The Best Cafes New York City Has to Offer

by Daniel | Last Updated February 13th, 2020


The French philosopher Simone de Beauvoir once remarked of New York, "there is something in the air that makes sleep useless." The "city that never sleeps" is always on the move!

That could be why the smell of coffee beans is never too far from a New Yorker's nose. In fact, People from New York drink up to seven times more coffee than everyone else. They're serious about coffee in these parts!

Sure, you can get your take out Starbucks coffee pretty much anywhere in New York. However, if you want to sit around at a coffee shop or espresso bar for a while and enjoy a bite to eat, New York City has a lot to offer travelers.

When you wake up in the morning in a new city, what's the first thought that comes to you? Is it "need coffee now"? Yes, we thought so!

Ditch the substandard hotel coffee or the leftover instant coffee granules your Airbnb host provided. Instead, do coffee the right way with one of these coffee shops that are truly the best cafes in the city.

We couldn't possibly name every hipster coffee shop and kooky vegan cafe in one blog post. That would simply be too overwhelming for travelers and locals!

Here you'll learn about 8 of the best cafes NYC can offer. Let's get started!

1.Little Collins

Named after a famous street in Melbourne, Little Collins is inspired by the coffee traditions of the Aussie coffee mecca. These guys certainly take their espresso drinks seriously!

Remember those American sitcoms such as Friends or Seinfeld where the characters always go to the same coffee shop?

Little Collins aspires to create a chic and industrial feel while giving you personalized customer experience. We're confident that even first-time visitors and caffeine addicts will feel at home at the espresso bar. 

After a few visits to Little Collins, the barista will know your name and your favorite sandwich. Oh boy — it's worth mentioning that the sandwiches here are out of this world too!

If you arrive in time for breakfast, you'll get to enjoy choosing from a no-nonsense menu. Special shout-outs for the "The Sweet Uncle Fred" which is toasted banana bread with ricotta berries honey and almond brittle. Yum!

2. Jack's Stir Brew Coffee 

Jacks Stir Brew Coffee's claim to fame is as the original 100% organic and vegan coffee shop and bakery. The combo is now a dime a dozen in NYC thanks to the innovations of Jacks'.

The owner of the cafe is Jack Mazzola. Inspired by his father's business values, Jack combined ethical and organic coffee with tasty vegan treats.

With a number of locations around New York, Jack's serves over 50,000 people each week one of their delicious cups of coffee, cold brew or iced coffee.

There's a community feel to the place too. The cafe creates an atmosphere that resonates with people's nostalgic memories of New York coffee shops.

3. Ruby's Cafe

The Soho-based Ruby's Cafe serves a mouth-watering menu packed with fresh local produce. Ruby's wants to bring Aussie cuisine to New Yorkers and the international community at large.

This small cafe is never empty. No matter what the time of day is, you'll always find a bunch of regulars mingling with travelers inside Ruby's.

Unfortunately, you can't make a reservation. But, trust us — it's worth the wait in line to taste Ruby's tasty espresso coffee and yummy salads, sandwiches and more.

The creative menu includes the famous Bronte Burger, a premium ground beef burger with tomatoes, lettuce, sweet chili, mayo, and cheese. Don't be fooled by the simple ingredients, Ruby's dishes are delicious!

For another taste of down under, check out the Vegemite toast served on sourdough. This is the perfect start to your day and goes great with a flat white!

4.Third Rail Coffee

When you enter Third Rail Coffee in the West Village, you can just imagine the likes of Bob Dylan stopping by for a coffee.

The cafe takes minimalism to the next level. You won't find freelancers typing on their Macs here, there are no outlets or WIFI here. Digital nomads may need to go elsewhere to make a living. 

The menu is as minimalist as the interior. If you get hungry during check out the rotating range of delicious pastries, including memorable blue cheese pecan scones. 

The coffee served here is actually from Stumptown (more on this joint below). The baristas here take their time to hand you beautifully crafted espresso coffee. This is the perfect place to enjoy an undisturbed cup of coffee with a book!

5. Joe Coffee 

What if you saw everything in the world in relation to coffee? That's pretty much how stepping into one of the many Joe's cafes feels at times. 

Joe's has rapidly expanded into a high-end coffee chain which does things a little differently. Now covering most of Manhattan, the boutique coffee shop sells some of the best black stuff in the city.

Joe's can pretty much deliver on any coffee request. Espresso-based flat white — no problem! Drip coffee — easy!

They've even thought carefully about the best kinds of pastries to go with your cup. Frankly, you can't beat the donuts here!

Joe's is a place for everything coffee. You can even take classes here to learn about latte art or explore the science of coffee roasting. 

6. Ninth Street Espresso 

Coffee lovers take it for granted that specialty coffee can always be found. However, there was a time when the chance of finding the best coffee brewed by a barista not wearing a green apron was close to zero.

Into this coffee abyss, Ninth Street Espresso stepped into the limelight. It was 2001 when the first cafe opened in the East Village of New York, now the company has more than half a dozen shops across NYC.

Driven by high-quality coffee, Ninth Street Espresso doesn't have the pretension and exclusivity of other specialty coffee shops. 

Before the days of the flat white, ordering coffee was simple. Ninth Street Espresso wants to take you back to those days without any compromise on quality.

You'll have a choice of hot coffee, cold coffee, espresso drinks with and without milk. Beyond this, just ask for your coffee choice, the baristas here will oblige.

7. Bluestone Lane 

Bluestone Lane has cafes all over New York and beyond. The Aussie inspired coffee chain has gone from strength to strength since it launched in 2013.

New Yorkers are expert coffee drinkers. Therefore, they took some convincing to realize that they could learn a thing or two about coffee from Melbourne folk.

The success of Bluestone Lane coffee reflects the fact that the argument has been won. The uniquely designed coffee shops offer you some of the best coffee around.

You can also get your hands on the usual brekkie options including a great avocado toast, as well as coffee-inspired cocktails for those warm summer afternoons in NYC. The Espresso Martini is to die for!

8. Stumptown Coffee Roasters 

Stumptown Coffee Roasters was launched at the turn of the 21st century in Portland, Oregon. Now you can grab a cup of Stumptown coffee at some of the best coffee shops in New York. However, there's nothing like the original!

Named the second-best coffee roasters in the country, the coffee here is certainly something out of the ordinary. According to the coffee judges, "Stumptown can legitimately claim a degree of authorship over the current specialty coffee zeitgeist."

With so many specialty coffee shops, that's quite a claim! Stumptown's people go to the source of the coffee on the hilltops of Ethiopia to make sure they're serving you the best beans at their espresso bar. 

If you're in New York, ensure that you don't miss out on tasting coffee from one of the best coffee shops in New York.

Best Cafes NYC has to Offer!

Drinking cups of coffee and sitting around in the best cafes have long been the preferred pass times of New Yorkers. If you find yourself in the Big Apple, you should definitely sample the experience for yourself.

Don't simply search Google for "cafes near me." Sometimes, you need to travel further afield for the goods. You'll thank yourself later when you are sat sipping some of the best coffee in one of these legendary cafe haunts. 

Do you want to discover more about how you can spend your time in New York City? Check out our blog post on the top things to do or the most affordable hotels in New York City!


Welcome to LuggageGuru!
My name is Daniel and I am a full-time world traveler and constantly on the move.

My goal with is to provide helpful information about travel-related products and accessories and also useful travel tips to make your vacation or trip more enjoyable!
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