Enter the sleek new Goosecup coffee bar near the W&OD Trail on Leesburg’s South King Street and you may wonder what city you’re in. From the yellow-tiled island centerpiece to the blonde wood tables, designer lighting and sun -splashed outdoor deck, it looks like a trendy minimalist café in Stockholm or Tokyo. What’s more, at 5 p.m. each afternoon they start serving craft cocktails alongside the caffeine drinks.
Leesburg’s King Street has become Loudoun’s Coffee Corridor – CoCo if you will – with no less than six cafés and coffee bars within a few blocks of each other and several others just off the main street. While they all serve superb drip coffee and espresso drinks – lattes, macchiatos, cortados – most of them also offer up assorted fresh baked goods: cookies, muffins, cakes, pies, breads and pastries.
As local sweet-tooths gear up for National Apple Pie Day this week (Thursday, May 13th), we take a look at the best coffee houses and dessert houses in Loudoun.
Get your Java on.
Leesburg Co-Co (Cafes On and Around King Street)
The chic café just off King Street does a range of espresso drinks, but they are best known for their delectable baked goods. The open plan space allows you to watch the bakers at work concocting everything from eclairs, fruit tarts and decadent French-style strawberry “fraisier” cakes to breads, muffins, cookies, scones and biscuits, the latter popular at breakfast. For a cool treat, ice cream is available too.
The former shoe shop with the secret garden out back is a local favorite and rightly so. Coffee drinks are made with our favorite Lone Oak beans (the Winchester roastery of Loudoun native Sam Keyser) while the extensive dessert menu includes slices of pecan and apple pie from Mom’s Apple Pie up the street, caramel turtle cheesecake, chocolate torte and white chocolate raspberry cheesecake.
We’re betting that even the most exacting caffeine snob will be wowed by SideBar. Order Italian-style from the street-front counter or enter the shoebox sized space through a creaking low-slung doorway. The exposed brick and distressed wall of the historic building is redolent of New Orleans while the espresso drinks – rich, perfectly poured lattes, cortados and macchiatos – are straight out of Rome. Magic.
This popular local coffee house transitioned to window counter service during Covid, adding outside seating on red Adirondack chairs. The result? It’s better than ever! Here, baristas grind Lone Oak beans to perfection and serve everything from espresso drinks, pour overs, French press and cold brews to iced coffee, filter coffee and even a decadent affogato (ice cream with a shot of espresso). Perfection.
Does anything sum up trendy downtown Leesburg better than craft beer and artisanal coffee in the same shop? Welcome to Kahvila Coffee House, located in an unassuming porch-front building near the W&OD Trail and doubling as Black Walnut Brewery. The coffee menu is as extensive as the list of beers, the beans sourced from artisanal roaster Caffe Amouri in Vienna, VA. Enjoy your morning joe in the garden out back and then come back for something stronger in the evening.
The sleek café roasts its own beans, sourcing from Zambia (Kasama), Ethiopian Harrar and Honduras, and sells bags of retail alongside perfectly poured flat whites, cortados, lattes and machiattos. Owners Ahad and Zaara Raza are transplants to the area from Austin, Texas.
Just off Leesburg’s Coffee Corridor on East Market Street, opposite Loudoun County Courthouse, this Parisian-style dessert house does excellent coffee, but the main attraction is the house-baked confections, everything from cotton candy and cupcakes to cookies, cakes and macaroons. The owner sells huge portions of superb farm fresh ice cream, too.
Loudoun Co-Co (Cafes Outside of Leesburg)
For locally made treats, this aptly named confectioner in Sterling does everything in house, from chocolate lava cake and brownie sandwiches to gourmet, hand-crafted chocolate covered almonds, truffles and coconut macaroons. For a sweet twist this National Apple Pie Day, try the signature Apple Cheesecake dessert: a cinnamon graham cracker crust topped with homemade vanilla cheesecake and smothered in chopped Granny Smith apples and homemade streusel.
Lovettsville has a slate of great restaurants in its historic downtown these days, but did you know the town has fine coffee, tea and pastries, too? Tucked away in a rustic house on Pennsylvania Ave, just off main street, is this curiosity shop of a café serving Lone Oak coffee, all manner of tea and a variety of baked goods including gluten free options. We love sitting outside on mis-matched found furniture, soaking up the sun and watching the neighbors walk by.
Another café serving small batch artisanal roast beans, this 100% gluten free café in the space once occupied by Loco Joe, Purcellville, does every kind of coffee imaginable including pour overs, nitro cold brew on draft and a variety of latte drinks. The gluten free cookies are excellent and the walls of the space are usually covered in work from a local artist.
This spacious, exposed brick location with comfy sofas, live events such as trivia nights and excellent sandwiches and pastries reminds everyone of Central Perk in Friends. Warm and welcoming atmosphere aside, it’s the expertly poured espresso drinks and delicious nitro infused cold brew that brings you back. Dessert wise, the coffee bar also sells fresh baked apple fritters, crumb cake and sticky cinnamon rolls. Make it your living room.
This aptly named horse country staple on East Washington Street does a great line of pastries, bagels and smoothies alongside richly textured, well balanced drip coffee and espresso drinks. The toasted cream cheese everything bagel with a double shot latte is a go to for locals.
This popular neighborhood café on West Washington Street serves an excellent breakfast and lunch menu and has beans roasted specially for the café. We like the breakfast sandwich paired with an extra shot latte in the mornings; return for wine and beer later in the day.