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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Juicehead

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(Full disclosure: I googled “Juice Jokes” for about 20 minutes before starting this post.)

I have a pressed juice problem. It’s as bad, if not worse, than my coffee shop problem.

I know it’s really hipster, and that some of them aren’t all that healthy for you anyway, and that they don’t substitute for an actual meal (OK, neither does coffee, but hey, we absolutely all do that thing where we down a coffee on the run instead of real food). But to be fair, I genuinely enjoy trying different types of pressed juice, and not just because someone declared it trendy.

Enter Joe & The Juice, a juice shop I stumbled upon in Copenhagen Airport. I was fighting off a mild cold from the chilly Scandinavian weather, and went in searching for anything that was going to guarantee that my cold wasn’t going to get worse. I purchased an Immunity, which consists of red grapefruit, passion fruit, and apple. It was sticky and sweet and exactly what I needed before a rather choppy flight to Stockholm.

When a sign went up that Joe & The Juice was opening its first USA location in Soho, my favorite New York City neighborhood, I just about died. I then proceeded to scream and fangirl every time I walked by the sign (Very normal, obviously…).

It’s now open, and the vibe is incredible: coffee shop clientele with a gym-rat kind of menu, attractive people behind the counter, and pretty solid playlist played at a pretty solid volume. It’s unlike any juice place I’ve ever been in before.

The menu gets pretty earthy, but by some sorcery, very little of it actually tastes as nauseatingly green as it sounds. I went with a Joe’s Green Mile on my first (of what is soon to be many) NYC visits, which contains avocado, broccoli, apple, spinach, and lemon. I hate avocado and dared myself to try it. It’s the prettiest green color and it tastes like lemonade. I’m convinced it’s magic.

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Their coffees, which I’ve yet to try, are ordered by color as opposed to size, which is just about the cutest idea ever. No, the “pink latte” isn’t actually pink, which in all honesty is mildly disappointing, but it is the biggest size and the prettiest cup.

The only catch is that the cool vibe, color-coded coffee, and magic healthy juice is not at all cheap. But, if you crammed that many vegetables into something I actually want to drink, I’m still pretty much all about it.

Staying in Joe & The Juice forever, OK cool, bye.


Joe & The Juice

67 Spring St

New York, NY 10012

https://www.joejuice.com/

Search tool for all other international locations: https://www.joejuice.com/stores/

 

Create Your Own

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Miniature food tour, I mean, because that’s exactly what you should be doing after the stellar workout that is stand-up paddle boarding.

My friend and I didn’t drink enough water while out on the paddle boards, so even though we had to make an emergency 7-11 stop for giant waters, I don’t think it counts. Shortly after, though, we spotted the Churro Co. truck, and just had to stop.

We had been having a discussion in the car about churros, so it was perfect. We made friends with the nice guy in the truck while deciding on which highly-decorated churro was best. My friend went with the Rico Suave, as recommended by one of the guys in the little kitchen, and I went with a Blue Ivy, because I saw that two of my favorite fruits were involved and needed no further convincing.

Their stickers and loyalty cards have tons of personality, so we jacked some of those. The churros came out shortly after in little boats. My three little mini churros were drowned in blueberry compote, lemon curd, whipped cream and almonds. For such a heavy treat, it was shockingly refreshing. The churro can very easily be broken apart with a fork, and dragged through all of the delicious decorations until there’s nothing left in the plate. I was so sad when it was over, and was tempted to get another.

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Our second stop was actually where we had intended to go originally, except we got distracted by churros, so it got pushed back. We drove over to Ju Ju Juice, a hidden juice café that’s definitely a “locals only” kind of place. It’s so hidden, we drove by it the first time.

Covered in ivy, Ju Ju Juice is just a deck and a window. My friend warned me that their concoctions got a little exotic, and that I might not like it. I chose something called the Cilantro Chavez, which is not too much of stretch from my standard juice choice of kale and orange, and was a conglomeration of cilantro, lime, green apple, jalapeno, cucumber, and orange juice. To be honest, I did hesitate; I don’t usually enjoy jalapeno in things that are supposed to be refreshing and cool. I actually ended up loving it. The jalapeno didn’t really burn, and it still had a sweet element from the orange juice. It is also super bright green, and makes you feel awesomely fit drinking it- I probably should’ve gotten a bigger one.

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Major props from me for these two stops. They are for sure in my top five favorite Austin restaurants!