I am shamelessly addicted to coffee. I love everything about it: the bold taste, the dose of caffeine, the side of cream (hold the sugar), and the smell. Naturally I’m also attracted to cozy coffee shops. Although I do hang around Starbucks occasionally –mostly to use the free Wi-Fi – I tend to prefer the coffee and atmosphere at local joints. I’ve visited plenty of neighborhood coffee stops here in New York City, but two places really stand out as being my absolute favorite.
1. Le Café Coffee
7 E 14th St, NYC
Best. Coffee. Ever. I would buy coffee here every day if I lived closer… and had the money. Le Café Coffee sells “high end organic coffee” for a great price in a small shop near Union Square Park. The menu isn’t extensive, but everything I’ve tried has left a lasting impression. My drink-of-choice is the cold brew iced coffee ($3.25), which manages to taste strong and smooth without the bitterness typically associated with coffee. It’s the perfect refreshing drink on a hot day. Coming in as my second favorite drink is Le Café Coffee’s specialty, the lavender latte ($4.25), which tastes semi-sweet, smooth, and light. The helpful workers behind the counter always have great attitudes. And another bonus: the shop offers almond milk! I’ve never tried the pastries or food items, but they all look delicious as well.
2. Café Grumpy
Café Grumpy is a New York City chain with locations in Chelsea, the Lower East Side, Grand Central, the Fashion District, and Brooklyn (Greenpoint and Park Slope). I’ve visited the pint-sized Lower East Side venue and the larger, neighborhood-style Chelsea one, and both settings give off a “hipster” vibe. The straightforward menu includes drip and pour-over coffee, teas, and drinks like lattes and macchiatos. Whenever I’ve been to Café Grumpy, I’ve ordered either iced coffee or drip coffee. Both options have a strong, bold, slightly bitter flavor with a hefty amount of caffeine – perfect for those who prefer a pure coffee taste. However, be warned: all of the shops have a “no laptop” policy and no Wi-Fi for customers.