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M.E. Swing’s Coffee House

Location: Washington, D.C.
Best-sellers: Drip coffee (morning); latte (afternoon)

No one could accuse M.E. Swing’s Coffee House of jumping on the java bandwagon. Founded in 1916 as a roasting company, the coffee house has a long history in Washington, D.C.

Its most recent location, on G Street next to the Old Executive Office Building, is filled with vintage burr grinders and wooden coffee bins. It’s like “walking through a time machine,” says owner Mark Warmuth, who adds that history is part of the café’s appeal.

“Customers have been patronizing our store for a long time,” Warmuth says. “Not every coffee shop has the ability to say ‘Look what we did 20 or 30 years ago and still do today.’ ”

But that doesn’t mean everything is vintage. The beans, for one thing, are roasted in nearby Alexandria, Va., which gives a whole new meaning to the words “freshly brewed.”

Photo: Scott Mosel Photography