New York has become one of the major coffee capitals of the the world. Cafés and coffee shops in New York City are on every corner and to stand out from the rest, many have become increasingly creative and unique. Starbucks and some other chains continue to have their share of the market but locals prefer to go to their small coffee shop around the corner.
New York coffee drinkers are a curious, well-heeled bunch and are known for their willingness to try new things. Given that combination of customer characteristics, it is no surprise that New York City is often the test market for new products meaning that coffee creations are not limited. Customers don’t mind paying for good quality coffee but it can be hard to find. These are our top 5 coffee shops in NYC so you can drink coffee like a true local.
Approximately 1,900 Coffee Shops owned by close to 1,000 independent operators are registered in New York City. About 20% of these really do make a great effort to enchant their customers with wonderful coffee. Some operate their own roasting house or labs for in-house quality control, while others even offer training centers for their baristas. Only around 10% of the 1,900 independent coffee houses are truly successful, due to the immense competition. We have uncovered the 5 Top coffee shops in New York for you. Two of which even rank among the Top 10 coffee shops in the country.
At Joe the Art of Coffee, customers don’t order a cup of coffee but a “cup of Joe’s”. Located in the Greybar passage of Grand Central Station, the tiny coffee shop serves approximately 2,000 customers a day. During the morning rush hour, that translates to one customer every 15 seconds. Lines are always long, but the coffee is worth the wait. With 8 locations in New York City and two others in Philadelphia, Joe is a giant among independent coffee houses – 150 employees process more than 2000,000 pounds of coffee beans a year. As Joe’s has expanded, the coffee products have steadily improved. You can find other Joe’s locations in New York City here.
Our tip: If you want to know how to make first-rate coffee, you can learn the tricks of the trade at Joe Pro Shop on 131 West 21st Street.
If you are a fan of fresh-brewed coffee you will love Café Grumpy. The coffee shop opened in 2005 on Meserole Avenue & Diamond Street in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Today Café Grumpy has grown due to its popularity and now owns four locations in the city. Its popularity is also in part thanks to the US TV series, “Girls” by Lena Dunham. The coffee is as delectable as the pastries prepared at the in-house bakery and they go hand in hand beautifully for breakfast or an afternoon snack. The Café Grumpy location on 20th Street & 7th Avenue in Chelsea is the perfect spot to unwind. The peaceful garden there will entice you to stick around a little linger. Other location in New York City can be found here.
Abraco is a mix of Spanish and Italian culture in a tight space. Size for a coffee shop isn’t that important though – what is important is that the that the coffee is good. This coffee house has earned its rightful place on our list of the Top 5 Coffee Shops in New York City. Customers have enjoyed exquisite coffee here since 2007 – the fresh-brewed coffee is made from beans roasted in house and is served with pleasant music playing in the background making you want to stay. Everything sold here is also 100% organic making it a very attractive option! Be sure not to miss the pastries and cakes baked in-house: these also reflect Spanish/Italian flavors. Read more here: Abraco Café in New York City.
This California-based company is one of the highlights of the New York coffee scene. Their individual “brewing method” for each cup can only be found in a handful of coffee shops in New York City. It is one of the most ceremonious coffees in the city, a homage to fresh coffee to the point where have to have been roasted in the past 48hrs. Blue Bottle’s original shop is located in Williamsburg (Berry Street & 5th Street), which is a very fitting location for this modern and unique coffee shop. However, there is also an excellent location in Manhattan. Because of its proximity to the High Line Park (16th Street & 10th Avenue) it is popular with the parks visitors as well. In summer, iced coffee (New Orleans iced coffee) is their biggest seller. Five other locations, for example in Hell’s Kitchen and Bryant Park, are available.
Whenever you are thinking of coffee and New York City, Brooklyn Roasting Company should come to mind. This established coffee hot spot in Brooklyn offers an excellent selection of Fair Trade and organic coffees. The first coffee shop was opened in a former warehouse in the charming neighborhood Dumbo, in Brooklyn. Its proximity to the East River and Brooklyn Bridge / Manhattan Bridge makes this café a great spot to rest before an afternoon of sightseeing. Compared to all the other coffee shops in New York City on this list of the Top 5, the Brooklyn Roasting Company is spacious and provides lots of room for customers to enjoy their coffee. The charm of the recycled and repurposed furniture gives this coffee shop a great, unique atmosphere that you should definitely go experience for yourself. Their second location is on Flushing Avenue & Washington Avenue in Brooklyn. Click here for other locations in New York City.