Didn’t hear from you so I ask again: where do you get your morning JOLT?
The coffee experience can vary greatly. Just the words “cafe” and “coffee house” evoke easy European afternoons and the beat rhythms of Greenwich Village in the ’60s. This conversation is less about the experience– which these days is WiFi enabled– and more about great or at least good coffee. (See also My Full Cup poem.)
Locavore, which is not really the right word, but has a nice ring to it, coffee; not the chain-store variety. Share your favorite local establishments. I’ll start off with the coffee emporia in my nabes.
For instance, on the UES at 83rd just off York is the Yorkafe. The space is tight, so if there are 4 or 5 people enjoying a brew, it’s over-crowded. The barista, however, makes an excellent cup of joe. His milk-infused drinks, like lattes and cappucinos, are superb. The baked goods are from Balthazar so that croissant is as good as it looks. (If you’re running late, check out the clock at Yorkafe which will keep you on time.)
On 76th Street, also at York, the Francophile will be right at home at Le Moulin a Cafe. Nice little mini sandwiches with brie or ham, too, and plenty of sweets. Still in the Upper East, go over to 2nd and 76th for a visit to Caffe Noi, the Israelis home away from T.A. (There is also a Caffe Noi West but because of those 4 little letters orienting the second joint, I am giving this a pass and treating it as a local establishment.) Order a heated spinach bureki with any of the wonderfully prepared coffee drinks when you’re at either of the Nois.
Down 76th Street back towards 1st Avenue is a new (and also Israeli-owned) juice bar that serves a lethal cold milk shake of a coffee drink, Israeli iced coffee. It’s expensive and infused with chocolate so– it’s a very sweet treat. On Lexington and 74th, Joe is technically a chain, so it’s temporarily disqualified from this listing even though it and its brother on Columbus and 68th serve nice elegant coffees. (There are 5 locations in all, with the other three strategically placed in Chelsea, Greenwich Village and Union Square.) Like other chains, what Joe does not do is offer a ceramic cup when you have it in shop. I know we would ll prefer that they do.
Green Nature Coffee House is in the boonies of the theater district, at 42nd and 11th Avenue. It is a Columbian establishment that really knows its way around an Americano. Or macchiato, or, let’s face it, any hot beverage. They serve arepas as well and a selection of pies that go so well with that drink. Note that the big drink here is daunting and in the to-stay ceramic requires heavy lifting. This is also true at Cafe Pick Me Up on 9th Street and Avenue A, where the latte is the best ever and served in a very large cup. If you missed a work out, this large is hefty enough to give your biceps a good little tug.
Let’s hear from you; add your cheers for keeping it local to your neighborhood coffee shop. Your local diner is probably ineligible since we are looking for the good to great coffee brew, but you are free to differ. Please do if you do!