There’s nothing worse than a bitter brew, especially when you’re so often giving up a small ransom for the cream and coffee that ends up in your cup. To respect those refined taste buds, you’d be well advised to seek out the best—no small feat in NYC, where chains camp out on every corner and hundreds of unknown cafes loom large. To steer you in the right direction, we’ve picked out some of our favorite on the island. May your cup runneth over (but only with the good stuff).
Ninth Street Espresso
With its Alphabet City location located right on Tompkins Square Park, Ninth Street Espresso is a spring and summer gem. Grab a cup of Brazilian and have a seat in the park while you indulge in some of the odder people-watching this great city has to offer.
700 E 9th St, New York, NY 10009
Cafe Grumpy rose to wider known fame after a few cameos on HBO’s Girls at its Brooklyn location. While you won’t find Lena Dunham rehearsing lines at this Lower East Side spot, you will find pastries fresh out of the oven and beans roasted in-house.
13 Essex St, New York, NY 10011
There’s no room to sit and linger in this tiny Nolita coffee shop, but the rich espresso more than makes up for it. Plus, no one really wants their favorite spot to be crowded with freelancers mooching tables and WiFi anyway.
228 Mott St, New York, NY 10012
Blue Bottle Coffee
Need to add a bit of pep to your gallery crawl? Look no further than Blue Bottle. Located on 15th Street in the heart of Chelsea’s arts district, this is the perfect place to fuel up on a triple capp and a lavender biscotti before heading off to the Gagosian to pick out some new art for the walls or, at the very least, get in a solid shot for the Instagram feed.
450 W 15th St, New York, NY 10014
The Financial District is not necessarily what one might call a “culinary mecca.” Servicing the needs of business types during the lunch hour rush, food and bev in this hood usually amounts to a chopped salad and a bottled frappuccino. Bluestone Lane to the rescue! The Aussie-run joint will have you set with their motherland’s infamous Flat White.
30 Broad St, New York, NY 10004
If for some reason you find yourself shopping in the commercial tornado that is Herald Square and need a latte to fortify yourself for another round of purchases, head over to Intelligentsia, where they serve up the rich and delicious brew the brand is known for.
1333 Broadway, New York, NY 10018
Dimly lit and wholly pleasant, Tribeca’s Kaffe 1668 offers up some of the best coffee south of Canal, along with more than enough space to sit and stay awhile–pretty valuable real estate in a neighborhood that the likes of Taylor Swift and Christy Turlington call home.
275 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10007
Irving Coffee Roasters
Heading north, Irving Coffee Roasters holds it down on the Upper West Side. Here, you’ll find a menu as robust as your coffee, with everything from pressed Cubano sandwiches to scrambled eggs on a cheddar chive biscuit. Come hungry.
224 W 79th St, New York, NY 10024
Header photo courtesy of Tyler Nix