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Coffee shops in NoVA?

Ok, I'm really bad at doing searches on the new format Chowhound has, so forgive me if this is a repeat topic.

I'm trying to find a nice, non-Starbucks coffeeshop that has nice pastries and good seating area in NoVA. After having two successive disappointing cups of soy lattes at Murky, I am throwing in the towel there. Which to me is too bad because I used enjoy being there.

I *love* trying out new coffee places, mainly because a good cup of coffee is hard to come by, much less enjoy.

Are there any recommendations? Has anyone tried the Rendezvous coffeeshop near Murky's? What are your favorite places (I'm in Arlington) near me, and what is your fave side item to order with (e.g. biscotti, cake, etc...).

Thanks so much!

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  1. What about Greenberry's?

      1. re: dcs

        I heartily second Java Shack. On nice days, there is a pleasant, dog-friendly patio, too.

        1. re: bacchante

          I'll third Java Shack...I live in Clarendon and I really enjoy this little coffee cafe. These people recommending places in Old Town don't realize that it isn't that close to the Arlington/Clarendon area...plus who wants to hunt for parking or walk 15 blocks from the metro. However, I can't vouch for the soy lattes at Java Shack...I just can't replace my milk/cream for soy. But I'm sure they're good...the people there really take the time to make a good bev...and they're super nice!

          1. re: AlliantK

            another vote for java shack.... they make fantastic soy chai lattes.... my usual order... plus, they are v. nice... and even if you go just once a month remember your typical order.... only problem with them... i've actually never tried their pastries/muffins.... so cannot comment on that... though... if you go on a saturday morning... there is a great little farmer's market two blocks away, and it has at least two bakery stands.... and i always tend to head there to pick something up!

      2. Rappahanoke (sp?) on the Pike is sort of a fav of mine

        Hot Shotz in Clarendon, especially b/c that's where I met my wife first, but I also learned it's a owned by a guy who has a law degree but wanted to do a coffee shop.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Dennis S

          +1 for Rappahannock, and another +1 since it's so close to Matuba.

          1. re: sweth

            Rappahannock is a fave of mine too, and the employees are usually really honest about which of the pastries are good that day.

        2. I'm a big fan of Mischas in Old Town. The woman who roasts the beans is a maestro. I can't say anything about soy lattes because I go for whole milk, but they are the best around here.

          3 Replies
          1. re: ChewFun

            Second Mishas. Good coffee and cool staff.

            1. re: monkeyrotica

              I'll third Misha's. Another plus there: Copies of the NY Times lying around.

              Another place I like that has nice pastries too is Jamie's General Bean out in Centreville. Good place to hang out. They have rocking chairs on the porch.

              1. re: Bob W

                -1 for Misha's; I find the coffee only so-so, and the constant cloud of cigarette smoke there makes me willing to go much further out of my way for coffee, despite the fact that I live a block south of Misha's.

          2. Haven't tried it yet, but there's a new coffee shop on the corner opposite Il Rustico on Quaker Lane that is probably worth investigating. I think it's called BUZZ.

            1 Reply
            1. re: davefaris

              I've tried the place once, a couple of months ago. I don't remember the place's name, but I do remember that the coffee was lukewarm. They use Illy beans, but the baristas didn't know what they were doing.

            2. St. Elmo's on Mt. Vernon Ave in the Del Ray section of Alexandria.

              1. There is a relatively new place on the Quincy Street in Arlington near Fairfax Dr. I believe it is called Daily Grind. I haven't ordered pastries yet but they have gelato that looks very enticing.

                2 Replies
                1. re: TerriS

                  Daily Grind is a small but growing chain from Winchester VA. I generally like their branch out by us in Stone Ridge (just west of South Riding on Rte 50) but a couple I have been served really stale coffee.

                  Their scones are very good.


                  1. re: TerriS

                    havent had any pastries at the daily grind, but the coffee is good and the breakfast stuff is good too. coffee/atmosphere not as good as at murky coffee down the street but its good nonetheless.

                  2. I didn't ever really like Greenberry's just IMO--it was at my college bookstore and watered down to say the least. If you are in N. Arlington and can make it to Georgetown head to Baked and Wired... mmm.

                    1. I'll throw in my 2 cents for Stacy's Coffee on Rt. 7 in Falls Church. The pastries are very much a mixed bag (excellent cupcakes but others only mediocre) but the coffee is good and they carry excellent ice cream.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: MsCongeniality

                        I like Stacy's too. Good coffee, funky atmosphere, and you can take your coffee while you browse in the CD Cellar next door.

                        The cupcakes do look good at Stacy's.

                      2. 49 West in Annapolis is really good if you like Jazz. Coffee and food are good too. it is a bit of a drive from DC, but I drive over often since I found it.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: JasonCK

                          The Lake Anne Coffee Shop in Reston is one of the most wonderful places I have been to. I am a huge fan of the French press coffee and they serve up the Mayorga beans. Delicious. I have never visited this place without meeting someone new and the outdoor cafe setting is perfect. It is right off the lake. The only bummer though is that I find the food pretty awful. Oh well. But the coffee and true community atmosphere make up for it.

                        2. that's a shame... i really like murky. tryst in dc is good:

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: m25111

                            murky misha and brew mountain with murky taking the cake here for quality. If you are just looking a cup o' joe greenberries is good, espresso is ok. Gloria jeans is also good.

                            Course I roast my own coffee and have my own spaziale machine so I don't get out that often for coffee :)

                            Now if you are in NYC, *GO TO CAFE GRUMPY*. Seriously, thats not a request.

                            1. re: scot

                              Just re-read the OP. I think the problem is the soy latte part... I don't have much experience with non-milk milk drinks. I know murky is incredible for the real stuff, so if there is some reason you can't have milk I would suggest making it at home. Most of the places around are not going to be very good for the soy drinker.

                              You might also want to try soy cappas, much, much less soy and more coffee flavor. IMO the taste of soy from what I have done at home is too strong, and real, properly made coffee is out weighed by the soy plus it doesn't really have a compatible flavor. Milk is more about the texture than the flavor.

                              1. re: scot

                                oooh. I just went to Cafe Grumpy. It was great! Especially since it was made with soy milk. They picked a really good roaster. Apparently Nick Cho of Murky's trained or helped out.

                                Very nice owner, crew, and atmosphere. Would definitely recommend the coffee/espresso drinks to those visiting NYC. Can't vouch for their pastries since I didn't try them, but they looked *really* yummy. Went for a true NY bagel instead....

                                1. re: orangemix

                                  yeah cafe grumpy is amazing. the espresso drinks are on par with murky.... but next time i go i am getting another iced coffee from them. they use a clover machine to brew double-strength coffee directly into the cup of ice. its amazingly good and extremely fresh.

                                  i emailed nick cho at murky and he implied that he wants to get some for his stores here in dc but, well, they cost $8K a piece.

                                  they also use the same beans as murky, from counter culture in durham, nc

                            2. hey
                              i like stacy's coffee shop in falls church on leesburg pike, and saint elmos in del ray. as for sides... the cupcakes at stacys are amazing, and for saint elmos -- they've got good stuff but personally i save room for ice cream at either the dairy godmother (soft serve, flavors change daily) or sundae times (also supremely tasty)