I came up with this project last night. Working from coffee shops. I know, I know, nothing new, but I do it fairly often, typically go to the same spot or two, realize there are many more spots out there, and have an opinion to share anytime I go somewhere. And you want to hear it, right?

The plan is to visit many/all of the coffee shops in the DC area that one can work in. I will not be visiting Panera, Starbucks, or Caribou as they’re all more or less the same low quality; it’s not worth my time and doesn’t make for great reading. I’ll order the same thing if possible: a breakfast sandwich, a cappuccino, and finish off with lunch. The planned “menu” is deliberate; I want to be able to review their food (assuming they serve some), and cappuccino is “my fave” and varies less than a drip coffee (still bean dependent, but varies less).

In addition to noting what goes into my mouth, I’ll give a rundown of vehicular parking (two and four-wheeled), seating, music, hours, clientele, workability, bathrooms, and anything else noteworthy.

I will attempt to ride my bicycle whenever possible so as to make this a green project. I greatly devalue/dismiss shops that aren’t easily accessible by two wheels. Not that they aren’t any good, but I don’t want to make the effort to get to them (isn’t it funny that I consider driving more effort than riding a bike? Hah.)

I will attempt to work at least six hours.

I will do this once a week. I had originally planned on simply doing a full week of coffee shop work, which evolved into this… Easier on me and likely more useful to the world (assuming anyone other than the usual few reads this). Between weather, meetings, and general life demands, finding a full week that I could devote to this would have been really difficult. Finding one day per week? Cake.

I’ve pseudo-started the project today with a visit to my go-to, Northside Social in Arlington. According to Yelp, this is my 60th visit. Prior to Yelp’s new method of ranking (they now weigh your visits as they age), I was the Duke. I’m now the 4th regular after a long stint of not visiting. Regardless, I’m a pretty big deal.

I did order the appropriate items (bacon and egg sandwich, and a cappuccino), but I’m not going to do a proper review today as this day instead serves to formulate this project plan and it wouldn’t be too fair to review my go-to without first seeing everything else this area has to offer. Oh, and I also drove my car due to forecasted afternoon thunderstorms. Of note, didn’t have to pay for parking, though, due to some gem of a person mixing up her schedule and giving me her unused 4hr parking ticket, but I digress… This wouldn’t be a proper review experience so it won’t be one.

Below is a list of major areas in… the area and the shops I plan to visit. If you know of any I’m missing or if I listed anything erroneously (i.e. you can’t actually work from a place), please do tell; this list was made from Yelp browsing, Googling, and my own head.


  • Baked & Wired
  • Big Bear Cafe
  • Blind Dog Cafe
  • Bourbon CoffeeWorked from on October 23, 2012, B+
  • Chinatown Coffee Co.
  • Columbia Heights Coffee
  • Cup’a Cup’a
  • Ebenezer’s Coffeehouse
  • Filter Coffehouse and Espresso Bar
  • Flying Fish Coffee & Tea
  • Jacob’s Coffee House
  • Java Green
  • M.E. Swing Co.
  • Peregrine Espresso
  • Pound The Hill
  • Qualia Coffee
  • Saxbys Coffee
  • Sidamo Coffee & Tea
  • Sova
  • Tryst Coffeehouse
  • U Street Cafe

MD – Couldn’t find anything. I’m pretty much limiting this to the western red line area as the rest of Maryland is terrible. Regardless, I couldn’t find squat.


  • BeanGood (Courthouse)
  • Boccato Espresso and Gelato (Clarendon)
  • Buzz Bakery (Ballston)
  • Grape & Bean (Alexandria)
  • Java Shack (Courthouse) – Worked from on November 8, 2012, B+
  • Misha’s Coffeehouse (Alexandria)
  • Natalia’s Elegant Creations (Falls Church)
  • Northside Social (Clarendon)
  • Rappahannock Coffee (Arlington)
  • St. Elmo’s Coffee Pub (Del Ray)

Burbs and Beyond

  • Cafe Nemooneh (Vienna)
  • Caffee Amouri (Vienna)
  • King Street Coffee (Leesburg)
  • KSB Cafe of New York (Herndon – FOX MILL!!!)
  • Market Street Coffee (Purcellville)
  • Plush Gelato and Coffee (Vienna)
  • Shoes Cup & Cork Club (Leesburg)

36 spots. I would have been doing myself a great disservice had I instead gone ahead with the one-week project. That’s a neat project idea in itself, but people do it all the time and it was simply not for me. 36 spots = 9+ months. I hope to finish by the end of 2013.