If you’re a freelancer, student, or remote worker in NYC, working or studying from home might not always be your best option. You might have roommates, pets running around, and other things that distract you from getting any work done. It can also become an isolating experience for some, but NYC offers a wide variety of cool coffee shops to inspire you. Nothing screams productivity more than good coffee, so we’ve selected a few of the best coffee venues in the city, where you can go to get a java boost and maybe get some work done.
A growing number of companies have enabled their employees to choose the space they wish to work from. These remote workers have joined the ranks of freelancers, gaining more control over their work environment and schedule. The lucky ones who've seen their dream come true and got a contract allowing them to work remotely usually choose to do so from the comfort of their homes. They've made room in their apartments for cozy workspaces and, studies show, their performance and well-being improved, contrary to the employer's fear that this decision would make them slack off.
Now and then, though, a change of scenery is ideal, and sometimes you’re practically forced by the loud neighbors upstairs to get out and find a quiet haven for a few hours. Students, too, at times need to get away from a noisy roommate and find a place to focus on their studies, and the go-to place is usually a lovely coffee shop, preferably with reliable Wi-Fi. If you're in New York City and would like to have some good coffee while working on your projects, have a look at the list we've compiled below.
This coffee and tea house located at 172 Rivington Street on the Lower East Side flaunts a cozy ambiance as envisioned by its owner, a criminology professor at a local university. He equipped the place with Wi-Fi, a printer, comfy seating, and vintage furniture, to help those who come here focus on their work. He has a strong customer base, from students and teachers to academics, intellectuals, and professionals, all attracted by the venue's charm. The Black Cat LES has a menu that offers a great variety of both foods and beverages, and at night, it hosts open-mic comedy shows, academic lectures, and themed movie nights.
Located at 28 Jane Street in the West Village, Grounded Coffee House is a shop that puts an emphasis on supporting other local businesses. They serve bagels from Murray's Bagels, raw milk cheddar cheese brought from the Amish in Lancaster County, Pa., and cookies from Jen & Charlie at This Chick Bakes. The venue's cozy ambiance is created by a variety of plants, comfy couches, and floor-to-ceiling bookshelves. It’s a great place to sit down and do some work while trying some of their sandwiches next to a smoothie and a good cup of coffee or tea.
Brooklyn Roasting Company prefers to work with third-party-certified coffees from around the world, and partners with Fair Trade USA to help impoverished farmers make a living. They are located at the Brooklyn Navy Yard within Building 123, which once served as the power plant for the entire facility. Their roasting facility can be visited by existing or prospective clients who are interested in seeing how good coffee ends up in their mugs. Brooklyn Roasting Co. offers a variety of coffees, originating from Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala, Peru, Kenya, or Ethiopia. They have various locations across the borough, at 25 Jay Street and 45 Washington Street in DUMBO, 200 Flushing Avenue in Clinton Hill, 67 West Street in Greenpoint, and at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Building 92. They also operate one location in Manhattan, at 50 West 23rd Street in the Flatiron District, so you can have your pick, grab your laptop and pay them a visit.
Ground Support Cafe opened in 2009 in SoHo at 399 West Broadway as one of the first specialty shops in the city. The place did very well from the get-go, and these days they roast their own coffee, which they pair with a consistent food menu filled with sandwiches made in-house, salads, and pastries. The shop's relaxed ambiance allows plenty of natural light to flood the space and has different types of seating inside–benches, tables, and a bar. In addition, they have a few seats outside, as well as Wi-Fi.
The Hungry Ghost was founded in 2012 by Murat Uyaroglu, who immigrated from Turkey to the U.S. Over the years, they’ve expanded their NYC footprint, and today they operate 11 locations in Brooklyn and Manhattan. Their first outpost was in Prospect Heights, at 253 Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn, which is still open to customers today. Hungry Ghost also has a location on the High Line, catering to locals and visitors alike, and it serves students within the NYU Tisch campus. They offer a variety of coffee specialties and teas, from classic drip coffee to cold brew, iced chai latte, kombucha, and matcha. They also offer the option of buying gift cards to satisfy the coffee-loving people in your life.
The Greenwich Village location opened in the spring of 2013 at 30 West Eighth Street, in a former bookshop, which back in the 50s and 60s was a literary center of the neighborhood visited by the likes of Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and Gregory Corso. The owners kept alive that tradition so that the place is still a great spot for inspiration and conversation. They feature a full espresso bar, drip coffee, brew-by-the-cup offerings, as well as cold brew and other beverages. They also serve pastries from Ovenly and Supermoon Bakehouse.
Their first New York location was, however, the one at 18 West Eighth Street in the lobby of the Ace Hotel. This one opened in 2009 and is frequented by a colorful mix of people, lured by great coffee and the stunning architecturally details of the building.
The folks at Château le Woof in Queens pride themselves on being New York City’s very first Pet Market & Café, where you can take your furry friends out for a cup of delicious java, and maybe also get some work done. This way, you won’t have to worry or feel guilty about leaving your pets alone to go for coffee and inspiration.
