If you’ve ever walked the streets of New York City, you’ve probably noticed some of the major coffee chains like Starbucks and the like on nearly every corner. However, if you’re willing to search a bit longer and deeper, you can still find a great independent coffee house or two in the city—places that can literally bring a smile to your face with their delicious aroma and where all the people know your name (or at least want to know it).
In the following article we will highlight some of these cozy, comfy and laidback coffee shops, and provide a quick description of their offerings, surroundings and anything else that makes each of these happy places so popular and well-visited among the many local coffee lovers in this great city.
With multiple locations now in Manhattan and Brooklyn, Maman delivers a “French café” experience, one punctuated with aromatic coffee and deliciously sweet pastries, to the crowded streets and bustling patrons of New York City. Decorated much like a café in the South of France, with white-washed paneling and blue and white tiled floors, Maman can transport busy morning workers and commuters to a simpler place and time and, if only for a while, wash away with their everyday cares with delicious brew and melt-in-your-mouth baked treats.
Ranging from small cups of potent espresso to their famous Lavender Lattes and chocolate-pistachio croissants, Maman is definitely a must-stop AM locale when visiting the Big Apple.
Looking for a scrumptious cortado, vanilla pastry or some other tasty treat in an off-the-beaten-path coffee outpost? If so, 1080 Brew is definitely the place for you. Located in a converted, virtually unmarked warehouse in the Bushwick neighborhood of New York City, 1080 Brew is an ideal stopover whenever you are craving a quick caffeine jolt and/or a delicious morning snack.
A very affordable coffee house in comparison to some others on this list, 1080 Brew lists all of its offerings on an easel-held chalkboard and offers a serene and comfortable atmosphere with just the right amount of cushioned seating for its patrons.
An offshoot of the dearly loved MUD coffee truck that once patrolled the streets of New York City, Café MUD is tucked away near downtown Manhattan’s NoHo district and has rapidly become very popular with customers who use this route to get to work or school. The café serves a wide variety of great hot and iced coffee beverages, as well as an impressive lineup of pastries and healthy sandwiches.
D’Amico Coffee Roasters
Located at 309 Court Street (at Degraw Street) in Brooklyn, D’Amico Coffee Roasters is well-entrenched in the fabric of New York City, as evidenced by the many local repeat customers it attracts daily. The coffee shop was founded back in 1948 by an Italian immigrant. Today, this entirely family-owned coffee shop has well-established its name as a beloved neighborhood joint and a great place to relax and unwind either before or after your work day.
Offering a wide variety of rich coffee brews and bean varieties, including their magical White Christmas blend, D’Amico Coffee Roasters caters to all serious lovers of this caffeinated beverage (and also those just looking for a solid cup of Joe to get the morning started on the right foot). Whether you need a quick cup of steaming hot brew on the go, or a bag of fresh, flavorful beans to roast at home, D’Amico Coffee Roasters is the place for you.
Situated at 56 7th Avenue, between 13th and 14th Streets in NYC, Birch Coffee caters to the average Joe (pun intended) and the serious coffee aficionado. Boasting carefully culled beans, tasty pastries and even fresh-dough donuts, Birch Coffee is the perfect place to start any day. Add to that the comfortable seating and free Wi-Fi for all customers and you can be certain to get off that time-sensitive text or email as you wait for your hot, fresh order.
There simply is no wrong decision to be made at Birch Coffee, as all of their offerings are incredible. And when you have had your fill of hot coffee and sweet, tasty treats, stick around for Birch’s Happy Hour from 5-8, when you’ll have your pick of its many different varieties of local and national craft beer.
With multiple locations throughout the Manhattan region of New York City, Café Grumpy takes its name from the way many people feel in the morning before beginning their work day, and not the atmosphere at this carefree coffee joint. In fact, it would be difficult o find a place in the city that has happier baristas and servers than those at Café Grumpy, a place that can definitely turn any morning frown upside down.
Café Grumpy specializes in a wide variety of coffee favorites, from straight black coffee that is hot and fresh, to wonderful cups of espresso to the sweeter Lattes and iced beverages that so many customers love. Perhaps the best aspect of this coffee gem is its no-laptop policy, a rule that encourages amiable human to human conversation over the virtual madness that is so widespread today.
What began as a love of coffee and people, the Happy Ghost now boasts multiple locations throughout the Big Apple. A place in which lovers of “real” coffee will feel right at home, this café takes its brews very seriously, and its baristas are not shy about sharing their knowledge and some of the tricks that make this coffee so irresistible to customers.
The Happy Ghost currently has four locations in the Brooklyn region of New York, but perhaps the most breathtaking of its four stores is located in the BRIC Arts Media House, a mural-covered space that makes any day start on a more positive note.