Location: New York City
I don't know about you, but every time I see a new Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts pop up on the corner, I silently freak out that they are slowly taking over the city. Don't get me wrong, I used to be sickly obsessed with Java Chip Frappuccinos and Flat Whites with caramel sauce not syrup, and the coffee isn't even good! I shredded my gold Starbucks card and decided that if I am going to pay for overpriced coffee, it better be damn good. As I work from my laptop the majority of the time, I find myself wandering the streets of New York for great coffee shops. My criteria isn't tough. Delicious coffee, ambiance and you win extra points if you have complementary wifi. I promise I am not one of those people who stay there for hours on end.
Below, I've rounded up some of my favorite coffee shops here in NYC that I have stumbled upon and fell in love with. When doing this roundup, I realize, damn, I spend WAY TOO MUCH MONEY DRINKING COFFEE. Anyway, enjoy and sip away!
1. Happy Bones, 394 Broome Street, New York, NY 10013
While shopping around in Soho, I stumbled upon this tiny minimalistic coffee shop that I adore. Happy Bones specialize in Flat Whites (yum!) and have all types of milk (yay!). Ever since coming here, I have purchased 5 too many of their signature tortoiseshell spoons, which are usually on sale in the cafe. (Don't tell my husband, I keep telling him they are complementary.) Ambiance is quiet, coffee is delicious and the baristas are super friendly. A+ for me!
2. Maman, 239 Centre Street, New York NY 10013
211 West Broadway, New York NY 10013
I actually had a work meeting here at Maman and had previously not known about this adorable little cafe and boy was I missing out. Its basically Intagram heaven as they have adorable blue floral design to go coffee cups , rustic decor and furniture and very instagramable props everywhere. If you like hot chocolate, order the lavender hot chocolate, its impressive! They serve brunch in the back and you can order quiches and pastries to sit. During the day, people sit in the back on the rustic furniture among the potted plants and string lights to work or relax with their coffee. Cute spot, great ambiance but can get a little crowded on the weekends.
3. Chalait, 224 West 4th Street, New York, NY 10014
Chalait is a bustling West Village neighborhood cafe serving its own line of Japanese Green Tea beverages with absolute precision and attention to detail. This is the type of cafe I would probably only meet a friend at, not sit and work at. Its a little loud and does not have that many seats. There is a little bar area where people can sit, but people don't tend to stay that long. Their matcha cortado is heavenly and a must try.
4. Birch, 750 Columbus Avenue, New York, NY 10025
21 East 27th Street, New York, NY 10016
56 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10011
134 1/2 East 62nd Street, New York, NY 10062
432 3rd Avenue, New York, NY 10016
When I lived more uptown at Central Park West, one of my favorite places to meet my best friend was Birch. I lived on 94th and she lived on 95th and Birch was located in between us both. A bit on the pricier side but various types of coffee, lots of space to sit and work, and wooden rustic furniture. It was here that I tried hemp milk for the first time! Best of all, they have the "Ignition Initiative" where they push patrons to mingle among each other. The cups have "Hello my name is___" and the Ignition Initiative cards provide a great topic to talk about which you can bring and put on your table. You have someones name, a conversation topic and a delicious cup of coffee, can you ask for more?
5. Ground Support, 399 West Broadway, New York, NY 10012
Randomly stumbled upon this gem while trying to get out of the torrential downpour and desperately needed a cup of coffee. Soho can sometimes feel "Too Cool" but Ground Support is a welcoming change of pace that serves lush delicious coffee fairly quickly. There are wooden log benches and picnic tables in the seating area and a park bench in the front that faces the street, so its great people watching. Because of its stellar location in the heart of Soho, the cafe can get really crowded and a little loud. If you can get a seat in the front, grab it, if not, its more a grab and go type of place. Not a good cafe to work at, but if you're in the area, a great one for a mid day pick me up from shopping!
