The city that never sleeps needs copious amounts of coffee to make it through the day. New York City has some of the best local coffee shops, and all of them are different and unique. We’ve pulled together a list of coffee shops in New York City you absolutely must visit so you can keep up with the hustle and bustle (and stay awake for all the excitement).
1. Ground Central
Ground Central is a perfect meeting place for first dates or simply enjoying the records playing throughout their coffee shops. With several locations throughout the city, there’s more than enough coffee to go around. We recommend an oat milk chai latte, one of their giant chocolate chip cookies, and sitting down with a good book in the cafe’s library.
2. Poetica Coffee
What’s more poetic than a good cup of coffee? Poetica Coffee’s answer to that question is not much. Each location is beautifully decorated with flowers around the entrance door. At several of their locations, Poetica has beautiful gardens and outdoor spaces to hang out in. Be sure to try their lattes—they are poetry in a cup.
3. For Five Coffee
For Five was created in honor of the five boroughs of New York City. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better representation of NYC coffee shops than For Five. They serve delicious lunches, incredible cold brews, and sumptuous baked goods. If you have room after the croissants and pastries, take one of their stuffed cookies home.
Mudspot Restaurant, or MUD, is an East Village favorite that’s open from the early morning hours to the late night. The cafe and restaurant have a calm vibe, and they serve up great food and even better coffee. A stop at MUD will fuel the rest of your night out or an early morning study session.
Devoción boasts farm-fresh coffee Colombia to your cup in less than ten days, with a quick stop in Brooklyn to be roasted. Each location brings its design and flare, reminding you to sip your coffee and savor it. There are multiple locations in Brooklyn and Manhattan.
6. Bluestone Lane Cafe
Bluestone Lane Cafe understands coffee. The popular brunch spot also serves delicious Australian-inspired coffee and tea drinks. My recommendation? Try the mocha, especially in the summer it feels like lovely chocolate milk. Come for the coffee, but be sure to stay for the brunch and enjoy the light fare.
7. Cafe Grumpy
This cafe serves local coffee, pastries, and everything you could want. The name Cafe Grumpy is deceiving; the baristas are friendly and helpful. The logo in the city is iconic. There are locations all over Manhattan and Brooklyn, so you can get your Grumpy fix wherever you are. Be sure to try their mocha, which is perfect for the holiday season.
8. The Bean
This coffee shop boasts long tables and laptop space for students and co-workers alike. Some highlights on the menu are the “Nutella Fitzgerald” and the “Frozen Mona Lisa.” The coffee is great at The Bean, but if you want smoothies or juices, you can get those here, too.
9. Milk Bar
No, this is not the Milk Bar you’re thinking about. This Milk Bar is a Brooklyn-based coffee shop that serves incredible lattes and coffee drinks and has one of the best breakfast sandwiches in their cheddar biscuit sandwich. Check it out before strolling through Prospect Park.
10. Think Coffee
With multiple locations in New York, Think Coffee is a great go-to spot. It has tables for working, great baked goods, and of course, delicious coffee. Check out the location close to Washington Square Park. There is always a buzz in this coffee shop, and it’s a great place to meet up with friends.
11. Ciao Gloria
There’s no better way to feel like you’re in Italy than sipping on a warm expresso in the vibrant Ciao Gloria. The cafe, located in Prospect Heights, is popular with the brunch crowd, offering a variety of egg sandwiches and baked goods. The coffee is strong, the people are friendly, and the outdoor seating is highly competitive in the summertime.
12. Variety Coffee Roasters
Brooklyn-based Variey Coffee Roasters knows coffee. Roasted in Brooklyn, the coffee is smooth and perfectly balanced. Founded in 2008, they’ve had time to expand their locations and perfect their coffee. The taste is smooth, and a staple when you’re in New York. Be sure to take some beans home so you can always have a little New York with you.
13. Alita Café
Alita Café is another on our list of Brooklyn-based coffee shops that serves up warm drinks and a friendly atmosphere. There, you can enjoy an array of pastries, coffee and tea, and seasonal delights like ice cream or pecan pumpkin bread. You can stay all day at the tables outside, and enjoy fresh breakfast sandwiches.
14. La Cabra
La Cabra is a modern coffee shop created in Denmark. Located in the East Village, this coffee shop fuels anyone who walks through its door, bringing Danish design features that evoke a feeling of relaxation. They offer seasonal coffee, fresh pastries and bread, and a relaxing way to enjoy coffee that takes you out of the hustle and bustle of the city, even if just for a minute.
15. Birch Coffee
One visit to Birch Coffee, and you’ll swear you learned more about coffee beans simply by tasting them. With multiple locations over the city, the coffee is consistent and good. They have small window to-go locations and bigger seated locations so you can pick if you want to savor your coffee or take it on the go.
Although you may not get to all of them, we recommend trying to cross off as many of these coffee shops as you can. If you’re looking for other things to do in New York, be sure to check out some festive restaurants or even steakhouses.