The following post is part of the “‘I Can’t Stop Drinking the Coffee’: Exploring DC’s Coffee Scene” series.
I popped into The Wydown one summer morning after spending a few hours at Slipstream. The weather wasn’t insufferably hot yet and, even though I had forgotten my sunglasses (a travesty!), I decided the walk from Logan Circle to U Street would be a nice addition to the day and also (hopefully) prepare me for my third round of coffee.
Upon spying the open garage door entrance, I was immediately a fan. I love these kinds of open spaces, which is probably why I’m such a fan of Qualia. For The Wydown, the open door helps brighten up the space, while also making it feel immeasurably larger. The space inside is a bit small–only a few communal tables and a couple of booths. The open door helps open up the space, while also making it more inviting. Not sure what the place is like in the winter, though–guess I’ll have to pop back by in a few months to see.
The barista behind the bar was immediately friendly and let me use my debit card, even though I didn’t meet the price point with my latte purchase. Win! We then shared a casual conversation on how the problem is not so much taking out cash (so then you have some for such occasions), but more so keeping the cash long enough to help you when faced with such situations.
Um, wow. The mind is incredible. I did not realize I had that memory until I started typing this post.
The place is very relaxed and trendy, without shoving their “cool” factor in your face. I love their mix of light wood and white furniture against the black walls and chalkboard like signs. To me, this combination is very fresh and inviting. Plus, their coffee stained art, while being très chic, adds a simple, original addition to the place. Plenty of people stopped in while I drank my latte and wrote, and many of them were clearly friends or regular customers. The barista making the drinks seemed to be somewhat of a celebrity, as several people spoke to him–and I mean actual conversations, not just “oh, the coffee looks great, thank you kind sir.” (Umhmm, me).
Lastly, I’ll add that a man that looked EXACTLY like Milo Ventimiglia drifted in at one point and I definitely stared at him for five minutes until I determined that it was, in fact, NOT Milo V and instead a stranger. He chatted with the popular barista for a bit before spending five minutes putting cream and sugar in his coffee. Okay, maybe my people watching has gotten a little out of control…
What I ordered: I ordered a latte, obvi.
Latte grade: The latte helped me understand why the barista is some kind of coffee celebrity–it was delicious and beautifully presented. The latte was hot upon arrival, which was a nice change from the sort-of-warm latte at Slipstream. The flavor was delectable, with the strong espresso flavor dominating the milk. Perfect combo, in my book! As an added bonus, the delicate heart design in the froth remained as I drank the latte, still present even halfway through! I was extremely impressed. Overall grade: A+
What I’ll get next time: I’ll probably try another coffee beverage, like a cappuccino or mocha, as the coffee flavor was so great. Maybe just even a regular coffee! I’m definitely interested in trying their flavored scones, and kind of wish I had sprung for one on my first visit. Oh well, next time!
Best time of day to go: I popped in around mid-morning and the tiny place was packed. Many people drifted in and out pretty quickly, but there definitely wasn’t a lull moment. Luckily, I missed the morning rush, which made the place a bit more relaxed while I was there. I’d say mid to late morning or early to mid-afternoon in order to miss the crowds.
The ambiance: As stated above, the place has a refreshing, trendy allure. The blend of light and dark makes The Wydown feel homey and comfortable. The friendly baristas and regular customers makes this place seem relaxed and welcoming, even for a first-time customer. The only downside is the close quarters–when a few others joined my communal table, I quickly left soon after because the accidental elbow-brushing and unintentionally overheard conversations made the spot a little uncomfortable.
Good for: As stated above, most people drifted in and out, only sitting for 15 or 20 minutes. There were only a couple more people working on their laptops, like me. The place definitely seems laptop friendly, but since it’s so small and popular, I can see the appeal of stopping by for just a few moments instead of camping out. I don’t think I would have stayed if the place had been any busier. I know some people don’t mind taking up space with their laptop when a place is packed, but it makes me feel incredibly uncomfortable. I’d recommend this place for a spot to grab coffee to go or catch up with a friend.
Will you need a jacket? Not in the summer when it was blazing hot. Probably now as it starts to cool…not ready to accept that Fall is almost here.
Other things to know: They had coffee, coffee makers, and other paraphernalia for sale. Nice touch! Also, no wifi.
What I did: I wrote for a little bit. The no wifi thing can be a huge bummer, but also helped me stay focused on what I actually needed to do…who woulda thunk!
I apologize for the pictures in this post, which don’t really portray the beautifulness of the coffee shop itself.