10 New York City Coffee Shops Worth Traveling For

In a city known for its coffee, here are some of the best places to drink it

April 2, 2024 6:25 am
787 Coffee neon sign
787 Coffee in the Financial District
Tobias Carroll

There are plenty of good things about living in New York City right now, and one of them is the number of good coffee shops situated around the five boroughs. If you’re looking for somewhere to sit, read, work or talk while enjoying a solid cup of coffee, odds are good you have plenty of options from which to choose. If a good cup of coffee is just a few blocks away, what are the qualifications for an NYC coffee shop that’s worth getting on public transit for? There are a couple of different things that could inspire such a trip, from meticulously-prepared single-origin pour-overs to innovative drinks made using unexpected ingredients. In some cases, that can make for a premium experience — we’re a long way from the time a $10 latte was the city’s priciest caffeinated option. And the city’s coffee shops reflect an array of different cafe cultures — in the span of a few blocks in Brooklyn, you can try coffee with roots in Colombia, Yemen and Japan. Here are 10 of our favorites.

Sey Coffee
Sey Coffee
Tobias Carroll

Sey Coffee 

The menu at Bushwick roaster Sey Coffee’s immaculately-lit cafe is relatively simple, but that simplicity speaks volumes. There’s plenty of information on display on the origins of the coffees and teas available there, and the single cup I opted for was a refreshing and nuanced drink. There’s a bustling crowd there on weekends and a menu with everything from inexpensive drip coffee to higher-end single cup options.

18 Grattan St.

Pourover machine
At Little Banchan, the pourovers are automated.
Tobias Carroll

Little Banchan

There’s a lot going on at the Long Island City spot Little Banchan, which features some enticing Korean food options as well as a host of groceries and grab-and-go meals. And then there’s the coffee, including a Poursteady machine used to prepare the cafe’s pour-overs. They also feature a small but deftly curated array of coffees and teas, along with iced options and their own take on an Einspänner.

5-28 49th Ave.

787 Coffee bag
This iced coffee comes in a bag.
Tobias Carroll

787 Coffee

This roaster has its roots in Puerto Rico and has a number of cafe locations across both the island in question and in three of New York’s five boroughs (plus El Paso.) Those cafes feature a number of styles on display, including single-origin pour-overs and flat whites. Serving iced beverages in large bags makes for a distinctive style choice, and the decor of 787 Coffee’s Financial District location might summon memories of the coffee shops of a bygone era for the Gen Xers and elder Millennials seeking their caffeine fix.

66 Pearl St.

Outside Dayglow (and its bar alter ego, Niteglow)
Tobias Carroll


Walking into Dayglow’s Brooklyn location, you might be able to figure out this roaster also has a foothold in California without checking their website. Dayglow is one of a number of NYC coffee shops that becomes a bar at night, and the menu abounds with some creative concoctions — several of which draw inspiration from the films of Wes Anderson and Hayao Miyazaki. It’s also a warm, well-lit space with roasting facilities in the back and the kind of place where you can lose yourself to the possibilities of coffee very easily.

8 Wilson Ave.

Qawah House coffee
There’s much to savor at Qawah House.
Tobias Carroll

Qahwah House

Drinking coffee is often a solitary activity, but there’s something great to be had when you embrace the more communal aspects of the drink. That’s an experience that Qawah House embraces, drawing upon Yemeni coffee traditions to expand on what many coffee fans can expect from their drinks. If you’re looking for a standard cup of coffee, you can get that as well, but there’s something very enticing about sitting down with a group of friends and a pot of coffee big enough to fill everyone’s cup.

162 Bedford Ave.

Stuff We Swear By: My Love Language Is a Mug of Peace Coffee
The coffee beans I recommend most just happen to be organic, fair trade and sustainable. But it’s the taste that’ll win you over.
Flat White
A flat white at KC14
Tobias Carroll


The owners of this Fort Greene-based cafe and roastery drew on their roots in the Philippines and Colombia to offer their own spin on cafe culture. That translates into a welcoming, brick-walled space with a solid selection of books and food for sale, along with their drinkable offerings. It all makes for a shop with plenty of personality along with delicious and caffeinated menu options.

332 Myrtle Ave.

Kijitora sign
Outside Kijitora
Tobias Carroll


Adjacent to Williamsburg menswear shop Coat of Arms, you’ll find a small space dedicated to ingenious riffs on coffee and espresso drinks. That would be Kijitora, which abounds with flavor combinations indebted to Japanese cooking traditions, including a hōjicha latte and drinks utilizing yuzu and black sesame.

578 Driggs Ave.

Outside one of Sweetleaf’s locations
Tobias Carroll


It’s been enjoyable to watch the growth of Sweetleaf from one location in Long Island City to several across Brooklyn and Queens. This establishment excels in finding interesting things to do on — as its name suggests — the sweeter side of things. The addition of ingredients like condensed milk, chicory and maple syrup makes for some enduring recipes. As an added bonus, their Center Boulevard location shifts into bar mode every evening with a cocktail menu that uses coffee in a myriad of ways.

4615 Center Blvd.

La Cabra single origin
La Cabra gets extra points for presentation.
Tobias Carroll

La Cabra Bakery

The two New York locations of La Cabra are just the tip of a very international iceberg for this roaster, which started in Denmark more than a decade ago. There’s an impressive selection of single origin beans here, which get extra points for a presentation that feels both timeless and almost scientific. And the presence of the word “bakery” in the name is no joke — the sweet and savory offerings might inspire you to order a few to go.

152 2nd Ave.

Beans at Coffee Project New York
Beans for sale at Coffee Project New York
Tobias Carroll

Coffee Project New York

When I stepped into Coffee Project New York’s location not far from the Brooklyn Academy of Music, one of the baristas pointed to their coffee machine, noting both its craftsmanship and its resemblance to Mystery Science Theater 3000’s Tom Servo. The menu boasts a good combination of pour-overs and espresso drinks, and Coffee Project New York’s initiatives towards educating the public just adds to why it’s one of the best NYC coffee shops. 

78 Rockwell Pl.


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