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
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.
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.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
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.