Our nation’s capital houses enough attractions to keep you busy for days. Those walking miles add up quickly and can leave you feeling tired. Julie and I have easily exceeded 30,000 steps daily on more than one occasion while touring the city. How did we power through? I can answer that question with one word. Coffee! We will outline the ten best coffee shops in DC near the White House and National Mall so you can stay energized and maximize your visit. Let’s go!
- Location: 1703 H Street NW, Washington, DC 20006
- Hours: Monday – Friday, 7:00 am to 4:00 pm
The popular coffeehouse has locations scattered around northern Virginia and the National Mall, including historic Georgetown. We have listed the one closest to the White House. All their cafes have free Wi-Fi.
Compass Coffee is popular with locals and often gets busy. You will instantly recognize why when you enter the shop. Staff members are friendly and helpful, heavenly coffee aromas waft across the room, and the vibe is warm and inviting.
The local roastery uses cups that predict the future, boldly proclaiming “real good coffee.” Yes, indeed.
They have it all if you want a cortado, an Americano, cappuccino, or a nitro cold brew. Compass Coffee shines with its unique seasonal flavors like cherry blossom cream, mint, and lavender honey in spring and caramel cream, Nutella mocha, almond butter, peppermint, and gingerbread in winter. If you prefer a pure cup of java with no flavor enhancers, rest assured their coffee is delicious.
Compass Coffee carries a variety of tasty pastries and grab-and-go items, with a few locations serving breakfast sandwiches. It is an excellent place to rest your feet and recharge.
Sweet Science Coffee
- Location: 35 N Street NE, Washington, DC 20002
- Hours: Monday – Friday, 7:00 am to 3:00 pm; Saturday and Sunday, 8:00 am to 4:00 pm
Nestled in the NoMa neighborhood, Sweet Science Coffee is a craft coffee shop that aims to highlight the unique character profile of each coffee bean. It provides a relaxed, fun atmosphere and fantastic seasonal drinks that pair well with mouth-watering made-from-scratch pastries. You can also order tasty menu items like biscuit sammies, bagels, omelets, a yogurt parfait, quiche, or a breakfast burrito.
Please take a moment to search the room for an intriguing illustration of Jupiter, their goat of arms, honoring the history of our pursuit of the perfect cup. Sweet Science Coffee is obsessed with the quest, offering classes to educate you on different brewing methods so you can make your perfect cup at home. Their passion shines through in everything they do, yielding a tastebud-pleasing experience.
Swing’s Coffee Roasters
- Location 1: 640 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20005
- Location 2: 1702 G Street NW, Washington, DC 20006
- Hours: Weekdays, 8:00 am to 3:00 pm
Note that Swing’s Coffee Roasters has various locations. The 14th St NW and G ST NW shops sit close to the White House.
Swing’s Coffee Roasters has played a role in the Washington, DC, coffee culture for over a century, roasting ethically sourced coffee. The roastery has a passionate cult following. In the spirit of transparency, Swing’s Coffee has a glass wall at its Del Ray coffee bar so customers can observe the roasting process.
If you visit in spring, try the delicious Halcyon Latte with notes of lavender and honey. Or, try a shot of the single-origin espresso, Ethiopia Ardi Natural. Bright and sweet with berry and stone fruit notes, your tastebuds will dance. For the winter holiday season, go for a cup of bourbon barrel-aged coffee.
No matter when you visit, the shop offers plenty of scrumptious pastries to pair with your cup of java. The cozy cafe will leave you feeling re-energized in no time.
The Potter’s House
- Location: 1658 Columbia Road NW, Washington, DC 20009
- Hours: Tuesday – Friday, 8:30 am to 2:30 pm; Saturday and Sunday, 8:30 am to 4:00 pm
Note these are winter hours and may change during summer.
The Potter’s House, nestled in the Adams Morgan neighborhood, operates as a cafe and bookstore. It opened in the 1960s and remains comfortable for casual or meaningful conversation, creative expression, and community transformation.
The Potter’s House offers indoor seating and a patio. Both operate on a first-come, first-served basis.
Grab a filter drip coffee with luscious caramel, nutty, and chocolate notes. They carry all your typical espresso drinks if you prefer a concoction. If you want something different, their masala chai latte is a delicious cup of black tea spiced with cardamom and black pepper.
The cafe serves breakfast and lunch dishes. Breakfast items include breakfast bowls, sandwiches, burritos, unique pastries, slices of bread, and croissants. The lunch menu offers tasty sandwiches, wraps, and savory bowls.
Dua DC Coffee
- Location: 923 15th Street NW, Washington, DC 20005
- Hours: Monday – Friday, 8:00 am to 3:00 pm; Saturday, 9:00 am to 3:00 pm; Sunday, 9:00 am to 1:00 pm
At a glance, Dua DC Coffee is a cute coffee shop. Although small, it is a gem. Dua DC Coffee is the first Indonesian specialty coffee shop in DC. It sources single-origin beans from various Indonesian islands, making for unique and luscious coffees. Do yourself a favor and check this place out.
Behind the counters, you will discover a wall of white bricks displaying the menu of coffee drinks in black lettering. It looks clean, modern, and inviting. The staff is friendly, patient, and ready to offer guidance if needed. A thought enters my mind, why can’t all retailers be like this?
The shop offers every espresso drink you can think of, including the piccolo. They have a healthy selection of pour-over coffee blends and teas, including peach, hibiscus, matcha, and chai. Popular drinks include the brown latte, mint mocha, and matcha mango. The brown latte, a personal favorite, delights your tongue with heavenly brown sugar and molasses notes.
Dua DC Coffee also delivers unique food offerings, including scones, croissants, and savory empanadas. Try the Pischok, a crispy spring roll with banana slices and chocolate filling.
