New York's coffeehouses have a coffeehouse problem: the lines are too long, the seats too few and the man buns too many.
But here's a little secret: you don't have to go to a coffeeshop to get the proper café experience in this city.
From restaurants to hotels to a den of leather chairs and shiny new Cadillacs, here are 11 unexpected places to seek out a peaceful workspace and a solid cuppa joe in NYC.
Saturdays Surf NYC
West Village & Soho
Manhattan might not be synonymous with surf, but the waves are close enough to merit at least one successful surf hut. Aside from a solid coffee, Saturdays serves up a relaxed and refined line of ready-to-wear apparel and accessories — as well as any and all surf needs, from boards to shorts to wax.
Aside from brewing a zippy cup of Parlor Coffee, Jane peddles ride gear, trendy and helpful books, apparel and men’s grooming products. They also build and sell some damn fine custom bikes. Bonus: free coffee with any custom cycle purchase.
Two favored aromas in one Brooklyn destination. The florist-meets-coffee shop serves Blue Bottle coffee, pastries, bouquets and plants.
Black Gold Records
A vinyl-only record shop, coffee house and antique store. You’re likely to find loads of post-punk and soul, but few records on the contemporary end of the spectrum. A great place to peruse, caffeine in hand, for that long-lost first press you’ve been hunting among eclectic art and taxidermy.
From Our Partner: The Cadillac House
Who wouldn’t want to snag a Joe Coffee in 12,000 square feet of pristine Cadillac heaven? Cadillac’s new SoHo locale sits firmly at the crossroads of the art, fashion, culture and culinary worlds. Beyond the horsepower on display, the retail boutique hosts quarterly art exhibitions curated by Visionaire and a pop-up retail shop in partnership with CFDA (beginning with a Timo Weiland collection). You can also pick up a signature in-house fragrance made by 12.29. It’s a brief but welcome escape into the Cadillac lifestyle — even if you only leave with a cappuccino.
First, it’s not a hotel. It’s a public and private space meant to serve artists and designers as a think tank and event space. Their retail boutique, curated in partnership with AHAlife, features gallery-esque items from gloves to jewels. And in the back, you’ll find the Hotel’s appointment-only cafe with complimentary coffee, tea and wifi. Cafe reservations — made by phone — are recommended at least one day in advance.
The Brooklyn Strategist
Games! Tons of ‘em. Functioning as an after-school program by day, the Strategist hosts adult game programming by night, including chess, Scrabble, backgammon and league games alongside coffee, snacks and sammies.
Located on the second floor of the Polo Ralph Lauren flagship on Fifth Avenue, the shop serves Lauren’s exclusive private-label USDA organic brew alongside a short and sweet menu of bites and sweets.
Dover Street Market
Good for a light breakfast, lunch, beer, wine and coffee. Coffee advised, as Dover not only carries some of the most forward gear in the city, but equally impressive art and craft displays. A good place to snag a cup and overstimulate thyself.
Fair Folks & A Goat
Feels like a hangout but functions as a retailer dealing in art, apparel, design, beer and wine. The kicker: Fair Folks is a membership-based coffeehouse. A $35 monthly-fee will land you unlimited coffee, cappuccinos, lattes and hangs.
If the Blind Barber’s cocktail and a cut isn’t your thing, Cotter is a barber-plus-coffee house at the ready for any shaggy caffeine fiend. Walk-ins welcome.