UPDATED JUL 14, 2020
There are about a million and a half places you could go to for a cup of coffee, but our shortlist will spare you the caffeine jitters. Here are NYC’s best coffee shops.
Staking their claim on the competitive corner of Canal Street in SoHo, quaint 13th Street in the East Village, and the welcoming Park Slope, this gem of a coffee bar has a retro-but-still-modern feel. Serving up Counter Culture coffee, handcrafted sodas, and just a little bit of ’50s attitude, pop in for a cup of superb coffee or dare to try their Espresso Old Fashioned.
New Yorkers may have 99+ problems, but thanks to this Portland coffee staple migrating to the East Coast, a bad cup of joe isn’t one of them. Whether you’re looking for a full-bodied cowboy coffee or cup with a smooth, almost tea-like finish, Stumptown has got you covered. Plus, in addition to a full espresso bar, drip coffee, brew-by-the-cup offerings, and cold brew, you can enjoy pastries and snacks from Ovenly and Supermoon Bakehouse.
With walls made of wood paneling and ample seating lining the perimeter, the Wall Street location of Bluestone Lane is the perfect spot to read the New York Times or scroll your newsfeed while enjoying your caffeine fix. For that matter, the other 10+ NYC coffee shops and cafes aren’t half bad either — they’re all airy, seriously chill, and blue-toned. Inspired by the cafe culture of Melbourne, Australia, the shops’ decor reflect life Down Under: road maps, vintage sporting memorabilia, and old Australian newspapers. Known for their Flat White and Affogato, as well as their various toast creations (think Salmon Toast with avocado and a poached egg or Turmeric Sweet Potato Toast), Bluestone always makes mornings a sunny experience.
Ninth Street Espresso is a real-deal espresso shop that only offers four types of coffee: hot, cold, espresso, and espresso with milk. Let’s just say this little gem knows what they’re doing — they’re as quality-driven and independent as you can get in NYC. And though the business can now claim six coffee shops (and a dedicated roasting facility), we'd recommend visiting their OG Alphabet City shop for that old-timey feel. With small wooden tables and wire chairs, you can expect to see people having quiet conversations or typing away at any time of the day.
This quintessential coffee shop is as sleek and highly-efficient as you would expect from a six-city coffee chain. And the NYC "coffeebars" don't disappoint. You can grab a cup at the High Line hotel, featuring exposed-brick walls, old-school tiled floors, and that comfy, hole-in-the-wall feel. Or go mid-century modern with the all-new operation at the TWA Hotel at JFK International. Fitt Tip: to get an idea of how quality the coffee is, go for a classic hot brew your first go’round, then get adventurous with lattes, macchiatos, and flat whites.
Rich coffee, homey service, and cozy feel… in Midtown? Yep. Bringing the best coffee all the way from Portland, Oregon to the heart of NYC, this espresso shop brings outstanding joe to a part of town that’s usually too busy to care. Fitt Tip: for Manhattanites who aren’t too busy for a sweet-treat, their signature Chocolate Chip and Oatmeal Cranberry cookies are made in-house and baked over the course of the day. But for the largest selection of baked goods, stop in on your way to work.
From the stylish, industrial interior to the delicious, no-nonsense menu to the (often alternative) music that fills the space, Little Collins hits all the senses and makes people feel both transported to Melbourne (LC is yet another Aussie spot) and completely at home, all at once. Whether you’re craving an espresso or pour-over, or looking to nom on some avocado toast, you can’t go wrong. And although there isn't a ton of seating, the coffee and house-made schnitzel make it stand out on this list.
Close your eyes and picture where you think the quintessential well-to-do hipster goes for coffee. Whatever you just visualized, that’s Black Fox Coffee Co. With tiled flooring, long wooden tables, wire sculptures, and little bursts of greenery, Black Fox is as Instagrammable as it high-quality. That's why it packs in downtown workers looking for a coffee fix, cool vibe, and trendy snacks. And by trendy, yes, we mean avocado toast, acai smoothies, matcha lattes.
With 10 cafes scattered all around the city, Birch is a convenient grab ’n’ go coffee shop with rich, earthy coffee, a laid-back vibe, and rustic furniture. They have various non-dairy milk options—including hemp milk—which is a total win for vegans, but what they really pride themselves on is creating a sense of community amidst the chaos of New York City. Their cups have “Hello my name is \__” printed on them, each location has a “take a book, leave a book” library, and every seat in the house is cozy.
Hutch + Waldo is a gift to the Upper East Side, where Starbucks reigns and local-vibe coffee shops are as rare as a smiling New Yorker. But seriously, Hutch & Waldo is an Aussie-style diamond in the rough. The cozy residential feel is a great retreat from the busy NYC streets, plus "brekkie" choices like the Big Aussie Breakfast ensure you're fueled up for the day ahead. And the coffee is spectacular; their cappuccinos and cold brews are rich, flavorful, and top-notch (yet a little pricey).
From Queens to Manhattan, this espresso bar (formerly known as Toby's Estate) is ubiquitously known for its small, quality-driven batches. But not only does Partners Coffee offer pour-overs worth writing home abaout, they’re also all about the presses (Aeropress, French press, Espro Press). In our opinion, Partners isn’t for the amateur coffee lover — it’s for the coffee connoisseur/self-proclaimed coffee snobs.
This designer-frequented hub is a Williamsburg fave. Thanks to its Australian-inspired bevs and eats, Sweatshop stands out because its offerings are actually just that damn good. One of their most popular drinks is the Sparky, which is made with iced espresso, tonic water, and lime, but you can’t go wrong with a classic cold brew or coffee drip. Fitt Tip: this place fills up fast on both the weekdays and weekends, so get their before the 9am freelance rush to snag a seat.
Their first cafe opened in 1996 on Irving Place in Gramercy Park. Today, Irving Farm has quite a few locations across Manhattan. Yep, they must be doing something right with those coffee beans. The drip coffee and espresso are tops, but whether you’re craving a macchiato, cortado, or cold brew, you can’t go wrong. And if you want carb-packed, they’ve got sweets. Fitt Tip: the seasonal pumpkin bars are a can’t-miss.
After Starbucks, Think Coffee is probably the most-popular coffee joint in the city. With over 10 locations scattered between Brooklyn and Manhattan, Think does more than serve (highly) caffeinated drinks. They also want you to feel good about your coffee, and not in cheesy way. With every purchase, you support projects like housing reconstruction in Colombia, feminine hygiene in Ethiopia, or clean water access in Nicaragua. The shop is also laid out to accommodate Wi-Fi-seekers, so bring your laptop (or hey, maybe a good book).
Maman is an influencer and freelancer heaven. With classic blue floral printed to-go coffee cups, rustic décor, and 'grammable accessories abound, you could spend countless hours taking feed-worthy pics or cranking out work while sipping cappuccino, French press, or cold brew. And if you’re hungry, you’re in luck because they serve brunch in the back (you can’t go wrong with waffles) and you can order pastries to stay. Step inside any of Maman’s various locations around the city for a good cup of joe, a pic, and some quality people-watching.
Happy Bones is a tiny and quiet Little Italy shop where you are immediately transported away from the go-go-go vibe of New York. This minimalistic coffee shop features local art viewings, stacks on stacks of art journals and indie publications, stark white exposed-brick walls, and signature tortoiseshell spoons for sale. Oh, and let’s not forget the delicious espresso. Relax with your flat white (Happy Bones’ specialty) or espresso with the morning paper.
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