Cafés in Alexandria, VA where I can hang out and read/write?
January 26, 2013 10:02 AM   Subscribe

Sometimes I just want to get out of the house and read/write by myself with a cup of tea for an hour or three. Where are some cafés in or near Alexandria, Virginia where I can do that without getting nudged to leave?

I'm really looking for "I tried this and no one kicked me out/my friends hang out here for hours all the time" type anecdotal confirmations, not just a list of nearby independent cafés. I've been to Buzz up north of Old Town and it wasn't really my scene; also been to Misha's but not for long enough to find out if they're a "kick back and relax for a whole afternoon" type of place.

Epicure Café in Fairfax is a great place to do this but it's a little out of the way. But that's sort of the atmosphere I'm looking for; artsy vibe, younger patrons (I'm 22), sense of community. I would be fine though with discovering that the right place to do this is one particular Starbucks because hell, it's NoVA, I know how it goes.
posted by capricorn to Food & Drink (6 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
St Elmo's in Del Ray? I've spent hours there reading or working on my laptop. It's artsy with a sense of community. I'm not sure age-wise, but it's probably worth trying.
posted by instamatic at 11:51 AM on January 26, 2013

Best answer: Speaking as a too-hip-for-my-own-good person who's about the same age as you-Killer E.S.P. (Espresso Sorbetto Pie) on King St. is a great little coffee shop-they brew Stumptown Coffee, serve Dangerously Delicious pies, and have a resident French bulldog that likes to hop from couch to couch. It's my go-to, aside from Northside Social in Arlington-but, although closer than Fairfax, that's still a little bit of a haul. Both are great places to spend an entire afternoon.
posted by sparringnarwhal at 12:16 PM on January 26, 2013

Seconding St. Elmo's, a writer friend of mine used this as her go-to place to have tea and work. I love Misha's and you could certainly hang out there a while, though the chairs and tables aren't soft.

I also liked Killer E.S.P. (espresso, sorbet, pie) on King St in Old Town - has comfy couches, friendly, laid back kind of place. The coffee and gelato are quite good.
posted by citron at 12:40 PM on January 26, 2013

I spend an entire afternoon in the Panera on Duke Street in 2006 once. Nobody bothered me, but I wouldn't say it was artsy or community oriented.
posted by gjc at 2:12 PM on January 26, 2013

Grounded (on telegraph road) is awesome. Several of my co-workers used to spend all their time working from there, drinking coffee in the morning and switching to beer at night (or afternoon if it was a particularly hard day at the virtual office).
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:44 AM on January 27, 2013

Response by poster: I went by Killer ESP yesterday and it was exactly what I was looking for. Not mentioned above: there are also 40 flavors of tea. Thanks again!
posted by capricorn at 10:17 AM on February 3, 2013

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