6. Stumptown Coffee Roasters @ Ace Hotel, 18 West 29th Street, New York, NY 10001
The first time I ever had Stumptown was back when I was living in San Francisco and I never forgot it. Plus how do you forget a name like Stumptown? When I moved to New York, I had a meeting with a client in the lobby of the Ace Hotel, and immediately fell in love with the hotel itself. It has a seductive charm about it. Then I found out the cafe next door was Stumptown and I fell deeper in love. Its a mixed crowd of beautiful people, hipsters, tourists and working professionals, but its usually quite crowded. If you are visiting New York, I'd highly suggest visiting. If you live in New York, like myself, I need to make note and come here more often. The coffee is strong and the baristas know what they are doing. Usually I like to order in a cup to stay because the coffee saucer reads "Good Luck" and inside the cup has their Stumptown logo. Its the little things that make me smile.
7. Intelligentsia Coffee @ High Line Hotel, 180 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011
Nestled in a cozy corner on the ground floor of the charming High Line Hotel, Intelligentsia Coffee quickly became one of my favorite coffee places on the west side. What I love about this place is its location and quiet ambiance. There is a small courtyard in which guests can sit outside, meet up with friends and enjoy the weather while having a beverage. They have free wifi too so its a great place to come work if I happen to be on the westside. Also, popular brunch spot, Cookshop is right around the corner and its a great place to get coffee while waiting for a table.
8. Hi-Collar, 214 East 10th St. New York, NY 10003
At Hi-Collar is all about the experience. Awesome Japanese Coffee shop in which its coffee by day and sake by night. The cafe is literally one long counter that fits about ten people. You will continually hear "Choose your Bean" from the Hi-Collar menu with a variety of beans to pick from. Then you pick your brewing method. The baristas are really helpful and friendly when helping you pick your beans. I had the Mizudashi Iced Coffee and a green tea Rice Krispy treat which were both delicious and unique. Hi- Collar is not a place to work, only come for the experience. To pay $7 to sip coffee from a $700 gold leafed Christofle cup and feel like royalty for even 20 min, is so worth it.
9. Irving Farm Coffee Roasters, 224 W 79th St, New York, NY 10024
89 E 42nd St, New York, NY 10017 (Grand Central Terminal)
71 Irving Pl, New York, NY 10003
88 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002
Speaking specifically for the Upper West Side location, Irving Farm is a great place to come work, meet friends or sit alone and read the morning paper. The line can go out the door, but the baristas are pretty fast and always on point. They used to have almond milk at this location and recently removed it and replaced it with Pumpkin Seed milk which is $1 extra. Seriously what other types of milk are they going to come up with next? The pumpkin seed milk adds a great kick to the coffee so if you can try it, you should! My favorite is the farmhouse sandwich which is grilled croissant with avocado and cheese, totally my guilty pleasure whenever I go. This location is relatively spacious in the front and back of this location and it can get a little noisy on the weekends. The decor is minimalistic, wooden and has a romantic feel to it. Only downfall, no wifi. During the weekday its a great place to come and work (if you have your own wifi).
10. El Rey, 100 Stanton Street, New York, NY 10002
Discovered this great little Lower East Side gem when meeting a friend who lives in the area. The small quarters make for an intimate and charming space thats perfect for a solo lunch or a meet up with a friend. El Ray has a laid back California vibe, with mostly everything painted white, lush green plants as decor and bowls of avocados around. If you love avocados, you will love this place! Highly recommend the kale salad with beet pickled egg, absolutely delicious. If you come on the weekend, good luck getting a seat. Try to check it out on a weekday during lunch or for an early dinner.
**Lucky 11. Coffee Project, 239 E 5th Street, New York NY 10003
Whaaaatttt??? A deconstructed latte? Yup, thats right. Try the Project One and the Nitro Coffee. I won't take all the fun out of it, but the Project One consists of one shot espresso, a shot of steamed milk, a latte cup, a glass of sparkling water and a little waffle cookie. The barista's are knowledgable and explain everything. This is a great cafe to meet friends and enjoy the experience together; very different from any coffee shop I have ever been to!
Well folks, these are the top ten coffee shops (plus a special extra!) that I love here in Manhattan and I promise to keep updating it as I find new ones. And if you have other suggestions, let me know about them too so I can check them out! Happy cafe hopping!
As always, go JETSETAWAY!