I took it upon myself as a coffee addict, and as an Australian, to seek out the best brews in New York.
As I’m not a morning person so I live by the saying “But first, coffee”. You’ll need caffeinated fuel to explore a vast city like New York. After a few months of living here, I’ve sampled a lot of coffee and have compiled a list of the standouts. Most have more than one store, so you can get your coffee fix all over town. If you’re Australian and in dire need of a flat white, many baristas will whip one up even if it’s not on the menu. The overall BEST coffee I’ve had in NYC is a tie between Bluestone Lane Collective in West Village and Two Hands in Nolita.
TWO HANDS – Aussie dudes making awesome coffee and serving it with healthy Australian fare. Think avo toast. Located Nolita, an up-and-coming neighbourhood near Chinatown
BLUESTONE LANE COLLECTIVE – Another cracking Australian-style operation wowing New Yorkers. Located in West Village, this place is popular with Aussie expats and locals alike. Craving toasted banana bread? Here’s the ticket.
STUMPTOWN COFFEE ROASTERS – Originating in Portland, this direct trade cafe brand oozes excellent design and trendiness. Located in a few places across the city, you’re bound to have a great coffee if you visit. The one behind Washington Square Park is cute, grab takeaway and sip away in the park. Stumptown also collaborates with notable pastry makers across the city – you can pick up something sweet to go with your cuppa. Expect Balthazar pastries, Mast Brothers Chocolate (who even do a Stumptown Coffee chocolate bar) and Momofuku treats.
BLUE BOTTLE COFFEE – A network of cafes have sprung up from San Fransisco, LA, New York and Japan. It’s not surprising as the coffee is great. You’ll find the little blue bottle insignia in a few spots around NYC. My personal favourite’s in Williamsburg.
KAFFE 1668– Coffee here is about single origin and direct trade. They know their stuff and you can taste the quality. Their selection of individually brewed coffees is impressive. There are three locations across town, two are on Greenwich Street. The one in the Financial District attracts big shot banker types and bohos alike.
TOBY’S ESTATE – A small batch roaster in Brooklyn, their sunny, open-spaced store is always busy. You can find a few cafe outposts in Manhattan as well. Toby’s Estate run a Brew School if you want to work on your latte art whilst in New York. In the warmer months, the New Orleans iced coffee is refreshing and runs laps around Starbucks.
CAFE GRUMPY – Another notable Brooklyn based roaster. Delish coffee that will turn your frown upside down, that’s if the cute grumpy face printed on your cup doesn’t make you smile first.
THIRD RAIL COFFEE – With outposts in Greenwhich Village and East Village, these cafes attract the intellectual student types. If the coffee doesn’t impress you (it will!) the fact they stock doughnuts from Doughnut Plant will.
INTELLIGENSIA – A team from San Fransisco set up their company in Chicago, and it has expanded into LA and NYC too. They work alongside their growers to produce the coffee, so you can taste there is a lot of love in the brew.
LA COLOMBE – A classical Italian background informs this coffee, and the hip stores across New York attract queues in the afternoons.
IRVING FARM COFFEE ROASTERS – This coffee company has a direct relationship with the coffee farmers. Fresh, handcrafted coffee is supplied to the numerous NYC locations by their farm in the Hudson Valley.
OSLO – Artisan roasters from Brooklyn with a focus on ecologically sustainable produce. Not highest on my list for Brooklyn locations, but if you’re in the Upper East Side it’ll be the best coffee for a long while.
HAPPY BONES – Local art, excellent publications to read and favourite with creatives and bloggers. This tiny shop run by New Zealanders makes a good brew, but good luck finding a seat.
Do you have a favourite coffee shop in New York that I’ve missed out? Let me know!