National monuments, prestigious internships and electric nightlife drive University of Maryland students toward the nation’s capital, located just miles from campus. But many commuters have found another form of attraction in Washington, D.C.’s history-laden streets — a diverse and unique coffee culture. 

Whether you’re rushing to Capitol Hill or gearing up for your next concert at The Anthem, there’s a coffee spot in the city for you. Here are some of the best. 

Georgetown: YELLOW

Amid Wisconsin Avenue’s mix of overpriced boutiques and antique stores lies one of Washington, D.C.’s most creative coffee ventures. 

The cafe’s dark facade gives way to a cheerful, inviting interior of mellow yellows and blues hues. Be mindful of your timing though — weekends can see lines out the door.

YELLOW’s Middle Eastern flavor palette, which includes delights like coconut cardamom and baklava mocha, is enhanced by its affordable food offerings. The $3 wood-fired pita, a flavorful blend of spices and airy dough, is a steal.

Next time you’re in Georgetown’s retail landscape, be sure to grab a habibi or two for a drink and bite at one of the neighborhood’s best coffee spots. 

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Foggy Bottom: Tatte

Since making the jump from Boston to Washington, D.C., the cafe has taken the capital by storm. Although there are 10 Tatte’s across the district, for me, Foggy Bottom’s location takes the cake — or in their case, croissant. 

Situated within George Washington University’s campus, the Foggy Bottom Tatte retains the brand’s identifiable white tiling and inviting atmosphere. For my money, they have the best mocha in the northwest quadrant of Washington, D.C. — but you’ll have to find out for yourself. 

Southwest Waterfront: Colada Shop

Maryland students seem to find themselves near The Wharf for a number of reasons. Whatever that may be, a visit to The Wharf isn’t complete without a pitstop at Colada Shop, the Cuban coffee eatery that’s seen business boom since opening in 2016.

For students new to the district’s artisanal coffee scene, Colada Shop offers an easy gateway into the world of Cuban brews. The café au lait presents a unique take on its signature Havana blend, while the coco matcha adds a delicious twist to a familiar favorite. 

Beyond their caffeinated creations, the Colada Shop boasts an impressive array of Cuban staples and specialized cocktails. If you, for whatever reason, have ever wanted to pair a bagged pina colada with a classic cortado, the Colada Shop is the place for you.

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Dupont Circle: Dolcezza Gelato & Coffee

Good coffee is a treat in and of itself. Add the allure of gelato to that, and you’ve got yourself a truly enticing caffeinated offering. 

The store proudly spotlights the local farmers and artisans that contribute to its menu, which sets it apart from its competitors with a unique farm to table freshness. Its commitment to supporting local businesses brought me in the door and has kept me there ever since. 

Despite having six locations around the Washington, D.C. area, Dolcezza Gelato & Coffee has retained its indie feel. Guatemalan beans are mixed with careful craftsmanship to produce the perfect pulls. Pair a spot-on affogato with rich chocolate gelato and a perfect treat is complete.