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A great cup of coffee and remote working go hand in hand. As a freelancer, or someone who simply likes to get out and get caffeinated while they fire off emails, finding the right coffee shop is the key to success.
Luckily for those staying in DC, the city is filled with fantastic specialty coffee shops. Whether you’re looking for a quiet place to study or a more rowdy spot to sip a mocha and bust out an assignment, Washington, DC, offers plenty of places for you to do so.
To dive into your projects—and catch a good caffeine buzz—check out our list of the best coffee shops to work in DC.
Rated one of the best coffee shops in Washington, DC, the Coffee Bar has been “caffeinating the Capital” since 2012. The downtown location is small, but the location in Shaw offers outlets, WiFi (just not on the weekend), and good work vibes. If you’re researching or studying, make sure to venture to the back patio to soak in the sunshine on a nice day. Choose from a wide variety of pastries and a good selection of coffee and tea to keep you fueled up and ready to work. We’ll take a mocha chip scone and a slice of chocolate banana bread, please.
Found at 14th Street and the Navy Yard, both of the Slipstream locations offer some of the best cafes to study in DC. The areas are light and bright, perfect for hunkering down for a few hours and getting some work done. This coffee shop chain focuses on using fresh and local ingredients, so the menu changes each week. In the morning, go for a house-made granola bowl with citrus Greek yogurt and seasonal fresh fruit; in the evening, pair your work emails with a glass of wine and avocado toast bites (complete with creamy goat cheese mousse). It’s said that these cafes can get busy on the weekend, so if you’re looking for quiet coffee shops in DC, it may be better to opt for another when Saturday rolls around.
If it’s artisanal java and industrial work space you’re after, consider the Wydown Coffee Bar one of the best coffee shops to work in DC. With the goal of delighting its guests, this family-run cafe is drawn to coffee that tells a story. They combine passion with technical know-how for a menu that excites the palate. The coffee bars on 14th Street and H Street both feature a from-scratch bakery where you can indulge in a full array of baked goods while you check items off your to-do list. At the 14th Street location, pull a stool up to the main counter—which was salvaged from the old Hershey’s Chocolate factory—and stay awhile with your brewed-to-order beverage.
One of the best cafes to study in DC, A Baked Joint is a large and airy space with fresh organic bread, house-made nut milk, and plenty of coffee for you to get your fix. If you’re on the hunt for a place where you can sit with coworkers and colleagues and connect over insanely good baked goods, this is the spot. After you have your cappuccino and morning sammie, look forward to soup for lunch or pizza for dinner. With all the options for eating and beverages, you may never want to leave (even when the day’s work is finished). A Baked Joint also hosts movie nights and treat-making classes, so keep your eye open for those if you’re looking for some post-work entertainment.
A small-batch coffee roastery, Zeke’s specializes in organic, fair-trade, sustainable Arabica beans. The location downtown is small but comfortable, one of the most laid-back and quiet coffee shops in DC—or at least Downtown DC. Fuel up with an Ovaltine Mocha, then snag one of the barstools to do your work. If you’re the type who likes to zone out on your laptop with your headphones on, Zeke’s is a good spot to do so. When the weather is nice, take a seat at the outdoor picnic tables and order something cold and refreshing.
This relaxed coffeehouse brings together a bunch of different elements: bar, coffee shop, lounge, and restaurant. As The Washington Post once said, Tryst “has served as office and living room for D.C. freelancers and students,” and is without a doubt one of the best coffee shops to work in DC. With breakfast and brunch options, and beer, wine, and cocktails in the evening, this hip venue is one of the city’s institutions. If you’re looking for a lively space with big chairs and comfy sofas, Tryst reigns supreme in its popularity.
Emissary is a cozy independent coffee house located in the historic Dupont Circle area. It offers a vegetarian and vegan-friendly menu, along with a selection of cheeses and charcuterie. One of the quiet coffee shops in DC, Emissary works to foster a little bit of the fika vibe, which is the “Swedish notion taking a moment to have coffee, slow down, and contemplate on your own or to gather with friends, and savor the moment.” It’s also known for making seasonal house-made syrup and fantastic avocado toast. If you're looking for a place with a modern yet homey vibe, head to Emissary.
Sometimes, there’s just not enough time in the day to get through your deadlines and projects. If you’re interested in something more local than Starbucks or Dunkin’, but still itching for a 24-hour coffee shop, DC is home to Midnight Mug (which is open most days until 2 am). Located in Georgetown University's Lauinger Library, you’ll find students, studiers, and workers aplenty in this space. Grab some monkey bread and a chai latte, and settle into the productive energy of the library.
If it’s globally inspired pastries you’re searching for and a big, long table to spread out over, Souk is one of the best coffee shops to work in DC. It’s partnered with local roasters, Vigilante Coffee Company, to create your cappuccino, your latte, or other coffee drink. It also sells exotic spices and oils in its marketplace, so grab some of those before heading back home to cook up a feast (just don’t forget a fresh ginger scone for the road).
Located on the lower level of Politics and Prose Bookstore, The Den is a book lover's haven. Serving locally sourced dishes and specialty coffee, this is one of the most peaceful and quiet coffee shops in DC. Grab a morning pastry made fresh from Little Red Fox and a secret brew iced coffee, mixed with a whimsical lavender, rose, and mint syrup, then get to your emails. An ideal working environment for creative types, The Den offers a peaceful respite from busy city life. If you’re new to the area and looking to build community with fellow book-lovers, make sure to check out the classes, trips, and book groups offered by Politics and Prose. From memoir workshops to cultural trips to Barcelona, Spain, this store makes a splash in all things literary.
If romantic, floral-inspired lattes are your work-time jam, you must visit Ebenezer’s. With tons of indoor and outdoor seating, Ebenezer’s is a great place to set up shop while you twiddle away on your trusted laptop. Grab an iced honey lavender latte or a white mocha and a cookie from Bread and Chocolate, then let the creative juices flow.
This family-owned coffee house and bakery is located in Georgetown and serves up espresso drinks and big cupcakes. It’s an authentic spot with downright delightful pastries and beverages. Each cup is hand-crafted by professional baristas for the ultimate caffeine elixir to enjoy while you work. Throughout the week, the team rotates through a selection of espressos: Intelligentsia, Mountain Air, Café Integral, Barismo, and Elixir. Come here for the artsy atmosphere and stay for the comfy couches, where you can sit back and do your work in complete peace.
We hope this list has you excited to try out some of the best coffee shops to work in DC.
From espresso drinks like floral lattes to dark roasts, from cozy private tables to big communal ones, there’s sure to be something you enjoy. Whether you’re looking for someplace that’s calming, exciting, or something in between, rest assured that DC has you covered. Not familiar with the area? See our guide to the safest neighborhoods in DC .
But first, you need to figure out where you’re staying. If you’re traveling to DC on a visit of thirty days or longer and looking for a place to stay, make sure to check out Zeus Living and our DC listings. Zeus designs beautiful, smartly furnished homes and apartments for travelers of all kinds, from business people, to relocating families, to adventurers looking to explore a new city. From browsing to booking and checking in, Zeus has redefined long-term travel into a hassle-free journey—instead of a chore you’ve been avoiding. Check out zeusliving.com to find the studio, apartment, or home that suits your lifestyle, then let Zeus take care of the rest.