The Top 10 Quaint Cafés In New York City

Photo of Rachael Silverstein
9 February 2017

In many cultures, important political discussions, artist gatherings, romantic encounters, and meetings with friends take place in cafés. New Yorkers escape their tiny apartments and crowded streets by gathering in cafés ranging from eclectic, quaint, romantic, and convenient. The following cafés provide retreat from the busy hustle of New York.

COFFEED | © Rachael Elana Photography

COFFEED

Coffee Shop, Tea , $$$
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La Colombe
La Colombe | © Rachael Elana Photography
COFFEED serves delicious single-origin coffee from fair and direct trade sourced from farms around the world. Their menu of baked goods, sandwiches, salads, and desserts are made with local ingredients. In addition to their ethically sourced fare, COFFEED gives 3-10% of their revenue to their charity partners supporting children and adults with disabilities, environmental education, and other community-focused initiatives. Eat, drink, and give back.

La Colombe

Coffee Shop, Tea , $$$
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Ost Café
Ost Café | © Rachael Elana Photography
There are four locations Manhattan locations of the Philadelphia-founded La Colombe but the Noho space is the brightest and most spacious of their locations with fresh flowers amongst its warm earthy minimalist vibe. An ideal spot for artists who need high quality lighting to work and larger groups who can sit on the smooth wooden benches and gather around tables. Additional locations in Tribeca, Soho, and Hudson Square are listed on La Colombe’s website.

Ost Café

Cafe, European, $$$
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Café Angelique
Café Angelique | © Rachael Elana Photography
A Central European coffee shop reminiscent of Vienna or Prague is quaint café by day and sexy, chill date-spot by night serving wine and beer. Desserts, wine, and small fare are served in the East Village location while Ost’s Lower East Side location at 511 Grand Street keeps to coffee and tea. Ost East Village is located on the corner of Avenue A but coffee drinkers and meanderers could be easily be fooled into thinking they are in Bohemia from long ago.

Café Angelique

Cafe, American, $$$
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Irving Farm Coffee Roasters
Irving Farm Coffee Roasters | © Rachael Elana Photography
Café Angelique is a Parisian oasis off the Bleecker subway stop overflows with French pastries, sandwiches, and brunch fare along with espresso drinks featuring a delicious café au lait. The small, cozy space is the perfect place to meet with friends or to simply take a break and listen to Édith Piaf.

Irving Farm Coffee Roasters

Coffee Shop, Tea , $$$
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Double Dutch Espresso
Double Dutch Espresso | © Rachael Elana Photography
Founded right here in Manhattan, Irving Farm Coffee has a long held love for coffee as well as New York. This love is clear in the many interesting variations of coffee they serve. Located in a sleek space where tourists and locals can get their caffeine fix, this café is also surrounded by Orchard Street’s unique mix of the old and new buildings, including the Tenement Museum. Whether you’re coming here to grab a quick cup of Joe or sit down and enjoy a book, Irving Farm is the place to be.

Double Dutch Espresso

Cafe, American, $$$
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Café Minerva
Café Minerva | © Rachael Elana Photography
Located on Harlem’s restaurant row, Double Dutch Espresso is the type of coffee shop that makes you envious of friends who work remotely. Double Dutch is the ideal place to camp-out with your laptop. Linger over espresso inside with the exposed brick semi-funky semi-farmhouse chic décor or in their spacious back patio. Either way, this is the place to enjoy a cold brew and get some work done.

Café Minerva

Cafe, Mediterranean, European, $$$
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McNally Jackson Books Cafe
McNally Jackson Books Cafe | © Rachael Elana Photography
With quiet, understated furnishings and an air of European luxury, Café Minerva offers a truly unique experience. Spend the day with a classic cappuccino and your bookworm partner after visiting the independent bookstore Three Lives & Company a mere five minutes away.

McNally Jackson Books Cafe

Cafe, American, $$$
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Books hang from the ceiling in this bookworm’s fantasy café, located inside the independent bookstore McNally Jackson Books. Known as an institution by writers and readers within and outside of NYC, McNally Jackson Books Cafe is a true New York local favorite. Enjoy a bagel and coffee among other literary enthusiasts and escape in your novel of choice.

La Lanterna Caffe

Pizzeria, Restaurant, Italian, $$$
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Cafe Jax
Cafe Jax | © Rachael Elana Photography
The Italian influence on New York is undeniable. Be transported to Italy by indulging in a decadent dessert or an espresso correto con Sambuca at La Lanterna Caffe. The romantic panelling and heavy drapery make this a perfect spot to read Jane Austen with a side of tiramisu. If on a date, request to sit in the back patio where you can easily spend an evening over dinner and completely forget that you are in New York.