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Wondering where to find the “best coffee NYC” or are you constantly googling, “best coffee shops NYC”?

If you are then this post about the best coffee shops in NYC is for you!

I mean:

I’m a New York City local and I do often refer to coffee as the nectar of the Gods since I loathe mornings and literally cannot string together a coherent sentence until this perfect, caffeine-laden, elixir of life hits my bloodstream (Shout out to the power of espresso).

So I think that qualifies me as an expert on the best NYC coffee shops.

Don’t you? Glad we agree.

And if you’re a traveling coffee lover, like me, then you need an awesome, NYC coffee expert since you don’t wanna pop into some generic Starbucks that will never acurately reflect the local, NYC coffee shop scene (more like an accurate representation of the evils of Capitalism. But alas, you didn’t come here for my mumblings about that).

Because:

Even though New York City has a Starbucks on almost every corner, there are still some pretty amazing, independent NYC coffee shops here that serve a fantastic latte in a quirky atmosphere that will leave you thinking, “Starbucks? Starbucks who?”

In New York City, coffee really is the answer to all of life's problems.
In New York City, coffee really is the answer to all of life’s problems.

But it gets better!

Quick, read on and find out how you can win a million dollars by simply reading this guide to best coffee NYC.

Kidding!

You’re smart and I bet that you weren’t fooled.

But since you’re here ANYWAY, might as well check out these 15 wicked awesome, NYC coffee shops that brew some of the best coffee in New York City.

***Other famous New York City coffee shops that I have yet to try include Voyager Espresso, Blue Bottle Coffee, Third Rail Coffee, Black Fox Cofee Co., Frisson Espresso (Maybe the Best Italian Coffee NYC) etc.***

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure for more information. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.

***Looking for a great hotel in NYC? Then try the Local Hostel, Paper Factory Hotel (mid-range), Fifty NYC (mid-range), Life Hotel (Boutique Hotel), and Shelburne Hotel (Luxury near Grand Central Terminal). ***

Table of Contents

1. Cha Cha Matcha (Cha Cha real Smooth. Insert inaudible musical sounds here. Located on the Lower East Side)

Best coffee NYC? Cha Cha Matcha which is a fun and friendly cafe that sells matcha and coffee!
Best coffee NYC? Cha Cha Matcha which is a fun and friendly cafe that sells matcha and coffee!

For anyone who doesn’t know:

Matcha is NOT actually coffee. It’s a type of green tea that contains about as much caffeine as you would get in a whopping TEN cups of coffee.

Talk about getting more bang for your buck. Geez.

Normally:

I tend to think that Matcha tastes like glorified grass clippings since it has an uber  bitter flavor that even eight packets of sugar won’t kill.

But Cha Cha Matcha is Different!

The Matcha here is delicious! Okay, I got a latte and threw in some sweetener but still, you can tell that they serve high-quality Matcha that doesn’t taste like lawn debris.

Plus:

This franchise has multiple locations that not only serve up kick-ass tea but that also have a funky design aesthetic that captures the vivacious spirit of this trendy cafe.

Translation?

Just think of it as an NYC Instagrammer’s dream.

But Legit:

They have a glowing, neon pink sign that illuminates the words “I love you so Matcha!” with glowing palm trees on either side.

Epic right?

See, told ya it was an Instagram mecca of sorts

However:

This place is no longer a well-kept secret (sigh), so there can be an insanely long line since fellow, wannabe social media influencers hog all the tables and take about 12,000 photos of their tea.

That’s Why:

Hit up the less crowded, Broome Street location. And get there early because the earlier you arrive, the more self-indulgent selfies you can take without feeling judged as a self-obsessed, vapid, social media lover who is too busy with social media to actually live life.

Oh Wait:

Right, you’re not my therapist. Whoops. My bad, moving on.

In Other News:

This is a great cafe for that friend of yours who hates coffee or who is a total health nut because their cacao coconut energy balls are amazing and actually good for you. And this is coming from someone who considers a french fry a vegetable and thinks Kale should be eliminated from the face of the Earth.

Never Feat Though:

Cha Cha Match also serves a killer cup of coffee if Matcha really isn’t your thing (that’s why it’s on this best coffee shops NYC list).

