If you plan to visit New York City this summer, take this piece of advice: steer clear of tourist locations and make the trip your own. If you do, you’ll see the Big Apple that so many of us New Yorkers love.
I’m going to detail the best coffee shops outside of Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, and McDonalds. One thing you need to know about New York City is that while we know coffee, we also know bagels.
Some of the best cups of coffee you can get in Manhattan are in the Flatiron District. The first is from Birch Coffee. Not only is their hot coffee strong, but with summer around the corner, their iced coffee is cold brewed and even stronger than their hot coffee. If you are in need of a refreshing and iced coffee, you can’t get anything better than Birch.
Just two blocks north of Birch is the Ace Hotel, a historic, turn-of-the-century building invested with the spirit of its surroundings, the culture of the city and the ancient bones of the building. Just inside their doors is Stumptown Coffee. Stop by, grab a cup and rest your feet in their comfortable hotel lobby and meet some real New Yorkers.
If one of the tourist stops you’re going to make is the Puck Building (the site of Grace Adler’s interior design office from Will & Grace), then a few blocks west of there is the Aroma Cafe. It’s local and delicious. Oh, and the decor is certain to bring a smile to your face.
Finally, if you’re more in the mood for a bagel, the best one in Manhattan come from Chelsea Bagel just west of Union Square. It is something in the water that makes bagels and cream cheese in the city amazing. The one thing this location lacks is a fun atmosphere.
If you have time, make your way to the borough of Queens in Astoria. There are plenty of tourist stops in Astoria, but if you’re looking for the best bagels in the city, New York City Bagel and Coffee House needs to be on your stop. They have a new creme cheese eat week, their coffee is locally roasted, and the atmosphere is a site to see.
One of the last stops I recommend is to make a stop at Toby’s Estate in Williamsburg. They roast their beans on site, which in an old meat-provisioning house and boast locally-baked goods for you to enjoy.
Don’t be a complete tourist and take in some of these great local treasures. You’ll be glad you did.