10 Perfect NYC Cafes

Travel Lists

People like to say New York City never sleeps. That’s because there’s a cup of joe on every corner. New York is fast-paced, constantly creating and always desperate to refuel. Whether you’re searching for an experience or a warm, aromatic stimulant, these 10 will guarantee your fix.

1. Grounded
28 Jane Street

This West Village shop has ample space and natural light, which means it’s always packed. It’s also worth it, especially if you’re fond of lattes. The selection here includes Nutella and the Cafe Aloha, which is made with coconut milk. Grounded also offers soups, salads and sandwiches.

2. Kaffe 1668
275 Greenwich Street; 401 Greenwich Street; 530 5th Avenue

Kaffe 1668, with its strong brew, communal tables and low lighting, is a surprisingly good venue for a lunch meeting. The shop also has great pastries, particularly the raspberry shortbread cookie. If you’re avoiding carbs, the chia pudding is the right choice.

3. Two Hands
164 Mott Street

Two Hands is a gem on the edges of Little Italy. Order the avocado toast and a fried egg with your coffee, and make sure not to miss out on one of the coolest bathrooms in New York, which features a hanging garden.

4. La Colombe Torrefaction
270 Lafayette Street; 400 Lafayette Street; 319 Church Street; 75 Vandam Street

La Colombe may have franchises in several cities, but they still deserve mention. If you’re looking for coffee that will seriously wake you up, this is your answer. Torrefaction is a little expensive, but its product is very effective. The shop is small and fast-paced—you get in, get your coffee, get out and get going.

5. Brooklyn Roasting Company
25 Jay Street

Let’s just say that Brooklyn Roasting Company is very … Brooklyn. The company itself brings Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance and Organic certified and sustainable coffees to the city. The Dumbo headquarters has a comfortable loft atmosphere and overlooks the Hudson River.

6. Bluebird Coffee Shop
72 East 1st Street

This East Village spot is on the small side, but hey, good things come in small packages. Aside from fantastic coffee, Bluebird offers pastries, breakfast and lunch.

7. Toby’s Estate Coffee Brooklyn
125 North 6th Street

Toby’s insists on being good for the world and your palate. The Brooklyn small-batch roaster serves single-origin coffee from around the world, roasting each cup individually for a masterful taste. The clean space features a rotating coffee menu and a light selection of snacks and pastries. Toby’s Williamsburg outpost also holds public cuppings and offers private classes.

8. Laughing Man Coffee & Tea TriBeCa
184 Duane Street

Although Laughing Man can’t hold many guests at once, Hugh Jackman’s philanthropic operation is worth a visit. If you’re not feeling coffee, get a cup of tea—they’ve got a strong selection—or take a look at the coffee instruments and accessories for sale.

9. Irving Farm Training Lab
151 West 19th Street, 6th Floor

If you’re looking for an educational coffee experience, head to Irving Farm’s Training Lab, the brew academy for all Irving Farm baristas. The lab often holds public demonstrations and tastings, so it’s kind of like getting your coffee from a scientist.

10. Blue Bottle Coffee Chelsea
450 West 15th Street

Blue Bottle Coffee Chelsea is a two-floor shop with a no-fuss design on a swanky street. Sit by the window and watch for celebrities making their way to Milk Studios, and bask in the glory of quality coffee and beautiful surroundings.

Sarra Sedghi is a freelance writer based in Athens, Ga. She runs an Athens-centric travel blog for locals.

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