Caffeine is a must in the city that never sleeps, but sometimes you need a little time to unwind and only a cup of joe will do.
Here’s a list of the best coffee places, compiled by the experts – YOU. Some of these are recommendations by the big boys at the New York Times, while others are suggestions from readers who discovered their favorite coffee shop by accident.
1: Birch Coffee, 5 East 27th Street
I met a friend here on Sunday and thought this was just a small, ordinary coffee shop until I walked upstairs. There were several couches upstairs and not a soul in sight. Unlike those crowded Starbucks, this place had room to spread. The specials also change by the hour, as we discovered by second cup.
2: Abraco, 86 E. 7th Street
This coffee shop is the complete opposite of Birch coffee. You have to fight the crowds, but one sip and you will understand why. Coffee lovers will be able to taste the rich blends as they enter your mouth. The aroma will also move you, if you’re fortunate enough to get a seat.
3: Cafe Lalo, 201 W. 83rd Street
The coffee is exceptional but it’s the ambiance that makes this place stand out. Movie lovers might also recognize this coffee shop from “You’ve Got Mail,” even though it has been remodeled since the movie.
4: Sensuous Beans, 66 West 70th Street
Another Upper West Side favorite, Sensuous Beans is not an over-hyped name. These beans really deliver a punch. If you think the Starbucks bold is strong, wait till you order one of their special blends. Let the barista explain.
5: City Girl Cafe, 63 Thompson Street
There’s something about sitting on old antique furniture that will wake you up. Or maybe it’s the coffee here. Or maybe it’s the antique furniture. Either way, the place is a very hip Soho stop for those in the need of coffee.
6: Gimme Coffee, 228 Mott Street
It seems every top-10 coffee list mentions Gimme Coffee as one of their top picks for Joe. We’ve asked around and no one has heard of this place, but if the New York Times and others consistently rave about their beans, it’s probably true. We’re stopping by there next time we’re in Nolita.
7: Roasting Plant, 81 Orchard Street
We’re regulars here. Every time we stop in the Lower East Side to visit the ultra hip Rivington Hotel, we refuel ourselves with their special beans.
8: 71 Irving Place Coffee & Tea, (take a guess on the address)
This coffee shop is perfect with the warmer weather. Grab a cup and sit outside. You will never run out of things to talk about sipping this coffee.
9: Think Coffee, 248 Mercer Street
This is one of the best coffee shops in the city, in our experienced opinion. Whether you want to play scrabble, read, surf the web or hit on college chicks, this is the environment to do it. Think Coffee expanded to the Bowery but the Mercer Street location is the one to hit.
10: Joe the Art of Coffee, 141 Waverly Place
The coffee is treated here like it’s a piece of art. The lattes and every other specialty drink are designed where even the foam seems to express itself. It also has outdoor seating.