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Coffee Break: Washington DC

Coffee Break: Washington DC

My coffee break series features a quick shortlist of the cafés and restaurants I would recommend on a whim's notice, in different cities. I've been living in Washington DC for almost three months now (I have also visited the city many times while in college) and have had the opportunity to experience a number of cafés and restaurants across the city. I have been trying to decipher DC's coffee culture, and while it's not as obvious as Paris or New York, there is an importance placed on specialty coffee, which has been growing in recent years. DC has already established itself as a city where talented international chefs travel to open restaurants, and it seems the coffee scene is ready to catch up. The number of local roasters and niche coffee establishments that have recently opened are telling of such.

My observations:

There is a definite pride in international roasts. Many cafés boast about their global offerings, which makes sense for a city as internationally involved as DC. The foreign diplomats have to get their coffee somewhere.

The coffee is not always the main event. Even though some places are labeled as a coffee shop, many niche establishments offer coffee simply as the side note to their more popular offerings (there are coffee shops that specialize in books, baked goods, and even ice cream pops).

While many Washingtonians can't afford to sit down for an hour to sip their espresso, the coffee culture is more relaxed than the New York City on-the-go stereotype. Though does it count as "relaxed" if everyone is doing work on their laptops?

While there are still many more places I have yet to try, I've featured a few of the coffee options I routinely enjoy:

 Dolcezza, Logan Circle

Dolcezza, Logan Circle

Dolcezza is also well known for their gelato, their ultimate speciality being the affogato (gelato drowned in a shot of hot espresso).

 A Baked Joint, Mount Vernon Square

A Baked Joint, Mount Vernon Square

Great neighborhood café with high quality coffee, fresh bakery items, and sandwiches.

 The Bird, Logan Circle

The Bird, Logan Circle

Amazing brunch option, where the drip coffee is simple—but of quality. 

 La Colombe, Chinatown

La Colombe, Chinatown

La Colombe has a nice variety of global roasts and cold brews.

 A Baked Joint (again!), Mount Vernon Square

A Baked Joint (again!), Mount Vernon Square

Since this is the café I visit the most often, I felt it deserved two shout-outs. The yogurt bowls and biscuit sandwiches are always great. 

 

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