Best New Coffee Shop East of the River

Big Chair Coffee n’ Grill
2122 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE; (202) 525-4287
Yes, Big Chair is the only new coffee shop east of the Anacostia River—it’s the only one, period—but it’s still the best. There’s coffee! There are chairs! Marion Barry paid a visit on opening day in January, and the place will no doubt become a must-stop on the 2010 campaign circuit. (Mayoral hopeful Leo Alexander and At-Large D.C. Council candidate Clark Ray have both held events there already.) But don’t let any of that ruin it for you. Coffee snobs should know that Big Chair is now brewing its Joe with an Ethiopian bean in addition to its usual Java brand. “So far, people like it,” says Bantamlak Yimenu, the owner’s brother. (Fun fact: Big Chair is using the same La Marzocco espresso machine once employed at the defunct Murky Coffee.) There’s standard breakfast fare, including omelets, as well as soups, chicken tenders, turkey, salmon, veggie burgers, and more. Also, don’t forget: There are chairs!

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