***If you’re anywhere near the Flatiron Building or Washington Square Park, haul your butt over to Union Fare. They have AMAZING croissants in flavors like Birthday Cake, Red Velvet, Matcha, Fruity Pebble, etc. You need this in your life right now because it is some of the best food that I have EVER had in New York City.

2. Little Collins (Midtown)

Be sure to stop by Little Collins and try their divine NYC coffee.
Be sure to stop by Little Collins and try their divine NYC coffee.

In general:

New Yorkers are not known for being the kindest, most patient people on the planet.

I know, I hate to say it but we’re loud, always in a rush, sometimes angry, and sometimes super rude.

That’s why:

When I stepped into this Australian coffee and food haven, I wanted to cry.

But in the good, “oh my God where has this amazing NYC coffee shop been all my life?” kind of way.

Why?

Not only was the Avocado Toast amazing (I also felt like less of a fat ass for eating the whole thing because it is “healthy” and the portions are ENORMOUS; or normal by American standards), but everyone was Australian and super nice!

Yup!

Everyone, even customers, had super fun, Australian accents. And they were so nice that someone even let me shamelessly take a picture of their coffee while I waited for mine.

The Down Side?

It is so damn crowded!

Yes!

I got there at 9:00 am and there was already a line out the door (a good indication that this is one of the best coffee shops) in New York City.

That’s why I’d suggest ordering your food ahead of time, grabbing it to go, and then devouring it at Bryant Park, if you can manage to wait that long.

***If you love coffee and dessert, you might want to check out this epic Broadway Bites tour, that is actually led by a real NYC actor!***

3. Birch Coffee NYC (Flatiron District)

There is a simple beauty found in the coffee serves at Birch Coffee NYC.
There is a simple beauty found in the coffee serves at Birch Coffee NYC.

This super trendy coffee purveyor is a hop, skip, and a jump away from the 28th street subway station (Or is that just the slogan for Six Flags? Maybe both).

But it Gets Better:

Not only is the décor a hipster, urban, minimalist chic (I was by far the lamest person there. Yup, the coffee was way cooler than me too. Especially since it was iced. Haha), but the lattes here are absolutely gorgeous, and tasty too; so damn pretty that I almost didn’t want to drink mine.

Added Bonus:

Birch encourages you to ditch your cell phone, which is fine since there is no wifi there, and, gasp, interact with other humans.

That’s why:

Birch has these cute, conversation cards that will help you chat someone up while simultaneously alleviating the social awkwardness that results from interacting with total strangers.

And it’s pretty simple too.

Just pick up a conversation card with a question you like,  place the card on your table, and then wait for someone to mosey on over (and let the magic happen).  

Unless you’re like me and get super scared that no one will ever want to talk to you (Just throwing in a LOL so this sentence is a little less sad).

***Dying to to taste some of the best desserts that New York City has to offfer? Then why not try a 2-hour cupcake tour? I’ve done it and ti’s super fun and delicious.***

4. Toby’s Estate in the Flatiron District

While enjoying coffee at Toby's Estate, beside to check out the independent bookstore in the back.
While enjoying coffee at Toby’s Estate, beside to check out the independent bookstore in the back.

No, this isn’t the name of some weird, super-secret, tea plantation in Manhattan

Instead:

This is a coffee shop that is actually operated by Strand, a famous purveyor of fine used books that everyone MUST visit before leaving New York City.

Therefore It Makes Sense That:

This vintage NYC coffee shop not only produces some fantastic lattes and cappuccinos but that it has an adjoining bookstore too!

No Joke:

This store has some pretty kick ass, feminist books (and apparel) that are perfect for any rabble-rouser in training.

The wannabe feminist in me bought a ton of stuff that I really didn;t need.

To Make Poor Financial Choices Like Me:

All you need to do is grab your coffee, walk through the back door, and poof, you’re in a well-designed bookstore that has a mildly adequate number of tables and chairs.

Just be prepared to pounce on one of these chairs if you want to actually sit and enjoy your coffee.

But Did You Know:

This bookstore actually leads you into a clothing store if you keep walking back!

Cool right?

Kind of like Walmart only less morally reprehensible and way more expensive.

