We New Yorkers have so many options for our daily cup of joe (Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, street carts, bodegas, etc.) that it’s sometimes overwhelming for us to make a decision and stick to it. So, to help you feed your addiction, here are 15 suggestions for delicious coffee made by independent shops and small chains that we believe are the best in New York City — and are sure to satisfy your caffeine cravings.
1. Prince Coffee House
Housed in the Bronx’s very own Little Italy, Prince Coffee House is a great place to settle down and people watch. A byproduct of the vibrant neighborhood, you’ll see all manner of customers and people walking about. The inside decor is where hip meets old-world charm, with tons of copper cups hanging from the ceiling and more copper tableware that will make you feel like you’re in Istanbul. Weather permitting, there’s outdoor seating, and the doors separating the inside from the outside are opened wide to provide customers with a beautiful, open space. Pair your coffee with one of the many Italian pastries, like a cannoli cupcake or coconut sponge cake, and you’ll be all set.
Where: 2306 Arthur Ave, Bronx, NY 10458
A Western-inspired Japanese cafe by day and sake bar by night, Hi-Collar is a popular spot in the East Village. There’s traditional Japanese fare on the menu, such as omurice, hot cakes, and delicious parfaits, but the drinks are what you’ll really want to pay attention to. Hot coffee gets the special treatment here, as visitors have two steps they have to follow before getting their drink. First, they have to choose a method — pour over, aeropress, or siphon; second, they need to pick their coffee beans — be sure to ask the barista for recommendations if you’re unsure of what to try. Hi-Collar’s siphon coffee will make you feel like royalty since the coffee costs an eye-watering seven dollars and the cup in which it’s served is worth over $700. There are only 11 seats in the entire place, so arrive early or be prepared to wait.
Where: 214 E 10th St, New York, NY 10003
3. Bluestone Lane
Aussie-inspired Bluestone Lane is a chain that’s made its way all over the US, but we recommend visiting the Brooklyn location as it’s the perfect place to kick back after walking the Brooklyn Bridge or exploring DUMBO. With flamingo wallpaper, marble tabletops, and perfectly designed avocado toast, it’s easy to see why Bluestone Lane has been repeatedly voted one of the most Instagrammable cafes in the five boroughs.
Where: 55 Prospect St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
4. Coffee Project
Coffee Project, founded in 2015, is home to the deconstructed latte. On a wooden tray, three glasses traditionally used to serve alcohol are instead filled with espresso, milk, and a fully-finished latte. Tasting each component on its own provides a better understanding and appreciation of what goes into making this drink. Coffee Project also serves the must-try Happy Drink, which consists of whip cream, coffee, and tonic water.
Where: 239 E 5th St, New York, NY 10003
5. Cafe Lalo
It may be located inside a quintessential New York City brownstone, but once you make it past the front door, it’s Parisian through and through — there are floor-to-ceiling windows, marble tiles, and exposed brick walls that are covered in French art. Cafe Lalo has been in business for about 30 years and is famous for its cameo in Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks’ 1998 film You’ve Got Mail. The best part of all is that there are over 100 different types of desserts and 20 varieties of coffee for you to try.
Where: 201 W 83rd St, New York, NY 10024
ATLA serves typical Mexican fare, like huevos rancheros and pan dulce, but many of its menu options take a healthy twist, such as the flax seed chilaquiles and egg-white omelettes with zucchini and cheese. No lattes or frappes here — it’s all about the café con leche (strong coffee mixed with hot milk in a one-to-one ratio) and café de olla (Mexican coffee prepared in a clay pot to give the beverage an earthy flavor). At ATLA, you can either have cow milk, coconut milk, or pecan milk.
Where: 372 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012
Charity-driven and community-minded, COFFEED is the place to go to drink something that’ll make you — and other people — feel good. COFFEED follows several guiding principles, all to support the community. Each location donates up to 10 percent of its gross revenue to local charities, such as the New York Restoration Project, which supports underfunded public spaces, and New York Foundling, created to help children, families, and adults with developmental disabilities. Ingredients for the coffee and food alike are locally sourced, and everything is reasonably priced. The flagship location is in Long Island City at Hunters Point South. The waterfront park is set against the Manhattan skyline, so you’ll have a drink with a view.
