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Topos Bookstore Cafe
Photograph: Time Out/Ali Garber

The 24 best coffee shops in NYC

NYC's best coffee shops range from an espresso bar with experimental drinks to a cozy bookstore perfect for working

Written by
Bao Ong
&
Rachel Pelz
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Drawing inspiration from global influences including Japanese kissaten-style cafés and Sydney’s best flat whites, we’ve reached peak coffee culture in NYC. While your local coffee shop is perfect for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up, the very best coffee in New York City is definitely worth traveling for. With plenty of brunch spots and bakeries to get your morning fix, we’re after the slow, loving pour-overs, the iconic NYC coffee houses and those that do something absolutely extraordinary with their joe.

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Best coffee shops in NYC

  • Restaurants
  • Coffee shops
  • East Village
  • price 1 of 4

We have been enjoying the supremely intense coffee at Abraço since it opened in its original location 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. It lets the buzzy atmosphere, rich pour-over and famous homemade olive-oil cake speak for themselves.

  • Bars
  • Café bars
  • East Williamsburg

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 has popped 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.

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Mudspot
  • Restaurants
  • Coffee shops
  • East Village
  • price 1 of 4

If Mud ever closed, we would cry. For so many New Yorkers, Mud has become more than a coffee shop; it’s a lifeline for the downtown set—and NYU freshman—to hang out and dish.

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Williamsburg

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. Its Williamsburg location has big windows that are full of light, an island of tropical plants and—up front—a 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.

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  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Midtown East
  • price 3 of 4

There’s so much to poke fun at at this chichi coffee shop; take the Pepto-pink details that could double as a Wes Anderson set or its preening “every coffee has a story” motto. But our cynical hearts are melted by its new-age java creations. A standout is the "Deconstructed Espresso Tonic," which comes in a Bordeaux wine glass filled with tonic water, non-alcoholic Campari reduction and lemon-basil leaves.

Paolo Maliksi and Alejandro Ceballos, the minds behind Long Island City’s Regalia Roasting Collective, have opened a coffee shop named for Ceballos’ abuela. They’ll be serving up Regalia coffee, of course, along with Mexican sodas, croissants and chorizo and cheddar biscuits. Their roasting collective offers the opportunity for over thirty local roasters to create small-batch coffee, so every sip is sorta like sticking it to the man. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Coffee shops
  • Brooklyn Heights

Drip Coffee isn’t just the name—it’s also what your coffee will do while you wait for your handcrafted pour-over. Nigel Price, who started Drip out of a mobile cart, believes that coffee is worth slowing down for. (And really, who couldn’t use a minute to take a few deep breaths on a Sunday morning?) If you’re in a rush and don’t have time to wait for your caffeine fix, they do have an espresso machine, but you might find yourself appreciating that extra moment of calm in your day.

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  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Restaurants
  • West African
  • East Harlem

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. 

  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • East Village
  • price 1 of 4

Taking its name from a fashion term popular during the Japanese jazz age, this kissaten-style café 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 Japanese whisky and shochu cocktails.

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  • Bars
  • Café bars
  • Ridgewood

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.

  • Restaurants
  • Coffee shops
  • Flatiron
  • price 1 of 4

Portland, Oregon's artisan coffee company boasts three NYC locations, serving espresso-based drinks as well as French-press and cold-brew coffees. While you’re sipping your latte, snack on a croissant from Pain D'Avignon or Austin-style breakfast tacos from King David Tacos.

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  • Restaurants
  • Coffee shops
  • Flatiron
  • price 2 of 4

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.

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  • Restaurants
  • Coffee shops
  • Midtown West

Paolo Maliksi and Alejandro Ceballos, the minds behind Long Island City’s Regalia Roasting Collective, have opened a coffee shop named for Ceballos’ abuela. They’ll be serving up Regalia coffee, of course, along with Mexican sodas, croissants and chorizo and cheddar biscuits. Their roasting collective offers the opportunity for over thirty local roasters to create small-batch coffee, so every sip is sorta like sticking it to the man.

  • Restaurants
  • Coffee shops
  • Midtown West
  • price 2 of 4

Be honest: Do you want a cup of coffee, or do you want to get a photo for the ‘gram? Grace Street makes a super-solid brew, but they also serve up gorgeous desserts (think milk tea boba toast, mountains of black sesame snow and matcha beignets). The drinks are made to be photographed, too, with a standout Dalgona coffee with boba and baby-pink rose petal milk tea.

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  • Restaurants
  • Coffee shops
  • Financial District
  • price 1 of 4

Surfing and slang aren’t the only things Australians do better than New Yorkers; they also know how to make a killer cup o’ joe. Down Under’s renowned coffee culture has proliferated in recent 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.

  • Bars
  • Two Bridges

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 loveliest places in the area for a quick coffee break.

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  • Restaurants
  • Coffee shops
  • Chelsea
  • price 1 of 4

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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  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Restaurants
  • Bakeries
  • Bedford-Stuyvesant

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 and snack on a guava-stuffed pastelito while you wait for your croqueta preparada, a pressed Cuban sandwich stuffed with ham croquettes.

  • Restaurants
  • Bakeries
  • Prospect Heights

Renato Poliafito, co-founder of the Red Hook bakery Baked, brings his beloved baking to this Italian-leaning spot. 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.

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  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Little Italy
  • price 2 of 4

This pint-sized French café brings Southern France to Soho. The mini-chain’s locations are awash in country charm, with reclaimed farmer's tables and vintage colander chandeliers. The nutty chocolate chip cookies are so amazing, they made the list of Oprah's favorite things—and the coffee, although not celebrity-endorsed, is pretty good, too.

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