Don’t be fooled by the clichés, New Yorkers love to relax, preferably with a cup of snobbishly good coffee and some kind of Apple device within the confines of a low-key hipster spot . The city is ridden with coffee shops that will most likely disappoint, but it also offers some of the most innovative cafés that rival Seattle’s best.
If you’re new to the city, or just haven’t gotten around to seeking out those neighborhood gems, you may want to take a moment to kick back at some (or all) of these saporous spots and dismiss that New York-minute-mentality to sip the day away.
“For many people, the coffee shop does double duty as a remote office, but Café Grumpy’s Chelsea outpost pulls the plug on coffee and computing as one of the few cafés around town that doesn’t offer wi-fi or a place for patrons to power up. The result? A place where the public can take an actual coffee break (remember those?), replete with farm-direct, house-roasted coffee, fresh-baked pastries and some good old-fashioned coffee shop conversation.” (Imbibe)
224 W. 20th St., NYC (with several additional locations around NYC and Brooklyn); 212-255-5511
Joe the Art of Coffee
“West Siders have experienced a restaurant revolution, and now they can boast grade-A espresso too, thanks to the most recent location of the boutique-coffee chain. In addition to espresso-based drinks, a single-cup, drip-coffee bar dispenses a rotating selection of brews, while baked goods from companies like Ceci-Cela and Donut Plant provide just the kind of snacks a coffee drinker needs” (Time Out) 405 W 23rd St Chelsea, NYC between Ninth and Tenth Aves 212-206-0669
“Impeccable is the word that comes to mind while sitting in the Blue Bottle Coffee shop in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the latest addition to the company’s growing chain of shops. There is a weird sense of perfect order among everything from the beautiful pastry and baked goods display, to the sugar and silverware (plastic utensils are a no-no) counter, to the exquisite Japanese glass bottles that are used for brewing the obsessively sourced, organic coffee…”continue reading
50 West 15th Street NYC 10014 (510) 653-3394
“To call the minuscule East Village storefront a coffee bar is both an overstatement and an understatement. It’s smaller than a Starbucks bathroom. There’s nary a table or chair, never mind Wi-Fi. With two slender ledges and mere inches to maneuver, Abraço is a coffee bar in the strictest sense. But it’s also much, much more. Factor in relatively ambitious food, some congenial barista banter, and a design so bright and sunny it could cure seasonal affective disorder, and you’ve got an instant neighborhood institution…”continue reading on nymag
86 E. 7th St., NYC 10003 nr. First Ave. 212-388-9731
“In some ways, Kaffe 1668 is a neighborhood cafe; in other ways, it’s an orthodox coffee bar. For New Yorkers on the run, there are lattes in paper cups and jumbo cookies. But for the obsessed, there is drip coffee from a Clover machine, or seasonal single-origin espresso, which the baristas refuse to serve in a cappuccino because the milk would mask the flavor.” (The New York Times)
75 Greenwich Street (Warren Street) NYC 10007 TriBeCa (212) 693-3750
Ninth Street Espresso
“The focus is squarely on the beans at Ninth Street Espresso, where framed burlap coffee sacks once hung on the walls. Clearly, coffee is considered an art form here. Created by and for those with a passion for all things caffeinated, this independent shop takes its guiding premise””offering top-notch artisanal roasts to purist coffee drinkers””seriously…”continue reading on nymag.com
700 E. 9th St., NYC 10009 nr. Ave. C 212-358-9225
La Maison du Macaron
Cozy, quiet and elegantly French, this quaint café is a lovely place to sit with a companion over a cappacino or decadent cup of hot chocolate in winter. Oh, and did I mention the macarons? They’ve been voted as the second best in the world (Ladurée takes first) by virtually every reputable food publication and critic across the globe. Try the fleur de sel, or one of the many inventive fruit combos — they will not disappoint.
32 west 23rd street. NYC, (212) 243-2757
Feature photo: Brian Legate
Espresso machine photo: T. Carrigan
Ninth Street Cafe photo: andersc77
Kaffe 1668 photo: Kimtaro
Macarons photo: MissTurner