Imagine someone who does not consider themselves a coffee drinker writing an article about 100 of the Best Coffee shops and Cafés to visit in NYC.
I have always dabbled, and I adore a great cup of coffee. I have one cup a day, or maybe two cups if I need an afternoon pick me up. But I can go for quite a while without having any coffee. As I planned content for April, I realized that I had curated quite a list of coffee shops and Cafés over the years.
When one writes about things like coffee, food, etc., over time, one can possess quite a collection of notebooks. And so I have. I was disappointed and sad that many of the Cafés on my list have since shuttered due to the pandemic.
The United States is noted as number one of ten Countries that Drink the Most Coffee in the World (by 1000s of 60-lb bags of dry coffee beans consumed) according to the World Population Review.
There is no data to support it, but New York City (NYC) has probably contributed significantly to the United States’ number one spot. One of the things that NYC does not have is a shortage of cozy Neighborhood cafés. At almost every corner, we can grab a delicious cup of frothy cappuccino or a regular cup of jo.
This month we are all about #LocalLove on BKLS and we are giving you 100 of the Best Café to try right now in NYC in a four-part series.
Today we are featuring part one of our series. Explore our favorite corner spots, most welcoming gems, best conversational picks, and perfect pastries pairings.
Born in Yemeni, roasted in Brooklyn, and Launched in 2019. Cousins Ali Suliman and Hakim Sulaimani created Yafa Cafe to merge two essential parts of their lives. Yemen, the place they were born, and Brooklyn, where they were raised.
At Yafa Cafe you can get a cup of ethically sourced coffee with Yemeni-inspired sweets, food, and spices.
In 2020 during the pandemic, the cousins began a journey to revitalize Yemen’s dwindling coffee trade by creating a supply chain of sustainable coffee.
4415 4th Avenue — Sunset Park
Coffee uplifts people (CUP) is a black-owned Coffee shop. Co-owned by Angela Yee, a radio personality on the Breakfast Club in NYC.
It is an intimate space to #grabyourcup with an avocado toast.
Everything in the shop, from coffee to baked goods, is sourced from Black and Brown growers, artisans, and foragers worldwide.
329 Gates Avenue — Bedford Stuyvesant
You can have fabulous coffee in Queens. And Kinship Coffee is one of many shops offering a delightful cup. Located in the Astoria section of Queens—visit any one of the three café operations. The coffee company started its Astoria-based roastery, stocking its shops with a range of single-origin coffees and blends.
You will find Friendly faces, rich-tasting cold brews, and delicious pastries at Kinship Coffee. The atmosphere is beautiful, well lit, and vibrant. Other locations include 23-92 21st Street and 30-14 Broadway.
Alison promises to feed our minds, bodies, and souls. And she does just that with the inspiration of warmth, quality ingredients, a big personality, and conversations from her home island Jamaica.
Whether it is a Mocha Latte or a Sorrel drink, Hibiscus Brew is the place for a bit of island love.
546 Flatbush Avenue — Prospect Lefferts Gardens
Manhattan has many cozy corner spots—some super busy, others quite calming. For Australian-style coffee in Midtown, head to Little Collins. Excellent coffee with an extensive breakfast menu.
There is Another location at 570 Lexington Avenue (Urbanspace).
708 3rd Ave — Midtown
Another Queens Café. Offering a fabulous lineup of high-quality espresso drinks. Two specialty options that are worth a try are: the Rocket Fuel, a cold brew spiked with chicory, maple syrup, and milk. And the Voodoo Child, a Vietnamese-style iced coffee made with sweetened condensed milk.
We go to Sweetleaf for Great coffee, friendly and knowledgeable Baristas, and fabulous fresh baked goods. And also the quirky, vintage eclectic decor.
If you are all coffeed out, check out Sweetleaf Coffee and Cocktail Bar at 4615 Center Boulevard, at 46th Avenue in Long Island City for a tasty cocktail.
Other locations include: 159 Freeman Street — Greenpoint and 10-93 Jackson Avenue — Long Island City
10-93 Jackson Avenue — Queens Plaza
Coffee Spot Serves coffee and treats from Stumptown Coffee, King David Tacos, King Street Baking Co., Balthazar Bakery & Bellocq Teas.
Cafe Au Lait and Olive Oil Citrus Bundt is the perfect combo for any day.
