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14 August 2018
Five coffee stops in Upper Manhattan

From the Apollo Theatre in Harlem to the world-famous Metropolitan Museum of Art, upper northern Manhattan has a rich and varied cultural heritage. The Upper East Side boasts Museum Row, home to some of the greatest art and history museums in the country, as well as some of the best and most exclusive shopping in New York on Madison Avenue. The Upper West Side has a calmer feel, with the Lincoln Center for the performing Arts and The Museum of Natural History. In between sits the vast Central Park, New York’s beloved urban oasis.

Here are five great coffee shop picks.

Bluestone Lane Upper East Side
2 East 90th Street
Aussie inspired Bluestone Lane has bagged a site that many cafés would kill for: a superb space in a Gothic-style church just across Fifth Avenue from Central Park. Sit in the sandstone interior or grab a table on the sidewalk. The food has a focus on virtue that doesn’t sacrifice good flavour, while outstanding house-roasted beans get careful treatment on the La Marzocco. There’s a notably warm welcome, and the barista skills extend to outstanding latte art: appropriate when the Guggenheim and Metropolitan are a short walk away and Cooper Hewitt is right across the street.

Hutch + Waldo
247 Est 81st Street
A converted garage is the newest addition to the UES coffee scene. Rolling up its front door and opening the street up to a fresh interior of beech wood, abundant plant life, and a sea-blue La Marzocca Strada, the foliage filled café will have you feeling as if you’ve stumbled upon a beach-side hangout. The park-adjacent location makes it the perfect spot to grab a ‘breaky sando' (breakfast sandwich for those not yet fluent in Australian slang) and silky flat white to take-away, served in perfectly on-brand floral cups. Far from all style no substance Hutch + Waldo champion fair trade, small batch coffee with a focus on community building. This is practiced in their partnerships with American based roasters, including New York’s Café Integral and Colorado-based Sweetbloom, who share a vertically integrated business model through direct source relationships. The result is a citrusy bright cold brew, expertly handled coffee and signature lattes including almond-turmeric and macadamia-beet, supplied to a constant stream of Upper East Side caffeine addicts and health nuts alike.

Irving Farm Coffee Roasters Upper East Side
1424 3rd Avenue
Coffee connoisseurs cannot miss Irving Farm’s grand Upper East Side location. This 1,700 square foot space boasts Irving Farm’s largest, both in terms of the seating area and the kitchen. It is a space that affords customers the luxury of choice: either sit in the front bar and absorb the bustling energy, or relax in the mezzanine area, where there is plenty of seating spread throughout. Music in the background gives a comfortable atmosphere without being intrusive or distracting, striking a perfect balance. A delicious array of donuts from Underwest Donuts is the perfect accompaniment to any Irving Farm coffee. As always, Irving Farm is all about delivering a quality brew, and this location features espresso, filter, and by-the-cup Kalita pour-overs. What’s not to like about this beautiful venue?

Manhattanville Coffee
142 Edgecombe Avenue
Originally from performance backgrounds, married owners Michael and German are rising to the role of big city coffee shop owners with the small-town warmth and generosity to match the ‘ville’ of their namesake. Manhattanville feels intimate and familiar, making you instantly feel a home, or maybe that's because it is becoming one of New York movie directors’ favorite locations for shoots! The design is generous in style and substance with a diverse seating design of couches, bar counters and communal tables to foster collaboration, private study and socializing all in one cohesive space. Parlor coffee on order, roasted locally, is sweet, bright and citrusy with a rotation of seasonal specials composed while you watch the seasons change out the window.

Variety Coffee Roasters Upper East Side
1269 Lexington Avenue
The first thing that strikes you as you walk into Variety’s newest location is the old-school beauty of this space, with custom woodwork everywhere, from the walls to the exquisite La Marzocco Linea espresso machine on the bar. The space is open and inviting, with glass walls on two sides that let in plenty of light. With a growing, authentic brand that now stretches from Bushwick Brooklyn to Uptown Manhattan, Variety is on the up and up, bringing their straightforward menu and Lucky Shot Espresso to more and more (and increasingly discerning) neighborhoods across the city.  The cold brew is a perfect refreshment on a warm day, but you can never go wrong with one of their beautifully fragrant espresso-based drinks. Their classic approach to decor and menu allows visitors to enjoy their experience and focus on what really matters: great coffee in a stunning, but unpretentious environment.

If you enjoyed this, you can purchase The New York Coffee Guide here.

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