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The best coffee shops in New York

Perk yourself up with caffeine and a pastry at these coffee shops and espresso bars

Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz
Two Hands

New York's dizzying landscape of coffee shops, baristas and cafés 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 in New York City. From staples like Blue Bottle Coffee to new coffee shops like The Roost and Two Hands, here are the top spots to grab a cup o' joe.

RECOMMENDED: See all of the best restaurants in NYC

Abraço

This international coffeeshop 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

Blue Bottle Coffee

Critics' pick

Before this Williamsburg coffee bar and roastery came along, the only place in New York where you could find San Francisco’s famed Blue Bottle Coffee was at Gramercy Tavern. Now caffeine fanatics can sample the company’s shots of espresso and cups of joe—made to order from freshly roasted, mostly organic beans—without dropping a wad of cash on a dinner. Iced-coffee fans in particular should take note: Five contraptions from Japan slowly cold-drip Kyoto-style brew, while those who like to add milk should consider the stronger New Orleans-style preparation, fortified with chicory.

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Williamsburg

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. 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 bakeries.

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Lower East Side

Cafe Pedlar

Critics' pick

This Cobble Hill café—a partnership between Frank Falcinelli and Frank Castronovo of Prime Meats fame and Stumptown Coffee—serves espresso drinks and homemade German and Austrian 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

Joe the Art of Coffee

Critics' pick

Coffee devotee Jonathan Rubinstein now serves grade-A espresso at 10 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 at 131 West 21st Street.

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Chelsea

La Colombe Torrefaction

Critics' pick

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

Ninth Street Espresso

Critics' pick

This bright café—an offshoot of the East Village original—is inside the Classic Stage Company building. Baristas prepare artisanal espresso, alongside a selection of pastry from Balthazar.

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East Village

The Roost

East Village vet Vito DiTomaso (Luca Lounge) made a return engagement to Avenue B with this subway-tiled java haunt, kitted out with plush leather sofas, a roaring fake fireplace and, oh, yeah, a beer-and-bourbon speakeasy hidden behind sliding barn doors in the back. Fuel up before work with perfectly foamed Brooklyn Roasting Company cappuccinos—in-house refills are only a buck—and Balthazar pastries, then pop back in post–9-to-5 to survey the 16 lines of quality local suds, including Coney Island Seas the Day IPL and Empire’s Amber Ale.

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East Village

Stumptown Coffee Roasters

Critics' pick

Portland, Oregon's artisan coffee company's first café in New York offers espresso-based drinks as well as French-press and cold-brew coffees. Pastries are supplied by the Breslin, The Doughnut Plant, Ovenly, Lafayette and Momofuku Milk Bar.

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Midtown

Comments

9 comments
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