Best Coffee Shops in DC to Try On Your Next Visit to the Nation’s Capital

 In Destinations, Restaurants, USA, Washington DC

After moving from Seattle back to the east coast I despaired that I would be stuck with Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts coffee once again. It took some digging (and sipping), but I found some of the best coffee shops in DC.

Washington, D.C. has a growing coffee scene that prides itself on giving back to the community. These DC coffee shops are serving only the best beans. Don’t worry, there is enough for everyone. At least one coffee shop has lattes on tap to please the crowds of coffee lovers flocking to their DC shop.

Find the best coffee shops in DCbest coffee shops in DCLa Colombe

924 Blagden Alley NW, Washington, DC 20001

Philadelphia-based La Colombe is one of the best places to grab a single origin cup of coffee in DC. Also, if you want to find the men with beards in DC, you will find them here. Lattes are on tap, but there is no wi-fi. La Colombe tries to encourage patrons to talk to each other, not just sit on their laptops all day. Kick back and catch up with old friends over a smooth brew with a side of locally made croissant. Bonus: Todd Carmichael, La Colombe co-founder, is the star of the Travel Channel’s Dangerous Grounds, a show that follows his journey across the globe looking for the best beans. This is what makes his one of the best coffee shops in DC.

Compass Coffee

1535 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

Compass Coffee likes to keep it simple. They want to serve up good coffee with no fancy names in a comfortable atmosphere. Their mission is simple—“ to start your day off right and make sure it keeps going in the right direction.” The owners, Michael Haft and Harrison Suarez, began their morning ritual of coffee during long days of training with the marines and later when they were stationed in Afghanistan. Haft and Suarez had some really bad cups of Joe while in the military. They decided to fix the situation by helping people have a good, non-bitter, strong cup of coffee to get their mornings (afternoons or evenings) started on the right foot.

best Coffee Shops in DCDog Tag Bakery

3206 Grace St NW, Washington, DC 20007

Pastries, coffee and some of the best chocolate chip cookies in Georgetown are being baked and served by disabled vets as part of the job-training program at Dog Tag Bakery. Dog Tag Inc., the non-profit behind the bakery has a simple mission—give vets the opportunity to earn a Certificate in Business Administration from Georgetown University’s School of Continuing Studies. They put those business skills into practice in a small business so they have the skills to start their own companies one day. Enjoy your carbs and caffeine while helping the men and women who put themselves on the line for our country transition back into civilian life.

Baked and Wired

1052 Thomas Jefferson St NW, Washington, DC 20007

Cupcake shop on one side with a coffee bar on the other; the idea is ingeniously simple, and it is working. Weekends you will find a line out the door in the morning for the perfect latte or chai tea to get your morning going. Yes, there is a reason this is always on the list of best coffee shops in DC. Evenings the line goes down the block. Couples and friends can’t wait to sink their teeth into one of Baked and Wired’s famous cupcakes. A few are also in line to stock up on some of the shop’s house made granola. There is indoor and outdoor seating, but it is limited. Take your lattes, espresso and cappuccinos for a walk along the Potomac instead of waiting for a seat if the weather is good.

Peregrine Espresso

1718 14th St NW, Washington, DC 

Owners Ryan and Jill Jensen had one mission when they opened Peregrine Coffee in 2008—good coffee, great service, education and a focus on sustainability. This shop offers espresso drinks, filter drip coffee and pour over coffees by the cup. Locals will tell you this is one of the best coffee shops in DC. Grab your beans when you want to brew at home or simply sit down for a cup with friends. Monday evenings the Union Station location offers classes like Espresso Fundamentals and Better Brewing at Home.

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best Coffee Shops in DCProfessional barista and Latte art via ShutterStock.com

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Showing 4 comments
  • Allison Laypath
    Reply

    Great details, I love your photos! I enjoyed the stories about the shops too.

  • Tamara
    Reply

    What about Dolcezza!?

    • Keryn Means
      Reply

      I wasn’t sure where to put Dolcezza. Do you put it with gelato (yum!) or coffee?! I think of it more for gelato, but I agree. They have tasty espresso. Have no fear. More research is being done and this article will be updated. There is a spot in Adams Morgan that needs to be added and I just had a fab Zeke’s decaf iced coffee (really hard to do well!)

  • Katie
    Reply

    Don’t sleep on Swing’s Coffee downtown! They just opened a new shop at 14th and G and the coffee is amazing. They’re also a DC institution – have been around for 101 years!!

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