Coffee Shops of the World: Washington, D.C.

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The love between a member of The Attic and our caffeine is perhaps unparalleled. Yes, it may cause some jitters as it fuels many a sleepless academic night, but we like to think of those more as the tenuous years, when we learn our limits and figure things out together. Settling into the everyday routine of our coffee or tea, we find the deeper pleasure and joys in it.

Cake for breakfast at Afterwords Café, Kramerbooks.

Cake for breakfast at Afterwords Café, Kramerbooks.

It comforts us and sustains us, and at home nothing gets us going faster in the mornings or brings more easy enjoyment with friends. Traveling, we seek it out religiously, to save us from jet lag and submerge us within the local energy. No matter the location, a truly successful coffee shop will become a home away from home, a place where we gather with friends or fellow travelers and stop to recharge between sights.

As part of our continuing series of Washington, D.C.-based posts, this is the first in a new  series dedicated to sharing our favorite independent coffee shops at home and around the world. You may have already seen a few, as some closest to us such as Afterwords Café and Busboys and Poets were found within the very walls of our favorite bookshops.

Here are (a few more of) our favorite coffee shops in Washington, D.C.:

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The Line Hotel

1770 Euclid Street NW, Washington, DC 20009 USA

Located at the tippy top of Adams Morgan, The Line Hotel’s D.C. outpost is quite almost literally a religious experience. Housed within a 110-year old church, the hotel contains multiple dining and coffee options. To enjoy inside, Brothers & Sisters offers coffee, cake, and tea service within its central communal sitting room, while The Cup We All Race 4 provides coffee and pastries to-go from the hotel lobby.

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Baked & Wired

1052 Thomas Jefferson Street NW, Washington, DC 20007 USA

Olivia, and now also Raquel’s favorite DC coffee stop, Baked & Wired literally had a line out the door on our attempt at a second visit. Baked in small batches and seasonally flavored, the cupcakes at this family-owned establishment alone are worth the visit, while their second counter provides the perfectly brewed espresso you need.


Compass Coffee

multiple locations

Compass Coffee quickly became a standby, go-to, and meeting place, with its several locations. Much like Kramerbooks, we found ourselves there multiple times, and its best feature (along with ample seating) was its varied coffee menu and pastry case. Look no further for your croissant or coffee cake and lavender nut milk latte.



2032 P Street NW, Washington, DC 20036 USA

Dupont Circle indie coffee house Emissary could probably pass for D.C.’s Central Perk with its endless tables and sofas aplenty. Tucked away off 21st Street, we stumbled upon this gem after getting lost outside of Second Story Books and enjoyed its self-professed diverse community atmosphere. Stick around as it turns to a bar at night featuring cocktails and snacks.

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640 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20005

Inside the Beaux-Arts building of Metropolitan Square, this coffee bar serves perhaps the smoothest espresso drinks we have ever tasted. Small but bustling, the window seating provided plenty of people watching and was conveniently steps away from several downtown stops, including the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

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Blue Bottle

1046 Potomac Street NW, Washington, DC 20007 (multiple locations!)

A California favorite of Lee’s and Raquel, we made sure to include a stop at Blue Bottle’s flagship D.C. location. Hidden behind Dean and Deluca, this minimalist location offered a quiet respite from the busy sidewalks of Georgetown’s M Street and a good while to catch our breath between strolling the shops and heading to dinner.

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801 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20004 USA

Sometimes you just need the comfort of an old favorite, and for our sixteen-year-old, Marie Antoinette-loving selves, Paul is it. Luckily its upstairs dining room (which we were too engrossed in to remember to photograph) provides the perfect backdrop for tea, coffee, macarons, and catching up with friends galore.

Special Mentions:

Located in Adams Morgan, Tryst Coffee came highly recommended by friends and AirBnb hosts alike, but was sadly never made to, purely because Raquel found herself too addicted to The Line’s atmosphere to go anywhere else in the neighborhood.

In the heart of Georgetown, we found ourselves wander into Bluestone Lane for a quick energy boost and enjoyed its outdoor seats, but didn't stay long past finishing our drinks.

Raquel Reyes is Creative Director at The Attic on Eighth. She enjoys styling photo shoots, dramatic hair accessories, and old fashioned cocktails.

Racing to our next destination, coffee in tow.

Racing to our next destination, coffee in tow.