Today I’m writing to you all from a place of passion. A place infused with aromas of freshly ground coffee beans and the buzz of friends, old and new coming together over a good old cup of joe. This is a place near and dear to my heart and soul. I’m talking about a quality coffee shop, which can sometimes be hard to find if you ask me. Then again, maybe my standards are a little high. Since moving to the area a couple of months ago, I took it upon myself to find the best places within walking distance to feed my addiction for a good vibe, cup of coffee and a treat or two. Below, you’ll find a list of the best coffee shops I’ve deemed worthy enough a visit. Even better, they’re all within walking distance from the American Guest House! When booking your DC getaway, think about staying with us so you can have access to the best of the best.
You all – this coffee shop takes the cake on a strong cup of coffee, let me tell you. I’ve been drinking caffeinated beverages for a long time now (hot/cold/however else they come these days), so the effect has become lost on me at this point. When I went to Tryst the other day looking to get some work done, I went ahead and ordered their cup of Tryst House Blend coffee, only available in one size – LARGE. Not knowing how big was big, I was surprised with essentially a bowl of steaming hot, black coffee. At first taste, I was brought to a heavenly state of being. As a result of this cup of coffee, I was able to remember what a caffeine rush feels like. Remember, this doesn’t happen to me anymore so I was basking in it.
Aside from the strong coffee, the vibe that Tryst gives off is very eclectic. With self-seating and mismatched furniture all around, this is a place for the old and the new. It’s a place for the professional and not-so-professional to meet, mingle and connect over good food, good vibes, and good coffee. Oh, also, with each cup comes a serving of two animal crackers to satisfy that inner child of yours. If you’re looking for a bite, I would recommend the quiche or the spanikopita quesadilla. Obviously with a cup of House Blend coffee (hot or iced, up to you).
2. Jolt and Bolt
This cute coffee shop is tucked away off of 18th street in the Adam’s Morgan neighborhood. Equipped with an alleyway-styled patio, this spot is great for both an outdoor and indoor feel. When I went there a few weeks ago, I sat comfortably at the bar and was able to people watch through the floor-to-ceiling windows that provided great lighting. One thing I absolutely love about Jolt and Bolt is their menu. For the coffee lovers, healthy eaters and trend followers, this is the place for you. Equipped with meal-worthy smoothies, salads, and wraps its got a little bit of everything. I would highly recommend getting their iced coffee with almond milk and their classic acai bowl that comes topped with granola and fresh fruit. Perfect for breakfast on-the-go or if you want to take your time and soak in the charming patio scene.
3. Potters House
One thing I absolutely swoon over when it comes to coffee shops is when they’ve got their own “shtick.” Well, my friends, for the community-oriented, the avid readers and yogis, Potters House is the place for you. Nestled along Columbia Road just before 16th street, this is a spot to peruse books, sip coffee and chat with people from near and far. I stumbled upon this gem a few weeks ago and decided to post up for an afternoon of telework. I ordered a glass of iced coffee (perfect flavor) and a roasted turkey sandwich that came with a side salad. First off, this sandwich was truly amazing. Cooked to the right temperature and the flavors from their chipotle dressing added the perfect amount of savory.
While the coffee and sandwich were worth a second visit, what I really admired was the community-oriented atmosphere. There were tables designated for people wanting to leave their electronics in their bags in search of conversation with other cafe-goers. Additionally, each wall is lined with bookshelves filled to the brim with fiction, nonfiction, political books alongside other relevant works. I came for the food and the coffee, but I stayed for the feeling of comfort I got sitting among others who seemed to crave that sense of community. Also, a fun fact is they offer free community yoga classes every Monday and Saturday. Check out their events website for dates and times!
So I’ll admit, I didn’t try a cup of coffee yet here, but I did go the other evening with a few friends to grab a glass of wine. Lapop serves as a coffee shop, lounge and cocktail bar and I’m here for it. Many people may simply pass this spot due to its minimalistic front, but it’s worth the venture down the stairs. This basement coffee shop is a place for friends to come together over a good book, a cup of coffee or drink while lounging on one of their cozy couches. The dim lighting makes it feel like you’re nestled up at home. Rather, you’re surrounded by relaxed energy and people of all ages ready to wind down.
Their website describes themselves as “an intellectual sanctuary, where the community can come together and participate in conversations about art, literature, and culture.” If you’re looking for a cozy place to grab some coffee with a friend or your book, I would highly suggest heading to Lapop.
5. The CakeRoom
Last stop on my list strays a little from the theme of coffee shops, but it is worth a visit you all. Strolling around the neighborhood today with my friends, we stumbled upon the pink storefront along 18th street and thought, why not? Walking in, the aroma alone will get you to stay for hours on end. This bakery offers a variety of sweets ranging from cupcakes to slices of cake and pieces of cheesecake. No, friends, this is not your ordinary “vanilla” bakery, they have the richest of rich flavors to offer. My friend had a piece of Nutella cheesecake that was rich and creamy topped with small dollops of whipped cream. Another friend got the peanut butter chocolate slice of cheesecake and let’s just say I’ll be going back for seconds. You can take your treats to go or head upstairs to sit in the Victorian-styled space.
Equipped with the coziest of couches, this is a great place to pop into for a quick treat. Highly recommend as the last stop on the tour of these recommended shops.
When planning your next visit to D.C., try checking out these recommended spots. Even better, stay with us at the American Guest House and you’ll be within walking distance of all five. Hope to see you soon!