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

Standard

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

12476039_10207507359714679_1878197649_n

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

14218492_10209417495826888_2010293529_n

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.

12442951_10207507359354670_1272587724_n

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.

 

12459795_10207507359594676_1821746269_n

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

 

21329572_10212701330920713_1502507392_o21284597_10212701331120718_310580200_o

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.

Advertisements

Bakery Dreams

Standard

The iced coffee was so on point I thought I dreamt it.

Just steps beyond the wrought-iron gates of Providence College exists the most delectable hidden gem: LaSalle Bakery. It’s far from a cute coffee shop. It looks like the town bakery down the road from my childhood home, except all of their cakes are painted with Patriots colors instead of the New York Jets or the New York Giants. It’s bustling with students almost all of the time, and I’m told they’ve got a wildly different radio station on every day. Almost everyone, even the kids behind the counter, are in sweats. Ask any Providence grad and they’ll tell you it’s a rite of passage to go there, and then they’ll tell you it becomes a weekly (if not daily) ritual.

14625733_10209850313767066_1735944875_o

They’ve got an Iced Coffee flavor menu long enough to give Dunkin’ Donuts a run for their money. I always ask someone behind the counter what their favorite thing to get is, although apparently since a cute guy was helping me it comes off as flirting (Whoops?). Regardless, he said Vanilla Almond, which secretly was the flavor I was leaning towards anyway, and man was he right (Always ask for recommendations from someone assisting customers, they’re the experts on what’s good!).

14795990_10209850313847068_1181671475_o

The egg & cheese sandwich I chose was outstanding for genuinely no reason at all, like my coffee. It was all just good. And honestly, I think that’s the magic of it. Without having to do much work, you’ve eaten magnificent food and have been welcomed to the community. It’s easy to see why students and locals alike frequent LaSalle.

I myself even made a double visit for the full effect. 😉

14799744_10209850313887069_1136969844_o

Coffee so nice, my friends & I went twice!


LaSalle Bakery

993 Smith St.

Providence, RI

or

685 Admiral St.

Providence, RI

http://lasallebakery.net/

The Remedy

Standard

Lately I’ve been finding myself to be a little lost. Not the good kind of lost, more of an “I can’t figure out which way is up” kind of lost, and therefore in need of some love– which arrived just in time in the form of Sunday brunch.

The fix: A classic, wholesome, adorable corner eatery called Perla Café. At night their menu leans Italian, but their brunch is simply a small, quality menu with just a touch of fun. There’s a charming and inviting staff armed with an arsenal of recommendations. The first thing our waitress asked was if we had any allergies. Thankfully, we didn’t have anything too alarming to challenge the kitchen with, but it was obvious they were prepared to make changes and be accommodating.

It’s not a boozy brunch. Well, I guess technically you could make it boozy like you can do with most things in New York City, but why taint it? It balances perfectly somewhere in between healthy haven and artisanal masterpieces just as it is. Their coffee is to die for (Macchiato and Almond Milk Iced Latte pictured below). The iced latte was the perfect wake-up on a slightly-oppressively hot morning, and paired perfectly with my dish of choice: Parmesan biscuits, poached eggs, Italian sausage and a broccoli rabe pesto (Adjustable for my vegetarian friends, by the way!). The broccoli rabe is not at all broccoli-ish, the poached eggs don’t explode all over your whole life, and the biscuits and sausage are a great touch. You would think the four different ingredients would compete with one another for the top spot, but rather they do a well-choreographed little dance with every scoop, making my heart and my stomach very, very happy.

13918875_10209188542503198_922976032_o13987085_10209188542703203_1666939168_o

Bring a friend to share the love with, or don’t and just feel the love yourself; it’s the best place for it. Whether you’ve got loads of catching up to do, or you’ve been finding yourself kind of down and hug isn’t so attainable (I understand, we New Yorkers tend not to be so friendly…), I can promise you one thing: Perla Café will do the trick.


Perla Cafe

234 West 4th Street

New York, NY 10014

http://www.perlanyc.com/

DC Eats

Standard

My most recent bus ticket purchase sent me down to Washington D.C. to go exploring for the weekend. What can I say, I’m a sucker for really long bus rides… and trains… and airplanes, for that matter… (OK, I just really like transportation. There’s a potential that an eight-year-old boy lives inside my brain, though that is still to be determined.) Anyway, I got myself a wonderful tour guide (my cousin) who was also down to show me her favorite places to eat in this quirky, colorful city.

After napping for most of the ride, I almost literally rolled off the bus and into Tryst Café, so my cousin and I could appropriately caffeinate and catch up. It’s the kind of place I’d be spending lots of time in if I lived in the area. It’s cute, kitschy, and there’s lots of couches and chairs that intentionally don’t match; a nerdy, caffeinated college student’s dream, basically.

12722657_10207983289412624_1032675256_o

The first priority was, as always, coffee. An iced latte with almond milk is pretty much my go-to, but Tryst’s is next level because they decorate the plate with animal crackers. My cousin and I were PUMPED.

12837683_10207983290212644_569019928_o

It’s just so pretty!

We’re both (trying to be) health nuts too, so we created our own salads for lunch. There were bean sprouts and it cost me several dollars less than it does in New York City. DC killin’ it already.

12822922_10207983290292646_144425400_o

My only complaint would be that the staff wasn’t too cool about how long my cousin and I were taking. Sorry guys, we weren’t ready to give up our corner spot- we had quite a few stories we had to catch up on!

A milkshake should always promptly follow a salad, because they totally balance each other out anyway (so you can see how well that whole healthy thing goes…). My cousin chose Ted’s Bulletin, a 1920’s-themed chain restaurant with a few different locations in DC and its surrounding suburbs. They are known for their homemade Pop Tarts and other sweet treats, all of which are displayed in the window and along the entrance. They have a full menu, but we went directly for the shakes.

12837485_10207983290372648_642880407_o

You have a choice: sweet or spiked. I went with spiked. My pick was a Peppermint Junior, which is a mint chocolate concoction with peppermint schnapps. It comes in an old-fashioned glass and they give you the excess in one of those antique-y metal cups.  Let’s play a quick game of Never Have I Ever: never have I ever been in a restaurant where they voluntarily give you extra milkshake (Also, my cousin and I were all “this is cool, but there’s no way we’ll still have room for this.” Needless to say, we ate the excess and those words, too.)

12722754_10207983290412649_1394573237_o

I happily drank ALL of this. 

If only I were able to spend all my weekends munching my way through a new city…

If Anyone Needs Me…

Standard

…You can find me at Spider House Cafe for the next 3 months, OK bye.

11304520_10206165342445086_869366620_n

My quest for a fun spot to (unsuccessfully) finish my travel course paper resulted in a visit to Spider House Cafe. It was recommended to me by the UT (University of Texas at Austin) students I work with at my internship, and it was the perfect place to spend a Saturday afternoon.

I don’t really have a better describing word for it besides Austin-y. It has a personality all its own, and eclectic customers to match. Hands down, the best place to order an iced coffee (and/or a Caesar Salad, which was also on point!), sit under the Christmas-lit trees, blast something through your headphones, and people watch.

There is a full lineup of events and performances set for the summer at both the cafe and their sister venue, Spider House Ballroom. I’m sure I’m the last person to discover how awesome this spot is, but now that I have, I’m hooked (University of Texas Longhorn reference? No? OK, I’ll get there…)!


Spider House Cafe

2906 Fruth St

Austin, TX 78705

https://spiderhouseaustin.com/cafe/