Metropolitan Pavilion | October 11 - 13, 2019

Seven coffee stops in Midtown & Gramercy

The New York Coffee Guide
25 September 2018
 


Midtown is fast-paced, bustling and one of the greatest commercial centers in the world. The Empire State Building, The New York Public Library, MoMA and the core of New York’s theater district - including the bright lights of Times Square - can all be found in Midtown. This area is also home to the small and elegant Gramercy, a quiet neighborhood with the private, preserved Gramercy Park at its center: a lovely reminder of New York’s Victorian history.

Here are seven great coffee shop picks.
 





Culture Espresso
72 West 38th Street
Years ago, Culture was pretty much the only place to get great coffee near 42nd Street. Even though that’s no longer the case, Culture’s relaxed California-tinged atmosphere—despite constant foot-traffic—makes it stand out. Besides Stumptown’s impossibly creamy, must-try nitro cold-brew on draught, the beans are from the excellent Heart Roasters of Portland. The baristas know what they’re doing here, and you can’t go wrong, whether you order an espresso, macchiato, or flat white. There’s just enough space to sit down and relax, as you watch Midtown race by.

For Five Coffee Roasters
59-01 55th Street
Beginning as a micro-roastery opened by two best friends in Queens, For Five is fast becoming an institution to meet your every caffeine-based dream. Their mantra is "specialty coffee by New Yorkers for New Yorkers"; be they rushing to the office craving a cappuccino and croissant, or a freelancer with time to spare relaxing with a single-origin pour-over and house-made salad. The array of New Yorkers walking the street painted upon the café’s tall feature wall encapsulates this maxim perfectly. For Five thrives on the energy of the city it calls home, reflected in an incredible variety of food and beverages on offer, and the vibrancy of each person behind the bountiful coffee bar. The incredible integrity and care in each preparation from their bright cold brew to their hand whisked matcha is what makes them truly stand out. Amongst an array of sweet and savory food options, their cookies supplied by Duchess are a star: The cookie monster and unicorn cookie make for a very photogenic snack. The problem at For Five is deciding what to order. Luckily, the line out the door supplies ample time for decision making!

Frisson Espresso Hell's Kitchen
326 West 47th Street
Owners Tulian Sanchez and Robert Melo have been friends since they were five, so it’s not surprising that they work together well in running this peachy Hell's Kitchen espresso spot. The place which sits around sixteen people, can be jumping any time of day, with a clientele they describe as “a little bit of everything,”. Coffee is well made using beans from Dallis Bros. in Long Island City, and latte art is beautiful. Try to bag a table if you can and just sit back and enjoy the show.



Ground Central Coffee Company 52nd Street
155 East 52nd Street
This original branch of Ground Central feels more like a European-style café than a contemporary-style coffee place. It’s sleek and elegant, and the prominence given to their serious sandwiches and enticing baked goods makes it clear that food plays a major role. Swap your coffee for a cocktail later in the day. A collection of vinyl discs lines a front wall, and the soundtrack favors timeless rock ‘n’ roll classics. The baristas rock their three-group La Marzocco, too, but don’t neglect the single-origin drip brews.

Little Collins
667 Lexington Avenue
Australian-influenced Little Collins is the civilized coffee shop the upper east side has always needed but didn't have until 2013. Focused, friendly baristas in old-fashioned uniforms work diligently and quickly to serve a constant stream of business people and yogis. If you're able to snag a stool, the staff make you feel at home, pouring you tap water without being asked to do so. The espresso, strong and delicious, comes with a tiny almond cookie, a nice touch. Single-origin pour-overs are made with a ModBar contraption which heats and pours the water-it's like having a robot hand-pour your coffee.

Ramini Espresso Bar
265 West 37th Street
Ramini is a key player in major-league coffee.  Its pretty interior has some quirky features and you can always expect an exceptionally warm welcome from coffee-obsessed baristas. The tasty baked goods, are mostly made on the premises and they also offer a superior selection of teas and fresh-squeezed juices. Liquids from the three-group Sanremo are common, but if you want a real change, go for a cup from the towering Kyoto drip apparatus, the world’s slowest drip machine. An unexpected and really delightful find in Midtown.

Taylor St. Baristas
33 East 40th Street
Brand new, Aussie inspired Taylor Street Baristas is an extra ordinary place to spend an afternoon. It's immediately welcoming and upstairs is an inspiring sight for midtowners: tons of space. The constantly-rotating menu features several types of Counter Culture Coffee drip: Classic, Delicate and Wild, each so nuanced. Nothing here feels pretentious thanks to infectiously high-spirited baristas who gladly offer a free taste of each. They're as skilled as they are friendly. The espresso is excellent, as is their flat white made on the gleaming Victoria Arduino Black Eagle.

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

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