A bad latte can really ruin your morning, even the whole day. Well maybe that’s an exaggeration, but to me it is essential to begin the day with a good cup of java. Here is a list of where I’ve found some great coffee in New York City. Feel free to contribute! I love hearing about new places!
1. Zibetto Espresso Bar – This little Italian coffee bar is the perfect place for a great latte. There are a few insider rules to this place: Don’t ask to get it to go, unless you really have to, and don’t request soy or other types of milk. Oh, and there’s only one size so don’t go asking for a “Grande” or anything related to Starbucks. The coffee here is best drunk at the bar. This is an awesome little pocket of Italy in NYC. They have two locations: 56th and 6th and also Fulton Street downtown. http://www.zibettoespresso.com
2. Ninth Street Espresso – Pure, organic coffee at its finest. The lattes are incredible. Located in the middle of Chelsea Market (one of my favorite places in the city) their coffee is excellent and not for the faint of heart. This is not a chain type, although they do have other locations. Don’t ask for any Starbucksy things like syrups, sweeteners or blended drinks. If you like good coffee, you’ll love this place. There are two other locations in the city; East 9th Street and East 10th Street. http://www.ninthstreetespresso.com
3. Bottega del Vino – One of my favorite little Italian bars, and one of the more authentic Italian restaurants. Located across from CBS on 59th between Fifth and Madison. Get it to go (most people don’t realize that the front is like a coffee bar where you can do this), or to stay, this is a great little place always serves the perfect latte, hot or iced. They also have amazing pastries like the apricot filled croissants which are excellent. It is also a great place to meet friends for a glass of wine or dinner. They have one of the largest wine collections in NY and a dining room inside a wine cellar for special events. http://www.bottegadelvinonyc.com
Bottega del Vino is on 59th between Fifth and Madison
4. Juan Valdez – At this cafe (yes, it is a chain) you’ll find premium grade Colombian coffee that beats most of the coffee in NY. You can also feel good buying here as a portion of what you spend goes back to improve the lives of coffee growers in Colombia. The 57th Street (btwn Lex and 3rd) location I visited was a good size and perfect for meeting up with people (a great alternative to Starbucks!). Other locations in the city include Lex and 46th and Times Square. http://www.juanvaldezcoffee.com
5. Dishes – Love, love, love this place! The lattes are nice and strong. If you are a foodie like me you’ll love their food bar. You will find this place full of suits and corporate types during lunch times and the line can be a little crazy. Best to avoid 12 – 2pm if you don’t like crowds. Breakfast is good there too. You can find Dishes on Park Ave and 54th, Grand Central downstairs in the food court, and East 44th.
6. Dean and Deluca – A favorite of mine, especially to spy on the Today Show in Rock Center and see what is going on in the Plaza. Normally you’ll get a fast, good quality latte. In addition to the Rock Center location you can find them at Borders in the Time Warner Center, on 8th Ave near the NY Times building, the Paramount Hotel and many other locations around the city. http://www.deandeluca.com
7. Financier Patisserie – Love these little cafes that have popped up all over the city. So many locations and much more civilized and quieter than Starbucks. The coffee is good as are the pastries. You can find the cafes in the Financial Center, on 54th and 1st, downtown on Cedar Street, even at Grand Central. http://www.financierpastries.com
8. Wholefoods – We often forget that Wholefoods has coffee to go and it is amazing. I like the Time Warner location. No lining up with everyone else. They can check you out right at the coffee bar. Lattes are nice and strong!
9. Guy and Gallard -A recent find of mine and I’m currently addicted to their “gourmet” hazelnut coffee, hot or iced, it’s always good! They have about eight locations in the city including my local, 29th and 7th. I don’t recommend any espresso drinks, but if you are looking for regular “drip” coffee this is a great place. http://www.guyngallard.com