By Nina Fedrizzi
February 10, 2011

Washington D.C.’s new, one-off Yola yogurt parfait bar near Dupont Circle is a great way to startthe day. First, there’s the general feeling of well-being derived from the warm, polished wood floors, the exposed-brick walls, and the contemporary tables and chairs, made from recycledaluminum and bamboo (Yola is a certified green restaurant, after all, powered in part by carbon offsets and locally generated wind power).

Then there’s the smiling, helpful counter staff, who are only too happy to expound on the virtues of Yola’s sustainably produced yogurt, made at nearby family farms in Leesburg,Va., and Chambersburg, Pa. You might select lemon or strawberry-flavored yogurt (or Greek or maple if you’re feeling saucy) and then meander past the long, glass counter of 20 customizabletoppings and mix-ins (most of them seasonal, organic, and/or superfoods), dolloping your creation with everything from agave nectar to granola, dates to dill, raspberries to tomatoes. Feeling slightly fatigued, you might also request a shot of rich, Counter Culture espresso (directtrade, of course) which, you’ll find, packs just enough punch to get Charlie Sheen out of bed in the morning. And the yogurt? Well, let’s just say you’re not likely find it’s delicately creamy equal at the corner grocery store.

On your way out, you’ll want to deposit your now clean-scraped container in the compostable receptacle (fear not, it will break down in less than six months) and stroll past thecommunity chalkboard to take in a new, fun fact for the day. (Are gerbils reallyborn pregnant? Will you actually consume 75,000 cookies before you die?)

So what if the veracity is slightly suspect, you’re thinking now, aren’t you? You’re a newwo/man—nutritionally satisfied, environmentally responsible, gastronomically cultured, locally/seasonally/organically conscious, fully caffeinated, and maybe a little smarter (about the gerbils, that is). Not bad for a morning’s cup of yogurt.

(1323 Connecticut Ave. NW; 202/223-0000;

Nina Fedrizzi is an editorial assistant at Travel + Leisure.