October 29, 2009

Where to Go for Coffee in NYC

In New York City, there are plenty of places to go when you need a coffee pick-up.  But when we need help waking up, we'd prefer not to get watered-down deli coffee nor anything from the ubiquitous big coffee chains.  Don't get us wrong.  In a pinch, we'll drink anything with caffeine; however, when we have time or are in the neighborhood, we would rather check out the following great coffee shops.

The Newcomer:  Stumptown Coffee Roasters in the Ace Hotel - Stumptown Coffee, the famed coffee wholesalers from Portland, Ore, opened their first spot in NYC at the renovated Ace Hotel.  We loved our cappucino ($3.30) with its silky foam on top of the nutty espresso.  The stylish staff were incredibly friendly and though there aren't any seats within the coffee shop, the lobby of the Ace hotel makes for a cool, relaxed area to hang out and enjoy your coffee. 
The Perfectionist:  Joe The Art of Coffee - You know that person in high school who got straight A's, was extremely well-liked, and volunteered as much as possible?  S/he would be the personification of Joe The Art of Coffee.  In addition to charity work (currently a canned food drive for Food Banks) and community activities (running club), Joe The Art of Coffee is an expert in coffee-making.  Our iced espresso was strong and full of flavor!  There are currently 5 locations around Manhattan, and if you bring your own to-go mug, you get 10 cents off each drink!
The OriginalNinth Street Espresso - Opened in 1991, Ninth Street Espresso was the first specialty coffee house in NYC.  It has since grown to 3 locations, but the simple menu remains the same.  There are only 7 items on it and they all celebrate espresso.  We had the Macchiato ($3.50) which was perfectly smooth and creamy.
The FuturistRoasting Plant - Using pumps and tubes to move the coffee beans around, the beans are both untouched by human hands and roasted on the premises.  The result was a pretty good coffee and a fun experience.  There are currently 2 locations in NYC.
The Homebody:  Second Stop Cafe - With rustic ambiance, free Wi-Fi, and laid-back service, this is the place where you can spend a few carefree hours (if there's a free spot) never wanting to leave.  The baked goods are homey and in addition to good cappucinos, there are old-school favorites like egg creams.  
The ClassicZibetto Espresso Bar - When we think fondly of European trips, we often think about the great food, drink, and cafes.  This double espresso ($3) we had at Zibetto reminded us of those trips abroad.  It had a rich and smooth crema - definitely one of best espresso bars in the city.

The only other coffee shop in NYC we've been meaning to try is Gimme!.  We hope to check it out soon to see whether it would make our list.  Have you tried this (or any of these) coffee shops?  Are we missing any others?  We'd love to hear your suggestions!
 Joe The Art of Coffee is located in NYC, at
141 Waverly Pl
9 East 13th St. (btwn 5th Ave and University Pl)
405 W 23rd St. (at 9th Ave)
44 Grand Central Terminal
514 Columbus Ave (at W 85th St)

Ninth Street Espresso is located in NYC, at
75 9th Ave (in Chelsea Market)
700 E 9th St (btwn Aves C and D)
341 E 10th St (btwn Aves A and B)

Roasting Plant is located in NYC, at
18 Orchard St (btwn Broome and Grand Sts)
75 Greenwich Ave (btwn W 11th and Bank Sts)

Second Stop Cafe is located at
524 Lorimer St. (at Ainslie St) in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

18 W 29th St. btwn 5th and Broadway Aves. (in the Ace Hotel) in NYC.

Zibetto Espresso Bar is located, in NYC at
6 Avenue (at 56th St.)
102 Fulton street (at Williams St.)


  1. Such gorgeous pictures! I can just smell the coffee..yum!

  2. Wow, a lot of selections to choose from.

  3. Looks amazing...if only I drank coffee! Can you do a blog on places to get good tea in NYC?

  4. that is a great list of coffee shops to check out!

  5. These are great spots! I've been meaning to learn how to do that coffee art, so cool!

  6. All great stops. Nice roundup. Although not a coffee shop entirely I do love Sweet Revenge on Carmine Street. They brew a great cup of coffee and make wonderful lattes. Also, the cupcakes and savory cakes fill any stomach craving.

  7. @Stacy: Thanks! Love the smell of coffee!
    @Divina Pe: Hope you'll visit NYC one day to check them out!
    @Mardi: Thanks! I just bought a new lens, so look for many more photos! I've been using my regular point and shoot.
    @AQ: Will definitely look to do a tea post!
    @Jessie: Thanks! Inspired by your burger list! =)
    @5 Star Foodie: If you learn how to be a coffee artist, please make a post with your beautiful photos!
    @myblissfulbites: Thanks for the tip! Love fresh baked goods!!

  8. YAY! I love Stumptown, it's the closest thing I've found to my beloved Aussie coffees. Great list! I'll have to hunt down all the others.

  9. @Maggie: Hey! I haven't been to Australia, but I love TUCK SHOP in NYC for great Aussie foods/drinks. They serve Aussie style espresso based drinks like a "long black" and a "flat white" at $2. They're on the LES.

  10. I love this post! I've only been to New York once, but naturally as a foodie, I tried and researched all the places I wanted to hit up with my family. I'm proud to say we made it to Ninth Street Espresso and Zibetto! Yay!

  11. I used to work at a local coffee shop for 3 years and LOVED it. I would go back and work there in a heartbeat if I have to! I hate big chain... they lose the focus of real coffee made with love :o) The owner travelled all over the world to learn about how coffee is grown, produced, made, brewed... basically everything you need to know to make a fab, unique coffee shop. Great job writing this up!

  12. Wow, what great shops. I'm moving my study group to one of these each week. :)

  13. Beautiful pictures! Joe is my absolute favorite in the city, but I am anxious to get over to Stumptown soon.

  14. @ Bekah - love how you plan your trip! We do the same thing too...everywhere we go revolves around food!
    @Marillyn - love the service I get from small local coffee places...and chatting with coffee experts who know all about making the perfect cup of coffee!
    @Chou - Thanks! =) Definitely wish some of these places were around when I was in school!
    @Eddie - Thanks! We think latte art is beautiful!

  15. How oh how can you leave out Cafe Grumpy? It's right between the E and F trains, making it convenient, and it's awesome! http://epicuretteinnewyork.blogspot.com/2009/07/time-to-get-grumpy.html

  16. Great post and photos! I have tried Joe's, Ninth Street, and Zibetto and enjoyed them all - hard to pick a favorite. I really want to try Stumptown too. Aroma is also good (3 locations, including 72nd between Amsterdam and Columbus), as is Macchiato Espresso Bar (44th between Lex and 3rd).

    Mostly I brew at home in the morning (Whole Foods 365 French Roast brewed with a pinch of ground cinnamon - simple and cheap but delicious!).

  17. @Epicurette: Thanks for the suggestion! Just read the Serious Eats write-up on Cafe Grumpy...coffee flight sounds really interesting.

    @Nancy: Thanks for both of your ideas! We've seen Aroma, but haven't tried it out yet - will definitely do so now...and Macchiato will be a nice stop next time we have to travel from Grand Central...cinnamon and coffee: sounds like a tasty combo - will def try that too!

  18. Love Joe's, I go there everyday! I actually do not like the Roasting Plant... Have you tried The Grey Dog's Coffee?

  19. @Vicky: Thanks for the suggestion! Never tried The Grey Dog's Coffee but it looks like a great neighborhood cafe. We'll try it the next time we're in the Village.


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