The 24 Best Cafes in NYC

The 24 Best Cafes in NYC

New York City is home to some truly special cafes. No two are exactly alike and depending on your preferences it can be difficult finding the best fit. Some places like to focus on ambiance and create a unique place that is enjoyable to relax. Others might be dedicated to the fastest wifi possible to keep freelancers happy. 

As a prerequisite of being on this list, the coffee at these cafes needs to be outstanding and many places on this list have a creative menu of espresso-based drinks. These cafes also focus on creating a special place for the local neighborhood and community. There are many ways to create an extraordinary cafe but to stand out in New York you need to really be special. Here's the cream of the crop. 

#24
Stumptown Coffee Roasters

They opened their first café in New York on Labor Day of 2009 in the lobby of their good friend’s Ace Hotel. This space is usually filled with a mix of artists, capitalists, vagabonds and beautiful people. Don’t miss the incredible architectural details in this turn of the century building. 

#23
Intelligentsia Coffee

Their first coffee bar in NYC is small and simple, nestled in the lobby of The High Line Hotel. A zinc-topped bar offers the full Intelligentsia experience for guests who want to sidle up to the bar or sit in the quiet back courtyard a step away. Meanwhile, another Intelligentsia first sits out front; their fully refurbished 1963 Citroen coffee truck. The truck serves a limited selection of espresso and pour-over for passers-by along 10th Avenue. They affectionately call it Minibar. 

#22
Bibble & Sip

The passionate team at Bibble & Sip strives to serve the finest gourmet coffee, espresso, and pastries. Trained in French Confectionery and inspired by Asian flavors, their savory treats hope to bring you the best of both worlds. 

All their baked goods are freshly house made, including even the smallest components such as the granola on the yogurt and marshmallow on the hot chocolates. Aside from top quality coffees and espresso, they also offer specialty lattes with flavors such as Matcha Jasmine and Lavender, in which all syrups are made in-house, infused with real tea. 

#21
Hi-Collar

Hi-Collar is a Fashion-alluding term popularized during the Japanese Jazz Age symbolizing Japan's flirtation with the West. During the daytime, Hi-Collar is a Western-inspired Japanese cafe -popularly known as kissaten - specializing in siphon coffee & a kissaten menu. Kissaten is a Japanese-style tea room that is also a coffee shop. Kissaten are often particularly popular among students and business people for breakfast.

#20
Blue Bottle Coffee

Thanks to the enthusiastic support of many loyal customers, Blue Bottle Coffee has grown to a small network of cafes, an espresso cart, and some vintage German coffee roasters. They are still united by the simple purpose of getting great coffee to everyone who asks for it. They roast coffee on vintage gear, put it in compostable bags, and still get it to their customers within 48 hours.

#19
Plowshares Coffee Roasters 

Plowshares is a New York-based boutique coffee roaster. Their drip coffee is perfectly brewed and they have a rotating selection of different roasts from across the world.  Their Nitro Cold Brew is so smooth, delicious, and addicting. The staff and owner are extremely friendly and welcoming. Their coffee is consistently fantastic, and they make amazing shots of espresso. They are also great coffee roasters for those who are looking to buy coffee beans. 

#18
The Elk

Founded by Vancouver native, Claire Chan, The Elk features a full-service cafe, a menu of lite and healthy bites, as well as a selection of home and lifestyle items for sale. Inspired by her roots in the Pacific Northwest, Claire infused The Elk's decor with the spirit of the outdoors and her chill Northwest style. With a focus on social responsibility and sustainable practices, The Elk is committed to offering guests the highest quality local ingredients.

#17
Zibetto Espresso Bar

Zibetto Espresso Bar feels like walking into a small café from Trieste to Milano. The people may not be the same, but the atmosphere is. When they opened their doors their sole ambition was to offer a conscious espresso bar experience. At Zibetto they’re all about Espresso and people. And no matter if it’s your first visit or your thousandth cup, you will always find a spot al banco (at their counter). 

#16
El Rey Coffee Bar & Luncheonette

El Rey is a coffee and luncheonette bar located in Manhattan's Lower East Side. Helmed by Nicholas Morgenstern and Head Chef Gerardo Gonzalez, the menu at El Rey features a balance of sweet, spicy and sour, with vegetables taking center stage in a new way. Fresh food, lots of veggie options, great coffee, wine, beer, and teas. 

