There’s no shortage of cozy neighborhood coffee shops in New York City, welcoming in customers with frothy cappuccinos and friendly conversation. And while every New Yorker has their favorite corner spot, there are cafes that rise above the rest with expertly brewed cups of coffee and award-winning pastries. Here, we’ve rounded up our favorite places for a cup of coffee in the city right now.Read More
15 Essential New York City Coffee Shops
Where to find expertly brewed cups of coffee in New York City right now
Variety Coffee Roasters
Variety Coffee Roasters is all grown up: One of the pioneers of NYC’s coffee scene, Variety’s new-ish shop on the Upper East Side is all wood paneling and tasteful lighting. The Chelsea and Park Slope locations are just as urbane, while there are also original shops in Williamsburg, Greenpoint, and Bushwick. Variety first started roasting coffee in 2014 and is known for its nutty, chocolatey roasts. You can find its coffee now at other cafes throughout the city, as well as the Variety owner Gavin Compton’s own diner, Three Decker, in Greenpoint.
Little Flower Cafe
The family behind Sami’s Kabab House expanded their footprint in Astoria in 2022, with a neighboring cafe highlighting modern halal takes on the New York coffee shop. There are pastries, sandwiches, and frequent pop-ups.
Having started in Sydney, Australia under the name Coffee Alchemy, the business from Hazel de los Reyes and business partner Clare Lim opened their 6,000-square-foot Industry City roastery and cafe in 2018 and their first retail location in Manhattan in 2021, followed by one in Flatiron last year. Today, they’re serving flat whites, latte, and cappuccino, but de los Reyes prefers drip for the flavor of the beans.
Do Not Feed Alligators
This tiny coffee shop, wine bar, and bookstore from Swiss Photographer David Shama (and named after their roadtrip book) makes a nice cup of coffee, with a rotating pour-over menu that announces the provenance and flavor profile of beans. It’s a welcoming hangout space.
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Is this the best coffee shop in New York City? It’s certainly one of the busiest, where the line snakes out the door during rush hour. Truth is, it’s worth it. This Danish import has excellent coffee, exquisite pastries, table service, and an appealing Scandi style. If only every day could start with a perfect cappuccino in an earthenware cup and a cardamom bun. A second Manhattan location in Soho has a slightly more upscale feel.
There’s nothing in coffee quite like Abraço, an East Village shop with so much personality it’s hard to take it in all at once. There’s the coffee, with wild-haired co-owner Jamie McCormick often working the bar. There are the pastries, such as co-owner Liz Quijada’s justifiably famous orange-scented olive oil cake. And there’s the scene, the chatty locals who, in the words of Frank Zappa, make this “the top freako watering hole and social HQ.”
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This sprawling Williamsburg roastery and cafe is an outpost of a coffee roaster in Bogota, Colombia. All its raw beans arrive straight from Colombia days after it’s harvested, which makes for some of the freshest coffee around. The space has plenty of seating, but even on the busiest days, there are probably going to be more plants than people. Devoción also has locations in Downtown Brooklyn, Dumbo, and Flatiron.
An expansive Williamsburg spot with a coffee shop, lobby, and courtyard that’s an excellent place to work or just hang out and people-watch. Here, there’s also a partnership with Regina’s Grocery, serving the sandwiches and salads that made the shop popular when it first opened on the Lower East Side back in 2018.
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Suited in the Financial District works with some of the biggest names in New York roasting right now, including Sey and Little Wolf, along with a handful of international roasters whose beans are available from the shop. Expect to find a handful obligatory drinks on the menu — hot chocolate, matcha and turmeric lattes — but stick to a cup of espresso or drip to fully appreciate the thoughtful sourcing that’s happening here.
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Black Fox Coffee
Black Fox on Pine Street has an impressive selection of coffee, showcasing coffees from a variety of esteemed roasters around the world. The iced matcha latte is a standout on the drink menu and should be ordered with the coffee shop’s housemade nut milk. Black Fox has another Fidi coffee bar, a cafe in Midtown, and a coffee shop in the Pendry Hotel behind the new Penn Station build-out at Moynihan Hall.
Honey Moon Coffee Shop
This Ridgewood shop sells and makes coffee drinks using its own house blend of beans. The coffee spot doubles as a bookstore, in collaboration with nearby Molasses Books, with titles new and old lining its shelves, making it a great spot to work on a laptop. The corner space has plenty of outdoor seating, too.
A bright and airy sky-lit warehouse decorated with potted plants, Sey Coffee feels more West Coast than middle Bushwick. But it’s more than just a pretty space. Sey is regarded as one of the better micro roasters in NYC. Founders Tobin Polk and Lance Schnorenberg favor a light, clean Nordic-style flavor profile so highly regarded by the coffee cognoscenti.
For the freshest of fresh-roasted coffee beans, it’s hard to beat % Arabica. The Kyoto-based import opened its first U.S. location in Brooklyn last year with a souped-up espresso machine, baked goods from Balthazar, and a “green bean corner” where customers can buy beans to be roasted on the spot in seven minutes.
Villager is an ambitious coffee shop masquerading as a laid-back neighborhood cafe. During the pandemic, the business opened on a quiet side street on the border of Prospect and Crown Heights: It now has a following that extends beyond those neighborhoods. The draw is a thoughtful selection of coffee beans sourced from roasters like Sey, also on this list, and Dayglow, a Los Angeles coffee company that’s opening soon in Brooklyn.
Cousins Ali Suliman and Hakim Sulaimani launched Yafa Cafe in 2019 to spotlight Yemeni coffee culture in Sunset Park. Nearly three years later, it’s still going strong as a neighborhood cornerstone where the Yemeni-rooted food is just as good as the assortment of coffees. The cousins also started to roast an in-house line of coffee during the pandemic, offering blends and Yemeni single-origin roasts for sale at the shop and online.