5. Media


Coffee Shops with Character

OCTOBER 19, 2015


WHEN I WAS growing up in D.C. in the ‘70s and ‘80s, people brewed coffee at home in a percolator, Chemex or Bialetti, poured a mug from the office carafe or grabbed a styrofoam cup of corner-store brew. These days, a D.C. pedestrian — like John Cheever’s Neddy Merrill, swimming his way home through backyard pools — can caffeinate block-by-block through the city at cafes simple and swanky.

So, where to go? I’ve selected 10 places in the city that have character, a quality as essential for a successful pick-me-up as a perfectly timed pour-over or a buttery croissant.

  1. Coffee Nature
    4224 Fessenden St. NW
    Mon. – Sat. 7:30 a.m. -6 p.m.

    “I walked in and really liked the vibe,” says barista Kirstyn Rowen, who was working the counter during one of my visits. “We get a lot of regulars.” When I moved back to D.C. this spring after more than 25 years in California, I was over the moon at discovering Coffee Nature. Such a down-to-earth feel is uncommon in the nation’s capital. Homemade flyers announcing music shows and writing groups flutter in the breeze of the open door. There’s no rushing.



DCist Logo


The District’s Best And Worst Coffee Shops To Turn Into Your Temporary Office



I want a place that’s off the beaten path.

Georgia Avenue has several coffee shops that, given their distance from a Metro, are likely less-well known beyond their communities. Brightwood’s Wapa Café is a calm coffee shop/restaurant with a unique split-level design. Culture Coffee caters to a creative customer base, with live music performances and works from local artists. Harrar Coffee & Roastery serves Ethiopian coffee and is filled with art. Away from Georgia Ave, Sidamo Coffee & Tea is a cozy Ethiopian shop with a colorful interior. And while a shop just steps from one of Wisconsin Ave’s busiest stretches isn’t really off the beaten path, Friendship Heights’ Coffee Nature has the feel of a neighborhood hangout.


2014-07-11 11.22.4215372_914658885218280_1081747693825635063_n65958_914658851884950_3032502213767035629_n10487244_914658831884952_8947893638420535223_n10500260_914658865218282_8299237468003049144_n10527687_914658875218281_7487650009184346276_n