These are the best coffee spots in D.C.

While D.C. isn’t specifically known as a coffee town, it is an early-to-rise place. Someone’s gotta fuel those morning meetings, and there’s a healthy crop of boutique shops and independent roasters keeping Washington caffeinated. Here are some of the best places to grab your morning cup.

Compass Coffee

Founded by former Marines, the mission here is simple: brew really good coffee. You can watch them roast their own beans in the back of the industrial-style Shaw café. The nitro-infused cold brew is a popular pick.

La Colombe

There’s no menu at the Shaw location of this trendy coffee chain. Don’t let that—or the coffee snob vibe of the baristas—intimidate you. The coffee is fresh and fantastic, as are the baked goods.


This eclectic Adams Morgan café nails the feels-like-someone’s-library vibe with well-worn couches and bookshelves. Community is a big deal here, both among the local patrons and the direct trade coffee farmers who supply the beans.


You can start and finish your day at this cheery shop on 14th Street. Begin with a morning craft coffee—all of them can be served as espresso or filter—then come back later for happy hour cocktails.


With locations in Dupont, Foggy Bottom, and Brookland, local chain Filter keeps D.C. caffeinated. Choose from French press, pour-over coffee, espressos, and more.

Kramerbooks & Afterwords Café

This place tries to be everything at once: coffee bar, bookstore, bar, and restaurant. The result is a Dupont Circle institution for coffee and more.

Chinatown Coffee Company

This local café provides a hipster alternative to the neighborhood’s chain options. It’s not the best cup of coffee in D.C., but locals prefer it to the nearby Starbucks. Maybe because they serve absinthe, too?

Photo Credit: Lauren Kallen

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