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

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, too.

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Ground Support

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

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.

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Raspberry. Pumpkim. Muffin. Photocredit: My sister 😉


Birch Coffee

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

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…).

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Ground Central

Where to find: View all Ground Central locations here.

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.

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


Project Cozy

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

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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The Remedy

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.)

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I happily drank ALL of this. 

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

New Addiction

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So, I started drinking coffee.

This may have been a really bad decision or a really good decision, but I’m not sure yet (Will get back to you on that!). Regardless, my sister is thrilled to pieces, because now we get to have real coffee dates when I’m home, as opposed to her getting coffee and me ending up with some over-sweetened iced tea or a Slurpee…

I’m only home for a bit before literally and figuratively taking off for the summer, so today we had a sister date at Crazy Beans, a place that everyone in my hometown swears by. The cute retro-themed restaurant is surprisingly small, decked out in red, white and black, with funny signs about food hanging all over the walls and place-mats on every table that don’t match.

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My sister and I sat at the “bar”, with her place-mat Avenger –themed and mine with lists of major cities (So fitting!). We were instantly introduced to Crazy Beans’ menu, which comes complete with every flavor latte you could ever want, and a fabulous Steve Jobs quote on the front (Excuse me while I completely geek out, sorry I’m not sorry ‘bout it…).

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I then continued to lose my mind, this time over a cupcake-flavored iced latte, which everyone needs in their life all of the time.

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Cupcake iced latte, and my sister’s Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate iced latte

We also ordered a snack, choosing to split the smoked Gouda, green apple, and bacon grilled cheese. It was the most flawless grilled cheese I’ve ever gotten my hands on, and that’s saying a lot, because I live across the street from a Melt Shop in New York City. My sister and I stopped every few bites to nod in solidarity that there were very few sandwiches that would ever top the one we were devouring.

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There was another half, but my sister got a hold of it before I could snap a picture…

Stop by, take pictures, catch up with a friend (or your sister!), and order one of those grilled cheeses (I swear on my cupcake iced latte that you will not regret it). As if my new coffee addiction wasn’t enough, now my sister and I have established that we have to try all of everything on Crazy Beans’ menu… Oops?


 Crazy Beans

97 A Main St

Stony Brook, NY 11790

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Crazy-Beans/763948576969008

Yelp: http://www.yelp.com/biz/crazy-beans-stony-brook-2