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The best coffee shops in NYC

Perk yourself up with caffeine and a pastry from some of the best coffee shops and espresso bars in the city

Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz
Flight board at Box Kite Coffee

You know you're a real New Yorker when you can't live without your morning cuppa. New York's dizzying landscape of coffee shops (and great donut shops) may make you want to give up and settle for a bodega-sourced buzz. Thankfully, we’ve cut through the noise to bring you this list of the best coffee shops and espresso bars. From staples like Blue Bottle Coffee to new coffee shops like The Roost, here are the top spots to grab a some of the best iced coffee or a plain ol' cup o' joe.

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Best coffee shops in NYC

Abraço

This international coffee shop and espresso bar draws on Spanish, Italian and Middle Eastern traditions. Snacks like olive-oil cake, cured-olive cookies and pain perdu with sweet ricotta are offered alongside espresso drinks made from Counter Culture Coffee beans.

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East Village

Birch Coffee

Roasted in Long Island City and brewed fresh at six locations daily, Birch’s coffee ranges from bright light roasts to chocolatey dark beans. Its smooth Filtron-brewed cold brew is especially popular among iced coffee addicts. Like to read with your joe? The cafe’s Flatiron location features an extensive lending library.

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Midtown

Blue Bottle Coffee

This coffee bar and roastery serving San Francisco’s famed Blue Bottle Coffee originally opened in Williamsburg, but today caffeine fanatics can sample the company’s shots of espresso and cups of joe—made to order from freshly roasted, mostly organic beans—at eight NYC locations. For iced coffee fans, the chicory-fortified,New Orleans-style preparation is a must-sip.

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Williamsburg

Box Kite

The two locations of this cafe offer a seasonally changing menu of beans sourced from independent roasters such as Grand Rapids’ Madcap and San Francisco’s Ritual. Its popular “one and one” includes a shot of espresso, a milky macchiato and a tiny glass of sparkling water, served with a cute homemade graham cracker.

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East Village

Café Grumpy

Husband-and-wife-owned Cafe Grumpy might have an extensive drink menu, but the baristas' utter dedication to the almighty bean is no less intense. $11,000-dollar Clover coffee machines hum nonstop, brewing fresh individual cups off the ever-changing bean menu—the baristas will talk up a storm about the coffees if you let them—and pastries are available from Blue Sky, Balthazar and other local bakeries.

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Lower East Side

Cafe Pedlar

This Cobble Hill café—a collaboration between Frank Falcinelli and Frank Castronovo of Prime Meats fame and Duane Sorenson of Stumptown Coffee—serves espresso drinks and homemade German and Austrian snacks and desserts, including a pretzel braid with Vermont butter and grey salt.

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Cobble Hill

El Rey Coffee Bar & Luncheonette

The coastal California vibes of this chilled-out Lower East Side café from Nick Morgenstern (Morgenstern’s Finest), replete with a blond-wood bar and pops of aqua neon, is the influence of its San Diego–bred chef Gerardo Gonzalez. The stools-only, outlet-free spot doesn’t have a stay-awhile vibe, but the Mexican iced mocha on draft is alone worth a pop-in. Spiced with chili flakes and cinnamon, Counter Culture black coffee is topped with sweetened condensed milk, and capped with Mexican chocolate and fresh mint.

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Lower East Side

Intelligentsia Coffee

Founded in Chicago in 1995, Intelligentsia is one of the country’s oldest and most respected coffee chains. Serving seasonal Direct Trade coffees, the company brews beans with a variety of methods, from single-cup V60 pour-overs to siphon brews. Located inside the stylish lobby of the High Line Hotel, its to-go coffees are perfectly suited for a stroll along the nearby elevated park.

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Chelsea

Joe the Art of Coffee

Coffee devotee Jonathan Rubinstein now serves grade-A espresso at 11 locations of his boutique-coffee chain. In addition to espresso-based drinks, a single-cup, drip-coffee bar dispenses a rotating selection of brews, while baked goods from companies like Donut Plant provide just the kind of snacks a coffee drinker needs. And for real bean aficionados, Joe offers classes at the Joe Pro Shop in Chelsea.

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Chelsea

La Colombe Torrefaction

This Philadelphia-based coffee company roasts all of its beans—which are often sourced through direct trade—and sells pastries from Payard.

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Tribeca
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See the best coffee shops in America

Comments

10 comments
Ron R
Ron R

For those looking for awesome espresso in Hells Kitchen you should add Rex Coffee to your list.  Easily the best in the area and a front runner for the best in the city.

Catalina L
Catalina L

I love have my coffee in Grand Central, NY , but I also order my coffee at www.tchcoffee.com

Shkumbin M
Shkumbin M

You should check Ground Central Coffee Company of 52nd Street between Lex and 3rd Ave. You will be absolutely in awe about this place. There is no better atmosphere in a city then this place, and if you believe it or not it's located in the crazy boring Midtown East. Check it out yourself https://www.facebook.com/GroundCentral


Ruth P
Ruth P

"The best coffee shops in New York" is a misleading hed. This article should've been called "The best coffee shops in Manhattan and Brooklyn." Either that, or there isn't a single coffee shop in all of The Bronx, Queens or Staten Island.

Jess
Jess

I have tried most on the list. But, You need to have Gimme Coffee on this list.

KY
KY

Don't forget Tar Pit in Brooklyn. They serve great Plowshares coffee. Yum!

Ben
Ben

FYI. you have Everyman Espresso's description under Ninth Street Espresso's title.

Lynn Lieberman
Lynn Lieberman

Yes you did.....when I'm downtown I like Betola Expresso Bar @ 514 East 6th Street and when I'm home (uptown) I like Lenox Coffe @ 60 West 129th St. But look forward to trying your recommendations :)

Ethan
Ethan

Great list! I also dig the coffee at Aroma and Think Coffee