Château le Woof is run by Natassa Contini, who has over 15 years of experience in the restaurant and hospitality industries under her belt. The pet-friendly cafe is located at 31-01 Vernon Boulevard in Astoria, and offers delicious coffee, a pet store, treats for your furry companions, and even pet grooming services. Just imagine: you can work on your projects, coffee in hand, while your dog gets some pampering, too.
The original location opened in 2003 in the East Village, but in 2011 it had to move shop to the corner of Second Avenue and East Third to make room for a Starbucks. Since then, they've expanded at the corners of First Avenue & Ninth Street, Broadway & 12th, Bedford Avenue & North 11th in Williamsburg, and most recently at 31 Third Avenue at the corner of East 9th Street.
The menu features specialties drenched in puns on cultural icons like NutElla Fitzgerald - a fine romance, the Frozen Mona Lisa - a blended masterpiece, the Great BamBeano - a Ruthian blast. In addition, they also serve classical types of coffee and about 30 teas, 20 smoothies while also offering an organic juice bar and vegan, gluten-free, and kosher food options.
Sweetleaf operates three locations in NYC, at 10-93 Jackson Ave in Long Island City, 4615 Center Boulevard on Long Island, and 159 Freeman Street in Greenpoint. They’re also planning a second Queens location at 2810 Jackson Avenue in LIC, so keep an eye out for the grand opening. Sweetleaf offers customers five different varieties of coffee, as well as merchandise like t-shirts, mugs, and also gift cards. They also provide wholesale services, with some of their clients, including Merriweather Coffee & Kitchen, Mayo, and Coffee Project New York. You can also have their delicious coffee delivered to your home, with free shipping in NYC for orders over $30 and free shipping for the rest of the country for orders exceeding $40.
Devoción was founded in 2006 and offers customers the finest and freshest coffee, straight from Colombia. The coffee beans they use are dry milled in Bogota, and then flown in via FedEx for roasting, so you know their coffee is fresh and authentic. Devoción was founded by Steven Sutton, a native of Medellín, who immigrated to the U.S. with his family and decided to start his own coffee business. Today, they have four locations in NYC, at 69 Grand Street in Williamsburg, 276 Livingston Street in Downtown Brooklyn, 25 East 20th Street in Flatiron, and 121 East 27th Street in Nomad. They serve a variety of freshly brewed coffee and also offer merchandise like coffee mugs, beanies, or coffee cups. You can also sign up for a subscription and get fresh coffee delivered straight to your door in as little as ten days. Prices for subscriptions start at $17, and you can get deliveries on a weekly or monthly basis.
Almost every one of the 11 locations spread across Manhattan is spacious and welcoming, with large windows and plenty of seating just right to sit down, enjoy a nice cup of coffee and get some work done. We're particularly fond of their Union Square location. In addition to a wide selection of coffees, for which they take pride in the way they source the beans that end up in your cup, they serve various types of quiches, sandwiches, and baked goods. They also share a percentage of their profits with multiple non-profits in the city.
Gregorys Coffee is well represented in the city, counting 23 locations in Manhattan alone, so you're never too far from one. Each site boasts premium coffee, in-house baked goodies (including vegan and gluten-free options) curated by a registered dietitian, and of course, plenty of seating, outlets, and free Wi-Fi - basically everything you need to work. The coffee chain also has an app that enables customers to order ahead, pay by phone, and get exclusive promotions.
Located at 28-01 24th Avenue in Astoria, Mighty Oak Roasters provide their Queens clientele with tasty, wood-roasted coffee. Roasting coffee beans with wood has a much lower environmental impact than gas roasting, and the folks at Mighty Oak are committed to sustainability in their operations. They’re open seven days a week for cafe service and retail, just a few blocks from the M60 bus stop and the Astoria Boulevard train station. Besides the excellent coffee, Mighty Oak Roasters also offers a variety of teas, lattes, baked goods, and vegan pastries. You can also get single-origin spices for seasonal drinks and refillable gift cards.
Both Third Rail Coffee's locations, at 240 Sullivan Street in the West Village and at 159 Second Avenue in the East Village, might be small, but they have some of New York's friendliest baristas who serve good coffee and satiating pastries. Prices range from $3.50 for an espresso to $5.50 for a chocolate-flavored mocha, and you can also get croissants, blue sky muffins, and cookies at the two venues. The shop in Washington Square has been around for a decade now and has stayed true to the city's energetic vibe. Those large windows could prove inspirational when you're going through a ‘writer's block,’ but only if you're lucky enough to catch a free table.
Although the owners decided to remove Wi-Fi from all 10 locations as a way to encourage customers to interact with one another and take a break from tech devices, Birch Coffee shops can still help you find inspiration in a carefully brewed coffee paired with tasty pastries. It can prove a very productive environment for, say, a freelance writer who needs to shut out the outside world and just write without any notifications or other online distractions.