Love 'n Faith Community Café is a cozy spot that offers a little something for everyone. Whether you're a sleep-deprived student hoping for a caffeine hit and a place to study, a gym rat looking for a post-workout energy boost, or a parent in search of a nutritious and yummy meal for themselves and their children, look no further: Love n' Faith Community Café checks all those boxes and many more.

This is my go-to study spot when I need a relaxing and inspiring place to energize me. Located just around the corner from where I live, it's a place I come to again and again whether I'm craving a dessert or something more nutritious. I hope you will give it a chance too.

The History

Colette Le Bienvenu

Love ‘n Faith Community Café goes beyond your typical coffee shop offerings. True to her name, the café owner Faith Holmes strives to “create more positivity” in the local community.

The restaurant, located at 2424 14th St NW, is situated in the heart of a rapidly-changing DC neighborhood. The café is positioned across the street from where Smith’s Pharmacy once stood. This store was the site of a looting and burning that broke out in response to riots after the April 1968 assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The community historical site can be visited on the Columbia Heights Heritage Trail self-guided tour.

Today, the neighborhood is vibrant and diverse, home to a motley assortment of longtime DC residents, interns and students, and immigrants from around the world, primarily from West Africa and Central America.

Holmes has established her café as a spot not only to grab a quick bite to eat, but also to “feel better leaving than you did coming in.” She acts as a local mentor for nearby public schools and youth centers, providing young students with free afternoon ice cream treats and participating in school events.

The artwork on display in the shop was created by students from the Duke Ellington School of the Arts and are available for purchase. The café’s tables, which were handmade by Holmes’ brother, feature inspiring quotes about—you guessed it—love and faith, including one from Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho: “None of us knows what might happen even the next minute, yet still we go forward. Because we trust. Because we have faith."

The Menu

Holmes’ initial business venture in DC was Faithfully Sweet, a gourmet ice cream spot at the DC convention center. She was the first restaurateur to bring the liquid nutrition ice cream trend to DC, a savvy business move in a high-paced city.

Her latest café, which opened mid-2014, features more of her beloved ice cream, with flavors alternating on a weekly basis. Between four and eight ice cream flavors are available daily depending on the season, and can be served traditionally—in a cone or cup—or in a milkshake, ice cream sandwich, or ice cream cake. My favorite of her ice creams, all of which are made daily using fresh cream and preservative-free ingredients, is anything with chocolate. Why? Because chocolate.

For those with a sweet tooth who are craving warmer options, Love 'n Faith also offers a variety of pastries—with the previous day’s pastries sold at a reduced price—many of which are available gluten-free or vegan. Their autumn seasonal menu includes pumpkin spice lattes and hot apple cider topped with fresh whipped cream and homemade caramel drizzle. And the café’s pies sell like crazy at Thanksgiving, with customers facing the tough decision of having to choose between Pecan Pie, Sweet Potato Pie, Apple Cobbler, and Derby Pie (this Kentucky classic is made with chocolate and walnuts). Pies are available gluten-free upon request.

Looking for a healthier option? Love n’ Faith Community Café’s #1 seller “Love Juice” is a nutrient-packed, bright green blend of kale, mint, cilantro, apple, pineapple, and mangos. Accompany this sweet and tart juice with their most popular sandwich, the Turkey and Avocado Panino, served on an everything bagel with tomato and cheese, for a savory meal that leaves you feeling satisfied for hours.

On a gluten-free diet? Not a problem. The café offers a variety of salads; I recommend the Spinach and Kale Salad, made with apple slices, raisins, goat cheese crumbles, and candied pecans, for a crisp and tangy lunch. Pair it with their Strawberry Mojito, an alcohol-free blend of strawberries, lime juice, and fresh mint, for a quick pick-me-up

Employee Gege cites this smoothie as her favorite: "It's to die for!"
Colette Le Bienvenu

If you’re on the hunt for early morning options, look no further. The café, which opens weekdays at 7 am and weekends at 9 am, has "the best breakfast sandwiches outside of NYC," according to one faithful patron. With a variety of caffeinated drinks, ranging from hot teas, to lattes prepared with their homemade vanilla syrup or vegan mocha syrup, to their Coffee “Wake Me Up” smoothie made with coffee, ice cream, banana, and cinnamon, you’re sure to find something to get you going in the morning.

Customers can call for pre-orders or deliveries (available for purchases over $25) at 202-299-0704, or can order ahead using the Yelp Eat24 app.