However: 

if you’re in the market for a new wardrobe then this is the place for you. And if you’re poor like me, just leave your credit card at home so that you don’t end up with an empty bank account and a severe case of buyer’s remorse.

5. Stumptown Coffee Roasters (Flatiron District)

This coffee shop overlooks the man, the myth, the legend… the Empire State Building (if you want to visit, get tickets here).

But that’s NOT All:

The coffee is excellent too. I mean, they even sell a box of water to help the environment.

Lol. How awesome is that? Yup, I laughed like a Hyena on roids when I saw that. However, back to the super serious business of the best coffee in NYC.

On the Down Side:

This shop is rather small with no real seating. Therefore, rather than standing there awkwardly, I suggest grabbing your decadently, delightful (See, alliteration! I really did go to college) cup of coffee and walking through the back door!

Inside this, not so mysterious, door way of wonder:

You’ll find a ton of cushy chairs that are actually in the adjoining hotel; a great spot to sit and enjoy a hearty cup of coffee.

6. Meow Parlour (One of the best cute New York City coffee shops. Found in Chinatown)

So unless you’re living in some sort of alternate universe that blocks out all pop culture trends, then you know that cat cafes are a “thing” right now.

As a Result:

I had to hop on the pop culture bandwagon since I’m a wannabe “social media influencer”.

Actually:

I make it sound like I didn’t like Meow Parlour.

However:

As much as I loather conforming to the masses, it was a pretty fun experience.

Sure, I didn’t actually drink any coffee or ingest any food per say, but I did get to pet a ton of kitties and have a wicked awesome day.

Plus:

All the kitties there are up for adoption so the cafe really helps stray cats find lovely new homes.

But How Does it Work:

All you have to do is go online and make a reservation for a 30-minute time slot.

When You Arrive:

Just check in at the front desk, sign a waiver, take your shoes/coat off, go over the rules, and sanitize your hands.

From here:

Brace yourself and prepare to stroll into kitty paradise.

Next Step?

You basically chill out, order some food, pet some cats, and live the dream for about a half hour.

Just keep track of the time because they won’t remind you when your half an hour is up. And if you go over your time limit, you’ll be charged another $10.

7. Ninth Street Espresso (Upper East Side)

Minimalist in decor and menu:

This NYC coffee company’s motto is that good coffee should be simple and easy to order.W

And at Ninth Street Espresso:

The menu really is simple and the coffee really is easy to order.

See, this NYC coffee shop offers hot coffee, cold coffee, espresso, and espresso with milk.

Yup, that’s it.

They do offer some pastries but you won’t find much else here. Just a simple menu that is done extremely well.

That’s Why:

This quiet coffee shop is a great place to relax if you’re planning to spend the day meandering along Museum Mile in NYC.

Sure, it’s a little weird that this shop isn’t on Ninth Street, but with coffee this good, they can use whatever name they want.

8. CoDex Books and Think Coffee (Bowery)

Trust me, you'll never have to "think" about buying coffee from this top NYC coffee shop.
Trust me, you’ll never have to “think” about buying coffee from this top NYC coffee shop.

Who doesn’t want to enjoy some of the best coffee in NYC while watching naked people rythmically dance across the walls? Am I right?

Wait, let me back it up:

I swear, this place isn’t some weird, live art exhibit from the Museum of Sex.

Rather:

Think Coffee adorns the walls of some of their shops with rather suggestive art that I sagely pretended to know the true meaning of.

In Reality:

I had no idea what the hell the art meant.

But they serve an awesome Matcha latte and have created a beautifully vivacious cafe that is unique and enticing to anyone walking by.

And For the Book Lovers:

This cafe is attached to CoDex Used Book Shop, a small bookstore off Bowery that is a fun place to pursue for some literary hidden gems world… or chick lit.

Whatever floats your boat.

9. Pietro Nolita (Nolita)

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This picture is such a good reminder for me today! I see all those hearts and it lets me know that no matter what, love is always the answer. So let go of the anger, bitterness, and resentment because it gets you no where. It just taints the world around you and makes it an unbearable place. Instead, let love guide you in all that you are and in all that you do because when all is said and done, nothing else matters. Rather, when you look back on your life, the only thing you’ll remember is how much you loved and were loved in return. So that person, the one who hugs someone and lets them know that everything is gonna be okay. Because honestly, it really is all gonna be okay. #girlwiththepassport

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Don’t tar and feather me but Pietro Nolita isn’t a NYC coffee shop in the traditional sense of the word.

