I don't know about you, but I'm over Starbucks. Sure, it's convenient and available practically everywhere, but it's so overrated and lacks that quaint coffee shop feel that we all secretly love.
Especially at GW, it's easy to feel limited to coffee options in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood. But the best caffeine fix lies outside this bubble. Don't worry, I'm about to tell you where. There's no such thing as a one-size-fits-all coffee house, which is why I've divided up the best coffee shops in Washington DC by category.
1. When You Want to Get Work Done: Grace Street Coffee
Tucked away from the ever-so-touristy M Street, Grace Street Coffee is a magical little loft-style coffee shop with minimalist vibes. It's light, clean, and airy and exudes productivity. Yes, really. Need to crank out your reading? This is your spot. Not to mention it shares a home with South Block in case you prefer a smoothie with your latte.
2. When You Need to Chill: Tryst
Claiming to be the land of mismatched mugs and silverware, Tryst is the antithesis of Starbucks and the like. It feels less like a business and more like your super cool aunt's living room. And people seem to love it—after all, there's hardly ever an empty seat. At night, it turns into a bar and they card so beware.
3. When You Want to Escape the Bustle of the City: Little Red Fox
Not gonna lie, the journey to this gem is quite a trek. I recommend taking the metro, or if you're in the mood for a little more adventure, rent a Zipcar and enjoy working up an appetite while you're stuck in traffic. Luckily, Little Red Fox is a combination coffee shop, deli, and bakery so you'll have plenty of options.
#SpoonTip: Ask them what they recommend, and prepare to be amazed.
4. When You Want to Socialize: Baked & Wired
If you're a local and you haven't been to Baked & Wired yet, you're not really a local. Known for their bomb cupcakes (that are infinitely better than Georgetown Cupcakes, FYI), they also have a wide selection of expresso drinks. Grab cupcakes and coffee post-dinner or just people watch. You can't go wrong with a 'Uniporn & Rainhoes" cupcake and a latte.
#SpoonTip: Make your mark at Baked and Wired by decorating a napkin and adding it to the napkin wall in the back.
5. When You Need a Break from the Internet: Filter Coffee House
This is a weird experience. You actually have to interact with real human beings and focus solely on the taste of your coffee as opposed to a screen. Sometimes (a lot of times) this is exactly the kind of break you need. Hello mental peace and quiet. Oh, and the coffee is obviously good too.
6. When You Want to Feel Hip and Cool: Kramerbooks & Afterwords
Grab a book or don't, but either way go so you can tell your parents you went to a bookstore. They'll be shocked because as we all know, bookstores basically stopped being relevant along with Blockbuster. This one is pretty cool though, particularly if you're looking for a children's book or some political satire. Most importantly, get a mocha and some mac and cheese.
7. When You Want the Best of Both Worlds: Pleasant Pops
Dessert or coffee? Tough choice. How about BOTH? What a life, am I right? A cool little "mom and pop" pop shop that just so happens to also have coffee. With tons of seating options, this is the perfect spot for a date or some light reading. Just don't let your pop drip on the pages.
#SpoonTip: Try the Mexican Chocolate Pop and a Chai Latte.
8. When Your Inner Musical Mind Wants to be Released: Songbyrd
A cafe that's also a live music venue and a record store? Sign me up. Songbyrd has a cool, grungy atmosphere and combines the two greatest things: music and coffee. Spend an afternoon browsing through new and used records while sipping a latte. What more could you need?
9. When You Want the Best Bang for Your Buck: Royal
Everything about this place is perfect: the ambience, the music, the food, the coffee. But best of all, the prices are really reasonable. Get breakfast AND a cappuccino for under $10. Or go later for lunch and get the grilled avocado with quinoa and lentils. I can guarantee you'll leave physically and spiritually satisfied. Royal is coffee for the soul.
Whether you're looking for a space where you can be productive or just a new hangout, you're sure to find it on this list. Words can not express(o) how happy these java joints will make you. Sip away!