The Nordic food movement has hit the nation hard within the past few years. Between the ranking of Rene Redzepi’s Noma as best restaurant in the world, to Claus Meyer opening a Nordic food hall in Grand Central Terminal, to Joe & The Juice, a Danish coffee shop and eatery that’s just about as common these days in New York as it is in Copenhagen. Our traveling editors rely on Joe & the Juice in Miami, San Francisco, and New York, so it was only a matter of time before the brand expanded to our nation’s capital.
When I was in college, I studied abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark, so I spent a majority of my time studying, snacking, and recovering from long nights out at my local Joe & The Juice. When I heard it was finally hitting D.C., I knew I had to cover it so everyone would understand this isn’t just your average coffee shop popping into downtown Washington. Joe & the Juice is much more than that—to me and to many people.
I brought my dad into one of Joe & The Juice’s first operating Sundays. He didn’t get a chance to visit me in Denmark, so I was thrilled he could share a piece of my experience. My dad was visiting me from New York, and after a weekend of endless eating and drinking, a intensely caffeinated coffee and a shockingly fluorescent green juice was just what we needed.
We were welcomed by the mysteriously chic interior of this Scandinavian spot. The matte black accents on the walls, accented by pops of color and unshaded light bulbs give off a cool vibe that further solidified my theory that Danes are just more naturally trendy than we Americans will ever be.
Although this spot has awesome food, it’s still a low-key coffee shop, so naturally you must order at the counter and wait for your order to be called.
We started with a plain drip coffee and a cappuccino with almond milk. Both coffees were super smooth and served in their creatively branded to-go cups; I swear, pastels have never looked so edgy.
We then ordered our fuel. I decided we would get a few things to split, so we asked for the Chickpea, a hummus sandwich; the Go Away Doc, a juice blend of carrots, apples, and ginger; the Joe’s Green Mile, a green juice containing broccoli, spinach, avocado, apple, and lemon; and the Joegurt, a smoothie bowl with fruit and yogurt.
I was so excited about the Joe & The Juice sandwich because it’s served on this incredibly thin, pita-like bread, which is then grilled. I have looked for this bread at every grocery store and have yet to find it. If you’re reading this and know where I can get my hands on some, leave a comment, I will be forever grateful.
Anyway, the sandwich was vegan and had lettuce, and tomato, as well as a perfect schmear of hummus. It was so hearty and healthy. My dad was a pessimist about the bread, until he took his first bite and admitted I was correct
The green drink was frothy from the spinach and apple, and creamy from the avocado. It was still sweet despite it being packed with veggies. This drink was a little watery, but it’s definitely something I would order post workout.
After sipping the carrot-based drink, I definitely felt a rush of healing enter my body (though this might have been psychosomatic). It was spicy from the ginger, but still balanced from the sugars of the carrot and apple juices. You really have to be a carrot lover to enjoy this drink, so if that’s the case, drink on.
We were starting to fill up on all the healthy, fibrous options before us, but we did not forget about the Joegurt. This was the perfect breakfast: the fixins’ made it very sweet, while the granola and coconut topping added the necessary crunch.This dish was so lovely that it’s something I wish I could have at my disposal on a regular basis.
We now had all the nutrients necessary to conquer the museums and monumental touristy things we D.C. locals share with our parents. If there’s one thing that’s better than having a great brunch, it’s feeling great after brunch.
The Bitches say: A-. Joe & The Juice is a shop found around major cities now, but for those of you who didn’t know, it’s ideal for a quick bite, a catch-up session with friends, a break in your work day, or a recovery from a workout (or a wild weekend).
Joe & The Juice serves all of their Scandinavian delicacies daily.