By Troy Petenbrink
Coffee is one of the top five beverages consumed in the United States, which should come as no surprise given the proliferation of coffee shops in all corners of the county. And while Washington, DC is not immune to the large chains (that shall go unnamed), it maintains many locally-owned coffee shops. Here are five of the best for a tasty cup o’ joe.
1535 7th St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20001
Compass Coffee was started in 2014 by two former marines and has quickly become one the top spots for coffee in the nation’s capital. From the first café and roastery in the historic Shaw neighborhood, there are now seven cafe’s in the city and more expected to open in the near future. Compass also has a thriving wholesale business and is found in area markets and on the menu of many restaurants. It imports its coffee beans from around the world, including countries such as Guatemala, Ethiopia, and Indonesia.
Sidamo Coffee and Tea
417 H St. N.E.
Washington, DC 20002
Located on the H Street Corridor, the cozy Sidamo Coffee and Tea draws patrons from all across the city including a large number from the African immigrant community. Sidamo specializes in single-origin coffees from Africa that are fare trade and organic with all of the beans roasted on site. In addition to the wonderful selection of coffees, Sidamo serves a variety of teas and fruit smoothies. It also has food items available for breakfast and lunch.
Bakers & Baristas
501 7th St., N.W.
Washington, DC 20005
The coffee only takes a backseat to the pastries when it comes to Bakers & Baristas’ name. Inside this Penn Quarter cafe the drinks and food are on par and both extremely popular. It partners with award-winning Vigilante Coffee Roasters, located in nearby Hyattsville, Md., for its coffee, which it serves within 48 hours of roasting. Its Viennese-style pastries are hand-crafted and baked in-house each morning. Bakers & Baristas also hosts a weekly music series with live performances every Wednesday evening.
3310 14th St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20010
At Columbia Heights’ Coffy Cafe, it is all about the coffee, crepes, and couches. This spacious casual cafe doesn’t take itself too seriously. It has a basic but quality offering of coffee drinks along with an extensive selection of sweet and savory crepes on its food menu. The space has a retro decor with mismatched furniture including many comfy couches. With a 500 square feet mezzanine that seats 40 to 50 comfortably, Coffy Cafe frequently hosts special events including poetry readings and open mic performances.
Lil’B Coffee Bar & Eatery
1515 Rhode Island Ave. N.W.
Washington, DC 20005
The brainchild of New Orleans-born chef David Guas (who also operates the highly praised Bayou Bakery in Arlington, Va.), Lil”B Coffee Bar & Eatery is a Southern-inspired cafe. It is located near Scott Circle in The Darcy hotel with its own separate entrance and outdoor seating. Famed Durham, N.C.-based roaster Counter Culture supplies the coffee for Lil’B and its food menu includes many of Guas’ signature dishes including Chef D’s Muffuletta, House Gumbo, and Grilled Pimento Cheese. Adding to Lil’B’s popularity is its selection of craft beers, mead, and bourbon cocktails.
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