Best Coffee Shops In Arlington

Review of local coffee shops

Midterms, deadlines and missing assignments are piling up around this time of year, and stressing over your grades can feel like a full-time job. However, a cozy corner in a local coffee shop may be calling your name as a helpful place to ease the stress, and perhaps be productive. The coffee scene in the Washington, D.C. area is always evolving, with new stores popping up routinely. With so many, however, it may be difficult for you to decide which best suits your needs. Over the past few months some of my friends and I visited some of these shops and compared them using three criteria: Ambiance, food and drinks. 


Three Whistles: 2719 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22201

Three Whistles is a coffee shop located in Clarendon, meaning an easy walking distance from the school. Inspired by original European coffeehouses, Three Whistles is a coffeehouse where people eat, drink and work. The interior is perfect for studying and being productive. The menu  consists of many food and drink options. Three Whistles has coffeehouse specialties such as fresh baked pastries, sandwiches, salads and soups, along with many coffee options, Including espresso and specialty drinks. These “specialty drinks” are really what separates Three Whistles from any random coffee shop. There are options such as Oat Vanilla Latte, Gelato Latte, Honey Lavender Latte and Matcha Latte, which are rare in this area! When I visited the shop, I ordered a chai latte along with a brownie and focused on some schoolwork. 

The coffee itself was, sadly, milky and bland. Going back a second time, the same fate still stood for my latte.  I could not taste the chai and the majority of the latte itself was foam. On the other hand, the brownie was astonishingly delicious and the flavors with the nuts inside really helped make up for the subpar latte. The vibe of the store led to great concentration; there was nothing too distracting that prevented me from doing my work. In total, the store is perfect for, perhaps, the tea drinkers of the school. 


Tatte Bakery & Café: 2805 Clarendon Blvd, Arlington, VA 22201

By now it is likely that you have seen the Instagram photos with the aesthetically pleasing white background and the mouthwatering croissants; they are  inescapable. Tatte Bakery & Café  is getting a lot of recognition recently, and not because of the hard to pronounce name. Instead, its new Clarendon location has been the talk of the town.

 My friends and I visited to honestly test the coffee, plus make use of the Insta-worthy lighting. I ordered my chai latte and added a croissant. The latte itself was incredible, and the price was affordable! The normal size lattes are $4.25 and the large are $5.00,  With the 25 cent difference between small and large, this definitely influenced my positive feelings for the shop. However, the store itself was packed, all of the tables were occupied and the general vibe of the store was busy, making it not the best study spot. Overall, a great place to hang out, eat and possibly take photos, but not a great place to study.


Toby’s: 5849 Washington Blvd, Arlington, VA

Last but not least, I visited Toby’s. A fan favorite, though not necessarily a coffee shop, it still contains the criteria for the perfect study spot. The family-run shop has been located in Westover for a long time, and is known for their ice cream. Due to this, I was hesitant to try their home blend coffee, but once I did I knew that it would soon become a staple in my study routine. With chain coffee stores like Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts dominating the market, it is really important that we as consumers also pay attention to smaller businesses. These huge businesses like Starbucks are everywhere, so it can seem unavoidable. However, there are great mom and pop shops scattered all across Arlington. Smaller shops almost alway have a more intimate feel, and in my experience, that means better. A great example of a small business that has affordable prices and a sweet staff is Toby’s. I definitely recommend it!