Best coffeeshops for lingering

These welcoming spots let you sit and sip for hours at a time.

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  • Photograph: Allison Michael Orenstein

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    Milk and Roses

  • Photograph: Allison Michael Orenstein

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    MudSpot

  • Photograph: Jay Muhlin

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    Roots Cafe

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Lety's Bakery and Cafe
What this family-run Jackson Heights pastry shop lacks in designer joe, it makes up for with a pretension-free atmosphere that's ideal for marathon hangs. The owner here is a veteran of East Village dessert spot Veniero's, and the piping-hot, always-fresh drip coffee ($1--$3)—made from a dark-roast blend—is a perfect contrast to his sweet snacks. (Try the chocolaty brick of tiramisu [$3].) The handful of tables alongside the massive dessert display are cozy without being cramped, and the shop draws a friendly multigenerational clientele whose communal conversation makes this a true neighborhood gem. 77-07 37th Ave between 77th and 78th Sts, Jackson Heights, Queens (718- 507-6539)

Marlow and Sons
Though it is a dinner destination come nightfall, Marlow and Sons functions as an alluring neighborhood meeting place during the mornings and afternoons. A crew of expertly trained baristas tends to the casual crowd who flock here for the easy atmosphere and Stumptown lattes made with ultra-rich milk from Pennsylvania's Maplehofe Dairy Farms' grass-fed cows from Pennsylvania's Maplehofe Dairy Farms. Settle in the main dining room  with a toasted baguette smeared with butter and seasonal jam ($2.75); when the weather is nice take your mug to the outdoor patio, which offers a gorgeous view of the Williamsburg Bridge. 81 Broadway between Berry St and Wythe Ave, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-384-1441, marlowandsons.com)

Milk and Roses
Few coffeeshops execute the living-room look with as much class as this charming new Greenpoint hangout. A 19th-century leather love seat, floor-to-ceiling bookshelves lined with hardbacks and a gorgeous working vintage grand piano (there are performances on the weekends) contribute to the homey milieu. All of it encourages low-key lingering over serious coffee: The creamy cappuccino ($3), made from dark-roasted, rich Italian Miscela d'Oro beans, is the perfect complement to a lazy afternoon. 1110 Manhattan Ave between Clay and Dupont Sts, Greenpoint, Brooklyn (718-389-0160)

Mudspot
A brick-and-mortar sibling of the popular MudTruck on Astor Place, MudSpot rocks a hippie vibe, with colorful wall tiles and rustic wood furnishings. The joint makes its own custom blends, mainly from Central and South American beans (which are also available in 14-ounce bags). The signature MudTruck blend is full-bodied and naturally sweet, with cherry and rich cocoa notes. Enjoy it in its simplest form: drip-brewed, and served in oversize ceramic mugs ($2.25--$4.50). The most inviting seats are in the recently winterized outdoor garden space, where you can lounge among young couples and old-school East Villagers for hours. 307 E 9th St between First and Second Aves (212-228-9074, mudnyc.com)

Roots Cafe
The vibe is backwoods bohemian at this South Slope hang, whose Alabama-born owner has decorated the cozy space with vintage cushion chairs and hanging steel guitars. Fill up on a mug of smooth Stumptown brew ($2, refills $1, free refill for anyone who brings in a personal mug). Genuinely friendly baristas do wonders with a steamer, so try a whole-milk cappuccino with a double shot of bold, chocolaty Hair Bender espresso ($3.50). Regular live music, plus monthly art openings (check the website for details on upcoming shows) should keep you planted on the sofa for a while, as should snacks like the Country Boy grilled ham and tomato sandwich ($6.75). 639A Fifth Ave at 18th St, Park Slope, Brooklyn (205-246-2149, rootscafebrooklyn.com)

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