Trying to be frugal and environmentally friendly, I typically make my morning coffee at home to go with my breakfast cookies (FYI all cookies are breakfast cookies). But I also love the inviting warmth of a good coffee shop: the cozy club chairs, mismatched china, pop music remastered into instrumental jazz, and strong espresso beverages.
And honestly, I do love a good Starbucks caramel macchiato or holiday bev too, but in New York, there’s an endless supply of other coffee shops to sample. Here are 6 to which I give two thumbs up, organized by neighborhood:
Hell’s Kitchen/Midtown West: Fika is a Swedish concept coffee shop with outposts all around town. The one I visited on 10th Avenue and 55th was light and airy with a huge glass wall looking out over the sidewalk, sleek white decor, sky-high ceilings and cool mod-industrial styled bare bulb lights (but not rustic-style fixtures…more like multicolored ropes draped from the tall ceiling with bulbs attached…IKEA chic if you will). The cappuccino was extra milky and creamy and the place was packed with strollers and laptop-ers. Oh, and I forgot to mention that their truffle selection looked amazing: flavors like quinoa hazelnut, peppermint lime, seawater caramel (yum!) and goat cheese (er, no thanks). [Mark – Take note for Valentine’s Day.]
Murray Hill: Perk Kafe on 37th and 3rd is a cozy haunt that I almost couldn’t find it was a bit hidden on 37th Street. The decaf cappuccino was a perfect balance of coffee and milk – not too bitter and not too creamy. The gluten free salted peanut butter cookie was also delish. Crumbly and a bit dry as a peanut butter cookie is wont to be with a good salt kick. This place is definitely a perfect neighborhood find with friendly staff.
Meatpacking: Kava Cafe offers up a deliciously well-balanced cappuccino (and also wine!) in a small, narrow space. Snag a sunny table in the front it you can manage, but otherwise the better bet may be a to-go cup, particularly on a weekend morning. There’s a second outpost in Midtown, and they offer punch cards for those looking to become regulars.
Financial District: Bean & Bean is a local chain with standard coffee offerings, as well as trendy seasonal drinks. I had a honey latte which was yummy although I’m not sure I could tell it was a honey latte versus a latte with sugar in it. Delicious nonetheless. The Financial District location was slightly tricky to locate on Broadway, just south of Rector near Trinity Church. Once we found it, I loved the tiny staircase, revolving door and dark minimalist interior. The staff was very friendly and I enjoyed sitting at one of the long wooden tables that appears to have been handmade or locally crafted.
Tribeca: Blue Spoon is an adorably tiny coffee shop with a little counter and a few small tables and chairs. Their drip coffee is as smooth and lovely as can be and the staff is seriously kind. They clearly care about the business and the customer.
Greenwich Village/NYU: Stumptown Coffee Roasters is yes, obviously a national chain with highly acclaimed coffee. But it is popular for a reason – because the coffee is good (and strong)! And this location is so quintessential coffee culture via The Village with the rustic/vintage/hipster/whatever you want to call it decor of light wood paneling (the back wall is drawers that look to be an oversized card catalog), brass accents, and a whole lotta mustaches, vests and suspenders.
Oh! And on those days when I’m actually staying home for my cuppa joe, beans from The Sensuous Bean on the Upper West Side are awesome! The shop is literally stacked with every origin, flavor or kind of coffee bean you could want!
So I know there are tons of other places out there that I still need to find! Send this caffeine addict your favorite local spots! 🙂