By Krista Bo
Coffee shops aren’t just a place to get your caffeine fix anymore. It’s a place to congregate, to maintain an Instagram aesthetic, to focus, to reflect and to escape. Vibes are important to thrive, but the perfect spot can be hard to come by. Let me give you a head start: here are a list of bomb coffee shops in New York City curated by New Yorkers, for New Yorkers!
Spoiler alert: All the coffee is good at these collections of shops, but I’ll give you reasons to visit that go beyond caffeine kicks and ample outlets.
Coffee Project, a female-founded coffee shop, offers a drink menu of creative, java-infused concoctions they coin as “projects.” One of the most famous is the deconstructed latte flight, which separates milk, espresso and a concocted latte into 3 separate glasses for the customer to hone in on each flavor note that makes up the latte. There are also opportunities to take coffee-tasting, brewing and barista classes if you want to take your coffee knowledge to the next level. If you’re looking for a place with true coffee house charm and value experience over anything, check this place out.
The Austrailian-inspired cafe has a stacked breakfast/brunch menu complete with an Instagram-worthy aesthetic. Most locations have plenty of seating to post-up with tons of natural light to complement the clean, earthy decor inside. With locations scattered all across the city, you have a high chance of finding a seat near an outlet.
Coppelia is a pan Latin diner open 24 hours with unlimited refills of coffee. However, if you’ll be there a while, don’t be that person that buys one cup of coffee and hogs a booth to yourself… Order a meal from their all-day breakfast menu and don’t forget to tip!
Between the three locations in New York City, City of Saints coffee shops each have their own unique vibe depending on the neighborhood. The Bushwick location lives up to its roastery roots with a warehouse interior complete with murals from local artists. The Bryant Park cafe is full of seafoam tones, quartzite countertops and natural lighting with optimal seating. The East Village location is a combination of the two—a modern industrial look with countertop seats. Popular concoctions of theirs are the Hot or Iced Lavender Agave or Mint Matcha lattes, plus they brew a mean pour-over. Their free WiFi actually works and doesn’t disconnect every two seconds, a huge plus!
Sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name, but given the name of the cafe, they might not always be glad you came… just kidding! The baristas are the type to remember your name and order if you come enough and are active in the communities they hail from. Each location partners with charities, nonprofits, musicians and artists to hosts events, classes, benefits and performances. Plus, their coffee is really strong and their logo is a MOOD if I ever saw one!
La Colombe Coffee Roasters is known for their transparent, ethical coffee trade, so you can buy their products with confidence you’re supporting the real deal. Each location is spacious with table and bar seating with your choice between barista service or their ready-to-drink canned draft lattes.
The French artisanal bakery has plenty of indoor and outdoor seating (depending on the location) with a full-functioning bakery and kitchen for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I say dinner because all the locations in New York are open until 9pm — some are open till 10pm. So no matter where you are in the city, you’ll be sure to find a shop for a night cap.
Also an Aussie-owned cafe, Two Hands can be summarized as a sophisticated, yet chill spot with a healthy food menu and array of drink selections from coffee, tea, speciality drinks and smoothies. The Nolita location even has alcohol, so the seamless transition into Happy Hour is an option! Be sure to give their gluten-free banana bread and/or their avocado toast a try!
Google Maps describes this place as a, “funky java shop with Mediterranean eats”. An SDS member shared that an employee specializes in calligraphy, so if he’s working, you can expect a beautifully customized cup of coffee! It’s the little things that count. Mellow Yellow’s shakshuka and the Moroccan tea are huge hits on Yelp. If you plan on going there to work on the weekends, don’t bother. The cafe has a strict, no-laptops policy on the weekends, which adds character to the place.
Part coffee-shop, part-wine bar, Stella and Fly is a place to start and end your day with New York’s two favorite things. With bar and table seating, there’s plenty of room on the first floor to catch up on work or nurse a hangover. Or, if you want to get your drink on, happy hour starts at 6pm and goes until 9pm, Monday-Friday. Downstairs, you can find live performances on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays as well as trivia on Tuesdays. A true one-stop shop!