You know you’re a real New Yorker when you can’t live without your morning sips from your favorite coffee shop. NYC boasts a dizzying array of coffee shops, as well as java-pouring donut shops and bakeries, so we’ve cut through the noise to bring you the best cafés and espresso bars at which to get your morning jolt. Whether you’re after cold iced coffee, a frothy latte or a great pour-over, these are the best coffee shops across the boroughs.
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Best coffee shops in NYC
We have been enjoying the supremely intense coffee at Abraço since it opened in 2007. The beans are sourced from South America and roasted in-house and the cow-only milk is organic, but the menu doesn’t brag about any of that. Once a comically tiny spot that spilled into the street with its chatty regulars, Abraço moved into bigger digs. Now boasting seats and tables, the new spot retains the old, buzzy atmosphere with rich pour-over and espresso drinks that are best accompanied by their famous homemade olive-oil cake.
The sleek, lightwood-laden Sey Coffee is a coffee connoisseur’s paradise. A respite from Bushwick’s hippest parties, latest gallery openings and trendy restaurants, it’s a peaceful place where you can watch the coffee being roasted in-house—in fact, the resulting lighter roast is so popular, it’s starting to pop up at Olmsted, Rucola and some of our other favorite restaurants. If you want to deep-dive into the third-wave coffee movement, there are “cupping sessions” where you can sniff, swirl and sip any number of beans.
There’s so much to poke fun of at this chichi coffee shop. Take the Pepto-pink room that could double as a Wes Anderson set or its preening “every coffee has a story” motto or the tableside rose-water spritzes. But our cynical hearts are melted from its new-age java creations. A standout is the "Deconstructed Espresso Tonic," which comes in a Bordeaux wineglass filled with tonic water, non-alcoholic Campari reduction and lemon-basil leaves.
Morning commutes are chaotic, no? That’s why we prefer the tranquility of Devoción, which gives us hope that a vacation is just around the corner. Not your typical dark-vibe, proto-Starbucks coffee shop, this place has big windows that are full of light, an island of tropical plants and, up front, an 18-feet-tall fishtail palm tree. Sip your coffee from one of the signature yellow mugs and note the flavor profile of its Colombian beans, sourced by Medellín-born founder Steve Sutton.
The food at cafés used to be an afterthought: Parked at your favorite remote office, you’d pick up a dry, crumbly scone or cobble together a meal of snacks. Developed by a chef with a fine-dining pedigree, East One’s menu includes house-made granola, kobocha squash salads and ginger-chicken congee, among other globally inspired dishes that make this all-day café a winner. You won’t leave thirsty or hungry.
In September 2019, the beloved Four Horsemen wine bar opened an attached café, Daymoves, which sits behind an unmarked door down a long corridor. Outfitted in mismatched midcentury-modern furniture, the hip, comfy space is perfect for sipping java before noon and spilling secrets with a friend. Strong, smooth coffee from Sey and Café Integral is served tableside with much fanfare, and Bushwick bakery L’Imprimerie provides the delish pastries. Four Horsemen partner and LCD Soundsystem frontman James Murphy curates the music, which emanates from a state-of-the-art sound system.
At this café nestled inside the Africa Center, you’ll find West African-inspired fast-casual offerings worth trying. But Teranga is also a perfect spot for working or a coffee date: strong espresso drinks use single-origin beans directly sourced from Rwanda, Kenya and Ethiopia. Teranga also offers a moringa latte, its West African take on matcha.
Surfing and slang aren’t the only things Australians do better than New Yorkers; they know how to make a killer cup o’ joe. Down Under’s renowned coffee culture has proliferated in the past five years, and no shop eases you into that flat-white phenomenon quite like Bluestone Lane. The charming café chain—which cooks weekend brunch at certain locations—sources Brazilian and Colombian beans for its drip and cold brew.
Taking its name from a fashion term popular during the Japanese jazz age, this 11-seat coffeehouse specializes in East-meets-West fare. During the day, the East Village spot serves siphon brews made with varying blends. When the sun sets, sidle up to the wooden counter for Far East beers and sake cocktails.
Portland, Oregon's artisan coffee company boasts two NYC locations, serving espresso-based drinks as well as French-press and cold-brew coffees. Pastries are supplied by top-notch vendors like the Doughnut Plant, Ovenly, Lafayette and Milk Bar.
A favorite coffee shop of our colleagues in Chicago, this newish addition to New York's coffee scene is one-to-watch. Run by latte artist Hirsohi Sawada, this Japanese coffeehouse is located inside another by-way-of-Chicago hot spot, Au Cheval.
A number of coffee joints are now doubling as chic gift shops, and Relationships is leading the way. Founded by clothing boutique Su’juk owner Su Beyazit and former gallery Salon 94 curator Nina Schwarz, this space celebrates up-and-coming designers and their curiosities: blobby ceramics, hand-blown glasses imprinted with faces and mushroom-shaped faux-fur stools, among others. The shop takes its name seriously: At the bar, you’ll find printed interviews with regulars about how they met each other.
If you’re in Ridgewood, Topos Bookstore Cafe is the requisite hangout. Filled with charming details (a Felix the Cat clock, psychedelic hanging planters), this laid-back, brightly lit store is worth checking out for its coffee and its savvy new and used book selection. Co-owner Anny Oberlink has a knack for procuring hard-to-find titles, such as a 1975 children’s crafting book that you can flip through while sipping that cup of joe.
Roasted in Long Island City and brewed fresh at several locations daily, Birch’s coffee ranges from bright light roasts to chocolatey dark beans. Its smooth 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.
A favorite of coffee purists, this mini-chain of cafés has several locations in Brooklyn and Manhattan, plus its own roasting space. Baristas prepare artisanal espresso, alongside a selection of French pastries.
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 several NYC locations.
Aisa Shelley—who owns the local bars Mr. Fong's and Primo’s—opened the magical Oliver Coffee with Lucas Moran. The tiny, easily missed spot is on a quiet Chinatown street. Serving Variety Roasters coffee and a selection of international snacks and indie zines, it's one of the most lovely places in the area for a quick coffee situation.
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.
The beloved Bourke Street Bakery Sydney café that opened in 2004 by Paul Allam and David McGuinness, debuted in NoMad with its first-ever New York expansion. Expect Australian flat whites, served alongside its beloved savory sausage rolls.
At the decade-old Pilar Cuban Eatery’s new Bed-Stuy sister spot, owner-chef Ricardo Barreras rethinks breakfast with underused-in-NYC Cuban ingredients. Drink hard-to-find Cuban coffee among the kitsch of Miami cafés. Make sure to get the pressed-to-order Cuban sandwich, too.
The Awkward Scone, a queer-and-woman-run bakery with a selection of aromatic herbal teas and espresso drinks, opened its doors after a period as pop-up caterers. The Bushwick spot serves carrot-cake donuts, fennel proscuitto pretzels and a slew of other unique treats (including one stand-out rainbow cookie). If you live in the area, this should be your new before-work spot.
This pint-sized French café brings Southern France to Soho, awash in country charm, with reclaimed farmer's tables and vintage colander chandeliers. The nutty chocolate chip cookies are so good, they made the list of Oprah's favorite things: and they're best washed down with a cup of coffee.
Co-founder of the beloved Red Hook bakery Baked, Renato Poliafito, has opened a new concept, this time more Italian-leaning. The pastry menu—pistachio croissants, Sicilian sandwiches and one heck of a pumpkin bread—is best paired with coffee served in ceramics made down the street.