The Best Bookstore Cafés in New York City

Bookstore
Bookstore | Photo by Caleb Woods on Unsplash
JW McCormack

bookstores and coffee go together like few other combinations, and New York City has no shortage of either. Whereas some cafes have limited space and are in a hurry to shoo you out, these are the spots that welcome long stays and provide a genteel ambiance as you work your way through a novel. Here are eight bookstore cafés, covering all five boroughs, that are happy to host you for the duration (but please, don’t forget to buy something, anyway).

Every Thing Goes Book Café & Neighborhood Stage

Staten Island’s quirky Every Thing Goes is everything you want in a local café and then some. Billed as a “neighborhood stage,” the shop hosts all manner of local events while serving organic espresso. As for the wares, there’s more here to do than just leaf through used books—you can also purchase records and local art.

Housing Works

This impressive used bookstore in SoHo is a nonprofit first and bookstore/café second. Dedicated to combatting homelessness and AIDS, the venerable and essential Housing Works also sports a used record section, a fantastic array of coffee table art books, and racks of vintage science fiction books. And, it’s an excellent rest stop after a day in the city, where you can come down with a bowl of soup and then fly back up with a cup of joe.

Topos bookstore cafe

New(ish) to Queens, the Topos bookstore cafe in Ridgewood is a wondrous, plant-filled café and bookstore. It enlivens the block and is well worth the trip on the L train to the Brooklyn/Queens border. New and used books are available, as well as more than enough food for thought as you down a cup of the best coffee this side of Forest Hills.

McNally Jackson

First off, the café at McNally Jackson is huge and never jeopardized by readings—those happen downstairs. So, why not come for both? Stocking international titles by country/region, as well as DVDs and magazines, McNally Jackson is the first word in new (as opposed to used) books sold at bookstore cafés, and it likely always will be.

Molasses Books

This Bushwick highlight is as relaxed as you’d expect from a home-brewed poetry spot and used bookstore. You can get coffee here and chill a while, or drop in for a recommendation from the proprietors who will be happy to point you in the right direction regardless of whether your tastes run to experimental fiction or juicy memoir.

Bluestockings

Manhattan’s uber-comfortable Bluckstockings serves excellent coffee and tea in addition to the wide selection of feminist and queer literature, among other topics. Given the store’s commitment to community, it’s not surprising that the café is a hub of socially-engaged New Yorkers.

Archestratus Books and Foods

Archestratus is not just a café, but it’s also a culinary bookstore and dinner party destination in Greenpoint! The homey cookbook store also offers bites and coffee to refuel your adventures into their shelves of arcane cooking lore. Check out the calendar, and subscribe to their newsletter to get the skinny on events, such as Monks & Craft Beer night and the Greenpoint Cat Club.

Did you know – Culture Trip now does bookable, small-group trips? Pick from authentic, immersive Epic Trips, compact and action-packed Mini Trips and sparkling, expansive Sailing Trips.

landscape with balloons floating in the air

KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?

Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

X
Edit article