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Good Coffee Shops in Greater DC Area

LizG Mar 25, 2008 06:38 AM

A friend of mine is coming into DC this weekend. He's a coffee shop aficionado. He likes atmosphere, people watching, and obviously good coffee. Anyone have any suggestions about where to go? We have the basics down (Tryst, Teaism), any other suggestions? Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, and Caribou don't count.


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  1. c
    ChewFun RE: LizG Mar 25, 2008 07:11 AM

    Go to Mischas in Old Town Alexandria. They roast a mean bean. The atmosphere is nice. They do not have super baristas (nothing fancy), but they do a great job all around. And they have a nice atmosphere.

    1. s
      sweth RE: LizG Mar 25, 2008 07:38 AM

      Sidamo on H St
      Buzz in Alexandria
      Murky in Clarendon

      Misha's in Alexandria has good coffee, but is pro-smoking which is a deal-breaker for me.

      6 Replies
      1. re: sweth
        ktmoomau RE: sweth Mar 25, 2008 09:50 AM

        Isn't Murky closed now? Or have they not closed yet? I thought I read they had.

        1. re: ktmoomau
          chowsearch RE: ktmoomau Mar 25, 2008 09:55 AM

          Murky Eastern market closed. Murky Clarendon open. For now.
          What coffeeshops in DC are comfortable for getting afternoon wifi laptop work done, have easy parking including 4-6, other than Port City across from Eastern Market?

          1. re: chowsearch
            sweth RE: chowsearch Mar 26, 2008 10:04 PM

            There is no such animal as easy parking in DC during rush hour, including in Eastern Market.

            Just saying.

            1. re: chowsearch
              MakingSense RE: chowsearch Mar 27, 2008 07:47 PM

              Both of the coffee shops on H Street are terrific and have free wifi, easy parking (meters on the street and you can get lucky on the side streets), and great relaxed atmospheres.
              Sidamo is the Ethiopian shop in the 400 block. Right next to Pap and Petey's, the new blues club, so you can get a little drinkie after you finish your work.
              SOVA is down in the Atlas District in the 1200 block. Their second floor is usually really quiet. They've just gotten their beer/wine license.

          2. re: sweth
            bacchante RE: sweth Mar 27, 2008 10:42 AM

            At the other end of Clarendon, nearer to Courthouse, is Java Shack. Independently owned and with a patio for good weather, it also is great for people-watching. Different crowd from Murky.

            1. re: bacchante
              food.fiend RE: bacchante Mar 27, 2008 11:04 AM

              I second, third, and fourth Java Shack.

              (can I do that?!)

          3. anhdeluxe RE: LizG Mar 25, 2008 09:29 AM

            I like Busboys and Poets on 14th and V, Mayorga Cafe in Silver Spring, (new outlet in Columbia Heights as well) - they roast their own too! I like Vietnamese coffee in Eden. And Georgetown has any number of cafes that aren't exclusively coffee, but fulfill your other requirements. I like Marvelous Market myself.

            1. e
              Elyssa RE: LizG Mar 25, 2008 09:32 AM

              I like SoHo Coffee on P St. in Dupont Circle. Lots of tables and couches, good coffee, an amazing chicken salad wrap and the owner (actually he might just be the manager not sure) is quite the charecter and very friendly. They have free wifi as well in case you want to hang out and surf the web. Also if its sunny out this weekend they have outdoor tables.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Elyssa
                sweth RE: Elyssa Mar 27, 2008 12:30 PM

                Assuming you mean Sami, he's the manager. I believe the older woman who is sometimes at the register is the owner.

              2. monavano RE: LizG Mar 25, 2008 10:11 AM

                Your friend would really enjoy Grape + Bean in Old Town Alexandria. David Gwathmy carries Counter Culture beans and brews to order with a Clover coffee maker. You can also check out their wines, cheeses, equipment, breads, and cured meats.

                1. m
                  mcmullek RE: LizG Mar 25, 2008 10:41 AM

                  I'm not sure what your travel restrictions are, but Big Bear in the Shaw neighborhood: 1st and R NW is my abs. fave coffee shop in DC. Run by 2 former West-Coasters, there is a laid-back feel that you can't get anywhere else in DC! I've spent many a Saturday afternoon there reading inside or people watching outside while enjoying a range of delicious teas and coffees.

                  1. Smiles2008 RE: LizG Mar 25, 2008 02:40 PM

                    Also, St. Elmo's in the Del Ray section of Alexandria:


                    Buzz is also awesome-open late until midnight!

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Smiles2008
                      beauxgoris RE: Smiles2008 Mar 27, 2008 11:18 AM

                      Is Murky on Capital Hill ever coming back or is it done?

                      1. re: beauxgoris
                        monavano RE: beauxgoris Mar 27, 2008 12:43 PM

                        It appears to be done.

                        1. re: monavano
                          beauxgoris RE: monavano Mar 27, 2008 03:50 PM

                          ^^Really?! How can they keep the other one open and close this one. That's too bad.

                          1. re: beauxgoris
                            taylor_blair RE: beauxgoris Mar 27, 2008 06:48 PM

                            yeah, murky in DC is really closed for good. check out their website:


                            sadness... :(

                    2. j
                      Jacey RE: LizG Mar 27, 2008 04:16 PM

                      I like Foster Brothers in Cleveland Park. They decent pastries and sandwiches, but you can probably bring in food from one of the many great eating places in the area (as long as you buy the coffee).

                      1. j
                        Johnster82 RE: LizG Apr 2, 2008 09:47 AM

                        now that murky is closed in capitol hill, you might have to cross over to va for murky arlington for a deelish coffee.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Johnster82
                          MakingSense RE: Johnster82 Apr 3, 2008 09:49 PM

                          Nope, just go 10 blocks North to H Street, NE
                          You have your choice of two wonderful places there.
                          Ethiopian coffee at Sidamo in the 400 block.
                          SOVA in the Atlas District, 1400 block.
                          Both have wonderful coffee, free wifi. Good sandwiches, beautiful pastries.SOVA just got their wine and beer license. Easy parking.
                          Nice cushy chairs in the back room at SOVA so you can curl up with your laptop in front of the flat screen TV.

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