The Coffee Issue: Alexandria coffee shops

A roundup of Alexandria’s coffee shops from our January 2017 coffee issue.

Scenes from Swing’s: The back of the Del Ray shop is a warehouse with multiple roasters and piles of burlap bags filled with beans from all over the world; the front is an open, light-filled cafe; there is a room dedicated to cuppings, a multi-step sniffing and tasting of beans and coffee, offered free every Friday at 10 a.m. / Photo by Rey Lopez

By Stefanie Gans, Beth Kellmurray and Tonya Stewart

Here is where you can stay caffeinated in Alexandria:

Abyssinia Mart

A tiny shop with a large beer and wine selection, a sundry collection of food items like Bulgarian-style yogurt and cheese, jars of Middle Eastern vegetable spreads, injera and enough seating for eight, Abyssinia Mart is also a boon to Ethiopian coffee-lovers. Find green beans, roasted beans (Alexandria’s Arkibuna) and a full espresso bar using Yirgacheffe Ethiopia beans. –SG Wi-Fi: free; Beans: CoffeeAM (Canton, Georgia) // 720 Jefferson St., Alexandria; 703-566-5489

Bon Vivant Cafe + Farm Market

One of the first in the area to serve Paleo-approved bulletproof coffee (blended with butter), this cafe and minimarket also caters to the neighborhood with a dedicated kid-friendly space. –SG Wi-Fi: free; Beans: Swing’s Coffee Roasters (Alexandria), for sale // 2016 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria

Buzz Bakeshop

With a focus on baked goods like cupcakes, brownies and pies, plus something called a stinger (candied bacon wrapped around cheesy puff pastry), Buzz also is a spot for working with lots of outlets and, in the recently revamped Slaters Lane location, tiered table seating. –SG Wi-Fi: free; Beans: Ceremony Coffee Roasters (Annapolis, Maryland), for sale // 901 Slaters Lane, Alexandria

Junction Bakery & Bistro

With fresh bread and gorgeous pastries, not to mention thick slabs of slathered toast, Junction also pays attention to its high-end coffee program. The space is all about large windows, tiny tables and creamy nitro coffee on tap. –SG Wi-Fi: free; Beans: Commonwealth Joe Roasters (Culpeper) // 1508 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria

Killer ESP

The wall art alone is funky enough to lure you into this shop, which is equal parts espresso, sorbet and pie (hence the name). –SG Wi-Fi: free; Beans: Stumptown Coffee Roasters (Portland, Oregon) // 1012 King St., Alexandria

Grounded Coffee Shop

Wearing the ethos of a neighborhood coffee shop on its sleeve, Grounded is a spacious spot with plenty of seating, knowingly mismatched tableware and brightly colored walls covered in coffee-isms and tchotchkes. Customers wait in line for their morning brew, housemade pastries and the promise of banter with baristas. –BK Wi-Fi: free with purchase; Beans: Café Campesino (Americus, Georgia) // 6919 Telegraph Road, Alexandria

Misha’s Coffeehouse & Roaster

Celebrating 25 years in 2016, Misha’s is still a popular place for locals and tourists flocking to King Street. Patrons can sit at a communal table next to the roaster for a front-row view. Grab locally sourced baked goods, including Egyptian pastries and gluten-free snack bars. –TS Wi-Fi: free; Beans: roasts on-site, for sale // 102 S. Patrick St., Alexandria

St. Elmo’s Coffee Pub

Situated in the middle of Del Ray, St. Elmo’s has been a meeting spot for the yuppie neighborhood since 1997 and even includes spiked coffee drinks. Expect lots of moms with babies, dogs on leashes and boozy lattes. –SG Wi-Fi: free; Beans: Stumptown Coffee Roasters (Portland, Oregon), for sale // 2300 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria

Stomping Ground

More of a restaurant, with biscuit sandwiches and salads by day and modern-homey offerings on Thursday and Friday nights, Stomping Ground has the heart of coffee shop with long, shared tables and a focus on local coffee. –SG Wi-Fi: free; Beans: Swing’s Coffee Roasters (Alexandria), for sale // 2309 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria

Swing’s Coffee Roasters

A local roasting company since 1916, Swing’s opened this Del Ray cafe and roasting warehouse in 2013. The minimal, open space is a modern shop to the T with cold brew on tap, a room dubbed the Coffee Lab dedicated to cupping classes (free) and some of the most impeccably sourced beans around town. –SG Wi-Fi: free; Beans: roasts on-site, for sale // 501 E. Monroe Ave., Alexandria

coffee beans
Photo by Rey Lopez



Dolci Gelati

Emma’s Espresso and Wine Bar

Extra Perks Coffee Shop

Java Loco

Society Fair – Permanently Closed

(January 2017 Coffee)

Updated: November 19, 2019

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