Sure, the Empire State Building and Central Park are must-sees in NYC, but you won't get the full New York experience without a cup of joe to start the day. Luckily, the Big Apple has some of the world's finest coffee shops. From Manhattan to Brooklyn, here are ten of our favorites.
1. Urban Backyard: 180 Mulberry St., Manhattan
Urban Backyard makes up for its small space with a tranquil interior and outdoor seating area. Located in Nolita, the traditional coffee menu is accompanied by eclectic offerings, including macarons, ube and turmeric lattes, and yuzunade (Japanese lemonade). Be sure to check out their adorable cupcakes, which are decorated to look like succulents.
2. Abraço: 81 E 7th St., Manhattan
Abraço in the East Village is a Spanish- and Italian-inspired cafe. It's a favorite among locals for its top-notch espresso and treats. Order to-go and your beverage will be served in a Greek “We are Happy to Serve You” paper cup—an NYC classic.
3. Remi Flower & Coffee: 906 2nd Ave, Manhattan
Located in Midtown East, Remi Flower & Coffee is less of a coffee shop set within a floral paradise. This gorgeous space drips with arrangements and plants, and they serve beautifully crafted flower lattes (think rose and lavender) adorned with actual petals.
4. Sweatshop: 232 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn
With a mural out front that declares “Don’t Look for Love, Look for Coffee," this Australian espresso bar is the epitome of Brooklyn's trendy coffee culture. Situated in the middle of all the Williamsburg action, Sweatshop is near an abundance of shops and restaurants. Unsurprisingly, they also make a great flat white.
5. Ground Central Coffee: 2 Coenties Slip, Manhattan
Ground Central is wholeheartedly devoted to its New York theme. There are several locations around Manhattan (including the Financial District and Midtown), and each comes with unique murals that portray the Empire State. With a library-like interior and comfy leather seating, Ground Central is a great spot to decompress after a long stretch of sightseeing. Try crafty espresso drinks like the Paris Fog latte (made with Earl Gray tea and lavender).
6. Devoción Café: 69 Grand St., Brooklyn
Devoción is a sustainable cafe with Colombian roots and delicious brews. While there are locations throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn, the Williamsburg branch is a personal favorite. Flush with natural light and adorned in greenery, Devoción offers a pleasant retreat from the streets of Brooklyn.
7. Sweet Moment: 106 Mott St., Manhattan
Sweet Moment in Chinatown is practically made for Instagram. Ask for a latte with foam art, and you’ll get an adorable bunny design atop your beverage. Fun flavors include marshmallow, red velvet, and taro. If that's not enough to satisfy your sweet tooth, the towering shaved ice bowls should do the trick.
8. Chillhouse: 149 Essex St., Manhattan
Chillhouse in the Lower East Side prides itself on self care, with wellness-based drinks and an in-house nail salon and massages. This trendy cafe-slash-event space serves up deliciously unique concoctions using their signature coffee blends. There's also comfy seating to lounge out on as you sip.
9. Happy Bones: 394 Broome St., Manhattan
This shop in Little Italy may be minimal, but it's definitely a must-visit when in town. Here, you’ll find a coffee menu of just the basics, and an industrial space with a few tables. Top it off with some trendy merchandise and high-quality espresso, and you have the perfect pick-me-up while touring downtown.
10. Laughing Man Coffee Co.: 184 Duane St., Manhattan
This Tribeca spot is owned by actor Hugh Jackman and founded with a big heart: 100% of the profits go to the Laughing Man Foundation, which Jackman created to support educational programs, community development, and social entrepreneurs around the world. he honey lavender latte is a special treat.