679 Classon Avenue — Crown Heights
This Community-oriented Café sources the highest quality and freshest baked goods from local dairy suppliers and bakeries.
NBHD Brûlée has a nicely Curated offering of coffee, teas, breakfast, lunch, and treats.
2620 Frederick Douglass Blvd — Harlem
Voted the best coffee in the Nation, Everyman aims to make good coffee and share it with people. Simple yet profound and living every bit of it. With a welcoming space, high-quality traditional coffee options, and signature drinks.
Other locations are at 301 West Broadway—TriBeCa and 136 E. 13th Street—East Village.
162 5th Avenue — Park Slope
Located in the heart of Little Caribbean, Aunts et Uncles gives us something different that we did not know we needed.
A vegan option even if you are not vegan. An iced latte with a delicious vegan Caribbean-inspired treat to engage your tastebuds.
Feel at home with the friendliest staff, coral-pink couch, mid-century-style molded plastic chairs in sea green, and counter stools.
Try the bake and saltfish, Lobster Roll, All Green Everything, and Cryin Ryan Cauliflower. Pair either with an iced latte, and it feels like home.
1407 Nostrand Avenue — Flatbush
We could not share a list of Cafés and not include this neighborhood favorite.
Cup of Brooklyn is owned by Agnieszka, a former jewelry designer, and John, a former gemologist.
A great space you will not want to leave. Friendly and knowledgeable staff. Tasty in-house-made bites, delicious treats from Balthazar, and none other than Devocion Coffee.
1071 Gates Avenue — Between Bushwick + Bedford Stuyvesant
Aliyyah Baylor opened I like it Black, where she spotlights Black and Brown Roasters every quarter. Realizing the disparity between roasters and coffee shop owners and people who looked like her, I Like it Black is a celebration of inclusiveness.
She is also the owner of Make My Cake in Harlem. Aliyyah is a third-generation baker. Make My Cake has locations at 2380 Adam Clayton Powell Jr — Harlem and 775 Columbus Avenue — Upper West Side.
A Sticky Bunz and a Lil Spice Mocha make us very grateful for our taste buds.
409 W 125th Street — Harlem
This corner spot, Patio beauty, is a neighborhood favorite: stylish and modern decor, fresh pastries, and espresso drinks. Prince Coffee House is a MUST visit next time you are in the Bronx.
We love the diversity and the upbeat vibe. But our favorite part is the Tres Leches and coffee Cake paired with a delicious quality latte.
2306 Arthur Avenue — Bronx
This Cobble Hill Café is worth the visit. Just one of the Portland-born chains.
With Spring in the air, a seasonal beverage such as the “Hazelnut Butter Mocha” is a MUST try. Or try their other selections of coffee.
Do not miss out on trying their delicious breakfast tacos. Favorites to try: PEC Breakfast Taco, Queen Bean Breakfast Taco, or Doubles Empanada (v) – Love, Nelly. Don’t leave without grabbing a Blueberry Scone for later.
With additional locations at 30 West 8th Street — Near Washington Square Park and 18 West 29th Street — Ace Hotel New York.
212b Pacific Street — Cobble Hills
Best chocolate chip cookies in NYC, superb coffee, and stylish coffee bar. We can not say anything but just visit, we promise you will love it. There is another location at 307 West 38th Street — Midtown West
72 W 38th Street — Midtown West
We fell in love with this space before Little Skips took over. There is a sense of community and connectedness.
Friendly staff, a place of expressiveness, individuality, ethically sourced coffee, and playful food.
We love pairing a cappuccino and croissant it is our favorite, but so are the DANK Chocolate Chip Banana Bread and the Spicy Italia Bagel.
Additional location at 1038 Nostrand Avenue — Prospect Lefferts Gardens.
1643 Broadway — Bushwick
Merging the skill of their baristas and connecting with the community over a love for coffee is what Coffee Project NY strives for.
Sourcing coffee directly from small cooperatives and family farms that focus on improving work conditions, wages, and benefits for farmworkers. And sharing their passion for coffee with NYC and the world.
Owned by partners Chi Sum Ngai and Kaleena Teoh, their goal is to remain dedicated to the craft and their community.
Our favorite bites are the Almond Butter Croissant or Cheese Croissant with Coconut Paradise, or an Americano.
Other locations include 155 7th Avenue—Chelsea, 239 E 5th Street—East Village, and 21-10 51st Avenue—Long Island City.
