Coffee is the nectar of the New York gods. We’re fairly certain that without coffee Wall Street would crash, colleges would close and Broadway’s curtain would come down. It’s fitting then that the Union Square hub has many opportunities to refuel. Here are our 10 favorite coffee shops to try here.
Courtesy Caitrin Sneed
Cafe, American, $$$
Everyman Espresso, located inside the lobby of the Classic Stage Company and a few doors down from Peridance Capezio Center, is a coffee shop meets artist hub that serves up impressively good shots of espresso. Everyman Espresso is a great place for those seeking high-quality coffee.
71 Irving Place is a great place to meet friends or enjoy a quiet lunch. The Irving Farm Coffee is undeniably the main reason to try this place out, but their menu of sandwiches and salads, beer and wine selection and the atmosphere are the reasons you’ll come back to 71 Irving Place many times over.
For the sustainability conscious coffee lover O Cafe is the place to go. From supporting fair-trade and sustainable agriculture to exclusively providing completely compostable consumption wares and building the cafe using sustainable practices, O Cafe raises the bar on what it means to be a ‘green’ business. On top of their commendable commitment to being green, O Cafe’s richly flavored coffee is strong enough to keep you going for hours. Their pastry menu is notable not only because of the quality, but also for the gluten-free options.
With wifi, vegan treats, a top-notch Iced Dirty Chai and a fun low-key atmosphere, The Bean must win some kind of cool award. If you get your coffee to drink in you’ll most likely end up sharing a small table with someone else, but the crowd is always friendly and chilled. The Bean is perfect for a casual coffee (or tea; they have a comprehensive list), while doing some work on your laptop, or (since it is across the street from The Strand Bookstore) reading a book.
Frequently populated by students from The New School, Joe Coffee is an energizing environment. With limited seating, Joe Coffee is more of a ‘get your high-quality coffee to-go’ place than a ‘sit and contemplate life’ kind of coffee shop. This vibe is perfectly in line with the pace of Union Square and goes well with the strong coffee they serve.
Madman Espresso has cool music, a rustic interior and most importantly, great coffee. The company’s goal is to make artisanal coffee accessible to everyone, and they do just that. Madman Espresso has two downtown locations near Union Square.
On a busy day in Union Square, Think Coffee is the perfect place to sit down and and relax. With no wifi, this location can become a refreshing no-work zone. Think Coffee has multiple locations downtown that are unique in their layout and crowd but all share the same great coffee and light food menu.
The City Bakery is part café, part bakery, part coffee bar. It’s a wide open, two-level space that is equally great for weary tourists, romantic couples and local families. The City Bakery is also home to the Annual Hot Chocolate Festival.
Le Cafe Coffee, East 14th Street | Courtesy of The Grey Dog
This small coffee shop has wonderful coffee and sandwiches but stands out because of its seasonal drinks. Every month a new seasonal drink is introduced; a fun reason to frequent Le Cafe Coffee to see what’s on offer.
If you’re looking for good coffee and a large food menu near Union Square, check out The Grey Dog. This boisterous café has a full breakfast, lunch and dinner menu and quality coffee. Don’t plan on writing your next novel here, but if you are looking to meet up with friends in Union Square this is a great option.