By Mary Godier
Having a flexible or remote work situation is kind of the dream for most folks these days, right? Being able to pick and choose where (and sometimes when) you work; leaving time for lunch with friends, mid-day manicures or even extending that weekend getaway an extra day (or three).
But, having this kind of schedule can also leave you in a bit of a rut. Working in your PJ's, on your couch, with no human contact can be the perfect set up sometimes, but I've found over the last couple of years, that even just being around other people, whether interacting or not, can help to keep you connected and even more focused. Luckily for all those in the DMV, there have been a surge in coffee shop and cafe openings in the past few years that offer a plethora of options for remote working, without being so remote. Being a member of this crowd of professionals without an office to call their own, I pulled together a guide of the best coffee shops and cafes to work out of, if you find yourself couch-bound a bit too often.
Slipstream (14th St)
What to say about this gem. Slipstream is conveniently located on 14th St, right near the P Street intersection. This light-filled, open cafe is perfect for working through your to-do list. The front space has an entire wall of windows, letting in all the natural light, and the back space, while not adorned with windows, has a lovely skylight, leaving he space as serene as can be. Slipstream also offers a variety of delicious beverages (pro tip: try the carrot ginger tea- it's amazing, as is their Nitro Cold Brew), and the piece de resistance- the selection of their toasts. Trendy as it is, I cannot get enough of the avocado toast, served on an amazingly thick piece of bread with a goat cheese mousse. Yeah, you read that right. If you're in the neighborhood, with some projects to power through, do yourself a favor and park it here for the day.
Peregrine Espresso (Eastern Market)
I'm particularly partial to this space, as it's pretty close to my apartment, so even on days where the couch is really calling my name, I can usually drag myself out of the house to get some work done surrounded by cheerful locals and the invigorating smell of espresso. This quaint little cafe is one of many sprinkled throughout the city (there's one of 14th street too) and the quality of their coffee is tough to beat. They have some really unique beans, sourced from farms that even I, as a bit of a coffee aficionado, haven't tried before. They have tables inside and a patio outside; the wifi even reaches outside so you can answer emails in the sunshine, weather permitting.
Grace Street Coffee (Georgetown)
Grace Street has to be the most happening street in Georgetown these days. First Chaia Tacos, then Dog Tag Bakery, and now the Grace Street Coffee shop (sharing space with South Block Cafe and Sundevich Sandwich shop). The space is gorgeous, minimalist, and light filled, making it a totally inspirational space for getting work done. The best thing about this place, aside from their awesome coffee and daily deliveries from pastry powerhouses like District Doughnut and Republic Kolache, is the fact that, due to their shared space, you can seriously sit here all day and never have to leave for lunch! Start your morning with a cuppa' joe (or their amazing matcha latte), have a delicious sandwich for lunch, a smoothie for a mid-day snack, and all the while, power through that to-do list!
Philz Coffee (Navy Yard / Adams Morgan)
I'm not generally a fan of chains or highly franchised coffee (except Dunkin Donuts, because as a Massachusetts native, anything other than deep loyalty to Dunk's is blasphemous). Despite that, I have to say, I was super impressed with Philz the first time I worked from their space in Navy Yard. In particular, their commitment to making each shop reflect the neighborhood. This location is spacious, with a variety of tables, chairs and eclectic velvet couches. The space fits in well with the Navy Yard vibe and doesn't feel at all like a formula-based chain, plus they features amazing local artists on their walls, on a rotating basis. Philz also has an awesome location up in Adams Morgan that achieves the same goal of existing seamlessly in a very eclectic neighborhood. If you're neighborhood-centric yourself, and a fan of unique coffee (try their famous mint iced coffee) definitely give Philz a chance!
Chinatown Coffee Co. (Chinatown)
If you're anywhere in the Chinatown / Metro, and your the type who needs some serious calm and quiet to get their work done, I could not recommend Chinatown Coffee Co. more. The space is rather small, and though it can sometimes be tricky to get a table, it stays pretty quiet throughout the day. Not only is the atmosphere super conducive to working, the matcha latte cannot be beat. Creamy, flavorful with an energy kick a bit more mellow than coffee- it's a perfect situation for that afternoon work session when you want to avoid any coffee jitters. Not to mention, they carry District Doughnuts and a selection of treats from Broodjes and Bier, to keep you fueled for breakfast and lunch!
Photos by MG (Unless otherwise noted!)