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Lost Sock’s new cafe in Takoma serves fruity, single-origin coffee, cheesy pan de yuca, and Argentine-style empanadas.
Lost Sock’s year-old cafe in Takoma serves single-origin coffee.
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

16 Must-Try Coffee Shops Around D.C.

The best drip java, pour-overs, and lattes in town

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Lost Sock’s year-old cafe in Takoma serves single-origin coffee.
| Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

While the pandemic has pushed many of D.C.’s bars and restaurants to permanently close, many of the area’s independent coffee shops have showed remarkable resiliency, continuing to dispense fruit-forward pour-overs, flavored lattes, nitro cold brews, and other specialty items to customers who may not want to camp out inside like they used to.

A strong class of caffeinated contenders have entered the scene in recent years. That includes Cameo, which brews beans from Brooklyn roaster Parlor Coffee in a Southeast food hall, Lost Sock Roasters, a wholesaler that debuted its own plant-filled cafe in Takoma, and Eritrean-owned the Roasted Boon in Shaw. The Northwest neighborhood is also home to stalwart The Coffee Bar, which is still in takeout-only mode for now.

Meanwhile, local favorites Colada Shop expanded to Maryland, Compass Coffee just added a Navy Yard outpost, and gelato shop Dolcezza has reopened three of the cafes it had previously planned to closed during the pandemic.

Here are 16 must-visit coffee shops in and around D.C., from Takoma to Arlington to Del Ray.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Takoma Beverage Company

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The all-day coffee shop and bar from two Northside Social alums brought pour-overs, rotating art exhibits, and mixed drinks to downtown Takoma Park in 2017. The popular cafe has since doubled its seat count by growing into the space next door. A custom espresso machine built for the restaurant is fed a strict diet of Counter Culture Coffee, and a front counter with a white quartz top features a display case stocked with pastries and other impulse buys. Place pickup and delivery orders here.

Lost Sock Coffee Shop

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Lost Sock Roasters opened its first retail shop in 2021. It’s narrow, yet comfortable storefront in Takoma serves pour-overs showcasing beans from Ecuador and other South American countries as well as toasts, cheesy pan de yuca, and Argentine-style empanadas. The small-batch coffee company could be found long before opening its first shop, selling brewed coffee at Call Your Mother and A Baked Joint, among other places. Order online here.

Lost Sock’s new cafe in Takoma serves fruity, single-origin coffee, cheesy pan de yuca, and Argentine-style empanadas.
Lost Sock’s new cafe in Takoma serves fruity, single-origin coffee, cheesy pan de yuca, and Argentine-style empanadas.
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

Culture Coffee Too

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Since opening in 2017, this cafe from Veronica Cooper (aka Miss V) has provided its Northeast neighborhood with an open, collaborative space to sip freshly brewed coffee and browse products from local vendors. The small business is deeply invested in local arts, serving as a space for live music and pop-up markets.

La Coop Coffee

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The word that immediately comes to mind at La Coop is family. Founder Juan Luis Salazar Cano sources the beans from a collective he organized in his hometown of Union Cantinil, in Guatemala’s Huehuetenango region. The coffeeshop operates out of a quaint Manor Park house, surrounded with a white picket fence and complete with a spacious yard and porch to lounge in with a chai latte or an herbal tea. The coffee shop also sells Colombian-style empanadas, burritos, bagelitos, and New York-style pizza.

Qualia Coffee

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One of the most respected small-batch roasters in D.C., Qualia operates a tiny storefront in Petworth and an outpost in Eckington, both open for pickup (order here). Beans come from Ethiopia, countries throughout Latin America, and locales such as the Indonesian island of Flores. Qualia also offers local delivery for retail beans within three days of roasting.

Qualia [official]

Royal is one of the first shops to occupy the all-day cafe niche in the D.C. scene. In the morning, go for Counter Culture Coffee and matcha lattes, and don’t forget to add a breakfast sandwich or arepa. There’s also a bottomless drip for $7 (8 a.m. to 3 p.m.). Order takeout here.