Where: Various locations in Queens and Manhattan
8. Stumptown Coffee Roasters
Oregon-based Stumptown Coffee has several locations, but we recommend the one in Manhattan that shares space with the lobby of the Ace Hotel. The combination alone is worth a visit as the Ace Hotel is a hub for artists and techies. The Ace Hotel location has a full espresso bar, drip coffee, and cold brews, as well as pastries from places like the Doughnut Plant and Milk Bar. At Stumptown’s training lab on 8th Street, every Tuesday at 10:00 AM there are free public tastings that last from an hour to an hour and a half.
Where: 18 W 29th St, New York, NY 10001
9. The Roost
When you first walk in The Roost, it looks like any typical subway-tiled coffee shop where you can post up to work on your laptop or chat with a friend. But if you head to the back, behind barn doors, there’s a speakeasy with leather sofas and a fake fireplace. Hide out and nurse a drink while paying homage to a bygone era — but keep in mind, the bar doesn’t open until 4:00 PM.
Where: 222 Avenue B, New York, NY 10009
Sweetleaf was founded by Queens native Rich Nieto to make coffee that “reflects New York City: diverse, sophisticated, and decidedly unique.” The classic drink menu includes items ranging from nitro cold brews to espressos and lattes, but it’s the signature drink menu that really catches the eye. There’s the Rocket Fuel, cold brew coffee with chicory, Vermont maple, and milk; the Voodoo Child, a cold brew with condensed milk and sweet cream; and the Maple Leaf latte, which is just a latte with maple syrup and nutmeg. The Queens location has a record room with a turntable and a large vinyl collection, as well as a laptop room where you can work on its computers.
Where: 10-93 Jackson Ave, Long Island City, NY 11101
11. Everything Goes Book Cafe
There’s nothing better than being surrounded by books while you sip on a cup of coffee, and at Everything Goes Book Cafe, you can do just that. This coffee shop moonlights as a used books store, record and DVD store, and an art gallery. The food here is healthy with plenty of options for vegans and vegetarians. All coffee and teas are organic and fair trade, supplied by Equal Exchange, a worker’s cooperative that empowers both sides of a partnership and fosters trade.
Where: 208 Bay St, Staten Island, NY 10301
12. Tea Plus Cafe
Asian-influenced Tea Plus Cafe is where you can give into matcha and coffee cravings. Matcha-inspired drinks are popping up all over the city, but Tea Plus Cafe really makes it into something of its own by creating the Matchapresso. As the name suggests, the drink is partly matcha-based and part espresso, but you can also add on unusual toppings like red beans.
Where: 37-10 31st Ave, Astoria, NY 11103
13. Boogie Down Grind Café
The Boogie Down Grind Café was created by Bronx natives Majora Carter and Sulma Arzu-Brown after analyzing results from surveys asking locals what kind of business they felt their neighborhood was lacking. The cafe serves espresso, lattes, frappes, and teas among other drinks, and its prices are on par with any large chain. While a location has recently opened in Chelsea, Manhattan, the original one in Hunts Point is where you should go to get a real feel for a local business in the “Boogie Down Bronx.”
Where: 866 Hunts Point Ave, Bronx, NY 10474
14. Laughing Man
Inspired by a coffee farmer named Dukale while in Ethiopia, actor Hugh Jackman opened the Laughing Man cafe featuring Dukale’s coffee beans. The signature drink is a flat white, a double shot of espresso topped with microfoam. If you enjoyed the coffee and want to take some home with you, coffee beans are available to purchase in-store (and online) — all proceeds are donated to charity.
Where: 184 Duane St, New York, NY 10013
There’s no better way to treat yourself than by visiting Chillhouse, part coffee shop and part spa. Start the day with any one of Chillhouse’s wellness-based drinks, such as the Give Me Life latte (cacao, ginger, honey, and cayenne) or the Make Me Glow latte (ube and ginger). If you were out partying the night before, book the Hangover Cure massage service to help your body recover; if you need to de-stress, book the Chill Pill massage. You can even get your nails done, with a number of design options to choose from.
Where: 149 Essex St, New York, NY 10002