I come from a city that prides itself on the quality of coffee. Melbourne had an influx of Italian immigrants during the 20th century, and along with their food they brought their coffee machines. In a city with generally glorious weather, outdoor cafes, and laneways a culture of coffee and coffee snobbery has developed. As a result I was a little concerned about the quality of my daily (or twice, sometimes thrice) coffee here in DC.
So here are my recommendations for coffee at GW and nearby. As an aside, I only ever order espresso machine coffee, so I have nothing whatsoever to recommend in terms of filter or percolated coffee.
Baked and Wired, Georgetown (1052 Thomas Jefferson St NW)
I love walking down to Watergate and then along the river and up the street to Baked and Wired. This cupcakery is near the Georgetown Canal, it has really comfortable couches (if you can get a seat) and on weekends sometimes has a line out the door. The cupcakes are the main attraction, and they are absolutely to die for – my favorite in Georgetown (a place over-run with cupcakes) – I recommend the Vegan Chocolate with Peanut Butter frosting or the Carrot Cake cupcake. But another excellent feature of Baked and Wired is their tea and coffee. They do excellent lattes; as good as I get at home, and a really great dirty chai, a cross between a latte and a chai tea. I love how they size their drinks too – you have a choice between big and small, no silly faux-Italian names here.
Filter Coffeehouse, Foggy Bottom (1916 I Street, NW) & Dupont Circle (1726 20th St NW)
My roommate took me here. She had been on exchange at the University of Melbourne, and knew this place made Flat Whites, a variety of coffee you struggle to find outside of Australia, and my favorite. Hands down, Filter is the coffee place most like home. Walking in is like walking into any hipster coffee place at home – a little pretentious, but so very worth it when that delicious cup of coffee gets put in your hand. A flat white is a little like a latte, but with no foam and half steamed milk, half espresso. Their original location is in Dupont, but there is one much closer to campus too. Neither location has wifi.
Bourbon Coffee, Foggy Bottom (2101 L St NW)
Bourbon coffee is a firm favorite of mine. They have wifi, comfortable seating, and a whole selection of milk options. I avoid dairy, and go for Almond milk over the soy, but there’s also the rice milk option. They do a good iced coffee and a really great latte. Bourbon also has some really interesting flavored coffees, including one called Pralines and Cream, which I really must try before the semester ends.
Starbucks (at Gelman Library)
If all else fails, and you want to grab a coffee before class, head to Starbucks. I order soy lattes, because the slight sweetness of soy offsets the burnt coffee taste. They also do decent iced lattes. The real risk with Starbucks is all the flavored coffees – the sugary syrups give me a sugar high on top of the caffeine hit! The Gelman location is always, without fail busy, but it does have wifi and is conveniently open 24 hours a day during peak midterm and final exam time. If you ever find the line is nearly out the door, go to the Starbucks inside the GW Hospital and if you’re down near the Elliot School, try the Starbucks there.
There’s also Dunkin Donuts, in the basement of Ivory Tower, which I go to because I live in the same building. But I wouldn’t recommend it, unless you’re feeling particularly lazy and I only ever get the iced lattes (and bagels…)
My name is Claudia, and I love coffee.