When I moved to New York, one of the things I was most excited about was trying a ton of different coffee shops. Two months after moving here, I’m happy to say that I’ve come across some really cool coffee shops in NYC. So let’s get right into it, starting with Bird and Branch.
1. Bird and Branch
:: HELL’S KITCHEN ::
359 W 45th St, New York, NY 10036
Get a taste of the Blackbird, and that’s the only coffee drink you’ll be thinking about for a while.
My favorite drink at Bird and Branch, the Blackbird, is a latte with espresso, blackberries, thyme, and house made almond macadamia milk. The drink will take you on a rollercoaster ride with its mixture of bitter, sour, sweet, nutty, and herbal flavors.
But that drink wasn’t actually the first thing I fell in love with about this NY coffee shop. The first thing I noticed was that they use Saint Frank Coffee, which is one of my favorite San Francisco based coffee roasting companies. So am I biased by that? Maybe. Still though, try the Blackbird if you go!
2. Odd Fox Coffee
:: BROOKLYN ::
984 Manhattan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11222
I stumbled upon Odd Fox Coffee while wandering in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. The shop’s exterior was the first thing that caught my eye, but the interior was what made me stay. I love the whimsical atmosphere that the space creates. The personality of the cafe really comes through via the decor.
As a bonus, the coffee was also delicioso!
3. Old Country Coffee
:: HUDSON YARDS ::
455 West 34th Street, New York, NY 10001
I had my doubts about this place before visiting. I wasn’t sure an “old country” style coffee shop was what I looked for in a NY coffee shop. So when I sat down in their outdoor seating area, I was pleasantly surprised by how nice of an atmosphere the cafe owners have created for their guests.
I loved the vines trickling down from the poles in their outdoor seating area. And the iced latte I got helped me stay alert for the rest of the day.
4. Urban Backyard
:: NOLITA ::
180 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10012
Urban Backyard is the definition of a cute cafe! The NY coffee shop is located in a busy corner by Little Italy and Chinatown. Even though the space is small, the storefront is so inviting that the place is hard to miss.
I remember being impressed by their coffee, but I was even more impressed by the craftsmanship of their desert. The little plant-like cupcakes looked way too cute to be eaten.
5. % Arabica
:: DUMBO ::
20 Old Fulton St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Kyoto-based coffee shop % Arabica opened its first U.S. location in June 2021. And my gosh the owner couldn’t have picked a better location for this trendy cafe! The coffee shop is located in Dumbo, Brooklyn, and there’s a large arch window that offers a close-up view of the Brooklyn Bridge.
I’m often hesitant to visit coffee shop chains because it’s really hard to maintain a consistent quality across all of the stores. However, my first impression of % Arabica was a good one. Their Spanish Latte especially left a mark.
Wanderer Tip: This location often gets crowded and has a long line. Go in the late afternoon if you want to avoid the crowd!
6. 787 Coffee
:: UPPER EAST SIDE ::
228 E 80th St, New York, NY 10075
787 Coffee grows their own coffee beans in Puerto Rico and makes fresh coffee at one of their 10 locations in New York City! I’ve been a fan of farm to cup coffee ever since I visited my first farm to cup cafe, Pachamama, in Sacramento.
The idea of farm to cup is that 1) you get the freshest beans possible and 2) the farmers are paid more since there is no middle main, or distributor, taking a cut from the farmers.
I was so happy to have discovered 787 Coffee’s Upper East Side location. I know it’s going to become one of my go-to coffee shops in NY.
7. Cafe Grumpy
:: LOWER EAST SIDE ::
13 Essex Street, New York, NY 10002
I stumbled upon Cafe Grumpy after a yoga class at the Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit. The coffee shop has a couple different locations in New York, and the one I visited was in a quieter part of Lower East Side.
When you walk into the shop, you’re greeted by a friendly barista. There’s also a neon sign hanging directly to your right against the brick wall. It’s in the shape of Cafe Grumpy’s logo – a grumpy looking face – that’s hard to miss!
Based on how the customers interacted with the barista I could tell this cafe is frequented by locals. As an extra perk, this NY coffee shop is only a few blocks away from Two Bridges, a scenic spot where you can see both the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges converge into the distance.
8. Bibble & Sip
:: MIDTOWN ::
253 W 51st St, New York, NY 10019
Bible & Sip is for pastry lovers, matcha drinkers, and people needing a boost on their Instagram page 😛 This coffee and pastry shop has two locations, and the one I frequent is in Midtown on 51st St. and 8th Ave.
My favorite things to get here are the Earl Grey Cream Puff and Matcha Latte. Their pastries are also super adorable and I know I’m going to keep going back until I try everything on their menu.
9. Remi Flower & Coffee
:: MIDTOWN EAST ::
906 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10017
Remi is like a dream come true for those who love coffee and flowers. When you walk in, you can immediately tell it’s a coffee shop because there are wooden tables everywhere and people working on their laptops. However after sitting there for a while, you start to wonder if you’ve teleported to someone’s backyard and are spending the afternoon in their garden.
A lot of people also come to Remi because of how beautiful their drinks are. Imagine blue, purple, and pink lattes. I tried the Butterfly Pea Latte when I went and I have to say it wasn’t the best-tasting latte I’ve had but the aesthetic presentation made it very enjoyable.
10. Frisson Espresso
:: HELL’S KITCHEN ::
326 W 47th St, New York, NY 10036
I love an unassuming coffee spot with simply delicious coffee. I visited Frisson on a rainy day when my mom was in town. We each ordered a cappuccino – one with almond milk and one with soy milk. My mom is a longtime latte drinker, and I think I may have converted her into a cappuccino drinker that day! That’s how yum it was!
Besides the coffee, the space is also super cozy, and I loved sitting there and chatting with my mom as if we had all the time in the world.
11. Sey Coffee
:: BROOKLYN ::
Sey Coffee has one of the most beautiful spaces for enjoying coffee! It’s bright, woody, and filled with plants. If they told me they were going to start selling plants one day, I wouldn’t even be surprised.
As a bonus, their coffee is also delicious.
My only complaint is that the coffee shop is quite deep inside Brooklyn so it does take some time to get there. But maybe the place felt extra serene because of how quiet the neighborhood also was.
:: WILLIAMSBURG, BROOKLYN ::
Whenever I have friends in town, Devocion (the Williamsburg location) is usually on my list of spots to hit up. The space is really cool, with a large plant installation on the back wall and a skylight that lets so much good light spill into the space. There’s also a nice leather couch right in the center of it all that’s the perfect set-up for catching up with friends.
The NY coffee shop takes pride in its fresh beans and the cold brew is definitely something you’ll want to try when making a stop here.
13. Mirror Tea House
:: BROOKLYN ::
Mirror In the Woods (also called Mirror Tea House) is a cafe, restaurant, and event venue. It’s one of the most New York experiences you could have while visiting New York so I highly recommend it to everyone!
I visited in May 2021 and due to COVID restrictions they were only doing outdoor seating. I gave their Banana Milk Matcha a try – and it’s still one of the most unique drinks I’ve had in the city. I can’t wait to go back when their live performances and events are back.
Coffee Shops in New York City: An Ongoing Exploration
Needless to say, I’ve been to a number of coffee shops in New York City. Somehow, it feels as if I’ve only scratched the surface. A few places that are on my list are Think Coffee, St Kilda Coffee, and Black Fox Coffee. Once I’ve hit up these places too I’ll be sure to report back!
What’s on your list of NY coffee shops to hit up?