I know:

I’m being totally weird so I’ll just come out and say it. Pietro Nolita is a restaurant that serves take away coffee.

So why is it on this list?

Well, not only is the coffee delicious but it is served in a to-go cup that says, “Pink as [email protected]$k.”

Yup, it’s as amazing as it sounds. Plus, there is bright pink splattered across every inch of the restaurant.

Therefore:

Between the kickass to go cup and the insanely beautiful decor, this place really is an Instagrammer’s paradise.

Just be forewarned that they open at around 11 am on Saturdays. So don’t get there super early because then you’ll feel like a total moron as you just sit there, waiting around (or maybe that’s just me).

One More Thing:

Don’t feel super weird walking into this restaurant and getting just a cool ass, “to go” cup of coffee. Trust me, the staff are super nice and know exactly what you want and why.

Because:

Let’s be real, you’re not the first person who came here to snag an Instagram of their badass coffee cup (Behold the power of Instagram. Scary huh?).

10. Maman (SoHo)

Maman is the stuff that coffee lover’s dreams are made of!

Between the vintage, country-store like decor and the amazing avocado and egg toast, this place is the very definition of deliciousness.

But it Gets Better:

Let’s say you want something a little fancier than a cup of coffee while relaxing amidst a sea of rustic furniture and whitewashed walls.

Well:

No problem! Not only do they have an informal cafe but they also have a formal dining area where you can enjoy a traditional NYC brunch menu and full table service.

Just Remember:

Even though Maman has multiple locations across the city, this cafe and restaurant are always packed.

So try to rise and maybe moderately shine so you can get here as early as possible.

Trust Me:

I don’t mean 6:00 am. Nah, New York City is the type of city that wakes up late on the weekend.

Therefore:

Arrive by 10:00 am, or even 11:00 am, you should be fine. Unless you like hordes of people and are a total social butterfly.

Not this chick right here though, I’m mildly anti-social.

Yup. Super weird, party of one.

11. Happy Bones (Nolita)

The decor at Happy Bones is almost as good as the coffee that they serve here.
The decor at Happy Bones is almost as good as the coffee that they serve here.

As much as I love Happy Bones and it’s bright, chic, minimalist style:

This is not a place where you want to hang out with ten of your closest friends.

Why?

Pretty simple, there are a whopping three tables and nine chairs in the entire cafe.

Therefore:

Finding a seat at this popular Nolita coffee shop can be almost as tricky as finding Waldo in Where’s Waldo?

No Joke:

I mistakenly ordered a coffee to sit in and had to wait a solid twenty minutes for a seat.

I was one of those lurking weirdos, just standing there awkwardly, staring everyone down, silently willing them to vacate their seat.

So Moral of the Story?

Visit Happy Bones, but do so on a nice-ish day so that you can grab your coffee, or tea, of choice and head to one of the many eclectic, community gardens in the neighborhood.

12. Café Grumpy New York, NY (Between Chinatown and Little Italy with some of the best coffee NYC has to offer)

Besides the name and the cute little grumpy face emoji that’s this NYC coffee shop’s ultra awesome logo, there is nothing grumpy about this cafe, which serves of the best coffee in NYC.

Yes!

Not only do they serve innovative latte flavors, like Rose and Cardamom, but the staff is also friendly and the sparse cafe space is expertly broken up by pops of color from the bright, modern art displays that elegantly adorn the walls.

Just Be Aware:

A lot of New York City cafes are now adopting a no cash policy.

So no matter where you go:

Always make sure that you carrying a working debit card or credit card (as you search for the ever elusive, perfect cup of NYC coffee).

13. Sweet Moment Cafe (Chinatown)

The sweetest cup of tea that I ever did see! (Get it? Because you can find this at SWEET Moment cafe?)
The sweetest cup of tea that I ever did see! (Get it? Because you can find this at SWEET Moment cafe?)

