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Support your local businesses while impressing your date! For my first post, I am going to introduce 3 of my favorite local coffee/diner spots. All three host a chill atmosphere great for first dates or Sunday afternoon wifi’ing and sipping with your favorite Mr. Spock, as it were.

My first, and personal favorite (mostly because it is in my own neighborhood**), is ACKC Cocoa Bar. This chocolate confectionery paradise on 14th street offers a huge menu for the chocolate addict. Not only do they make their own chocolate in-house, but they also have a coffee, wine and beer menu. My personal favorite is the large selection of hot cocoa choices they serve either as a hot beverage, iced or blended into a shake. You know they know what they’re doing when they scoop out chocolate silver dollars and melt them down to make the perfect cup of cocoa for your pleasure. Tip: Ask to see their Sunday brunch menu – there are so many more chocolate choices to consider! They also provide chocolate making classes, Monday night karaoke and other seasonal offerings.

Open City is my next choice when it comes to pleasantly pressure-free dining. Located right by the Woodley Park metro stop, it is a great go-to, especially if you are looking to take a date for late night coffee, a quick drink or Sunday brunch.  The atmosphere effuses relaxation and lively conversation. Tip: Ask them about their coffee. I won’t give it away but I love where they get their coffee beans from. It is also pretty great – and I’m a coffee snob.

My last, but not least, local business is Tryst. Tryst and Open City are sister restaurants in different parts of town. One was so good that more is better! While in Adams Morgan and not near a metro stop, this is still a viable option for a first date or quick meet-up. The eclectic quality of the decor along with the cozy nooks make it easy to feel intimate yet friendly. Open early till late, there isn’t a time of day that is bad to grab your date and have a long list of drink and food options to sample. Also, check out their events tab for more options of fun and interactive things to do with a date.

Don’t settle for the usual meal or cup of joe. Make a memory by taking your date to an event, chocolate making class, karaoke, local artist concert or a variety of other options available at these three locations!

Stay cozy!

**UPDATE: ACKC closed, effective January 1, 2012, at the Logan Circle location. It is still operating in both Alexandria locations though.

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