To quote Paul Revere: The Tattes are coming. And coming. And coming.
The Boston-based cafe group has expanded in DC with a Blank Street-like speed: It opened its first area location in the summer of 2020, and since then, it’s grown to ten local outposts, with additional locations in Reston and Old Town reportedly in the works. Between Dupont, downtown, Foggy Bottom, and West End, there’s something of a Tatte Trapezoid, where there are four alone within about a 30-minute walking loop.
Tatte Trapezoid >>> Bermuda Triangle pic.twitter.com/Id6nu5Mm9C
— Mimi Montgomery (@mimi_montgom) August 24, 2023
Tatte is known for its aesthetically pleasing interiors (think tiled floors, perfectly weathered display cases with baguettes peeking out of straw baskets just so, tons of white subway tile—all very Nancy Meyers-core) and dishes begging to be staged in the kind of TikTok that implores you to be the main character of your own life while a whimsical French jazz song plays (we’re looking at you, roasted peach and ricotta tartine).
And, like we said, there are now so many you can almost get lost wandering from one Tatte to the next—in fact, your writer once headed to a meeting at the Tatte on I Street only to realize, ten minutes later, she was supposed to be at the other Tatte on I Street. Really—how are we supposed to navigate our way around when there are so many of these identical-looking, quaint AF landmarks? So it’s honestly a matter of public safety that we decided to give all the Tattes nicknames, a la the the Safeway monikers. We asked locals for their suggestions on Twitter (sorry, X)—the names below are a compilation from said recommendations and ideas of our own.
And, yes, before you throw your summer farro bowl in our faces: We know some of these nicknames aren’t alliterative. But give us a break—some of us haven’t had our iced honey halva lattes yet.
1200 New Hampshire Ave., NW
In the beginning, God created the West End Tatte. No, really, this was the first DC location, so it’s the reason why you can’t go a few miles around here without getting smacked in the face with some vibey pastries. If you’re on some kind of religious pilgrimage to visit all the local Tattes, pay your respects here at Patient Zero before continuing on your quest. After all, this is where we established existence as we know it, Life A.T.—Life After Tatte.
2129 I St., NW
The Foggy Bottom Tatte location will henceforth be known as “Teen Tatte,” thanks to its location by the GW campus. Hang out there until 11 a.m., when you’ll spot a 18-year-old girl dressed like Billie Eilish stumble in hungover to grab a breakfast sandwich. Hang around even longer, and you might get invited to rip some shots at Decades later that night with someone who just declared a theater arts major to piss of their dad.
2805 Clarendon Blvd., Arlington
The old Clarendon Tatte can’t come to the phone right now. Why? ‘Cause it’s the fratty Tatte now, people!!
Yes, of course it’s stereotyping to lump all of Clarendon into one, bro-tastic mass, but also, like…it was actually once voted one of the country’s bro-iest neighborhoods. And even though it’s no longer home to Whitlow’s, the Bro Mothership (Bro-thership?), you’re still likely to see some former frat dawgs ambling around. If you encounter one in the wild in line at said Tatte, leave a White Claw Surge as an offering at its feet and then slowly back away. Because don’t forget—the once-president of Sigma Nu deserves a halloumi salad, too.
Tight AF Tatte
1301 Connecticut Ave., NW
The above poetic name has been gifted to the Dupont Circle Tatte, as its triangular layout makes it, well, tight AF. And we mean “tight” as in it’s really, really freaking small and crowded in there, not a synonym for “dope.”
If you’re the kind of person who thinks a croissant is worth having your kidney punctured by an elbow attached to an over-aggressive dude throwing around words like “deliverables” while yelling into his Airpods, well, then, congrats! This is the Tatte for you.
1634 I St., NW
We dub thee, Farragut Square Tatte, the Transit Tatte. Mainly because it’s downtown, in between several Metro and bus stations, and it’s likelier you’ll catch someone grabbing coffee before they begin their day of billing clients $1 billion per hour than, say, luxuriating over a plate of Greek-style pancakes on Sunday morning while doing the crossword. Protect your organs, though—while this space is bigger than the Dupont one, there is overlap in its perpetually rushed, corporate clientele, so you could still be on the receiving end of a firm shove delivered by a croissant-wielding hand.
1090 I St., NW
We’ve decided to nickname the City Center Tatte the “Tesla Tatte.” Why? Because, well, there’s a Tesla dealership there, but also because City Center is one thousand percent the kind of place where someone would illegally park their Tesla while dashing into Moncler for a $3,000 parka to wear while shooting a cannon of Veuve during aprés in Aspen. (Possibly the cringiest sentence this reporter has ever written.)
250 Massachusetts Ave., NW
Thanks to its proximity to the Mall, several museums, and Union Station, this one has gotta be the Tourist Tatte. Be prepared to jump out of the way as someone wearing a Hard Rock T-shirt screams past you on a Segway—they have a brunch reservation at Farmers, Fishers, Bakers to make. (An aside: If the former Madame Tussaud’s were still open, this would 1,000 percent be nicknamed Tussaud’s Tatte.)
7276 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda
While the Twitter-crowdsourced nickname ‘Thesda Tatte was a close runner-up, we have to go with Mariottatte, thanks to the new Marriott HQ located just down the street. Thankfully, this is the hotel brand we’re working with—Embassy Suitatte just doesn’t have the same ring, does it?
13 Ridge Sq.
The City Ridge Tatte is practically a speakeasy, it’s so hidden. Okay, that’s hyperbolic, but if you’re ambling along Wisconsin Avenue, you have to go behind the former Fannie Mae building to even find City Ridge, let alone the Tatte. (And don’t even get us started on the Wegmans, which is tucked underground like a bomb shelter.) But the upside of having to undergo a scavenger hunt to find this outpost is that it’s much chiller than many of the downtown Tattes—no threat of getting a paper straw to the eye here.
1400 W St., NW
We’ve dubbed the 14th Street Tatte as such because, whenever your author ventures down this stretch of DC, she is bombarded by a gaggle of 22-year-olds spilling out of bottomless brunch spots decked out in whatever Sofia Richie-Hailey Beiber-Olivia Rodrigo look is en vogue these days. That is to say, she is reminded that she is no longer trendy, and that, as a 30-something, she is practically ancient and should grab her matcha lemonade as quickly as her frail bones will allow and go home, where Y2K fashion stays firmly rooted in the past, where it belongs, alongside the years when everyone smelled like Bath & Body Works warm vanilla sugar body spray.