In general, cyclists are quite fond of a nice cup of coffee before a bike ride. (Okay, they also like them during and after a ride and at all times of the day.) It could be in the form of an actual drip coffee, or perhaps an espresso or one of its many variations. Maybe even an iced chai double mocha macchiato espresso tonic. They just have to have it, okay??? (Cue eye twitching, nervous itching, and jerky movements.)
In all seriousness though, if you're in the Washington, D.C. area and need a place to stop during your time on two wheels for a nice mid-ride jolt, we came up with a few ideas.
The Tout de Sweet Pastry Shop in Bethesda has a perfect assortment of food and beverages that cyclists crave during a ride: croissants, French macarons, and coffee drinks. There's not a lot of inside seating, but the shop has a few tables and chairs on the wide sidewalk for use. The shop is conveniently located about six blocks north of the entrance to the Capital Crescent Trail , which goes into Washington.
If you're riding the hills in Frederick County, Maryland (such as Sugarloaf Mountain), Frederick Coffee Company is a good stopping point. With a full menu of food consisting of egg sandwiches and wraps, oatmeal, pastries, and some yummy lunch options, you'll leave here fully fueled. The shop also serves hot coffee, along with plenty of cold drinks for those hot summer days.
With three locations in Washington, D.C., including one about 12 blocks north of the White House, Peregrine Espresso is a must stop if you find yourself pedaling through the nation's capital. The shop, with locations on 14th Street NW, in Eastern Market, and in Union Market, sports a robust menu of espresso drinks, and it co-specializes in pour over coffees that are brewed by the cup. And then there are some delicious treats to boot. After a coffee and a pastry here, ride south toward the National Mall and do some sightseeing on two wheels.
If you like cakecups (similar to cupcakes) and coffee, Baked & Wired is your place. Located on Thomas Jefferson Street SW in Georgetown, this local shop has a wide array of baked goods, trail mix, and, of course, all sorts of coffee brewed from beans produced by Stumptown, Intelligentsia, PT’s, and Elixr.
Most cyclists in the region are familiar with the W&OD Trail , which stretches 44.5 miles from Arlington, VA, just outside of the nation's capital, to Purcellville in Loudoun County, Virginia. At mile 20 in Herndon, Green Lizard Cycling makes for a perfect stop. The fully-equipped bike shop has the Green Lizard Coffee Bar, which serves all sorts of coffee and espresso drinks, smoothies, Italian soda, and pastries. What's more, the shop opens every day at 7 am—perfect for those early risers out on a ride.
If you're riding through Alexandra, Va. on the Mount Vernon Trail, be sure to check out Grape + Bean in Old Town. Located at 118 South Royal St. (just off King Street), this shop offers delicious cups of coffee using smaller, more independent producers. And as its name implies, the shop also serves wine and has some speciality foods.