1. Birch Coffee
New York, NY 10025
This cafe has high energy, yet a relaxed vibe with accompanying the music. Birch usually has a formidable line of young people from the office spaces nearby, despite prices that are typically 25 cents higher across the board than elsewhere. The standout offering here is the Kyoto drip iced coffee, which is tremendous, if also notably expensive at $4 for a small cup. The elaborate glass beaker needed for the production of the Kyoto stands as a frontispiece to the brewing counter. Wine and beer are available as well.
2. Box Kite
New York, NY 10023
The digs at the UWS location of Box Kite are small, but the team here is big on serving some of the best coffee to the neighbourhood. Arrive during off-peak times since it’s tough to land a seat. The service here is fantastic, with a team that is helpful and gracious.
New York, NY 10065
Billing itself as a “creative bakery,” this shop can feel a little too much like a Panera bakery, with Oasis playing on the speakers and a too-corporate vibe. The staff is still figuring out the menu somewhat, but all is forgiven with an espresso dispensed from the stylish Modbar sheer aluminium fittings. The coffee beans are sourced from Brooklyn’s Nobletree, which is a roaster that also oversees the growing of beans from its own fields in Brazil. The end result at Padoca is notably good. And there is free Wifi available.
4. Little Collins
New York, NY 10022
The Aussies running this Midtown shop have provided a getaway for a neighbourhood otherwise filled with Starbucks and Le Pains. Alongside flat whites and pour over the shop serves sandwiches, salads, and a behemoth of toasted banana bread with ricotta, berries, honey, and almond brittle. Get the schnitzel sandwich or the always-solid avocado smash.
5. Culture Espresso
New York, NY 10018
A solid cortado and drip coffee anchor the menu of this stylish coffee bar near Bryant Park. It’s a much stronger choice for coffee than the several chain stores closer to the park, and as a bonus, it serves a superb chocolate chip cookie.
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6. Stumptown Coffee Roasters
New York, NY 10001
The Ace Hotel staff keeps the ever-present line moving at a good clip. The cappuccino is especially stellar: perfect milk to espresso ratio and milk temperature. It’s ground zero for nitro in the city.