The Lasso

Northside Social: Falls Church’s Newest Coffee Spot Reviewed

Northside+Social%2C+the+newest+coffee+shop+in+The+Little+City%2C+opened+to+great+acclaim+in+June.+The+caf%C3%A9+is+located+just+above+West+Broad+St.+on+the+corner+of+Park+Ave.+and+North+Maple+Ave.+%28Photo+courtesy+of+Northside+Social%29
Northside Social, the newest coffee shop in The Little City, opened to great acclaim in June. The café is located just above West Broad St. on the corner of Park Ave. and North Maple Ave. (Photo courtesy of Northside Social)

Northside Social, the newest coffee shop in The Little City, opened to great acclaim in June. The café is located just above West Broad St. on the corner of Park Ave. and North Maple Ave. (Photo courtesy of Northside Social)

Northside Social, the newest coffee shop in The Little City, opened to great acclaim in June. The café is located just above West Broad St. on the corner of Park Ave. and North Maple Ave. (Photo courtesy of Northside Social)

James Weichert, Contributor

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You come back from your summer break and you’re looking to start the new school year on the right foot. That means new school supplies, new clothes, and perhaps even a new study routine.

If that’s the case, why not take an hour or two to visit Northside Social, the newest coffee shop in The Little City. The café, which doubles as both a bakery and full-service restaurant, opened this June.

Below is a comprehensive review of Northside Social based on the six criteria I consider to be most important when it comes to the quality of a café.

Seating

In terms of coffee shop-style seating, Northside Social surpasses all other coffee spots in the area. There is, of course, your typical indoor table-side seating. In addition, the first floor of the café also features bar-style seating along the walls of the room. The centerpiece of this café is, however, its spacious outdoor seating. Northside Social boasts three outdoor seating areas: a ground-level patio with picnic tables, an elevated patio area with tables, bar space, an overhang and fans, and a rooftop patio. This makes Northside an excellent place to study if you’re a fan of fresh air. It should be noted however, that since the entire café is seat-yourself style, seating tends to fill up rather quickly during mealtimes.

Atmosphere

Because of its unique constitution as a café, bakery, and full-service restaurant, Northside has an equally unique atmosphere. Of course, any nook in the corner of the first floor dining section is more than adequate at providing an appropriate coffee shop vibe, but the abundant outdoor seating options bring a new dimension to the café. And while Northside might not always be the quietest place in Falls Church, its popularity has led to a casual yet lively atmosphere. Another benefit of Northside Social is the ambient lighting; windows practically surrounding the café make for a considerably brighter seating area than can be found at most other coffee shops. Overall, the staff is very friendly and the service is excellent, making for a very pleasant experience.

Food

Northside Social is simultaneously a casual coffee shop and a full-service restaurant, meaning that your food options are extremely varied compared to Starbucks or Rare Bird Café on Broad Street. Moreover, this Northside Social location is the first to have a full-sized bakery, allowing the café to pump out fresh pastries daily. Northside offers a great selection of foods, including breakfast sandwiches, salads, lunch sandwiches, oven-fired pizzas, and other great food options. The wide array of food options makes Northside the perfect place to grab breakfast, lunch, afternoon snack, or even dinner.  

Prices

The café can be a mixed bag when it comes to food prices. Since it doubles as a full-service restaurant for all three mealtimes, you can expect food prices comparable to a most other restaurants in Falls Church. So, the food can be pretty expensive, especially for high school students. For example, a chicken salad will run you $14, a roast turkey sandwich costs $12, and avocado toast will set you back almost $10. In terms of coffee, Northside Social’s prices are fairly similar to Starbucks – coffees range from $3 to $5. And, if you get the coffee in a mug (to drink there), you’ll get a free refill. While the coffee might not be your usual Starbucks drink, Northside Social does give you about twice the coffee for half the price.

Location

Situated a block away from West Broad Street on North Maple Avenue, Northside Social is located in the heart of Falls Church and is as close as you can get to the commercial hub of the city. The caveat of this prime location, however, is that it’s relatively far from Mason. With walking times from school to the café of around 20 to 30 minutes, Northside Social might not be the best option for a quick after school snack or study session, especially if you live on the west side of town. Nevertheless, Northside Social is now one of the closest, and most walkable, coffee spots for students on the east side of Falls Church.

Additionally, as first reported by the Falls Church News-Press, the arrival of Northside to Falls Church has caused a sizable headache for many City residents when it comes to parking.

Internet & Outlets

Perhaps the only thing there is to complain about at Northside Social is its internet connectivity. I had trouble with my connection and slow speeds both inside and outside. But where Northside lacks in WiFi it more than makes up for in outlet availability. At almost every bar on the main floor there are electrical outlets about every five feet and there are even outlets on the patio. All of this makes for a great experience for people using their laptops constantly, as they can simply connect to an available outlet and remain charged indefinitely. Northside takes the hassle out of waiting for a seat with an outlet to clear up.

Overall Impressions

I’ve been going to Northside on a regular basis since June and have since fallen in love with the café. Although the lack of parking and poor internet connectivity can be a drag, Northside more than makes up for it in seating, the food quality, and its general atmosphere, which is why I would recommend Northside Social to everyone in Falls Church and the area. Whether you just want a place for a post-school snack or are looking for a comfortable study spot, Northside has got you covered.

About the Writer
James Weichert, Contributor
James Weichert (class of 2018) writes about politics and community news.
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Northside Social: Falls Church’s Newest Coffee Spot Reviewed