City Paper is not for tourists
Roasted is a recurring column exploring D.C.’s coffee scene from the perspective of journalist and coffee shop connoisseur Christina Sturdivant Sani. Read on for insight into cafe culture—the ambiance, vibe, and perks—as opposed to nerdy coffee talk about gadgets and magic beans.
H Street NE’s The Wydown
Where: 600-B H St. NE; (202) 846-7986; thewydown.com
Time of visit:10:30 a.m. on a Tuesday
What I’m drinking:An oat milk vanilla latte, with added raw Stevia.
Ambiance: Designed by Lauren Winter and Brian Miller of Edit Lab at Streetsense—the duo behind thoughtfully curated hotspots like The Dabney, Tiger Fork, and Daikaya—the Wydown on H Street NE has a modern aesthetic with fancier finishes than most neighborhood coffee shops. Marble countertops with high top seating line a wall with floor-to-ceiling windows. The coffee bar wraps around half of the space providing views of baristas crafting lattes on state-of-the-art espresso machines.
My favorite place to work is the communal booth that’s so cozy that I never mind sharing the space with strangers. Perhaps the best part of the small shop is that it’s connected to the Apollo residential building. That means customers can choose to lounge on three tiers of lobby space with some of the best study nooks in town. Full of natural light and plant life, the space makes me feel at home—if only my apartment was this effortlessly chic.
Vibe: There’s usually soft background music which creates a relaxing mood for a number of activities. I’ve used the space to work solo and with colleagues and for meeting up with friends for coffee and conversation. Many people also use it as a study hideout.
Wired:The shop doesn’t offer WiFi, but guests can get wired through the Apollo’s wireless network.
Perks: Wydown has one of my favorite breakfast sandwiches—a delicate biscuit stuffed with a scrambled eggs and fresh herbs slathered with aioli. They also serve wine and cocktails for the afternoon and evening crowd. An outdoor patio offers a few seats for people watching and catching the breeze.