Top-Notch Coffee in Downtown NYC

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Seattle might lay claim to reinventing the way Americans drink coffee, but New York has certainly moved the needle in its own right. With shops geared to please both discerning locals and the practiced palates of those just passing through, NYC has become one of the best places in the world to grab a premium brew. (Though those Greek-inspired paper coffee cups will forever hold a place in our hearts.) With an ever-changing landscape of new cafes opening their doors, sometimes it’s hard to stay on top of the caffeination stations. And so we employed worldly wanderer (and vetted coffee snob) Eric von Fricken to pick out some of his local favorites after a stop through SIXTY LES.

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Happy Bones

Everyone loves Happy Bones. Counter Culture coffee and a minimalistic design–you really need nothing else. This has been a favorite of mine for the last few years. Always a nice intimate space to chat over cappuccinos with a friend. However, you may want to show up a little early to snag one of the three tables.

394 Broome St, New York, NY 10013

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Gasoline Alley

If you’re not looking for small talk and you just want an espresso to go, Gasoline Alley is the spot for you. Precision is key here; the espresso and cortados are always on point. Even the latte art–they don’t seem to make a mistake. It’s not a place you’ll probably want to stay and do work, as the name hints. But for a quick drink, there’s no place better.

325 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012

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I visited Ost for the first time just a few months ago, and it’s recently become my new favorite. It’s spacious enough where you most likely can find a seat, so bring a friend. And the floor, I mean, come on. However, they don’t serve drinks in “for here” cups on the weekends. So if you’re looking to go for the ‘gram, you’ll have to stick to an espresso or macchiato. Or you can just make up a story about how you’re an esteemed food critic and need that cappuccino cup for your website review. Either or.

441 E 12th St, New York, NY 10009

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Stumptown is like a national landmark for coffee connoisseurs. This is probably the largest cafe on the list and if it’s nice outside there’s additional outdoor seating against a beautiful mauve- colored wall. The baristas are professional and generally love what they do. If you’re looking to hang and talk about coffee with people who know coffee, this is the place to do it. Just don’t mention Peet’s…

30 W 8th St, New York, NY 10011


Cafe Sel Rrose

Cafe Sel Rrose is a fairly new cafe that opened as a new addition to Sel Rrose, a stunning oyster and cocktail bar in the Lower East Side. Also serving Counter Culture coffee, these people clearly know what they’re doing. Beautiful and very intimate, this would be the cafe I would take that first date. If things go well, you also have the convenience to just hop over to the next room for dinner and drinks. To be honest, if I lived in NYC I’d probably never leave here.

1 Delancey St, New York, NY 10002

Photos courtesy of Eric von Fricken for SIXTY.



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