The Roasted Boon Co.

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This Eritrean-owned coffee shop debuted at the busy Shaw intersection of Rhode Island Avenue and 11th Street NW in summer 2020. The nucleus of the sit-and-stay hangout, open daily 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., is a touch screen-enabled roaster that extracts flavor out of coffee beans from Guatemala, Colombia, Ethiopia, and Brazil. Local bakery Fresh Baguette supplies goods daily.

Café Unido at La Cosecha

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Café Unido, which is housed in Latin market La Cosecha, is the first U.S. location of a Panamanian coffee chain. Founders Benito Bermudez and Mario Castrellon — a chef with a place on San Pellegrino’s list of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants — source beans directly from growers in Panama and donate a percentage of their sales to social and environmental projects.

Slipstream (Multiple locations)

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Along with a house espresso from Third Coast Coffee and its Madcap’s Six-One-Six drip coffee, Slipstream sells single-origin coffees that come in carafes accompanied by informative cards. The original in Logan Circle has a patio with prime views of a bustling corner on 14th Street NW and wall-to-wall windows inside that bathe the space in natural light. Avocado toasts and light rice bowls here are some of the best in the city, and the cafe turns into a restaurant with a cocktail bar at night. There are sibling cafes in Navy Yard and a new location downtown. Preorder for pickup here.

Coffee brewing at Slipstream
Coffee brewing at Slipstream
The Washington Post via Getty Images

Sweet Science Coffee (Multiple locations)

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The former Adams Morgan pop-up is now a standalone cafe in NoMa that employs a range of brewing gadgets like AeroPress, V60, Chemex, French press, syphon, and a Kalita Wave dripper. The rotating lineup shows love for domestic roasters (Heart Coffee Roasters out of Portland, Brooklyn-based Forty Weight Coffee Roasters) and beans from Kenya, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. A second location landed in Arlington in the former Java Shack. Order for pickup here.

A honey sesame latte from Sweet Science
A honey sesame latte from Sweet Science
Sweet Science [official]

Dua Coffee DC

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This Jakarta-based coffee company with four stores in Indonesia opened its first U.S. location in downtown D.C. in 2019. Along with coffee and tea, signature drinks include a tonic and a bottled matcha with mango. There are fluffy toasts that bring milk bread to mind, and a crispy spring roll stuffed with banana and melted chocolate.

Sidamo Coffee & Tea

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This H Street NE coffee shop is part of D.C.’s integral Ethiopian food and drink scene. Along with espresso drinks like the Sidamo macchiato, the cafe has chai and loose leaf teas served with a pot of water, allowing patrons to stay a while and relax. There are also smoothies and sandwiches for breakfast and lunch.

Maketto

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Erik Bruner-Yang’s versatile Taiwanese-Cambodian restaurant on H Street NE contains multitudes. Maketto sells streetwear, houses a record store, and has a cafe component that brews local roasts.

A macchiato from Maketto
A macchiato from Maketto
Maketto [official]

Virginia’s women-owned RĀKO Coffee Roasters opened up an all-day cafe in Clarendon in 2021, featuring standard espresso drinks and creative specialties like a vanilla latte dressed up with volcanic black salt. After breakfast and brunch, the cafe switches over in the late afternoon to serving glasses of wine, cocktails, and cheese boards. There’s a Capitol Hill pop-up right now too at 27 Independence Avenue SE, and new shops are on the way on 14th Street within Studio Theatre and near Amazon HQ2 in Crystal City.

Photo: Drago Tomianovic

Cameo was the first vendor to open inside the Roost, a Southeast food hall run by prolific Neighborhood Restaurant Group. The coffee shop sells seasonal lattes using beans from Brooklyn roaster Parlor Coffee and switches things up monthly, so expect ambitious flavors. For sweet lovers, there’s also a menu of muffins, cupcakes and chocolate bars.

