Coffee in New York
Our trip to New York was a whirlwind. We knew it was going to happen for a long time, but when you work with other entities that are responsible for scheduling and planning, sometimes things can happen last minute. Everything came together as it needed however and before we knew it we were on a plane. Jade has been to New York in the past but this was my first time on the east coast, ever. I wanted to experience it all, but what we both anticipated most was visiting all the awesome coffee shops. When you grow up watching Friends hang out in Central Perk and see those blue Greek style coffee cups in the hands of every officer on NYPD Blue, its hard not to want a piece of it for yourself. Of course, the coffee shop scene in New York has changed a lot since what was shown on television in the 90’s, but having a cup in New York City was still high up on my to do list.
The first cafe we visited was Stumptown Coffee, located on the corner of West 29th Street and Broadway in Manhattan. The narrow shop is an offshoot of the Ace Hotel, which was a really nice way to begin our tour around town in a place so familiar. There is a Stumptown attached to the Ace Hotel in Portland, a place we frequent often, so stepping into the hotel and into the espresso bar was almost like stepping into a slightly skewed, alternate universe. We ordered an iced pour over and a latte, and set up camp in the back of the ever spacious, but dimly lit Ace Hotel lobby. They even had a photo-booth, so of course we had to commemorate our trip and get a strip.
I knew that the Stumptown off of the Ace Hotel existed in New York, but I wasn’t completely privy to the second one, located on the corner of West 8th Street and Macdougal Street, a block away from Washington Square Park. We liked it so much after our first visit there, we ended up visiting a handful more times throughout our trip. When we arrived there were two adorable Frenchies and a Pomeranian hanging out front, welcoming us inside. ‘Why, Hello! Would you like some coffee? Come on in!” they said to me with their pants and stares. What is particularly awesome about this Stumptown is their gorgeous brew bar in the back. The brew bar doesn’t serve up the normal macchiato or latte, but has variations between Chemex, French Press, Aeropress or even siphon style coffee. The best part about hanging out there was the library like architectural decor, and getting to sit down and enjoy a latte with a Megpie tart. They were so good, I had to have two.
We got up extra early one morning to go to Happy Bones coffee on Broome Street, before we would go to meet our friends Stefan and Eva of TrotterMag for brunch. We got there just when they opened, and just in time too, because even early on a weekday they are busy. But it really doesn’t take too many people to make a shoebox size, New York coffee shop look busy. New York coffee shops are pintsize, which is not a bad thing, I am just used to big Northwest coffee shops I can move around in. Regardless of space, we ordered a couple of cortados, and nestled ourselves at one of their quaint tables to enjoy. We couldn’t hang out for long though since we were on our way to EggShop just around the corner to meet our friends.
After our delicious brunch, Stefan and Eva wanted to show us one of their favorite coffee shops up in NoHo, called Gasoline Alley coffee on Lafayatte Street. We trekked up to the hoppin’ lil’ shop, which had a bike on the wall behind the bar, and a very friendly vibe. We all ordered a cup, even though we were thoroughly caffeinated from Happy Bones. How could I turn down trying another roast? We took a seat outside and enjoyed our beverages while chatting about our experiences around the city thus far, camera gear, and getting ‘star treatment’ at a fashion show we attended.
We weren’t completely sure we would be able to fit Ost Café in on our last day before our flight. We hopped a subway down to the Brooklyn Bridge and were hoping it could all work out. We got about half way across the bridge when we realized we were running out of time. So we scurried off the bridge and back into the subway and uptown. Though the subway stop wasn’t particularly near the café, we hoofed it a few blocks and got there with enough time to enjoy a latte, macchiato and a pain au chocolat. Best decision for that day. Period. Between the brilliant tile that adorned the floor and the unique roasts they served, it was the perfect way to end our trip.
We really can’t wait to go back to New York. We are definitely interested in checking out Sweatshop coffee and Toby’s Estate, recommended to us by our friends at Trotter. What other coffee shops should we add to our list?