Can't-Miss Coffee in Dupont Circle


Up a long escalator that seems to ascend into the heavens, through a circle, around a corner, and down a few stairs, you will find Filter. It sounds difficult, but don’t fret — it’s easy. One must simply be careful not to miss this place, located under your feet, literally; it’s tucked away below the sidewalk, like a cool underground coffee lair.

With a local roaster in Annapolis, Md., their extensive menu includes special reserve coffees and selections from all over the world. French presses in the morning, hand-poured coffees during the day, and excellent espresso drinks make this a nice place to linger. The staff is extra friendly, which enhances the experience.

I like to sit outside with a few friends (weather permitting) and admire the narrow, 19th-century row houses, lined with beautiful spring foliage of cherry blossoms and dogwoods. Dupont has been, historically, one of the great residential neighborhoods of D.C., and a desirable place to live since the late 1800s.  Its’ name is literally derived from a traffic circle in which the neighborhood expands from.  In the 1970s, after a brief decline, the area took on a Bohemian feel, becoming home to many of D.C.’s gay population. Today, the neighborhood still retains a bit of that Bohemian charm, especially when one ventures off the beaten path. A few blocks over, Connecticut Avenue is bustling with restaurants, book stores, bars, and ice cream shops, though I prefer the quiet residential streets — with their historic air, they can transport one to another time.

I drank a Panama single origin, my friends an El Salvador and a cappuccino. All were delicious. Filter will remain a D.C. favorite of mine: a great neighborhood, a lovely space, an unpretentious vibe, and fantastic coffee.