There are many foods that New York is known for- Pizza, Donuts, Bagels, Hotdogs – but one of the most classic images that comes to mind when you think of this city is a busy New Yorker striding through the busy streets with a takeout cup of steaming hot coffee. Or the classic scene from any film or television show set in New York- friends, families, lovers or colleagues having important conversations over a mug of coffee, tucked away in the corner of a small cafe.
If coffee is your thing, then New York is the right place to be! You can hardly walk a few paces without coming across a coffee vendor, or a cafe. But with so much choice, it can be difficult to know where to get a good cup of Joe and which places will leave a disappointing taste in your mouth.
We have put together a list of the best coffee shops in New York, so keep reading to find your next caffeine fix!
Abraco is a lovely coffee shop that opened up in the East Village back in 2007. With organic milk and coffee beans sourced from South America, their coffee is very satisfying. ‘Abraco’ means ‘hug’ in Portuguese, and that is what this coffee shop feels like.
It has a relaxing, welcoming atmosphere with a gentle buzz of activity and chatter. It is a place for the community to gather and feel connected. Their menu of homemade pastries changes daily, but the olive cake is a constant feature that keeps customers coming back for more. This really is one of the best places in New York to get yourself a coffee.
This scandi style coffee shop in East Williamsburg is a relaxing place to enjoy a cup of top quality coffee. It has a minimalistic style, with wooden furniture, lots of plants and plenty of natural light.
The coffee is roasted in house- a light and progressive style of roasting- with beans from Colombia, Ecuador, and Burundi. If you are a coffee enthusiast, you should attend one of their cupping sessions where you can sample different blends, taking in the aroma and the flavour notes.
This business began as coffee on wheels, and has progressed into a permanent location which has become incredibly popular. The owners were low on money so started selling coffee from a mud truck, but when it became a big success they opened their own shop.
As well as great coffee, they have a range of beers, wines, paninis and tapas. This is a perfect spot to meet up with friends and catch up over a nice cup of hot coffee and a bite to eat.
If you want to escape the morning rush and drink your coffee in peace, then you should get yourself over to Devocion in Williamsburg. The large windows flood the cafe with natural light, and there is an abundance of tropical plants to set the mood for an inner-city retreat. The raw coffee beans are shipped from Colombia within 10 days of being picked to ensure ultimate freshness, then roasted and blended in New York.
You can also purchase bags of the different blends to enjoy at home. There is plenty of seating, so make yourself comfy and enjoy your coffee in tranquility.
Felix Roasting Co. offers a luxurious coffee experience and happens to serve some of the finest espresso in New York. The coffee isn’t cheap, and neither is the food (you won’t see much change from 20 dollars for smashed avocado and smoked salmon on toast), but their take on coffee is quite original.
Try the deconstructed espresso tonic that comes in a wine glass with tonic water, or the non-alcoholic campari reduction with lemon and basil leaves. They have a fantastic range of dairy free milk alternatives that are made in house, along with various flavoured syrups. Their outdoor seating space is equipped with a heater and plenty of blankets, so you can enjoy your coffee outside even on a chilly day.
This Mexican cafe was founded by Maliksi and Alejandro Ceballos, who also created Long Island City’s Regalia Roasting Collective. The collective gives more opportunities to local roasters and the Regalia coffee is served alongside other popular menu items, like Mexican sodas, pastries, and biscuits with cheddar and chorizo. A unique spot that contributes to local business- and the coffee is great!
Drip coffee started out as a mobile coffee cart. Within 6 months of the permanent store opening in Bushwick, it was a roaring success. The cold brew is steeped for 24 hours, a fantastic choice for a warm day.
They also do an amazing espresso, with the option to use the espresso machine if you are in a rush. But if you aren’t in a rush then sit down, take a moment to yourself, and take in the rich flavours.
This West African coffee shop in East Harlem takes inspiration from various African countries for their delicious menu. With black bean salad, spicy fried plantain, chicken and fish flavoured with fragrant spices you will be able to soak up some African culture.
But what about the coffee? The coffee beans are sourced from Rwanda, Kenya and Ethiopia, and the espresso is strong and punchy. You can also try an African take on matcha called a moringa latte.
Hi-Collar is a Japanese coffee shop by day and a whiskey and cocktail bar by night, located in the East Village. Delicious coffee served in delicate china can be enjoyed alongside lunch items like Katsu pork sandwiches or rice stuffed omelettes called ‘Omurice’.
Even if you just want a cup of coffee, you will still enjoy a great experience choosing your coffee beans and one of the many brewing methods, making your drink truly personalizable. Hi-Collar collaborates with local roasters in New York. If you stick around for the evening, then you can follow up your coffee with a Sake cocktail or a Japanese whisky.
