I love coffee and I love coffee shops. Constant soft noise of conversation, melancholic songs, and the smell of coffee awakens my creative juices. This is where I do most of my good work.
That said, I spent most of my time in coffee shops for practical reasons. When traveling, coffee houses are perfect places to take a comfortable seat, hide from cold weather, charge up and… use the bathroom.
For all of the NYC visitors who are seeking a break from long walks around the city, here’s my list of favorite coffee spots.
Near Port Authority
Bluestone Lane – 11 Times Square, New York, NY 10036
Let’s face it, Port Authority is nobody’s favorite place. It’s really unfortunate that the gateway terminal to NYC is unwelcoming, outdated and simply filthy. Nobody wants to touch anything in that building, let alone sit down and actually relax.
If you need to kill some time before your bus home, I recommend going to Bluestone Lane on 41st and 8th Ave. If you’re hungry, try their toast – it’s delicious.
Near Rockefeller Center
Joe & The Juice – 430 Park Ave, New York, NY 10022
If you’re looking for bathroom access and a charging plug, a coffee shop chain is your best bet. My favorite chain is Joe & The Juice, the Danish company. Their lattes are fantastic and seating is always comfy, trendy and spacious.
Near Grand Central, Main Library and Bryant Park
Andaz – 485 5th Ave, New York, NY 10017
This is my secret NYC coffee spot. It’s actually a hotel but the ground floor has a coffee shop (and a restaurant in the back). On a cold day, you can sit across from the New York Public Library building, sip a warm cup of coffee and people watch (on hot days, I recommend sitting right on the steps of the library).
This is not a place you can work in for a long time. If you need computer time, you can head to the library and sit in one of the quiet rooms (it’s a pretty cool experience so you should try it anyway! All study rooms are open to public).
Near United Nations
Ground Central – 800 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10017
Small but lovely spot for a conversation with a friend! In the summertime they remove the windows and add a table outside. Note that there’s no bathroom here, but if you need to use one, there’s a Starbucks next door on 42nd street.
On Broadway (near Madison Square)
Stumpdown at Ace Hotel – 18 W 29th St, New York, NY 10001
We might as well call this one “a travelers refuge”. I recommend getting the coffee at Stumpdown and then heading through the back door INTO the hotel to sit down. There’s a large, eclectic lounge in the hotel that welcomes folks from the coffee house. It’s a perfect place to work, but you need to get there early – it’s a popular spot. There are fancy bathrooms downstairs, and many plugs to charge your cell phone.
In Little Italy
Urban Backyard – 180 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10012
In my opinion, the cutest (and tiniest) coffee shop in NYC. Their beautiful succulent cupcakes and plant interior decorations will make for perfect instagram photos! This is definitely not a place which has a ton of space, nor access to plugs or WiFi, but it’s a great place to take a rest.
Lower East Side (near Chinatown, Little Italy and SOHO)
Ludlow Coffee Supply – 176 Ludlow St, New York, NY 10002
This is the best place to work on your computer for a full day. It’s a cozy and casual spot with ample seating (bar tables, lounge chairs, couches, long tables etc.). WiFi is available and there are plugs in the corners of the room. The drink choices are fantastic, including Bourbon Vanilla latte and Maple latte. Can’t go wrong with this one!
Near the High Line
La Colombe – 601 W 27th St, New York, NY 10001
Great coffee shop I frequent on the weekends. Lots of space, wooden decor and warm feels. Unfortunately, they do not have WiFi here but it’s a nice place for offline planning, writing, reading or thinking. My favorite part about this chain though is their draft latte — it’s simply AMAZING iced coffee and everybody should try it. Seriously – make sure you don’t miss it!
Near World Trade Center, Freedom Tower, 9/11 Memorial
Blue Bottle Coffee – 150 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10007 (corner of 4 World Trade Center).
Again, no WiFi and rather small. That said, it’s so close to World Trade that it had to make the list. This is also a great spot to people watch as all of the walls are windows and there’s a lot of people passing through the streets.
Safe bet for bathroom access – chain coffee shops in NYC
There’s obviously Starbucks, which in New York has a coffee shop on basically every block. It’s a pretty safe bet for WiFi and bathroom access, but Starbucks stores tend to be busy and their coffee is mediocre.
Other popular chains in NYC that will usually have a bathroom are Gregory’s Coffee, Think Coffee, FIKA, and La Columbe (excellent draft lattes).