Lattes are my jam. I realize that’s a cliche sentence for a “busy” twenty-something, because if we don’t have coffee how are we even vertical, right? But, in all seriousness, I’ve been drinking coffee since I was 7 years old and the Keurig nonsense doesn’t cut it for me. Give me espresso and warm milk (yes. I put milk in my coffee. I’m not a purist. Gasps.) made the right way and I’m a happy, awake human. So it’s only natural I’ve compiled a list of my favorite local coffee shops in the Northern Virginia and DC neighborhoods.
- All-time favorite: Misha’s in Old Town, Alexandria. Yes, it is hipstery but it’s also an institution, and a roast house and they sell whole beans by the pound and Jesse makes a killer vanilla latte. Tell him the girl in the gym clothes says hi. (Misha’s limits free wifi on weekends so it’s a great place to read an actual book).
- Best iced chai tea with a view: Baked and Wired in Georgetown. Technically a bakery that includes coffee, they have some bomb-ass chai tea. The hipster working one day explained how it’s “imported” (not sure he understood what importing meant but we’ll go with it) from Portland from their “chai guy.” I want a chai guy. Until then, I go here.
- Best study cafe: St. Elmo’s in Del Ray, Virginia. Del Ray has my heart (and my sushi spot) but I give credit to my friend Kristi for this discovery. There are plenty of tables to study on and they offer actual food choices so you can really park it and be productive. Ask for the wifi password when you order. (There’s also parking in back!)
- Fave place to caffinate before shopping: Port City Java in Eastern Market. Grab some Joe and stroll the farmer’s market for that week’s vegetables. My friend from Ohio swears by their frozen coffee drinks as hangover cures.
- Fave tribute to European coffee: Malmaison in Georgetown. This gem is off the busy cobblestone streets near the boat house. There’s not much place to sit, and I can’t vouch for the restaurant cafe portion, but the coffee bar reminds me of being in Europe so I’m a big fan.
- Fave place for an after-dinner treat: Bocatto in Arlington (near the Whole Foods) serves up an awesome Nutelle latte and gelato. It’s also pretty decent for studying and has a “Central Perk” cozy atmosphere. Need I say more? Didn’t think so.
Sure, anyone can Instagram a red cup from Starbs this fall, but a true DCist will caffeinate the local way.