Curled up in the corner of a small, crowded coffee shop, a young woman passionately types on her laptop, looking at the screen with determination while sipping a chai tea latte. Next to her at the counter, a businessman has his eyes glued to his iPhone while ordering a large black coffee to go. Then of course, there’s the group of young teens making a ruckus while waiting for their chocolate frappaccinos. It’s a sight you see more often than not. With coffee shops on every corner of every block, it’s hard to avoid. The issue with so many coffeeshops is which ones are the best ones to go to? Which have the freshest brews, best prices, and most fun or chilled atmosphere, depending on what you’re in the mood for? Check out the list below if you’re sick of making the same Starbucks run day in and day out.
This coffeeshop takes everyone’s favorite caffeinated drink international. It draws influences from Spanish, Italian, and Middle Eastern cultures with snacks such as olive-oil cake, cured-olive cookies, and pain perdu with sweet ricotta. You’ll also find espresso drinks made from Counter Culture Coffee beans.
86 E 7th St, no number
2. El Rey
Courtesy of El Rey
Get California vibes right in the middle of NYC. This coffee shop gives you the perfect order in a beautiful setting. This coffee is nothing like you’ve ever tried before; its spiced with chili flakes and cinnamon, topped off with sweetened condensed milk with Mexican chocolate and fresh mint. That’s a mouthful!
00 Stanton St, (212) 260-3950
Courtesy of Fair Folks & A Goat
If iced coffee is your go to wake me up, check out this stylish shop. It has a very quiet, chilled vibe perfect for working on projects, reading, or those who want to get some other work done. This is a neighborhood hot spot as it offers a $25 a month membership that gets you unlimited drinks, plus discounts on some of the knick knacks around the store.
96 W Houston St, (212) 420-7900
Via Paul Crispin Quitoriano
This establishment offers several different types of beans to choose from. If that wasn’t enough for you, next you get to pick a type of brewing method for your coffee. Coffee snobs, this is the place for you — you’ll get precisely what you’re craving at great price.
214 E 10th St, (212) 777-7018
Via Everyman Expresso
The cortado at Everyman Expresso must be the best in the whole city. Mixed with Battenkill Creamery Milk, the combination of the roast of the coffee and the rich cream is a homerun.
136 E 13th St, (212) 533-0524
For those looking for the European vibe that comes with drinking a cappuccino, check out the city’s best cup at Stumptown. Somehow, they manage to get the perfect proportion of espresso to milk at just the right temperature. Come at any time, the line is always moving a steady pace!
18 W 29th St, (347) 414-7805
Via Culture Expresso
Coffee drip has never been so delicious. This trendy spot near Bryant Park is a great place to try instead of the chains surrounding it. Try Kyoto coffee before walking around the beautiful area.
72 W 38th St, (212) 302-0200
Via Intelligentsia Coffee
Originally from Chicago, this is a neighborhood spot to hit up near Chelsea Pier. If you decide to stay in, you’ll be served a beautifully prepared drink in detailed glassware — aka your next Instagram pic. Stay around for lunch time and try one of their prepared salads or pre-packaged sandwiches. Pastries come from Bien Cuit and Mah Ze Dahr.
180 10th Ave, (212) 933-9736
While there are now multiple locations for Sweetleaf, this one on Jackson Avenue is the original that is a must-try. It has high quality espresso drinks, special iced coffees and something even more cool called the Rocket Fuel, which is a cold brew spiked with chicory, maple syrup, and milk. There’s also the Voodoo Child, a Vietnamese styled iced coffee made with sweetened condensed milk. Grab a drink, sit and listen to records in this cool location.
10-93 Jackson Ave, (917) 832-6726
10. Cafe Grumpy
Via Cafe Grumpy
This is one of the city dweller’s favorite coffee spots. The beans come from right next door, literally! Everything is top notch from the expresso to regular drip coffee.
193 Meserole Ave, (718) 349-7623
Via Toby’s Estate Coffee
This spot is filled to the brim of all different types of brewing devices. The menu has lots of single-origin coffees. If you’re really into everything about coffee — not just drinking it — you can check out their classes that range from latte art to coffee tasting.
44 Charles Street, (646) 590-1924
Via Blue Bottle Cafe
At Blue Bottle Coffee you can actually see for yourself the entire roasting process. Try out their delicious New Orleans style cold brew that’s flavored with chicory and added with milk and sugar. Their espresso is one of the strongest around, and the pastries are hard to beat.
160 Berry St, (718) 534-5488
13. Underline Coffee
Via Underline Coffee
Perhaps after your morning run on the High Line you can grab a cup of joe at Underline Coffee. With a laid back vibe and classic rock softly humming through the speakers, you can get their famous iced cascara. It’s a tea made from dried coffee berries (or “cherries” as they are known.) It’s home to a great cortado as well.
511 W 20th St, (917) 477-9476