Davenport Coffee Lounge

Rating: ★★★★☆

12674472_10153941576658011_1570032795_nDavenport Coffee Lounge is a student-run coffee shop located inside the School of International Service at American University. Known as “The Dav” by AU students, it largely caters to the student population but is open to anyone who wants to sample their innovative and extremely inexpensive coffee menu. The Dav is not for profit, so its coffees and teas are sold at cost. In addition, if you bring your own mug you get 25 cents off drip coffee and 10 cents off other drinks, which means you can get a small drip coffee for only $1.25. This is

12665633_10153941565463011_990047154_n

I brought my own mug and got my coffee for $1.25 (my sister gave me this creepy Vladimir Putin mug for Christmas because she’s studying abroad in Russia for a year).

even less than it costs at 7-Eleven and for much better coffee; you can choose from a few different varieties from places such as Peru and Ethiopia. They also offer a wide selection of tea, and extremely reasonably-priced espresso drinks. You can get a Cortado, Cubano, Cafe con Leche, or an Italian Macchiato for only 85 cents with a single shot of espresso or $1.60 with a double shot- try finding that at Starbucks! The lattes and cappuccinos aren’t as crazy cheap but still less than they would be at Starbucks. I also appreciate the international options on the menu; in addition to the Cubano and Cafe con Leche, The Dav also has Vietnamese coffee (espresso and condensed milk). Be aware that the only WiFi networks available are for AU students and registered guests. It’s hard for me to fault them for not having public WiFi when the cafe mainly serves students. It’s also pretty cramped inside, but there are additional places to sit inside the SIS building or (if the weather is nice) outside on the beautiful Quad. If you’re in the area, this is a great place to grab coffee at very reasonable prices; just be mindful that it’s crowded and meant for students (as it should be- it’s on a college campus).

 

Shemali’s

Rating: ★★★★☆

12656356_10153939551893011_12917479_oShemali’s is a Lebanese cafe and grocery store located at 3301 New Mexico Ave NW inside a small mall. The cafe itself is a friendly but rather spare place aside from the beautiful pictures of Lebanon on the walls. They have tasty Lebanese food in the cafe, like fattoush, hummus and shawerma (though I think the shawerma itself is really just ok- I used to live a couple blocks from Shawerma Reem, the best shawerma place in Amman, Jordan, so I’m pretty

12714106_10153939551733011_409116245_n

Fattoush, hummus and Turkish coffee.

spoiled). The cafe also serves pretty good Turkish Coffee. In addition to Lebanese options, the cafe has Greek food like gyros and greek salad (because people are silly and assume that all Mediterranean food is the same, so this stuff sells), as well as options for the even less adventurous sort, like deli sandwiches and half smokes.

12669384_10153939551858011_1909653656_o

Shawerma platter with rice.

In some ways, I like the grocery portion even more than the cafe portion. The grocery carries a wide range of Lebanese products at generally very reasonable prices, including mamouls, ground coffee with cardamom, tea, dates, rosewater, and olive oil soap that smells amazing. The grocery also has a deli counter that has delicious hummus, labne, kibbeh, spinach pies, baba ghanoush, and baklava among other things. This is a great place to buy a bunch of food for hors d’oeuvres if you’re hosting a party.

 

12669130_10153939551823011_893774720_o

The grocery/deli section.

You might just leave this place singing a Fairouz song in your head: