you're done!

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3. Pleasant Pops Farmhouse Market & Cafe 1781 Florida Ave NW, Washington, DC 20009 (Adams Morgan)

The Poppers have settled into the tail-end of ADMO with a 23-seater which features wraparound windows, church pews, and a 120yr-old pine table onto which you'll drip Autumn pop flavors like honeycrisp apple & eggnog cream, and enjoy sandwiches like the “PBNJ” w/ peanut butter, Nutella, and plum preserves on challah.

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4. 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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5. 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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