#15
Red Pipe Cafe

All organic, vegetarian coffee house with gluten-free and vegan items. They serve pastries, salads, wraps, oatmeal, soup, and smoothies. The coffee is great and they have amazing breakfast and lunch sandwiches. It's a cozy, almost rustic style coffee shop with a nice tea selection. They also have live music on some nights. 

#14
Ninth Street Espresso

The city’s first quality-driven, specialty coffee bar. Their idea was to serve the highest quality coffee, plain and simple. Since its inception, Ninth Street Espresso has set the bar for quality, not only in NYC, but throughout the United States. Their focused approach and streamlined menu have become the standard for specialty coffee shops throughout the country.

At Ninth Street Espresso, the commitment to quality and craftsmanship is reflected in their chosen brew methods. From batch brewing with American made urns to extracting perfectly balanced espresso, Ninth Street Espresso has carved out its own path, striving always towards one thing: great coffee, brewed with care, for everyone. 

#13
Oslo Coffee Roasters

As a small, community oriented company they focus on the important things: maintaining a high standard of quality and keeping their coffee community, happy.

Their premium coffee beans come from farmers who use ecologically and socially sustainable practices. Farmers with standards that envelop the entire growing and harvesting process to produce better and better beans every year. Expect to find exceptional coffee when you visit their shops. Whether you order an expertly prepared espresso drink or one of their cold-brewed single origin iced coffees, their aim is to prepare your coffee with the same amount of care and insight that went into roasting it, and that’s saying something. 

#12
Abraco

Inspired by Spanish and Italian bars, Abraco creates a bright, lively environment that goes beyond their small walls. They love food. They love coffee. They love music. Their ingredients are mostly organic and seasonal. Their coffee is roasted with enthusiasm. Everyday their coffee shop radiates the vibrancy of the music that inspired their name. 

#11
Devocion

Devoción is superior, exotic, specialty micro-lot Colombian coffee from the best regions of Colombia. There's no other like it. Embracing a spirit of exploration, they journey deep into Colombia’s most isolated, unspoiled and unrevealed regions seeking out a diverse selection of beans.

They take these beans and roast them in their local cafés to exact specifications and serve a range of extraordinary coffee using advanced, experimental techniques. From start to finish, they oversee every step of the process and constantly seek ways to refine it. 

#10
Culture Espresso  

The nuances that help define a great coffee are attributed to a complex chain of events that begins with the farmer and ends with the barista.  Behind the scenes at Culture, they constantly sample coffees from different farmers and roasters, providing you with a carefully curated selection from the producers who share their passion for quality. They partner with one coffee roaster at a time and, together, represent the efforts of the industry’s finest.

#9
Happy Bones

New York City is about energy and creativity and Happy Bones exists to inspire and energize New Yorkers. They start with the best coffee and the best baristas in the city, add amazing local art and bring you the most interesting publications from the world over. They want to send you back out into the city brimming with new ideas and passion.

Their obsession with great coffee comes from growing up in New Zealand, which has had a thriving espresso culture for two decades. They opened their first store in Little Italy as an homage to the legacy and traditions of the country that invented espresso. And they're based in New York because it’s a city that rewards excellence, which is what they strive for in every coffee they serve. 

#8
Kahve

A coffee lounge for the Hell's Kitchen community to enjoy high-quality coffee and food in a trendy, relaxed atmosphere. Named after the Turkish word for coffee, the shop is located at 774 Ninth Avenue between 51st and 52nd Streets.

It's a place for people to get more than just generic coffee drinks. They have international drinks, beyond your typical chain store’s latte or cappuccino. This is coffee for coffee-lovers, featuring Turkish coffee, Cuban coffee, and a rotating array of other drinks and recipes. Co-founders, Erol, and Alex are dedicated to using only the best artisanal coffee beans, high-end brewing equipment, and a hyper-focus on providing the best products available to ensure that coffee lovers will not be disappointed.

The coffee lounge is a welcoming, yet trendy atmosphere. They have highlighted the best of their location’s New York character. From the carefully restored exposed brick and the original pressed tin ceiling to the furniture locally crafted from reclaimed materials mixed with high-end accessories. This all creates a place for your daily morning latte, gathering for a snack with friends or meeting a first date for good conversation. 

#7
12 Corners 

The ambiance is great, the staff is friendly and helpful and they have free wifi. They have ample seating room, but because it's so popular, you might have to wait a bit to get one of the tables. If you like good coffee and a hipster vibe this is the place for you. The staff are super friendly and let you take your time looking over the menu.

