New York City is overflowing with coffee shops. They are almost on every corner of every street in Manhattan. But brand name coffee shops start to get repetitive and worn and lose their appeal after your 11th or 12th straight cappuccino from the same place in the same paper cup. New York may not make your list of cities less traveled, but there are ways to escape the tourist and business crowd and sample an alternative coffee experience. Here are five quirky cafés to check out when once you’ve checked into your Manhattan hotel. On a sad note though, the Chocolate Bar that I visited last year and had a tea with Nomadic Matt in, has now closed.
1. The Chipped Cup
The Chipped Cup is an absolutely delightful little coffee shop on Broadway. Blessed with a well-chosen range of teas and coffees from around the world, this is a perfect place to relax away from the fast paced city outside. As well as coffee from Papua New Guinea and tea from China’s Fujian Province, there are some unique refreshments on offer here, away from the mainstream coffee shops. The Chipped Cup also sells pastries from the local Ceci-Cela NY patisserie, delivered fresh daily.
Photo by The Chipped Cup
Address: 3610 Broadway, New York 10031
2. El Rey Coffee Bar & Luncheonette
El Rey Coffee Bar & Luncheonette is a licensed coffee shop on Stanton Street which also offers some tasty light snacks. In the hot summer, it’s worth trying their iced coffees — a Kyoto brewed and a Mexican iced mocha. There is an excellent choice of beers, and the expert chefs have developed a good vegan menu.
Address: 100 Stanton Street, New York 10002
3. Caffé Reggio
Caffé Reggio in Greenwich Village is where you can drink a piece of history. Here at Caffé Reggio, they claim they are the first café in New York to have served cappuccino, and they market it as the “original cappuccino.” It opened in 1927 and has an espresso machine dating to 1902. This would be a great place to upload a photo on Facebook or Instagram and make your friends jealous and excited for you at the same time.
Photo by Bob Cooley via Trover.com
Address: 119 MacDougal Street, New York 10012
4. Saturdays Surf NYC
Possibly the most unusual coffee shop in New York City, Saturdays Surf NYC in SoHo boasts an odd mixture of activity within. It’s a surf shop which doubles up as a coffee shop and triples up as a social hang out for the city’s coolest surfers and artists. There is a garden in the back yard decorated with wood and plants and they have their own blend of coffee, La Colombe.
Photo by Saturdays Surf NYC
Address: 31 Crosby Street, New York 10013
5. Blue Bottle Coffee
Blue Bottle specialise in quality coffee for their customers. They roast their coffee on vintage machines, put into compostable bags, and serve every cup to the customer from bean to cup within 48 hours. There are actually a few of their shops now open in New York City, the 11th Avenue café comes recommended.
Photo by Blue Bottle Coffee
Address: 11th Avenue, New York 10036
So if you’re in need of your caffeine fix, make sure you get these on your list when you head to New York.