Not only is there a super Instagramable (Like me! Follow me on Instagram), neon sign here that reads, “sweet moment”, but this Chinatown coffee, tea, and dessert Holy Grail (think Bingsoo, waffles, cake, ice cream, etc.) is well decorated and spacious.

So you will definitely find a place to sit, even at 1:00 pm on a Saturday (I was totally amazed by this. I felt like I had just seen a unicorn).

But:

If I’m honest, you’re not really here for the coffee.

Sure, they have coffee on the menu but what you really want to order is Sweet Moment’s tea art!

Probably the most adorable beverage that I have ever had since this cream art latte has the face of a cute little, cartoon bear.?

Made from either cold brew coffee or black tea:

This tea art comes in an assortment of fun flavors like chocolate, matcha, taro, and red velvet flavors.

My Verdict?

The drinks are yummy but super sweet. So the real draw here is that you can take a picture of a latte that looks like the cutest little bear that you ever did see.

I almost couldn’t drink it because it was just so adorable.

But you Know What they Say?

I did it all for the gram. Oh God, I’m turning into one of those social media obsessed, self-involved idiots who spend thirty minutes taking selfies in the bathroom.

14. Bluestone Lane (Upper East Side)

Bluestone Lane is another Aussie coffee chain that makes the cut.

However:

This cafe has less of an authentic, Australian feel than Little Collins.

Sure:

The signs here all have the word “mate” on them, but no one there was actually Australian.

And while people were nice, they weren’t AS friendly as the Aussies working at Little Collins.

But Wait:

That doesn’t mean this place is bad!

Quite the contrary actually. Tea? Good! Avocado-smash toast? Good! Bathroom? A little weird because it’s in the church next door but nice.

One Thing Though:

I was there around 1:00 pm on a Saturday and NOT shockingly, it was packed.

Therefore:

Try and visit at an off time and you should be fine.

Wait, one more thing!

This place is one of those weird, new-age(y) cafes that doesn’t believe in cash so make sure you have a credit card of sorts on you.

Somehow I don’t think they’de take kindly to a huge IOU.

***This NYC coffee shop is located right down the street from the MET (get your tickets online here). So a great alternative to the insanely expensive cafeteria.***

15.  Prologue Coffee Room (Chinatown)

The amazing decor (and NYC coffee) you'll find in Chinatown's Prologue Coffee Room.
The amazing decor (and NYC coffee) you’ll find in Chinatown’s Prologue Coffee Room.

I fully believe that the greatest finds are the ones that are completely spontaneous, like my trip to Prologue Coffee Room.

Why?

Well, I only stopped at this NYC coffee shop because my phone was dying since I had idiotically forgotten my cell phone power bank at home.

Therefore:

I just HAD to find a place to charge my phone because if you don’t post something on Instagram then it OBVIOUSLY didn’t really happen (This is all being said with extreme sarcasm BTW).

But:

When I walked in, I was totally surprised.

Not only did they have a delicious assortment of scones to choose from (the pear was amazing), but they serve a rich, delicious, totally smooth cup of coffee that had no gross, bitter aftertaste.

Plus:

This top NYC coffee shop had a vintage vibe that made it a charming place to hang out and enjoy an assortment of interesting teas if the thought of coffee makes you wince in disgust.

This Concludes My Short List of Top New York City Coffee Shops!

But I pride myself on being almost bluntly honest though, so I’ll be the first one to admit that this best coffee NYC list is in no way exhaustive since it ONLY consists of coffee shops found in Manhattan.

And no, it’s not because the remainder of New York City is completely devoid of good NYC coffee.

I just didn’t time to visit every top NYC coffee shop because if I did, this post would have become a novel.

So if you love NYC coffee just as much as I do then follow in my footsteps and embrace the coffee awesomeness found all over New York City.

Besides, New York City is huge so you need a ton of caffeine to muster up the strength to see it all, right? Exactly, glad we could agree that all this NYC coffee is purely for energy (wink wink).

One of the best New York City things to do is to check out a local coffee bar or two. New York City coffee shops are amazing and a great place to get some New York City cheesecake too.
One of the best New York City things to do is to check out a local coffee bar or two. New York City coffee shops are amazing and a great place to get some New York City cheesecake too.