We Love Drinks: Mid City Caffe

Mocha, Mid City Caffe

"Mocha, Mid City Caffe" by Jenn Larsen, on Flickr

Within an hour of finishing a mocha at Mid City Caffe, I’d sped through the end of a dense Turkish mystery, sent some twenty frantic texts, moved mountains, healed the sick, and dropped way too much decor dough at Miss Pixie’s downstairs, lifting a huge wool rug effortlessly above my head the several blocks home. I did almost everything after that divine cup of chocolate and coffee except leap tall buildings in a single bound. And was already dreaming of my return to try a morning cappuccino or drift away a whole afternoon with a french press. Now that’s prime bean.

Mid City may be a small bare bones cafe, but it’s already popular with the Logan Circle crowd salivating over the prospects of a regular coffee stop. This is an area long bemoaning the death of Sparky’s, 14U, Mocha Hut – we want a basic place to lounge with high-quality java that isn’t Starbucks or Caribou, simple as that. I’d argue the ‘hood needs more cafe-type joints – sure I’m super excited about restaurants like Masa 14 opening but really, we’re an underserved area for just plain – basic - good. 

Up the stairs you’ll find a cafe divided into two small rooms – one with the friendly bar serving espresso drinks and french press coffee, pastries and a few goodies like cinnamon raisin brioche toast with a choice of spreads (like nutella… drooool). This first room has tables and some cushioned spots, best for meeting folks and hanging out with the free wi-fi. The second room is tiny, lined with mirrors, counters and a wide window overlooking the Mission. The tight quarters might put some people off, but I actually liked the intimacy and the counterstools, perfect for a half-hour’s read. This room also has a wall of newspapers for sharing which is a nice touch. Music was playing at a just the right volume, and there was a decent level of chatter but nothing too strident. It’s not really grungy, or swanky, or indie – nothing too scene-defined, which is a relief. It just is – a great little spot to sit with your coffee.

Within days of my mocha fix, I was shaking with anticipation for my next visit. They serve Counter Culture, and sustainable coffee sure tastes damn good – not bitter, not burnt, just right. Testimony to the barista’s skill as well. My new third place.

1626 14th Street NW
Washington, DC 20009
202.234.1515

As one of the founding editors of We Love DC, Jenn’s passions are theater and cocktails. After two decades in the city, she’s loved every quirky, mundane, elegant, rude minute of her DC life. A proud advocate for DC’s talented drinks scene, she’s judged the Corcoran Gallery of Art’s ARTINI contest, the DC Rickey Month contest, the Jefferson Hotel’s Quill Cocktail competition, and is a founding member of LUPEC DC. A graduate of Catholic University’s drama program, she toured the country as a member of National Players, and has been both an actor and a costume designer before jumping the aisle to theater criticism. Send your suggestions to jenn (at) welovedc (dot) com and follow her on Twitter.

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2 thoughts on “We Love Drinks: Mid City Caffe

  1. I completely agree. I love this place. Such a great spot to work or read. Their iced coffee is delicious too. They use the “pour over” method, which results in a tiny bit of crema at the top of your drink. Add some milk, and you’ll be in heaven. :)