#6
Bluestone Lane Coffee 

Bluestone Lane Coffee is influenced from the renowned coffee culture hub of Melbourne Australia, where premium coffee is a way of life. Bluestone Lane offers a refined product proposition dedicated to producing the highest quality coffee and complementary foods, delivered in an engaging way. They are  committed to changing people’s perceptions of coffee. It’s about making the coffee experience relevant and less about addressing a need for caffeine. They focus on turning locals into connoisseurs, fastidious about the quality of coffee they consume and the way it’s served. 

#5
Ground Central Coffee Company

They love New York as much as you do, so they created a Midtown refuge in which you could take a break to enjoy it. At Ground Central, they encourage you to step away from the harried energy outside and revel in the lively warmth and unaffected charm of their cafe. They provide coffee and food of excellent quality in a harmonious setting specifically designed so that you can sit back, relax, and breathe in the enchantment of the city.

As you step into their spacious cafe, you'll be greeted with the nostalgic sounds of classic rock & roll and the soothing aroma of freshly brewed coffee. Their team of friendly, knowledgeable baristas pulls together their vision of a neighborhood coffee shop with great products in an approachable, down-to-earth atmosphere. 

#4
Brooklyn Roasting Company

The Brooklyn Roasting Company offers New Yorkers the best quality Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance, and Organic certified and sustainable coffees. They buy superbly flavorful certified coffee because that’s the best way to ensure that farmers receive fair payment for the crops they grow and harvest. To guarantee truly exemplary quality, they rigorously taste all their coffees before deciding whether to buy them and again before they ship whenever possible. They roast the beans they purchase in small batches to “dial in” the perfect roast and most ideal cup profile. They know that what they package for sale to their customers is delicious because they’ve built a quality control system that their own taste buds say it works.

Brooklyn Roasting Company is certainly not the only coffee company offering delicious coffees, there are others. But they're also pretty serious about “green thinking:” recycled materials and refurbished equipment use, clean-powered distribution, and old-fashioned friendliness. They're not really coffee snobs, they’re just dedicated coffee lovers that only settle for the best. 

#3
The Chipped Cup 

The Chipped Cup is a specialty coffee house in Harlem. Taking inspiration from the Victorian tea and coffee houses of old, the Chipped Cup aims to be a place where the diverse population of Hamilton Heights can mingle over one of their delicious espresso bar drinks or sit quietly plugged in using their free wi-fi to get work done. If some sunshine is what you crave: step out into their back garden patio, a tribute to the Victorians love of plants and flowers. 

They take pride in serving fresh pastries delivered daily from famed chef Laurent Dupal's bakery as well as crusty bagels and bialy's from the lower east side's renown Kossar Bialy's. Whether you stop by for a delicious Counter Culture-brewed cup of coffee (fair-trade/organic/delicious) and a buttery croissant to make the start of your work day more bearable or hang out and get to know your Hamilton Heights neighbors - they warmly welcome you into their parlor.

#2
Birch Coffee

At some point in the last few years, coffee shops became something else. They stopped serving coffee and started serving “drinks”—they became filling stations for commuter traffic. Laptops and smartphones replaced newspapers and neighbors, and everything got a little too complicated.

At Birch, they strive to be a break from the chaos. With expert baristas who go out of their way to know your name and order, they want Birch to be the easiest part of your day. Their passion for people and coffee has made it easy to put an exceptional cup in your hand, milk included.

#1
Toby's Estate Coffee 

Toby's Estate Coffee is a small batch roaster. They travel the world sourcing coffee, celebrating quality and complexity. As roasters and baristas, they believe that each coffee can tell a story and they strive to share that in every cup. They have wifi and it's the perfect place to get work done, as they have plenty of windows to let sunlight in, or just to people watch. 

 

Similar articles & resources: 

http://www.vogue.com.au/culture/lifestyle/galleries/straight+outta+rstraya+six+cafes+serving+australian+food+in+new+york+to+cure+your+homesickness,37891

http://www.wellandgood.com/good-sweat/i-did-yoga-at-a-cat-cafe-and-this-is-what-happened/

http://www.traveller.com.au/new-york-australian-cafes-making-their-mark-in-manhattan-and-brooklyn-1mbcwu

http://www.newyork.com/articles/restaurants/the-10-best-cafes-in-new-york-city-34793/

http://www.businessinsider.com/starbucks-new-cafe-nyc-2016-2

http://www.timeout.com/newyork/restaurants/the-best-iced-coffee-drinks-in-nyc

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