As college students, we all know that the coffee is essential to getting work done. Some of us even find it more effective to study in a coffee shop than the library or our dorm rooms/lounges. The District is full of coffee shops that have better tasting coffee than the worldwide chain, Starbucks. Here are a few of the best coffee places in DC that also happen to be in the Shaw/Downtown areas. 

Compass Coffee

With several locations in the area, Compass coffee has made the top of our list. From the great tasting coffee to the yummy snacks and bakeries they offer, there's always something for someone. Their menu also tends to have seasonal items such as the delicious Pumpkin Chai Latte but stays strong with their everyday coffee.

The 7th St location is often filled with college students getting their work done and therefore inspiring you to do the same. The other locations are also great places to study. 

Uprising Muffin Company

With only one location in DC, Uprising makes its mark with their great muffins. Both sweet and savory, their multitude of muffin flavors always find a way to satisfy your taste buds. Their coffee is a great side to their muffins but also to their sandwiches, granola parfaits and salads.

A quiet place during the week but very vibrant during the weekend, Uprising is a place to satisfy a simple chill breakfast mood. My personal favorites are the granola parfait with an iced chai. 

The Coffee Bar (TCB)

With two locations in the middle of DC, The Coffee Bar's main focus is to serve you the best morning coffee and afternoon tea they possibly can. A personal favorite of mine would be their latte with an extra shot of expresso, which is a pretty basic drink that they do well. Their outdoor seating is a plus for when you're in the mood to enjoy the weather. 


Commonly known as a gelato place, Dolcezza finds a way to combine your two favorite things: ice cream and coffee. You can always opt for either coffee or ice cream or both in one cup for when you're as confused as Katy Perry's "Hot N Cold" song inspiration. Dolcezza is a go-to with their locations being in DC's hippest areas

La Colombe 

With locations all over the country, La Colombe finds a way to maintain their great quality all over. Their sleek and trendy space is a great nest for binging on good coffee while doing some school work. Their coffee is one of the most unique you can find thanks to their single-origin brewing beans that vary from Haiti to Colombia. 

The Wydown 

A "pop-up" coffee bar that also has great tea, The Wydown is a cozy little space on 14th that warms one's heart because of its cuteness. Their regular iced coffee is a personal favorite, especially if consumed in their outdoor seating space (when the weather is nice of course). 


Located in Logan circle, Slipstream is a boho spot that serves coffee in the morning and cocktails at night and is also a great option to get your coffee fix. Their food menu is also nothing less than delicious with personal favorites being their avocado toast and granola bowl.

Make sure to check these places out that not only have great coffee but also great snacks that will help you go through a great study session when you're in the mood for a different scenery than the Library's.