You know you’re a real New Yorker when you can’t live without your morning cuppa 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 cafes and espresso bars at which to get your morning jolt. Whether you’re after summery iced coffee, a frothy latte or a great pour-over, these are the 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.
Coastal California vibes abound at this chilled-out Lower East Side café from Nick Morgenstern (Morgenstern’s Finest), replete with a blond-wood bar and pops of aqua neon. 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.
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.
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 Porto Rico and Counter Culture blends, along with dishes such as omurice (a rice-stuffed omelette) and katsu pork sandwiches. When the sun sets, sidle up to the wooden counter for Far East beers (Yona Yona, Echigo Koshihikari) and sake cocktails.
Rock-star barista Sam Penix—whose iconic knuckle-tat riff on “I Love NY” replaces the heart with an espresso cup—is behind this industrial East Village coffeeshop. Penix places a premium on high-quality ingredients, sourcing Counter Culture Coffee and Battenkill Valley Creamery milk, and offers a range of serious brew methods, including espresso, pour-overs and the AeroPress.