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Caffeine Corner

By Kimberly Cataudella | 12/15/16 8:50pm | Updated 12/15/16 8:50pm

Open City & Dog Tag Bakery.

Xiaoqin Gui / American Word Magazine

Forget the Lincoln Memorial and the National Zoo; I’m using my Metro pass to find D.C.’s most robust coffee shops. I’m looking for the ones with clean, white walls and delicately-lettered menus, the ones with graffitied windows and colorfully chalk-drawn specials, and the ones with damn good coffee.

First stop, Open City at the National Cathedral. The only thing that can improve the view from an old, brick gazebo in the cathedral’s outdoor garden is a full plate of powdered-sugar waffle bites and lavender hot chocolate. Yes, the gorgeous cathedral located on Wisconsin Avenue houses a coffee shop, and yes, it serves freakin’. waffle. bites. Warm up with a pacific vanilla chai latte after the brisk walk from Mass. Ave. to the cafe, and drink it with Open City’s savory, seasonal quiche off their brunch menu. Brunch-lovers, waffle-lovers and amazing-view-lovers are more than welcome at Open City. In fact, they are a blessing.

Next stop, Peet’s Coffee and Tea. This cafe on Pennsylvania Avenue sells coffee by the bag and espresso chocolate by the bar, and you can feel good vibes the moment you step through the door. Resembling a hipster coffee shop in Brooklyn, the black, wire-framed stools and bright white tables offer the perfect study spot for finals. Order a dark chocolate pumpkin mocha or a pumpkin latte to really get you in the autumn mood. But before you leave (like you’ll ever want to), remember to grab a bag of Peet’s espresso beans for Mom, because nothing says “Thanks for paying my tuition!” like a bag of caffeine.

Up next, Dog Tag Bakery. At first glance, I thought that this tucked-in Georgetown cafe would be a pit-stop for coffee and crumb cake lovers as well as man’s best friends. I quickly learned, though, that this red, white and blue rest stop is actually named “Dog Tag Bakery” for their contribution to our own veterans post-duty, providing them with work-study and jobs. Their motto, “#BakingADifference,” can be seen in beautiful, white chalk handwriting on their jumbo blackboard underneath their mission statement: “Making it deliciously simple for you to empower the lives of our veterans and military families.” The next time you’re in Georgetown, walk just a few steps up from the waterfront and grab a vanilla pudding rice cup and an Americano, or maybe a key lime mousse and cappuccino, before parking it on a bench outside. If you’d like to sit and study within the crisp, white-walled cafe, order a slice of their salted caramel cheesecake, or maybe a red velvet sliver. Don’t forget the travel mug for Dad and a couple treats for Fluffy (so yes, they bake dog treats!).