This is a post prompted by the occasional inquiry about coffee shops and/or coffee shop rides in D.C. Essentially, we’re dabbling in two topics here: best coffee, and best local rides for coffee. I often find it helpful to spin my legs with a particular destination in mind. And I like the destination to offer quality coffee and tasty treats. It keeps me focused on my ride, and offers a little reward along the way.
Caffé Amouri in Vienna, Virginia
Both a roaster and a coffee shop, Caffé Amouri sits at about 17 miles from D.C., making it a perfect weekend leg stretching ride. It’s a cute shop that delivers a reliable cup of coffee. I’m not afraid to order an Americano there, which is my litmus test for good coffee shop. They also offer pastries (Felkerino and I recommend the crumb cake) and breakfast sandwiches, which add to its appeal as a coffeeneuring destination. Will ride for treats!
Bike parking is okay, and there is a middling rack and some iron fencing against which you can lean your bike. Most of the ride to Caffé Amouri is via multi-use paths (Mount Vernon, Custis, and W&OD Trail), so it’s largely car-free, but often crowded with cyclists, runners, families, dogs on leashes, and the occasional cat. Still, it’s one of our favorite get-up-and-go-get-coffee-on-the-weekend-rides.
Swing’s in Del Ray, Virginia
While the Swing’s location on G Street is home to Friday Coffee Club, the Del Ray location is a short seven-mile ramble out of the city. Another local roaster as well as coffee shop, the most obvious route to Swing’s is via the Mount Vernon Trail to Four Mile Run (and then you have to Google it because I am not good at giving directions to this spot).
Bike parking is not plentiful, but we’ve never had an issue parking there and you can generally see your bike from inside the shop. The coffee is good and so are the pastries, athough seating can be an issue on the weekends. That said, the indoor space is inviting, complete with high ceilings and a spacious feel.
Baked and Wired, Washington, D.C.
Nestled just off the C&O Canal in Georgetown and around a half-mile from the Capital Crescent Trail, this combination cupcake and coffee shop is a great way to toast the end of a ride.
Baked and Wired is not fooling around with their coffee. They use interesting roasters, including Intelligentsia and Elixr, and the pumpkin ginger loaf with cream cheese frosting is without compare in its goodness. As I said, Baked and Wired is also very popular with cupcake fans and you’ll often see a line out the door for the cupcakes. It’s usually much shorter for the coffee crowd so don’t let the line put you off. Bike parking is wherever you can lean your bike and space inside is pretty minimal. Felkerino and I usually end up finding curb space outside to drink our coffee, although in winter time, we’ll take advantage of their very small stand-up bar table.
The Coffee Bar, Washington, D.C.
Tucked in a neighborhood at 1201 S Street Northwest, The Coffee Bar is a fairly central location for a pre-ride meetup. It also opens at 7:30 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, a plus for making sure you are caffeinated before setting out for that long weekend ride with your friends.
The Coffee Bar knows how to make tasty espresso drinks, and for a while they were making a cardamom latte that I couldn’t quit. Currently it looks like the Turmeric latte is the specialty drink, and I’m not quite as much of a fan of that. Not to worry, though, their regular lattes taste great, too. Seating is usually not an issue, especially if you arrive early, and bike parking is easy there.
Chinatown Coffee, Washington, D.C.
The baristas at Chinatown Coffee make a mean cup, and the people who work there are friendly. Tucked away in the corner of 5th and H Street Northwest, Chinatown Coffee has a nice local feel. I used to frequent this shop more when I worked downtown, and it has now become a weekend coffeeneuring stop for Felkerino and me in between errands around town. While the bike parking isn’t great, you can park your bike inside and nobody blinks an eye.
A Baked Joint, Washington, D.C.
A sister store to Baked and Wired, A Baked Joint gets a little too crowded for my tastes, but it’s one of few shops where you can order good breakfast or lunch food, AND enjoy a delicious coffee along with a delicious pastry or other sweet treat. BicycleSPACE is right next door, too, so if you are not in a hurry, you can swing in there and browse the bike frames and accessories. Bike parking is excellent at Baked Joint. Bike racks abound, and you can also keep an eye on your bike fairly easily from inside the shop. This is another in between weekend errands stop for Felkerino and me.
Peregrine Espresso, Washington, D.C.
My favorite Peregrine location is in Eastern Market, but honestly you cannot go wrong with any of their locations. And a D.C. coffeeneur is a barista for Peregrine! I always know Peregrine will exceed my expectations with its liqueur-like espresso shots – delicious – and their other coffee drinks are excellent as well. Peregrine has a few sweets for sale, but it is primarily focused on coffee. Felkerino and I like to combine our Peregrine visits a visit to the market, so if you are here on a weekend I highly recommend you make time for a stroll through Eastern Market, too. Bike parking at Peregrine is adequate, with bike racks scattered along the street.
Tryst, Washington, D.C.
Located in the heart of Adam’s Morgan on 18th Street, Tryst is another shop you can depend on for a tasty cup. Doors open at 7 a.m. and close at midnight, which means they also keep hours that are good for the early weekend rider, and for cruising by if you ever need an evening pick-me-up. And if you have a hankering for upscale diner food, The Diner is right next door (and open 24 hours).
Bike parking is decent, although the racks along 18th Street are often pretty full. I lived in Adam’s Morgan when I first moved to the District many years ago, and Tryst was one of the first places I visited. With 20 years in D.C., Tryst is an institution, and well worth checking out if you’re ever in the area.
I’m sure I’m missing some gems, so if you’re local and have one to add, please share it in the comments!