- Location: 660 Pennsylvania Street NE, Washington, DC 20003
- Hours: Monday – Friday, 7:00 am to 6:00 pm; Saturday and Sunday, 8:00 am to 6:00 pm
Note that Peregrine Espresso has two locations. We have listed the Eastern Market location since it is slightly closer to the White House and the United States Capitol. The second location, Union Market, sits on 5th Street, just a bit further from the White House.
The Peregrine Espresso name is your first sign that this place is different, in a good way. It was founded in 2008 by a husband-and-wife team with a shared passion. They strive to serve great coffee, focus on sustainability, and educate people on both. Accordingly, Peregrine Espresso regularly hosts classes or events where people can share their love of coffee and learn more.
The owners founded their coffee roasting company, Small Planes Coffee, in 2017. You can practically taste their passion for all parts of the business in every sip of the delectable coffee.
The shop offers rotating selections of single-origin beans and seasonal blends that dazzle in a hot cup of joe or a flash-brewed iced coffee. Yes, they provide divine espresso drinks too. The Eastern Market location near Capitol Hill serves nitro coffee if you prefer your coffee with a thick, creamy texture. Peregrine Espresso carries sweet pastries from Bluebird Bakery that pair nicely with your caffeine jolt.
- Location: 1201 New York Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20005
- Hours: Monday – Friday, 8:00 am to 3:00 pm
The cafe has additional locations at 14th Street and I Street. They expect to open a new store in the Ballston area in spring 2023.
Slipstream advertises that they provide coffee, cocktails, and provisions. You can place a gold star next to all three.
Housemade pastries include:
- English muffins
- Gluten-free blueberry muffins
- Banana bread
- Lemon poppyseed scones
- Mouth-watering brown butter chocolate chip cookies
They serve breakfast items all day, including smoked salmon toast, avocado toast, breakfast bowl, yogurt parfait, and a jammy bacon and egg sandwich. You can order an apple salad, kale and beet salad, turkey club sandwich, spicy chicken sandwich, or a savory chicken and rice bowl during lunch.
Drinks include comforting coffee, nitro iced coffee, espresso drinks, and fantastic tea blends. If the occasion calls for it, you can order a cocktail or a coffee-infused cocktail.
The Wydown Coffee Bar
- Location: 1924 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
- Hours: Monday – Friday, 6:30 am to 6:00 pm; Saturday and Sunday, 7:00 am to 6:00 pm
The Wydown has a second location on H Street.
A trendy coffee bar serving artisanal java, cocktails, breakfast and lunch fare, and baked goods, The Wydown is one of the best coffee shops in DC. Although obsessed with finding the perfect cup of coffee, their mission is to delight guests. Mission accomplished.
Their menu includes avocado toast, salmon toast, burrito, tostada, classic breakfast items, and a fantastic toasted pesto chicken salad sandwich. They regularly offer an assortment of tempting pastries. The bacon and sage biscuits and gluten-free Snickerdoodle cookies are crowd-pleasers. Drink highlights include the cinnamon oat latte, red eye, flat white, chai latte, matcha latte, and the London Fog made with Earl Grey tea, house vanilla, and steamed milk.
Zeke’s Coffee of DC
- Location: 731 15th Street NW, Washington, DC 20005
- Hours: Monday – Friday, 7:00 am to 5:00 pm; Saturday and Sunday, 8:00 am to 3:00 pm
Their Rhode Island Avenue location is a roastery and coffee shop. They expect to open an uptown store on 14th Street in spring 2023.
Zeke’s Coffee of DC is a small-batch coffee roaster specializing in organic, fair trade, and specialty blends from Arabica beans. Although their standard cup of coffee is fantastic, Zeke’s sparkles with their nitro cold brews and seasonal beverages.
In spring, they pour honey bee lavender lattes and cinnamon maple oat lattes. A winter favorite, the golden spice latte features a spicy blend of turmeric, cardamom, and honey. If you visit in February, try a cup of their Punxsutawney Punch blend. They carry savory and sweet pastries from Bluebird Bakery if you want something to eat with your coffee.
The Coffee Bar
- Location: 1200 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20036
- Hours: Monday – Open daily from 7:00 am to 3:00 pm
The Coffee Bar’s original location sits in a historic building in the Shaw area and features an outdoor patio. We have listed the location closest to the White House, which rests in the Golden Triangle District downtown.
Locals affectionately refer to The Coffee Bar as “TCB.” It opened in 2012 to provide a fun, relaxing ambiance and serve delicious coffee. They gladly welcome coffee novices and experts—picture “Cheers,” but a coffee shop rather than a bar. People are friendly, and the coffee is excellent. It feels so much like a home you may not want to leave.
The cozy shop serves tasty drip coffee blends from Colombia and Ethiopia. Something different, TCB offers cold brew with two extraction times, yielding unique flavor profiles. The 24-hour extraction is bright and fruity, while the 36-hour version has chocolate notes. Other customer favorites include the cappuccino and the dirty chai, which features double-brewed black tea concentrate, spices, and two espresso shots.
You have many more attractions to get to in DC. Is it time to go already? This place is so cozy. Let’s stay for one more cup.
Wrap-Up: Best Coffee Shops in DC
Now that you know where to find your java fuel, you will be ready to see all of Washington, DC’s main attractions. There is a lot to cover, but these excellent coffee shops will recharge your batteries so you can make the most of your trip to the nation’s capital.
Featured image credit: Miles with McConkey
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About the author
We are Scott and Julie at Miles with McConkey. After nearly 30 years, we took a leap of faith out of the corporate world to enjoy a life of travel and adventure. We hope to inspire you to find ways to travel more and enjoy life now.