The wood-lined coffee counter for Cameo is surrounded by hanging orb lights and plants Stacey Windsor/For Neighborhood Restaurant Group

Swing's Coffee (Multiple locations)

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With a D.C. history spanning more than a century, Swing’s Coffee Roasters boasts multiple locations: two downtown and a flagship roastery in a window-lined industrial space in Del Ray. The coffee bar in the Alexandria building hosts free cupping labs and offers growler refills of cold brew.

Swing’s [official]

Takoma Beverage Company

The all-day coffee shop and bar from two Northside Social alums brought pour-overs, rotating art exhibits, and mixed drinks to downtown Takoma Park in 2017. The popular cafe has since doubled its seat count by growing into the space next door. A custom espresso machine built for the restaurant is fed a strict diet of Counter Culture Coffee, and a front counter with a white quartz top features a display case stocked with pastries and other impulse buys. Place pickup and delivery orders here.

Lost Sock Coffee Shop

Lost Sock’s new cafe in Takoma serves fruity, single-origin coffee, cheesy pan de yuca, and Argentine-style empanadas.
Lost Sock’s new cafe in Takoma serves fruity, single-origin coffee, cheesy pan de yuca, and Argentine-style empanadas.
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

Lost Sock Roasters opened its first retail shop in 2021. It’s narrow, yet comfortable storefront in Takoma serves pour-overs showcasing beans from Ecuador and other South American countries as well as toasts, cheesy pan de yuca, and Argentine-style empanadas. The small-batch coffee company could be found long before opening its first shop, selling brewed coffee at Call Your Mother and A Baked Joint, among other places. Order online here.

Lost Sock’s new cafe in Takoma serves fruity, single-origin coffee, cheesy pan de yuca, and Argentine-style empanadas.
Lost Sock’s new cafe in Takoma serves fruity, single-origin coffee, cheesy pan de yuca, and Argentine-style empanadas.
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

Culture Coffee Too

Since opening in 2017, this cafe from Veronica Cooper (aka Miss V) has provided its Northeast neighborhood with an open, collaborative space to sip freshly brewed coffee and browse products from local vendors. The small business is deeply invested in local arts, serving as a space for live music and pop-up markets.

La Coop Coffee

The word that immediately comes to mind at La Coop is family. Founder Juan Luis Salazar Cano sources the beans from a collective he organized in his hometown of Union Cantinil, in Guatemala’s Huehuetenango region. The coffeeshop operates out of a quaint Manor Park house, surrounded with a white picket fence and complete with a spacious yard and porch to lounge in with a chai latte or an herbal tea. The coffee shop also sells Colombian-style empanadas, burritos, bagelitos, and New York-style pizza.

Qualia Coffee

Qualia [official]

One of the most respected small-batch roasters in D.C., Qualia operates a tiny storefront in Petworth and an outpost in Eckington, both open for pickup (order here). Beans come from Ethiopia, countries throughout Latin America, and locales such as the Indonesian island of Flores. Qualia also offers local delivery for retail beans within three days of roasting.

Qualia [official]

Royal

Royal is one of the first shops to occupy the all-day cafe niche in the D.C. scene. In the morning, go for Counter Culture Coffee and matcha lattes, and don’t forget to add a breakfast sandwich or arepa. There’s also a bottomless drip for $7 (8 a.m. to 3 p.m.). Order takeout here.

The Roasted Boon Co.

This Eritrean-owned coffee shop debuted at the busy Shaw intersection of Rhode Island Avenue and 11th Street NW in summer 2020. The nucleus of the sit-and-stay hangout, open daily 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., is a touch screen-enabled roaster that extracts flavor out of coffee beans from Guatemala, Colombia, Ethiopia, and Brazil. Local bakery Fresh Baguette supplies goods daily.

Café Unido at La Cosecha

Café Unido, which is housed in Latin market La Cosecha, is the first U.S. location of a Panamanian coffee chain. Founders Benito Bermudez and Mario Castrellon — a chef with a place on San Pellegrino’s list of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants — source beans directly from growers in Panama and donate a percentage of their sales to social and environmental projects.

