Yola: Yogurt Parfait Bar Opens

Photo courtesy of
‘Chalkboard detail, Yola’
courtesy of ‘Jenn Larsen’

We all know about the proliferation of frozen yogurt spots in DC over the past few years, and frankly I’ve gotten bored with them – especially now in the winter when my chattering teeth can’t take it. So I was intrigued when invited to a media preview of a new yogurt place that serves up it fresh instead.

Yola is a “fresh yogurt parfait bar” in Dupont Circle started up by Laura Smith, Owner and Food Director, and her father David Smith, as a way of highlighting the fresh yogurt and smoothie bars Laura had enjoyed in Europe. Though at first glance it looks like any frozen yogurt bar, with the usual bins of fresh fruit and crunchy toppings, the yogurt selections are all made fresh by two local family farms – Blue Ridge Dairy in Leesburg, VA and Trickling Springs Creamery in Chambersburg, PA. Blue Ridge supplies Yola with both thick Greek-style yogurt and regular low-fat yogurts like honey and vanilla, while Trickling Springs goes for flavors such as maple or the old-reliable chocolate.

I felt instantly Yola was going to become a favorite breakfast haunt of mine. It just has a cute, friendly vibe.

Photo courtesy of
‘Yola’s owner Laura Smith’
courtesy of ‘Jenn Larsen’

I tried samples of most of the yogurts and was instantly hooked – the maple and the Greek-style were especially delicious, with just the right amount of tang in the one and sweet in the other. You can have the yogurt parfait style with such toppings as agave nectar or coconut shavings, or have them whip up a traditional or super food smoothie. Now that I work in Dupont Circle this is bound to be my go-to breakfast spot as they also serve up Counter Culture coffee, which I absolutely love.

Photo courtesy of
‘Coffee at Yola’
courtesy of ‘Jenn Larsen’

Coffee Director Laura Westman even makes her own pumpkin spice syrup from fresh pumpkins (for those of you who can’t face winter without a pumpkin spice latte!). I was pleased with a simple cappuccino which gave me that almost instant high I always get from Counter Culture. In addition to yogurts and coffee, there are some truly decadent desserts, sandwiches and other healthy drinks like Kombucha tea and coconut water.

Photo courtesy of
‘Desserts at Yola’
courtesy of ‘Jenn Larsen’

The interior is bright with natural light, exposed brick walls and vibrant orange accents. Yola also is committed to achieving status as a Certified Green Restaurant and you’ll note the really helpful (not to mention cute) sketches explaining where to toss your trash, including the compostable materials. It all gives off a very relaxed feel, andย I think I’ll be spending some more time here.

Yola is located at 1323 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Washington DC 20036. Closest Metro Stop: Dupont Circle (Red Line).

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. Writing for We Love DC restored her happiness after a life-threatening illness, and she’s grateful to you, dear readers. Send your suggestions to jenn (at) welovedc (dot) com and follow her on Twitter.

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