The Best Places for Coffee in NYC's Lower East Side

Enjoy coffee, NYC-style
Enjoy coffee, NYC-style | © Round K
Julia Goicochea

Braving the line at Katz’s and going gallery hopping requires energy (or caffeine). Get both at the best places for coffee in New York City’s Lower East Side, a neighborhood with so much to see and do you may want to order that extra espresso shot.

1. Round K

Cafe, American, Korean

© Round K

Round K has earned Instagram fame for its signature matte black latte, but that’s not the only thing to love about this cool Asian-inspired spot. A nod to Korean Dah-bahn, or Korean-style coffee shops, Round K serves egg cappuccinos, iced coffee and soju cocktails, and trendy fare like toasted croissant sandwiches with eggs and local kimchi.

2. Spreadhouse Cafe

Cafe, American

Hipsters will feel right at home at Spreadhouse Cafe, an airy coffee shop slinging matcha lattes and cashew butter toast. Settle in to the quirky space featuring colorful floor cushions, mismatched rugs, and even a miniature wooden house with your laptop and new favorite drink order.

3. 12 Corners Coffee

Cafe, American

Located on the Chinatown-Lower East Side border, 12 Corners Coffee packs LES trendiness into a compact Chinatown space. The 12-seat cafe is a favorite of locals in both neighborhoods who can’t get enough of its green tea and pumpkin pie lattes. Tip: free WiFi makes this spot a popular pick for freelancers and students.

4. Hi-Collar

Bar, Cafe, Japanese, American

Before transforming into a sake bar at night, Hi-Collar operates as a kissaten, or Western-inspired Japanese cafe. Here, you can choose which beans and coffee-making method – pour over, AeroPress, or Hi-Collar’s specialty, siphon – to enjoy alongside cafe fare like omurice and Japanese-style hot cakes.

5. Abraço

Bakery, Cafe, American

Longtime fans of Abraço will appreciate the extra room at the minimalist shop’s new location (located across the street of its original address). Inspired by Spanish and Italian bars, the coffee roaster and espresso bar offers one of the best lattes in the city, a popular olive oil cake, and a strictly enforced “no laptops” zone.

6. Roasting Plant

Cafe, American

At Roasting Plant, beans sourced from some of the best farms around the world are roasted to order via the plant’s own Javabot, an in-store roasting and brewing system. Precisely-roasted micro-batches of beans shine in straightforward coffee drinks including espressos, lattes, and cappuccinos.

7. Cafe At Sel Rrose

Cafe, American
© Sel Rrose

Behind a (highly Instagrammable) dusty pink door lies the Cafe At Sel Rrose, the little sister of beloved Bowery cocktail and oyster bar Sel Rrose. Here, chocolate croissants and Tuscan kale salads are enjoyed alongside Counter Culture coffee drinks like lattes and cappuccinos and, naturally, plenty of camera phone photographers.

8. Blue Bottle Coffee

Cafe, American

Courtesy of Blue Bottle Coffee
© Blue Bottle Coffee

Not even the haughtiest coffee snob could resist Blue Bottle Coffee. With 12 locations in New York City alone, the chain changes the way locals think about big business, treating brewing like a science. Blue Bottle’s no-nonsense menu (think: espressos, cappuccinos, and not a flavored syrup in sight) echoes the company’s clinical approach and tastes unbelievably delicious.

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