Washington, D.C., is a city that not only resonates with history but also boasts a vibrant coffee culture that is as diverse and dynamic as its iconic landmarks. D.C. is a melting pot of culture, creativity, history, and trendiness. As busy as the capital city is, it’s no wonder that the coffee scene has risen to be as strong and reliable as it is today. The city is filled with cafes and coffee roasters that strengthen the third-wave coffee scene and bring amazing roasts to life. Whether you’re a local looking for a new coffee spot or a tourist looking for a quality cup, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for in this guide.
Our Top D.C. Coffee Shop Recommendations
Deciding on which coffee shops would make this list was no easy task. Each coffee shop featured has a unique story and offers incredible coffee for locals and visitors alike. Take a look at each of the cafes and roasters on this list and see if you can stop by each one on your next visit to D.C.
- Rare Bird Coffee Roasters
- The Wydown
- Lost Sock Roasters
- The Coffee Bar
- DUA DC
- Qualia Coffee
- Swing’s Coffee Roasters
- La Coop Coffee Co.
9 of the Best Coffee Shops in Washington, D.C.
Photo credit: Rare Bird Coffee Roasters
Located just outside Washington is Rare Bird Coffee Roasters, a small, specialty coffee roaster known for its commitment to sustainability and respect for the uniqueness of each batch of beans they roast. Rare Bird sources beans from a variety of regions worldwide, from Colombia and Guatemala to Ethiopia, India, and beyond.
If you’re looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of D.C., visiting the Rare Birds Cafe is an excellent way to enjoy some peace and quiet with a delicious cup of coffee. It’s also a great place to work, nestled by the window with your laptop and a pour-over.
2. The Wydown
Photo credit: The Wydown
The Wydown is all about exceptional quality. From their coffee and food to the service they provide, this cafe goes above and beyond every single time. Both locations in D.C. are exceptionally elegant, but don’t be fooled–the Wydown is anything but pretentious. Handmade coffee-inspired artwork lines the walls of their main location on 14th Street, and the smell of house-made pastries greets guests as they come in for a drip coffee or specialty espresso beverage.
Taste is everything at Slipstream. Offering a variety of creative, seasonal coffee drinks and pastries to complement them, Slipstream provides a well-rounded cafe experience by day and serves up amazing cocktails by night. And, with multiple locations around D.C., you’re never far from a Slipstream location. Their cafes are filled with light and color, designed with a mid-century modern flair that feels right at home in the capital city.
If you’re looking for a bit more, sign up for the Slipstream Tasting Experience, where members of their knowledgeable team guide you through a 90-minute coffee tasting experience of several different coffees. You’ll learn a ton about coffee flavor profiles and get to sample amazing coffees–what’s not to love?
Lost Sock coffee is served all around D.C. but the crowning jewel is their cafe on 4th Street. The team arrives every morning ready to dial in espresso and bake empanadas for their daily patrons, commuters and tourists alike, who keep coming back time after time.
It’s their passion for excellence that keeps people coming back. The Lost Sock team is committed to sustainable sourcing of only the best coffee, which they roast themselves at their roasting facility in the city. Whenever you visit the Lost Sock cafe, you can’t forget to pick up a pair of socks along with a rose cardamom latte to commemorate your trip.
Photo credit: The Coffee Bar
The Coffee Bar is one of the hippest spots on this list. For over ten years, TCB has been a staple in historic Logan Circle and the Golden Circle District of D.C., serving up drip coffee and creative espresso beverages like the Cardamom Latte to the locals.
The Coffee Bar keeps several different coffees on rotation, including Ceremony Coffee Roasters, Onyx Coffee Lab, and more, which means regulars and tourists alike have the opportunity to try a wide variety of roasts on each visit. If you’re looking for a coffee shop that makes you feel at home from your very first visit, TCB is the one.
6. DUA DC
Photo credit: DUA DC
DUA DC is the first specialty coffee shop that serves beverages made with single-origin coffee beans from Indonesia. The creative team at DUA DC uses this exceptional coffee to craft delicious, creative signature beverages you’re sure to fall in love with. The DUA DC cafe offers something truly unique to the coffee scene, and it’s an absolute must when visiting D.C. Our recommendation would be to try a pour over of any of their single-origin Indonesian coffees for a pure DUA DC experience.
One of the most down-to-earth coffee shops on this list, Qualia operates on the principle of treating coffee as produce. For Qualia, treating coffee like fresh produce helps them offer the highest quality so that customers have a more gratifying experience with their coffee. These roasters are very transparent about where they source their coffee and are passionate about keeping the production chain short to ensure beans are as fresh as possible. Their cafe in Eckington hosts free coffee tastings every Sunday, so be sure to stop by and taste the Qualia difference.
Swing’s is one of the oldest coffee roasters in D.C., with origins dating back over one hundred years. Customers can clearly see the Swing’s roasting process take place behind the glass wall of their Del Rey coffee bar while sipping a cup brewed from some of the freshest beans imaginable. Each Swing’s cafe around D.C. has a charmingly vintage feel, but each latte or cold brew coffee tastes as cutting-edge as any other third-wave coffee shop around. For a taste of history, you definitely need to grab a signature latte from Swing’s while in D.C.
At first glance, the La Coop coffee house and roastery looks like a charming bungalow on 1st Street, complete with a white picket fence. Once inside, you instantly feel at home, greeted with the comforting smells of roasting coffee beans–and it’s no wonder since La Coop is a family-owned and operated business from the very beginning of the value chain.
The business itself began after founder and CEO Juan Luis Salazar Cano established the Association of Coffee Growers of Union Cantinil (ASOCUC) to empower Guatemalan coffee farmers and develop the communities they lived in. La Coop continues that passion by sourcing their coffee from micro-lots in Guatemala, providing access to carefully cultivated single-origin coffee with truly singular qualities and flavor profiles. If you’re looking for great coffee with an even greater mission, look no further than La Coop.
Washington, D.C. is more than just monuments and museums–you’ll find incredible coffee on just about every block. We hope this list helps you find your new favorite coffee shop, or at least helps you stay caffeinated while you tour the Smithsonian.
If your travels ever bring you to lovely Greenville, SC, come visit one of our coffee shops in town. We’ve got something for everyone, from coffee novices to coffee connoisseurs. If you’re not up for traveling, never fear! You can enjoy Methodical any time with our fast and convenient coffee subscription box.
You might also like: