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A clean, well lit place (with wifi, good coffee, etc. etc.)

rchrd112 Apr 8, 2007 03:11 PM

If someone can recommend a cafe with decent coffee, atmosphere, fast wifi, ample seating AND open late, i will be eternally grateful. A past habitué of Seattle and Berkeley coffee houses, I have been unable to find a cafe in the DC area that has all of the above attributes. I have tried A LOT of cafes here, but have come up again and again with nothing. Here are few of my trials:

panera bread: horrible brewed coffee, but decent wifi
caribu coffee: decent coffee, but wifi limited to one hour.
murkey coffee: very good coffee, but hard to get a seat in the evenings (dc and arlington)
cafe misha (in alexandria): the best coffee around, but closes at 8:00
stacey's coffee parlor in Falls Church: good coffee, wifi, limited seating.
Wegmans (a grocery store, of all places) very good espresso coffee, free wifi, but lots of kids. And it is far from DC.

Again, I will totally appreciate any suggestions.


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  1. KWynn RE: rchrd112 Apr 8, 2007 03:21 PM

    I've only been to Busboys & Poets (U Street area) once, when I was studying for my grad school finals about a year ago. But I remember it being a nice atmosphere with free wifi and good food and coffee. Can't remember how well-lit it was, but I think it's worth a shot.

    1 Reply
    1. re: KWynn
      jus2jazzy RE: KWynn Apr 22, 2007 07:41 PM

      I agree. Busboys & Poets is very nice....good food and atmosphere. Can't vouch for it being well-lit; as I recall, after sundown, it was rather dark, yet lively..

    2. j
      Jeserf RE: rchrd112 Apr 9, 2007 08:52 AM

      I did a lot of school work at Tryst during the week when I first moved here and was finishing school work.

      I liked being waited on yet left alone. And it was comfortable with lots of other people working.

      1. e
        Elyssa RE: rchrd112 Apr 9, 2007 08:56 AM

        I use to live at Tryst! Just make sure you get there early enough of the weekends...and even some week days to get a decent seat. And now that there is a smoking ban in DC its even better.

        Busboys and Poets has a great vibe.

        Also I like SoHo coffee on P St in Dupont. You just need to buy $5 worth of food or coffee and then you can use the wifi free. The owner or manager is a great guy with lots of charecter. And their chicken salad wrap is the best I've tasted in a long time. Lots of tables and a few couches.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Elyssa
          kabrown RE: Elyssa Apr 9, 2007 11:06 AM

          second the recc for SoHo...

        2. e
          Elyssa RE: rchrd112 Apr 9, 2007 08:58 AM

          Also just so you know...Tryst doesn't have free WiFi on the weekends.

          But Open City in Woodley Park does. I like that as an alternative but its not really a coffee shop...more of a restaurant with free wifi. It can get loud and busy on the weekends but is great on the weekdays and nights. Only problem is the seats can get a little uncomfortable after long periods of time sitting in them....no cushions.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Elyssa
            Jeserf RE: Elyssa Apr 9, 2007 10:03 AM

            right on about Tryst's wi-fi on weekends. During the week day, though, it's a great get away - it's calm, good service, comfy sofas and plenty of outlets.

            just dont leave your power cord there. I left mine by mistake, and they didnt have it when I went to check.

            I bet Tryst is way better now that DC is smoke free, too. That used to be what made me leave my seat.

          2. RobertM RE: rchrd112 Apr 9, 2007 09:21 AM

            Mayorga Coffee Company. Check their web site for locations, free WiFi.

            1 Reply
            1. re: RobertM
              Smokey RE: RobertM Apr 9, 2007 12:42 PM

              Mayorga was my thought as well. Their drip coffee is ok, not great, but their espresso drinks are pretty good. I think the King Farm location is nicer (in some respects, not in all) then the SS location.

            2. l
              LisaB RE: rchrd112 Apr 9, 2007 09:48 AM

              I really like Mocha Hut on U Street. Smaller, so you have to get there early on the weekends, but they have good food, nice people, and for some reason, I can sit there for hours. Has anyone been to the new coffee place called "14U." Would love to hear any thoughts.

              1. 4
                4X4 RE: rchrd112 Apr 9, 2007 11:05 AM

                Check out College Perk in College Park and New Deal Cafe in Greenbelt.

                1. d
                  dcreverend RE: rchrd112 Apr 9, 2007 02:33 PM

                  This is a little off the beaten trail for the standard coffee/wifi crowd but check out Domku in Petworth. They have a great array of drinks, Wifi and comfy seating. Not sure about the hours though.

                  1. c
                    caphill2320 RE: rchrd112 Apr 10, 2007 09:26 AM

                    I used to do a lot of studying and procrastinating with the WiFi at Politcs and Prose and also loved the Silver Spring Mayorga.

                    ps love the Hemingway reference.

                    1. c
                      Callisto RE: rchrd112 Apr 10, 2007 04:35 PM

                      How about Rendezvous Cafe in Arlington, on Wilson Boulevard. It's near the Virginia Square metro station.,

                      1. anhdeluxe RE: rchrd112 Apr 17, 2007 08:24 PM

                        Hail fellow west coast ex-pat! I add to this list: Buzz Bakery on Slater's Lane in Alexandria. It has free wi-fi and is open til midnight! The Illy coffee sometimes tastes a bit burnt, but the I don't mind it so much. It's still relatively new, so not so crowded. I second Busboys and Poets, Mayorga, and Tryst for atmosphere. Not sure if Sparky's on 14th has wifi but they do have a great vibe.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: anhdeluxe
                          rchrd112 RE: anhdeluxe Jun 24, 2007 11:07 AM

                          Thanks for the suggestion! I'm going to try it out.

                        2. h
                          hamster RE: rchrd112 Apr 19, 2007 08:42 PM

                          I like Tryst, but in the evenings I have found parts of it are bit too dimly-lit to do any reading.

                          Also try Dos Gringos in Mount Pleasant. Very sunny.

                          1. j
                            jus2jazzy RE: rchrd112 Apr 22, 2007 07:44 PM

                            Artmosphere Digital Cafe' has been open about a year now. It's a really cool place...free wi-fi, live entertainment, good food and discussion groups at night. It's located in Hyattsville, MD (Rte. 1/3311 Rhode Island Avenue) in a area that has been designated for development as an artists colony.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: jus2jazzy
                              Geltech RE: jus2jazzy Apr 23, 2007 08:28 PM

                              Just a follow up on the Caibou wifi limit, its not. Just make a second or third profile with an alternate email (no one has JUST one do they?) and re-login under different ones.

                              1. re: Geltech
                                rchrd112 RE: Geltech Jun 24, 2007 11:09 AM

                                Very clever :) thanks! By the way, last time I was at Carribu I ordered a "grande" coffee. The guy looked at me with & wouldn't get my drink until I ordered a "medium". He said that Carribu employees try to un-teach starbucks's lexicon, which is so deeply ingrained in many of us.

                            2. b
                              bucknell RE: rchrd112 Apr 24, 2007 04:22 AM

                              I'm a little surprised at the listing of Mischa's. Whenever I've tried to use wifi there, the signal's been very weak and available only at one table near the window. Apparently coming from outside the cafe. Have they instituted their own wifi hot spot now?

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