Something special about New York, I think, is the overabundance of coffee shops throughout the city. Considering the constantly-at-work, constantly-on-the-go nature of the city and its inhabitants, it makes sense that there would be plenty of places for a quick caffeine fix or space to work.
When I visited Paris two summers ago, I had a difficult time finding “Starbucks-style” coffee shops to work from on my laptop or grab a quick cup of coffee. (Oh, but so many sidewalk cafés!) It made me appreciate the plethora of coffee shops here—one in reach anywhere you are in the city. A great thing about coffee shops in New York is how much character they all have.
I absolutely love discovering and trying new coffee shops, so it’s difficult for me to pick my very favorites. There are so many—and so many I haven’t even tried! I created a list of the ones I simply tend to gravitate toward the most for one reason or another (only in Manhattan because Brooklyn itself would have its own list!).
Here are 8 of my favorite coffee shops in Manhattan:
Whynot Coffee – Lower East Side
I love the amount of space, the large windows, the music (on a record player!), and the menu this place has to offer. In the spring and summer when the windows are open, it’s delightful. In the fall and winter, it’s cozy. Bring a laptop and come hungry because you will be smelling cookies baking in a little oven behind the counter. (Orchard St. between Houston & Stanton)
Boule & Cherie – Upper West Side
From across the street, you’ll see its name in Broadway-style lights, and, if you’re anything like me, you’ll fall in love instantly. The inside is just as pretty, and it’s a great place to work or meet a friend. (Amsterdam Ave. between 67th & 68th)
Prodigy Coffee – West Village
This is the type of place that induces creativity because it’s so charming. Anywhere with exposed white brick just makes me happy. It’s simple, sweet, and nestled nicely in the Village amongst a handful of quirky bookstores and shops. (Carmine St. between Bleecker & Bedford)
Ralph’s Coffee – Midtown East
I’m hesitant to give up this hidden gem that feels like my secret. Buried in the corner of the second floor of the Polo Ralph Lauren store is the cutest little thing you’ll find in Midtown. If you get a spot by the window, you can watch pedestrians and yellow cabs coming down 5th Avenue, and it’s magical. (5th & E. 55th St.)
Greecologies – Little Italy
I talked about Greecologies and its bulletproof coffee in a former post, but it has much more to offer! It’s a great space with lots of seats, a whole Greek yogurt bar,
and a garden in back for days with nice weather. (Broome St. between Mulberry & Mott)
Ground Central – Midtown East
Cozy is the best word to describe it. There are tables in the front for a busier, lighter experience, but the room in the back has books, comfy couches, dim lighting, and is a relatively quiet place to work or curl up with a book. (E. 52nd between Lexington and 3rd Ave.)
Irving Farm Coffee Roasters – Upper West Side, Upper East Side, Flatiron, Lower East Side
There are a few locations to enjoy the lovely spaces, great selection of food and baked goods, and delicious coffee Irving Farm has to offer. Hands down, one of the best spots for meeting up with a friend or a group or working alone. (W. 79th between Amsterdam & Broadway, 3rd between 80th & 81st St., Irving Plaza between 19th & 18th St., Orchard St. between Broome & Grand)
Housing Works Bookstore Café – Soho
I love everything about this space from the shelves of used books to the device-free tables (there are communal tables where devices are allowed) to the volunteer staff serving quick bites. Go to read, work, and shop for donated books while you’re there! (Crosby St. between Prince & Jersey)