[occasional dispatches from other transitioning DC neighborhoods]
Big Bear Cafe is one of the best new indie coffeeshops in town. It's located at 1st and R St NW, at the southern end of Bloomingdale just north of Florida Avenue. While at the moment they only serve coffee and pastries (more food offerings are on the way), it's worth a special trip. It's a nicely utilitarian, bright, airy, bohemian corner space that just works without seeming to try. The owner, who lives a few doors away, told me his wife is from San Francisco and wanted to create a distinctive corner coffee place in DC. I'd say they've succeeded.
There's also a Sunday-only farmers' market on the block in front of the cafe. Click here for their website/blog, which includes some photos and a link to a recent DC North article.