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Great Coffee Shop Hunt: Northside Social and King Street Coffee

November 9, 2011

It’s a Northern Virginia two for one this week in the Great Coffee Shop Hunt.

Why?

Well, Northside Social was the original destination of choice this week. I’d heard nothing but good things from both locals and visitors, and this popular Clarendon coffee shop appeared on ‘best of’ lists everywhere from Washingtonian to the Washington Post to Washington City Paper.

So what did I order at this much-raved about coffeehouse?

Grilled cheese and salad. Not a steaming latte or spicy chai in sight.

During the day, Northside Social is your typical, relaxed coffee shop but at night, the upstairs wine bar opens up and suddenly the place gets a little more lively. As I sat outside waiting for friends, rap music blared from the speakers — not your typical coffee shop tunes.

I’ll definitely be back at Northside Social for the full coffee experience — and soft serve ice cream, which was sadly out-of-stock when I visited — but since it didn’t quite fulfill the goals of the Great Coffee Shop Hunt, I have another NoVa coffeehouse to share today and it’s one of the cutest I’ve ever seen.

Meet King Street Coffee.

Don’t you just want to move right in?! The only coffee shop in historic Leesburg, tucked among antique shops and Olde English pubs, King Street Coffee is aww-inspiring from the perfectly placed rocking chairs on the porch to the comfortable decor inside. It’s the kind of place where everybody really does know your name… especially since your ‘frequent visitor’ punch card is stored in an antique card catalog by the register.

The coffee menu is pretty standard and nothing fancy — your usual mix of drip coffee, lattes and tea — but a huge selection of pastries was enticing and the aroma of fresh-baked cookies was overwhelming.

I stuck with something simple and ordered a latte. A little too foamy but otherwise great — and a fantastic toppings bar included several spices and multiple types of sugar, including my go-to simple syrup. (No Splenda or faux sugars, please.)

There may be a lot wrong with Northern Virginia, like roads that seemingly go in circles with poor signage, but I can’t fault them for their coffee. One week, two coffee shops, two successes.

Don’t forget to enter my popchips giveaway!

Wednesday can feel like the longest day of the week. What’s your favorite thing about Wednesdays?

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