Eating + Drinking

WSWD Staff Picks: Our Favorite Cups of Coffee in NYC

Think outside of the Starbucks.

Photo courtesy of Variety Coffee Roasters/Facebook

Here at the WSWD offices, our mornings don’t really begin until we’re down to the last drop of joe. Our order preferences may be on the opposite sides of the spectrum—some take it black with no sugar or cream; others won’t drink it unless it’s chilled and with a hint of almond milk—but we all agree on one thing: We need our caffeine fix! Make time for an extra-long coffee break with our favorite brews around town.


Resident food expert Jess Bender says, “I’ve been going to Cafe Grumpy since my early college days when it used to have obscure film screenings at its Greenpoint location, way before one of the characters of Girls moonlit as a barista for a few seasons. I’ve been a fan of Grumpy’s fruity Heartbreaker espresso plus superstrong cold brew (and the no-laptop policy) ever since.” Various locations, but Jess prefers getting her buzz at the Chelsea outpost (224 West 20th Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues)

cafe grumpy coffee nyc
Photo courtesy of Cafe Grumpy


“I was only looking for a simple cup of coffee when I stumbled upon Coffee Project’s unique deconstructed latte,” explains editor Danielle Murphy. “Separated into three caffeinated shots—a smooth espresso blend, warm pasteurized milk, and the creamiest latte I’ve ever sipped—this playful drink is nothing short of magnificent.” 239 East 5th Street (between Cooper Square and Second Avenue), East Village

coffee project coffee nyc
Photo courtesy of Coffee Project


Executive editor Patty Onderko likes her coffee somewhere between Starbucks strong and deli weak. The brew at this midtown micro-chain fits the bill with what she calls “a smooth but earthy flavor that makes it good enough to drink black,” which is all the better to save room for the café’s much-adored chocolate chip cookie. “It doesn’t disappoint!” Onderko promises. Multiple locations: 307 West 38th Street (between Eighth and Ninth Avenues); 72 West 38th Street (at Sixth Avenue); 247 West 36th Street (between Seventh and Eighth Avenues)


The only place you’ll see photo editor Sayaka Ueno before noon on the weekends “hardly dressed and sans makeup,” she says, is at her Bushwick neighborhood coffee shop, Wyckoff Star, ordering a double-shot Americano. Bonus: “You get a free coffee when you buy a bag of beans, ground to order.” Down a shot yourself before checking out the area’s incredible street art.  30 Wyckoff Avenue, Bushwick

wyckoff star coffee nyc
Photo by Sayaka Ueno


Everyone heads to the outside courtyard here to grab the rich, flavorful cups from the black Intelligentsia truck in the summer, but “the real move,” says social media director Molly Borman, “is to go in the winter when it’s cold and you can cozy up on a couch in the lobby.” The coffee spot also promises the fastest wifi in the city. 180 Tenth Avenue (at West 20th Street), Chelsea

Intelligentsia coffee nyc
Photo courtesy of Intelligentsia


“I’m not going to lie, I am new to coffee,” admits art expert Molly Surno. “I used to be an English Breakfast kind of gal.” So what changed this tea lover’s mind? “The iced coffee from Graham Avenue’s beloved Variety Coffee. Hands down. Now I’m obsessed with coffee.” Locations in  Bushwick, Greenpoint, Williamsburg, Chelsea and on the Upper East Side

Photo courtesy of Variety Coffee Roasters


“This small (let’s call it cozy) Brooklyn café pours a deep, rich, delicious cup of joe,” says editorial director Mac Montandon of his favorite coffee. (Be warned: It’s strong.) Montandon also cops to “a kind of obsessive love” for Southside’s “perfect” variations of the classic bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich, which include pickled red onion and avocado. “One way these sammies stand out is the bread: crunchy but soft, buttered but not too much.” 652 Sixth Avenue, South Slope


Not only can you get small-batch, locally roasted Ethiopian coffee, with subtle spices and dreamy aromas, at this Inwood gem, but “it’s a cheerful workspace for gigging freelancers,” says theater expert (and gigging freelancer!) David Cote. “Add to that yummy scones, muffins, and vegan sandwiches—and a burgeoning performance series at night—and you’ve got a prime reason to move to ‘upstate Manhattan.’” 4961 Broadway (between West 207th Street and Isham Street), Inwood

cafe buunni coffee nyc
Photo courtesy of Cafe Buunni

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