Since spring is upon us, it’s the perfect time to stroll into your local coffee shop and get some of NYC’s finest! Here’s a list of the best new places to go.
Photo by: Ellen Silverman
You can tell from the wine-style tasting notes on the menu that the owner of this airy Bushwick newcomer—Darleen Scherer, a founder of Gorilla Coffee—takes her java seriously. Connoisseurs can test whether they can distinguish between notes of green grapes in the PT Toarco from Sulawesi and the Concorde grapes in the Kanzu Lot #15 from Rwanda. In addition to pour-over, you’ll find all the usual cafe offerings (cappuccinos, lattes, cortados), a selection of teas, plus treats like single origin drinking chocolate, an iced almond dirty chai and a coffee milkshake.
Must order: The single origin espresso gets points for its sweet flavors and expert extraction.
On the menu: Food includes the “Magic Bialy,” topped with caramelized onions, a poached egg and (optional) prosciutto, plus pastries from local vendors.
The details: 8 Wilson Avenue, Brooklyn; 347-295-3161
Photo by: Tekoa Facebook
Fans of Cobble Hill’s La Vara and Txikito and El Quinto Pino in Chelsea will want to check out this sibling Cobble Hill cafe (on the same block as La Vara). The spot serves coffee (from Irving Farm Coffee Roasters), housemade pastries, breakfast, sandwiches and much more, with flavors on the broad menu wandering from Latin America to Spain to the Mediterranean. With its bright-red door and sunny window seats, the trim storefront has a charming stay-awhile vibe that’s enhanced by the fact that breakfast is served into the late afternoon. Beyond breakfast, there are hearty sandwiches such as the porchetta spiced pork shoulder and a double burger with Idiazabel cheese, plus cakes, cookies and other baked goods.
On the menu: Breakfast, lunch, snacks, pastries and more.
Must order: The egg in a hole made with a spinach pie instead of toast is primed for social media stardom.
The details: 264 Clinton Street, Brooklyn
Photo by: Ludlow Coffee Supply/Instagram
Lower East Siders who used to put down pints of beer at the Pink Pony can now sidle up to the same wooden bar for a cold brew coffee. The coffee shop, a sibling to Sweet Chick next door, is open from 8 AM to 8 PM, serving espresso, lattes and other coffee drinks, plus a brief menu of eggs, avocado toast and salads. Those who are so inclined can head to the back of the bar to the adjoining Ludlow Barber Supply for a hot-towel shave or a haircut.
Must order: Sweets lovers will want to try the hot or iced maple latte, but there are plenty of standard coffee shop offerings for purists.
On the menu: Gussied up baked eggs (with truffled mushrooms, for example), avocado toast with various toppings, salads and pastries.
The details: 176 Ludlow Street; 212-777-7465
Photo by: Josh Dickinson
This all-day cafe from chef Claire Welle (Gwynett Street, Per Se, Pecks) and co-owners Daniel Nusbaum and Samantha Safer opened last fall in Clinton Hill. With a space designed by the MP Shift, the cafe features Parlor Coffee, housemade pasties and various sandwiches and small plates that rotate frequently.
Must order: Cold brew iced coffee, malted milk cappuccino
On the menu: Menu changes monthly so check here for updates.
The details: 930 Fulton Street, Brooklyn; 718-622-4300
Photo by: Evan Sung
Missy Robbins’ Williamsburg Italian hotspot also serves as an all-day cafe which specializes in Italian pastries and serves up java from Joe. There’s a small morning menu that includes heartier breakfast options and pastries and a lighter more snack-focused selection in the afternoon.
Must order: Latte or cappuccino
On the menu: Frittata and olive oil cake in the morning; Sea salt chocolate chip cookies and biscotti in the afternoon
The details: 567 Union Avenue, Brooklyn;
Chelsea’s beer-centric Portuguese eatery Lupulo from Aldea chef George Mendes also features a coffee and pastry window called Bica off the side of the restaurant on W. 29th Street. Bica, which means espresso in Portuguese, features unique pastries, sandwiches and housemade linquiça sausage among other treats as well as coffee from Coffee Labs Roasters.
Must order: Bica (short espresso), Cafe Pingado (espresso with a few drops of cold milk)
On the menu: Egg sandwiches and pastries
The details: 835 6th Avenue (29th Street side)
This tiny Upper West Side spin-off of an East Village coffeehouse serves drinks brewed from a rotating list of boutique roasters such as San Francisco’s Ritual and Grand Rapids’ Madcap. The focus is on espresso and espresso-based drinks, such as the “Espresso Tonic,” a bubbly mixture of espresso and Fever Tree tonic. Though the standing-room-only space is even smaller than the original outpost, the cafe takes coffee no less seriously. In fact, location manager Steven Latham was a competitor in the U.S. Coffee Championships in Long Beach in February.
Must-order: Try the “one and one,” a single espresso plus a single macchiato, which allows you to try the coffee with and without milk. The pours come on a tray with a palate-cleansing cup of seltzer and a graham cracker (the latter is served with all in-house drinks).
On the menu: There are donuts, plus a seasonal toast menu, with a changing selection of savory and sweet toasts, such as avocado (of course!), crème fraîche with lox and capers, and ricotta with peach-ginger-thyme jam from Brooklyn’s Diaspora Kitchen & Provisions.
The details: 128 W. 72nd St.
Decorated in pale, unfinished woods and bright whites, this snug Charles Street food and housewares vendor/coffee shop from Claire Chan (the Vancouverite behind San Francisco’s Beacon) strikes a balance between homey and hip. There’s a fairly straight forward lineup of cortados, lattes, espressos, cold brews, Chemex pour-overs and teas, as well as, notably, a breakfast and lunch menu from chef Sam Talbot.
Must-order: Whatever’s new from the rotating selection of single-origin coffees from boutique San Francisco coffee company Sightglass
On the menu: Talbot’s offerings, such as the yogurt bowl with cashew-quinoa granola, lean healthy. Eggs, sandwiches and rice bowls are also on the menu, and in addition to the ubiquitous avocado toast, there’s zucchini toast.
The details: 128 Charles St.; 212-933-4780
Depending on which corner of the blogosphere you visit, the arrival of this Bay Ridge cafe pouring drinks brewed from Toby’s Estates beans either signals that the neighborhood has arrived (Hooray for high-end indie coffee and slick digs!) or gone to hell (Ack! Hipster takeover!). In addition to the usual lineup of lattes, espressos and so forth, there are teas, hot chocolate and a Nutella latte — yep, Nutella. There’s even a kids’ menu with iced chocolate and another Nutella drink (Shhhh…Don’t tell the Park Slopers). Floor-to-ceiling windows and a good amount of seating (including outdoor tables and benches in the backyard) add to the appeal.
Must-order: If you can’t stomach the buzzed-about milkshakelike Nutella Monster, go for a straight-up latte.
On the menu: Scones, macarons and other pastries and sweets, a few sandwiches, plus an affogatomade with cashew-based vegan ice cream.
The details: 6903 Third Ave., Brooklyn; 646-820-8095