By: Patricja Okuniewska
Photos by: Sophie Roberts
Take a walk around Georgetown and you may notice the countless local, independent shops scattered along M Street, Wisconsin Ave, and all the little blocks around and in between, that give the neighborhood a unique, authentic feel. While there are a number of big-name brand stores as well, people from all over Washington D.C. flock to Georgetown to get a taste of the oldest neighborhood in the city. Tucked away behind M St, Grace Street has become a destination for new food businesses, the most recent being Grace Street Market: a cafeteria-style storefront that houses Grace Street Coffee, SUNdeVich, and South Block juicery.
Grace Street Market, although a little off the beaten path from typical student hangouts like Saxby’s or the recently-opened Peet’s Coffee, has become a popular locale for those looking to work in a vibrant, dynamic setting. It’s a great location to hold meetings or group lunches, and a comfortable place to schedule a first date. The three businesses have a shared seating area that tends to fill up fast on weekends, but is less hectic during the week. Since the store also has a dog-friendly patio, it is not uncommon to see dogs lounging around, or waiting in line with their owners.
Grace Street Coffee
Grace Street Coffee is an independent, locally-owned coffee shop whose primary goal is “to make the best cup of coffee.” The business roasts on site, using single-origin beans from small companies that have close relationships with their farmers. Each bean is treated carefully to ensure it’s full flavor is brought out, and each cup is made according to the specifications of the customer, with baristas offering helpful advice and tips for those who aren’t well-versed in coffee-speak. In addition to the classic espresso drinks, Grace Street also offers specialty drinks such as the matcha latte or espresso shrub (espresso + balsamic vinegar natural sweetener). And, best of all, their vanilla syrup is made in-house. If you’re not a coffee drinker, you can choose from a large selection of teas with unique flavors (the Honey Orchid Phoenix oolong tea is amazing) – hot or iced!
South Block Juice Co.
Right across from Grace Street Coffee is South Block Juice Co., a DC local, independent business meant to resemble a California-style juice bar. The first storefront opened in 2011 in Clarendon, VA and since then has expanded to various locations in D.C. such as Foggy Bottom, East Falls Church, and Grace Street Market! As North Virginia’s first cold-pressed micro juicery, the business’s mission is to “create healthier communities, one block at a time!” 100% raw and made with organic produce, the juices are blended fresh daily. South Block also offers acai bowls and smoothies as more filling options.
Lastly, SUNdeVich, located at the back of the storefront, offers 20 sandwich options named after various cities of the world, each containing popular ingredients from their respective locations. An independent shop with other locations in Shaw and Park View, all their sandwiches are made from local ingredients. They do not deal with any big, national distributors and even hope to begin growing herbs and veggies of their own! Whether you order the Seoul with bulgogi beef, kimchi, asian slaw, greens, and garlic mayo or the Havana with roasted pork, gruyere, pickles, and dijonnaise, you will get a freshly made product that’s deserving of it’s praise as one of the best sandwich establishments in Washington, D.C.
Don’t hesitate to check out and support these local businesses that are so important to preserving Georgetown’s charm.