5 Best Things I Ate (Drank?): Manhattan Coffee Shops

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I haven’t a clue how I’m going to make this series work for all of the things there are to eat and drink in New York City, but I’ll try. Starting with the caffeine here of course, because once you go cute coffee shops, you never go back.


Black Cat LES

Where to find: 172 Rivington St, New York, NY 10002

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Coffee shops are not rare on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. This one, however, is home to my favorite iced latte. Black Cat is a funky hole-in-the-wall that sits pretty deep on Rivington Street. It’s a little warm inside, which makes it perfect for a chilly day. If it’s too hot, go in anyway, and check out all of their décor. Look up too- all of the fun quotes and writing reaches the ceiling.


Ground Support

Where to find: 399 W Broadway, New York, NY 10012

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Raspberry. Pumpkim. Muffin. Photocredit: My sister 😉

The location is the selling point for Ground Support. It occupies the most precious corner of West Broadway, just steps from Laduree’s Downtown NYC location. It’s always crowded and the line is always out the door. If you catch it at a good time, take your pick, because everything on the menu looks good: breakfast sandwiches, artisan muffins (any of their muffins… seriously, any of them.), coffee creations, the works. There is a nice place to sit if the weather is cooperative next to the Eileen Fisher store.


Birch Coffee

Where to find: My favorite is their 13th Street location in Chelsea, but you can see their other locations here.

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A dinky, very hipster, no seats kind of place. Everyone who works there is cool and wears fedoras or bohemian jewelry unironically. Everyone who stops in is fabulous and probably brilliant and probably works somewhere really trendy. Go if you are fabulous. Go if you are not yet fabulous but are attempting to acquire fabulousness and brilliance by diffusion (Me…).


Ground Central

Where to find: View all Ground Central locations here.

 

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Reusing pictures here, but this never stops being relevant. Photocredit: 9two5 Fit

A different entity from the aforementioned Ground Support, Ground Central is an amped-up version of whatever fast-casual place you get your caffeine fix from every morning. They brew La Colombe coffee, which technically is another NYC coffee shop chain, but is also an outstandingly delicious brand of coffee beans. I’m not expert on different types of coffee beans, but if you asked me what type of coffee I want in my hand right now, it would be La Colombe with almond milk in a Ground Central cup.


Project Cozy

Where to find: 398 Broome St, New York, NY 10013

 

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I love places that make you want to stay forever.

Project Cozy is Soho’s newest coffee spot, having taken over a space just south of Houston St. that has rotated residents for the past year or so. They pride themselves upon being “Cozy as Fck,” which I think is an odd slogan that never stops being amazing. There’s ample seating, nice staff, and a fantastic view down Centre St. that definitely got all my creative gears going… except I totally didn’t have my laptop with me. Note for next time, because there will be a next time.

Bonus: They’re also a juice bar. Get the Kale Yeah smoothie.

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Rhode Island Gems

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New England in the fall. Ask anyone who’s lived there, and they’ll probably tell you that’s what they love most about the area (or they’ll tell you it’s the only thing they love about the area, but that’s beside the point..).

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Providence is not your average city; there are no Starbucks on every corner to pee in if the need arises. That’s one of the top things I adore about it. There are few cities in this world in which commercialization does not reign supreme. Instead, my friend and I spent the weekend exploring, eating, and stomping through the leaves.

My friend took me to Wickenden Street for a day. Wickenden is more of a small-town shopping street than a big city avenue, but it is home to a spot for afternoon tea, a place that does pancakes at all hours, and a three-floor thrift store. See why it’s perfect?

Nostalgia is a massive antique store with zero rhyme or reason to their arrangements, departments, or merchandise. It’s an ideal hodgepodge of everything with just a sprinkle of Boston pride in case you’ve forgotten where you are (You’ll find occasional Boston Bruins stuff). It reminded me of Uncommon Objects on South Congress in Austin. While we didn’t purchase anything, we were happily lost inside for about three hours poking through everything.

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All the fun warrants a meal. We went to The Duck & Bunny. To be honest, I didn’t know what to expect. It could’ve aired on the side of snooty, or it could’ve been a real rare find. The other guests were snooty, actually. But putting that aside, the food is 400% worth it.

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The “snuggery” serves a full menu. We started with savory crepes; mine was a ham/cheese/mustard sort of situation. But like, the world’s most outstanding honey mustard. It just begged to be devoured shamelessly.

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From there we moved to cupcakes. I say you can gauge how good a place’s cupcakes are by ordering a classic, which is how I’ve earned my title of “That Annoying Food Blogger Friend,” to which I say you should still get a Red Velvet at The Duck & Bunny because it will be unforgettable. The cake and the ultra-sugary icing quite literally melt in your mouth. My friend (who went Chocolate Mocha) concurs, to give you some further perspective. Because Red Velvet is simply just another cake flavor dyed red, it usually isn’t very unique, but at The Duck & Bunny it really is in a category of its own.

And while all that’s fine and dandy (That’s a new verbiage situation for me, OK sure, let’s roll with it…), the only thing that makes it even better is a buddy who will join you in intentionally and ruthlessly destroying neat leaf piles or eating for 95% of the day.  That’s one of my mine below. We’ve been friends since we were four years old. If you were wondering: yes, we are secretly the same person, and yes, it is absolutely adorable.

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Many more adventures coming soon!

Two Thumbs Up For Two Hands

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Is an affinity for coffee shops and breakfast places something you automatically acquire when you’ve been living in NYC for almost four years? Because I most definitely have and it’s most definitely a problem.

Two Hands has been on my radar for basically ever, since I started seeing it pop up on multiple other food blogs. I followed them on Instagram as a continuous reminder to stop by (Fair warning, their Insta-game is strong, and you will want to eat or take a picture of everything. No judgment here, I promise my roommates and I left our coffees for longer than we should’ve just so we could get the perfect shot, and we weren’t the only ones doing it…). Today, my two amazing roommates and I decided to make a date of it, and got breakfast together.

The place is so many levels of cute. Get there early, because even at 9 AM on a Friday, only about an hour after they’ve officially opened, we snagged the very last table that could accommodate a party of more than two people. A little cafe with fairy lights strung across the ceiling, they have enough choices of fresh juice, coffee, milkshakes, and smoothies on the menu to sufficiently overwhelm you. The juices are all brightly-colored, and come in Mason jar mugs. The smoothies, too. However, full disclosure: I’m the biggest coffee drinker of the three of us, but all three of us intentionally ordered a hot cappuccino or latte just so we could get the pretty design on the top. It was a great choice though; they were amazing.

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Their food selection is not as expansive, but there pretty much isn’t a single thing on the menu that doesn’t sound fantastic. I chose the acai bowl, which is basically a deconstructed smoothie. I think my only suggestion would be a few less chia seeds, because there’s a lot of them. Other than that, the fruit, granola, seeds, coconut and chocolate combination was all I could ever want and then some.

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Clockwise from the top: Granola Bowl and latte, Avocado Toast and cappuccino, and my Acai Bowl and cappuccino

We were sorry to have to leave and return to our homework, especially after we made friends with one of the waiters and tried to make our coffees last as long as humanly possible so we could people-watch. Two thumbs up from us for Two Hands!


Two Hands

164 Mott St

New York, NY 10013

http://www.twohandsnyc.com/

And, if you really want to indulge in the breakfast food porn: https://instagram.com/twohandsnyc/?hl=en