The milk at Lenox coffee is sourced from a creamery upstate, and the pastries are from various New York Bakeries. The coffee at this central Harlem cafe is fantastic, and you can enjoy something from the breakfast or lunch menu to go with it.
Having a coffee at Maman is like getting a taste of France without leaving Soho. The decor is charming and chic, and their baked goods are incredible. Those features alone would be enough to keep people coming back, but they also make some excellent coffee.
If you are a fan of Cuban coffee, and food, then this is definitely the place for you. Some of the blends of Cuban coffee are difficult to find elsewhere, and you will love the range of delicious menu items, both sweet and savoury.
This coffee shop brand began in Chicago in the mid nineties but has since become a New York staple. The beans are brewed using various methods, creating wonderful flavour.
This is a great palace to bring a date, as the location will certainly impress them. The shop inside a swanky hotel in Chelsea, and you can take a walk through the park afterwards.
This cafe in the financial district is an Australian business that serves first class flat white coffee. They source their coffee beans from Brazil and Colombia and the blends are delicious.
We recommend coming here over the weekend, when you can enjoy your coffee with a tasty brunch and relax in the casual, friendly atmosphere.
If you are looking for a good quality, strong coffee then you should try Culture Espresso. Whether you choose a drip coffee or a cortado, you won’t be disappointed with their punchy coffee blends.
You can also treat yourself to a warm, freshly baked cookie to go with your hot coffee. The perfect combination!
If you love iced coffee, then Sweetleaf in Queens is the place for you. Rocket Fuel is a cold brew coffee with milk, maple syrup, and chicory. Or you could try the Vietnamese Child, an iced coffee made with sweetened condensed milk.
You can also choose from a range of premium espresso based drinks.
Meno is a Chinese coffee shop in West Village. They roast their beans specifically for a mild aftertaste. You can also get a range of fermented coffees and teas made with fruit juice.
The pineapple juice-based drinks are particularly good. This is a unique spot, ideal if you want to try something a bit out of the ordinary.
This trendy coffee shop has a chic but relaxed atmosphere with an extensive choice of beans and blends from all over the world, served with a smile.
They have a range of dairy free milk alternatives made in house, like their scrumptious nut milk. There are so many great drinks to choose from, but the iced matcha latte is definitely one of the best options.
This Brooklyn coffee shop is designed to cater for the office crowd, commuting and taking lunch breaks or discussing business over espresso. The service is fast, the coffee is strong, and the food options are delicious.
Pair your coffee with a chocolate croissant or a muffin stuffed with ricotta. In the evening, this venue turns from a coffee shop into a cocktail bar to satisfy those after work cravings for something a little stronger than a latte!
This cafe in Brooklyn was opened by cousins Ali Suliman and Hakim Sulaimani to introduce Yemeni coffee culture into New York. It has been extremely popular.
This is partly due to the Yemeni single-origin roasts that are blended in house, but also the Yemeni food that is on offer. If you try their coffee and can’t get enough, then you can order their coffee blends online!
If you like trying alternative coffee blends, then you should definitely sample some of the drinks on offer at cafe integral. They have a range of Nicaraguan roasts on offer, as well as monthly special blends that include flavour notes like coffee or floral elements.
You can even sign up to a subscription to receive weekly or monthly coffee blends to try at home!
Everyman Espresso in Brooklyn is the King of coffee with an unexpected twist. You can get all your usual drinks, or a tasty North Carolina Roaster. If you are feeling more adventurous, then order a coffee cocktail.
The Tiki Tonic is espresso with tonic, coconut, and pineapple, sweetened with sugar. There’s the Espresso Old-Fashioned with bitters and sugar, or the Panacea- espresso, lemon, honey and bitters. This is a fun place to bring a friend for a coffee catch up with a difference.
Whatever kind of coffee you are looking for, you will find it in New York. Whether you want a classic espresso based drink, a fancy coffee cocktail, or a unique iced brew, there will be something for everyone on this list.
There are coffee shops for every occasion- a fancy date, a business lunch, or a catch up with an old friend- each with their own style and atmosphere. And you can even order some of your favourite blends to drink at home, or sign up to a monthly coffee subscription.
There are plenty more coffee shops in New York that are worth a visit, so if the lines are too long at our favourites then have a look around for your own. If you want a top notch coffee experience, then try and find a coffee shop that makes their own dairy free milk, and either roasts their own beans or uses a local roaster.
You can also ask them about where they source their raw beans from, and how fresh they are when they are processed. All of this will have an affect on the flavour of the coffee.