I met up with some friends in the Mt. Vernon Triangle area of DC, looking for a quick bite to eat before a meeting. But all of the restaurants nearby were packed, having lines so long we would have had no chance to make our meeting on time. Searching nearby we found a wonderful little coffee spot – Chez Lily – that had no wait at all. We had great coffee, great food, and great conversation in a pleasant environment, and had plenty of time to make our meeting.
Chez Lily is a small little coffee shop in the Mt. Vernon Triangle area of Washington DC. The area is a compact, mostly residential neighborhood of DC located north of the Judiciary Square area and east of the Convention Center. The barista said the place opened in 2018. They did not seem to be doing a huge amount of business, which is a shame. At least there was a small trickle of people coming in the whole time we were there. The shop must have a devoted clientele in order to have survived the past 4 years.
Chez Lily serves a variety of coffee drinks. Highlights are Americano, Cappuccino, Cortado, Expresso, and Latte. Every drink is freshly ground using beans from local DC coffee maker Vigilante Coffee. I don’t drink coffee, but many of my friends do. They all gave Chez Lily’s coffee high regards. In addition to coffee, there is about a half dozen tea options. I wish I could say what they were, but I went with the first option I was given, Moroccan Mint Tea, a personal favorite of mine. Chez’ version has a distinct minty flavor which I liked.
As we were there for lunch, many of us ordered food. Sandwiches are served on bread, bagel, or roll. I ordered the breakfast sandwich on a ciabatta roll. It consisted of eggs, bacon, cheese, and spinach. Freshly made on the spot and filled with gobs of bacon, spinach, and egg, it was warm and delicious.
One of my friends is vegetarian and he ordered the Labneh and Zataar toast. Zataar is a middle eastern spice commonly served on flat bread. Labneh is a soft, yogurt based cheese. My friend thoroughly enjoyed his sandwich. There are other sandwiches on the menu; they include tuna salad, hummus, and smoked salmon. Others in our group had some of them — the tuna salad sandwich looked delicious — but I did not get reviews. Everyone seemed to enjoy their meal. Another food item on the menu is a selection of flatbreads. No one in our group got one, so I cannot comment on them.
Chez Lily also has a small amount of pastries. When I asked the barista about them, she mentioned that they are not made in house. Some are from local bakers while others are from a restaurant supply company. I recommend asking for details, but expect all are good.
One of the locally made options available that day was a gluten free carrot cake. It looked so scrumptious that I had to try it. The cake was dense and moist and was topped with a sweet, thin cream cheese icing. It was quite divine. And filling. I was not hungry for the rest of the day.
Despite the fact that our large group overwhelmed them, the staff was exceedingly friendly and welcoming. They took the time to explain the menu and throughout our visit engaged in conversation. The server profusely apologized for the delays in food coming out. But she needn’t have; we all knew that serving our large group would take awhile. All the food, despite being freshly made, came out in a reasonable amount of time. And we finished with plenty of time to make our meeting. Chez Lily certainly lives up to the “at the home” feeling implied by their name. My friends and I went away feeling blessed to have found the place.