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Good Coffee Shops in Greater DC Area

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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. 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. 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

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

        1. re: ktmoomau

          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

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

            Just saying.

            1. re: chowsearch

              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

            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

              I second, third, and fourth Java Shack.

              (can I do that?!)

          3. 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. 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

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

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


                    Buzz is also awesome-open late until midnight!

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Smiles2008

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

                        1. re: monavano

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

                          1. re: beauxgoris

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


                            sadness... :(

                    2. 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. 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

                          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.