Whether you’re in dire need of a morning jolt before hopping on the subway or looking for a welcoming space to get your creative juices flowing, Williamsburg is chock full of coffee shops and cafés that will do the trick.
Toby’s Estate Coffee
Cafe, Coffee Shop, American, $$$
There’s plenty of seating and sunlight at the flagship café of Toby’s Estate Coffee, which is also home to its brew school. Public and private classes are available to showcase the elements of the perfect brew to beginner baristas or veteran coffee drinkers. Featuring a La Marzocco Strada AV espresso machine, this Williamsburg café serves up Toby’s first-ever espresso blend – the Bedford Blend, comprising Colombian and Ethiopian beans. Offering breakfast and lunch classics, the kitchen is open from 7am to 3pm daily.
The Freehold is a hotel without the rooms. This hotel-lobby-like space serves as a venue for business meetings and a place for writers and creatives to work (and enjoy the free Wi-Fi). Visitors can also get a laugh at stand-up comedy or enjoy some live music. Brunch, lunch and dinner are all served here, and they’re complemented by various cocktails as well as coffees and teas. The Freehold serves Stumptown Coffee Roasters, Harney & Sons Teas and Somage Teas.
Located in the historic Lewis Steel Building, Blue Bottle uses a host of classic coffee-crafting devices to achieve artisan coffee excellence, such as a vintage Probat roaster, a 1958 restored Faema Urania level espresso machine, innovative Japanese Kyoto-style ice-coffee drippers and a La Marzocco espresso machine. Blue Bottle has a café on North Fourth Street, right down the block from its first New York café and roastery on Berry Street.
Built inside an old warehouse, with exposed brick and steel beams all around, Devoción Café features fresh coffee beans from Colombia. Guests pass the roasting room upon entrance to this location and are able to observe the roasters at work while breathing in the enticing aromas. Behind the roasting room is the laboratory where samples are test-roasted and tried. Beans are shipped 10 days after harvest for in-house roasting and can be made into drinks via drip, French press, espresso, pour-over or cold brew.
Black Brick Coffee serves Stumptown Coffee and Dough donuts. Come for some delicious shots of Hair Bender – Stumptown’s first and most popular blend – or enjoy single-origin French presses, unique pastries and other offerings at this quaint coffee hangout.
Sweatshop is run by two Australians who opened the café with the goal of drawing in neighborhood creatives. After spending lots of time in other cafés working on their designs, they decided they should create their own place to share with others. The coffee is strong and delicious, and better yet, it is served with an enthusiastic smile. The Wi-Fi connection is fast and reliable for those who work online. While the seating is limited, you should usually be able to find a spot in this airy but intimate space.
Oslo Coffee started in 2003 when founders JD and Kathy Merget ditched their Chinatown apartment to start a small coffee business in Brooklyn. The reason? They wanted to provide neighborhood locals with the best coffee they could get. Their flagship store on Roebling Street features a Synesso Cyncra 3 espresso machine as well as various exhibits from local artists. Their second location, on Bedford Avenue, recently recovered from a devastating fire in 2013, while a third is located in the Yorkville section of the Upper East Side.