Exploring the Best Coffee Shops in Arlington, Virginia: A Caffeine Lover’s Guide

September 28, 2023 | Lifestyle & Community | By: The Goodhart Group

Whether you’re in need of a cozy spot to work, catch up with friends, or simply indulge in a delicious cup of joe, we’ve got you covered with Arlington’s best coffee shops. 

Compass Coffee:

Of course, we have to start the list with Compass Coffee (not to be confused with Compass real estate, but our namesake)! Located in Arlington’s bustling Ballston neighborhood, Compass Coffee is a local favorite that has gained a reputation for its exceptional coffee and welcoming atmosphere. The cozy seating and friendly staff make it a great spot to relax, catch up on work, or simply enjoy a moment of tranquility amidst the bustling neighborhood. Don’t forget to try their signature Nitro Cold Brew, a smooth and velvety delight that will leave you refreshed and energized. Compass Coffee is a must-visit destination for coffee enthusiasts in the Ballston area. 


Slipstream opened their first Virginia location in Ballston earlier this year. They have three other locations, all in DC. Slipstream specializes in coffee, loose-leaf teas, breakfast sandwiches, and toasts.  

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Northside Social:

Located in the heart of Arlington on Wilson Blvd, Northside Social is a favorite local haunt that effortlessly blends a friendly neighborhood vibe with exceptional coffee. This cozy spot offers an extensive menu of handcrafted brews, including their signature espresso-based drinks. Pair your coffee with one of their freshly baked pastries or a delectable sandwich for the perfect morning or midday treat. With ample indoor and outdoor seating and free Wi-Fi, Northside Social is an ideal spot to work or catch up with friends.

East West Coffee and Wine:

East West Coffee and Wine is a hidden gem tucked away in Arlington’s Clarendon neighborhood. This unique establishment not only serves exceptional coffee but also offers an impressive selection of wines and craft beers. Known for their meticulously brewed pour-over coffee, East West is a haven for coffee purists. The minimalist decor and relaxed atmosphere make it an ideal spot for a quiet afternoon of reading or enjoying a leisurely conversation.

Commonwealth Joe Coffee Roasters:

For those who appreciate the art of coffee roasting, Commonwealth Joe Coffee Roasters is a must-visit. Located in Arlington’s Pentagon City, this specialty coffee shop takes pride in sourcing and roasting their own beans to create the perfect cup of coffee. Whether you prefer a classic espresso or an adventurous nitro cold brew, Commonwealth Joe offers a wide range of options to satisfy all taste preferences. Don’t forget to grab a bag of their freshly roasted beans to enjoy at home!

Peets Coffee:

Peets Coffee in Shirlington is a good place to pick up a coffee on the go or sit outside. They only have a few tables inside. At Peets “it pays to be disloyal,” you can use your loyalty card from other coffee shops to get a free coffee at Peets!

Detour Coffee Co:

Nestled in Arlington’s Rosslyn neighborhood, Detour Coffee Co is a haven for coffee aficionados seeking a unique and memorable experience. With a focus on sustainability, this charming coffee shop sources their beans from small-scale farmers who prioritize ethical practices. From their meticulously crafted espresso drinks to their specialty pour-overs, every cup at Detour Coffee Co is a testament to their commitment to quality. Be sure to try their seasonal offerings, as they often feature exciting and innovative flavors.

Love coffee? We’ve got more DC-area guides for caffeine lovers.

Simona Cafe:

Formerly Sweet Science Coffee, Simona Cafe, located near Courthouse is a cozy and inviting coffee shop. Simona Cafe prides itself on serving high-quality coffee made from beans sourced from around the world. From their expertly brewed lattes to their rich and smooth cappuccinos, Simona Cafe is a delight for coffee connoisseurs. Don’t forget to try their freshly baked pastries and sandwiches, perfect for a quick bite or a leisurely meal.

Tatte Bakery and Cafe:

Though Tatte is a chain, this cafe in the heart of Clarendon shouldn’t be missed! Known for their Israeli food and artisanal pastries, this cozy cafe also offers a delightful array of coffee options to complement their delectable treats. The inviting atmosphere and beautiful interior design make it an ideal spot to relax, catch up with friends, or simply indulge in a moment of serenity.

For Five Coffee

Located next to Courthouse Plaza, this cafe houses the classic For Five specialty drink menu, fresh pastries, and their infamous For Five stuffed cookies. After achieving success in the “Big Apple”, For Five Executive Chef Scheyla Acosta’s food program has also found its newest home in Arlington, featuring gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan options throughout the breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus. Stop by to grab a coffee or a bite to eat and stay to catch up with friends or do some work at one of their comfortable tables.

Illy Cafe:

Illy Cafe brings authentic Italian coffee to the bustling neighborhood of Crystal City. Known worldwide for its premium coffee, Illy Cafe offers a unique experience for coffee enthusiasts. Pair your coffee with one of their freshly baked pastries or indulge in a delicious panini for a complete Italian experience. 

Rarebird Coffee Roasters:

While technically in Falls Church, you’ll find this cute coffee shop on the border of Arlington in the East Falls Church neighborhood. This small specialty coffee roaster and bakery offers a comfortable place to taste high-quality coffee and food with friends. Their cookies are to die for! 

The Bottom Line

Arlington, Virginia, is home to a diverse and thriving coffee scene that caters to all coffee and tea lovers. Whether you’re a connoisseur in search of the perfect pour-over or simply looking for a cozy spot to relax, the best coffee shops in Arlington have something for everyone, so grab your favorite book or a friend and embark on a caffeinated adventure through Arlington’s finest coffee shops! 

Did we miss anything? Let us know what your favorite coffee shop in Arlington is!

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