For a long time, there was no contest. You want good coffee in an American city, you go to Seattle, San Francisco…you don’t go to New York. Or actually, you go to New York for its many other great attributes, and you make do with Starbucks or those ubiquitous blue-and-white paper cups of burnt-tasting joe you can buy on every street corner in Midtown. But times they are a’changing—and the Big Apple has lately been staking its claim on a serious coffee culture. The latest proof? A recent New York Times roundup of the best coffee in Manhattan and Brooklyn.
So if you’re in New York and seeking a great cup of coffee, espresso or cappuccino, here are some of your best bets:
Gimme! Coffee – The coffee at this popular spot is produced using artisan-roasting techniques in small batches (just 40 pounds of beans at a time). In Nolita (228 Mott Street near Prince Street) and Williamsburg (495 Lorimer Street at Powers Street).
Joe – This small place packs in the java-loving crowds, with two branches in the Village (141 Waverly Place near Sixth Ave; 9 East 13th Street near University Place), one in Chelsea (405 West 23rd Street at Ninth Ave), one on the Upper West Side (514 Columbus Ave at West 85th Street) and one in Grand Central Terminal.
Ninth Street Espresso – Founded in 2001 in Alphabet City (700 East 9th Street between Ave C & Ave D), this spot staked its claim early as the “first specialty coffee house in New York City.” They’ve expanded into two more great locations, near Tompkins Square Park (341 East 10th Street between Ave A & Ave B) and in Chelsea Market (75 Ninth Avenue).
Jack’s – Another West Village spot (138 West 10th Street, between Greenwich Ave and Waverly Place) serving up exceptional brews; their claim to fame is a special coffeemaker that stirs the coffee grinds while it brews.
And for those who don’t know their americanos from their macchiatos (I cop to being one of them; my go-to morning beverage is Irish Breakfast tea) Gimme! Coffee offers a helpful glossary that will help you order your next espresso drink like a pro.