Slipstream (Multiple locations)

Coffee brewing at Slipstream
Coffee brewing at Slipstream
The Washington Post via Getty Images

Along with a house espresso from Third Coast Coffee and its Madcap’s Six-One-Six drip coffee, Slipstream sells single-origin coffees that come in carafes accompanied by informative cards. The original in Logan Circle has a patio with prime views of a bustling corner on 14th Street NW and wall-to-wall windows inside that bathe the space in natural light. Avocado toasts and light rice bowls here are some of the best in the city, and the cafe turns into a restaurant with a cocktail bar at night. There are sibling cafes in Navy Yard and a new location downtown. Preorder for pickup here.

Coffee brewing at Slipstream
Coffee brewing at Slipstream
The Washington Post via Getty Images

Sweet Science Coffee (Multiple locations)

A honey sesame latte from Sweet Science
A honey sesame latte from Sweet Science
Sweet Science [official]

The former Adams Morgan pop-up is now a standalone cafe in NoMa that employs a range of brewing gadgets like AeroPress, V60, Chemex, French press, syphon, and a Kalita Wave dripper. The rotating lineup shows love for domestic roasters (Heart Coffee Roasters out of Portland, Brooklyn-based Forty Weight Coffee Roasters) and beans from Kenya, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. A second location landed in Arlington in the former Java Shack. Order for pickup here.

A honey sesame latte from Sweet Science
A honey sesame latte from Sweet Science
Sweet Science [official]

Dua Coffee DC

This Jakarta-based coffee company with four stores in Indonesia opened its first U.S. location in downtown D.C. in 2019. Along with coffee and tea, signature drinks include a tonic and a bottled matcha with mango. There are fluffy toasts that bring milk bread to mind, and a crispy spring roll stuffed with banana and melted chocolate.

Sidamo Coffee & Tea

This H Street NE coffee shop is part of D.C.’s integral Ethiopian food and drink scene. Along with espresso drinks like the Sidamo macchiato, the cafe has chai and loose leaf teas served with a pot of water, allowing patrons to stay a while and relax. There are also smoothies and sandwiches for breakfast and lunch.

Maketto

A macchiato from Maketto
A macchiato from Maketto
Maketto [official]

Erik Bruner-Yang’s versatile Taiwanese-Cambodian restaurant on H Street NE contains multitudes. Maketto sells streetwear, houses a record store, and has a cafe component that brews local roasts.

A macchiato from Maketto
A macchiato from Maketto
Maketto [official]

RĀKO

Photo: Drago Tomianovic

Virginia’s women-owned RĀKO Coffee Roasters opened up an all-day cafe in Clarendon in 2021, featuring standard espresso drinks and creative specialties like a vanilla latte dressed up with volcanic black salt. After breakfast and brunch, the cafe switches over in the late afternoon to serving glasses of wine, cocktails, and cheese boards. There’s a Capitol Hill pop-up right now too at 27 Independence Avenue SE, and new shops are on the way on 14th Street within Studio Theatre and near Amazon HQ2 in Crystal City.

Photo: Drago Tomianovic

Cameo

The wood-lined coffee counter for Cameo is surrounded by hanging orb lights and plants Stacey Windsor/For Neighborhood Restaurant Group

Cameo was the first vendor to open inside the Roost, a Southeast food hall run by prolific Neighborhood Restaurant Group. The coffee shop sells seasonal lattes using beans from Brooklyn roaster Parlor Coffee and switches things up monthly, so expect ambitious flavors. For sweet lovers, there’s also a menu of muffins, cupcakes and chocolate bars.

The wood-lined coffee counter for Cameo is surrounded by hanging orb lights and plants Stacey Windsor/For Neighborhood Restaurant Group

Related Maps

Swing's Coffee (Multiple locations)

Swing’s [official]

With a D.C. history spanning more than a century, Swing’s Coffee Roasters boasts multiple locations: two downtown and a flagship roastery in a window-lined industrial space in Del Ray. The coffee bar in the Alexandria building hosts free cupping labs and offers growler refills of cold brew.

Swing’s [official]

Related Maps