78 Rockwell Place — Fort Greene
Fantastic service, friendly and welcoming staff. Bushwick Grind Cafe is a hidden gem in Bushwick aimed at community building. The perfect place for an oat milk latte and an almond croissant.
Often greeted by co-owner Kymm Davis who is both charming and welcoming. Kymm owns the café with her husband Raymon Davis.
The options are endless (including many vegan options), tasty with fresh ingredients, and a great cup of quality coffee.
63 Whipple Street – Bushwick
Lakou in Haitian Culture is a place where the community gathers. A place to nourish their bodies and souls. Exchange knowledge and fellowship. Therefore it is no surprise that Lakou, a Haitian American Café is an oasis for their community. A safe space for the community to engage and nourish themselves with healthy food.
Caribbean-inspired bites that are fresh, tasty, and healthy. We loved the Jack-Jack sandwich, Lakou Salmon Burger, the Joumon, and the crapes. But the menu is extensive and there is something for everyone including a cup of Haitian Spiced Cocoa with a shot of Kava.
195 Utica Avenue – Crown Heights
A Café by Day and Bar by night. Hi-Collar gives us the best of both worlds. A Japanese Cafe (Kissaten), where we were able to grab a cup of hot Aeropress and Siphan. But a cup of Japanese Ice Coffee was also a fabulous option. We paired it with a Tamago Sandwich, hot cake (Japanese pancakes), and a fruit sandwich.
Feeling a little assy then head back later in the evening for a glass of Whisky or Sake with Takoyaki, Udon Carbonara, or Shrimp Shumai. The menu is endless so check it out.
231 E 9th — East Village
Good Service paired with welcoming staff and freshly baked delicious biscuits with an in-house drip is the perfect start to the morning or afternoon.
A serene space to be with your thoughts and delicious bites. No Laptop but grab a bowl, Bacon Spice Pear Grilled Cheese, or any of the delicious options from the menu.
413 Tompkins Avenue — Bedford Stuyvesant
The name Communita says it all — a place for the community to gather. Owned by husband-wife partners Kafia Saxe and Lloyd Canning this is the perfect spot for a delicious meal.
We stumbled on this safe haven by chance but the Vanilla Latte and Organic Cafe Mocha were so delicious we stayed for a while and left with a Golden Tea Latte and a Masala Chai Latte.
The Green Bob, Smoked Salmon Toast, and Halloumi-Avocado Toast made us visit again. And Communitea is A MUST VISIT AGAIN on our list.
11-14 46th Road—Hunters Point (LIC)
Serving organic bread from Bread Alone, bagels from Terrace Bagels, and pastries from Colson Patisserie. Brewing coffee from Kitten Coffee, a local Brooklyn roaster. PLG is inspiring and welcoming. It is where you want to go to stay just a bit longer.
Tomato Mozzarella Pesto, the Farm System, the Reuben, and Maryland Crab Cake for those famished days. The berry Bomb, Green Machine, or Health Bomb for an AM pick me up. Or a Cafe au lait or Large Mocha paired with A Turkey & Cheese Croissant or an Egg + Cheese + Avocado Biscuit for every day.
499 Rogers Avenue — Prospect Lefferts Gardens
It is the personal touch, friendly service, and fresh delicious pastries and sandwiches for us. A lovely neighborhood spot near the park and perfect for a Saturday morning visit.
Signature hand-crafted drinks and house-made pastries and sandwiches. Our favorites are:
- The Hangover
- Cheddar Chutney
- The Vegan
- Corn Cheddar Muffin
- Bread pudding
- Cinnamon Roll
180 Dekalb Avenue—Fort Greene
A contemporary cafe that makes specialty green tea approachable while honoring more than a thousand years of tradition. If you love Match then you will adore Chalait.
Husband and wife team Michelle and Ramon Puyane
Were enchanted by the ceremonial tea while on trips spent sipping and nibbling around Kyoto. They dreamt of bringing the calming and clarifying effects of matcha back to New York City. And that is how Chalait was born.
With their farm-to-cup motto, Chalait serves premium matcha sourced from its place of origin in Uji.
We love the better Overnight Oats, Cauliflower Squash Quinoa bowl, and Classic Avocado Tartine. Add a delicious cup of Matcha and it is a wonderful day.
461 Amsterdam Avenue — Upper West Side
Save this list and do not forget to visit us on April 22th for Part two of our Cafe journey in NYC.