It can be hard to survive the urban landscape without a cup of coffee—and it's unreasonable these days to be asked to survive without a great cup of coffee. With this in mind, Serious Eats: Drinks brings you a new set of neighborhood coffee guides. Today, we're in Williamsburg and neighboring Greenpoint.
Sometimes the old guard is venerated for a reason: once upon a time, Gimme! Coffee's Lorimer Street shop was the only outpost of high-caliber specialty coffee on the Brooklyn horizon (though now, of course, competitors abound—even some you can see from Gimme's own cozy red bench). A steady, pleasing espresso profile makes their Leftist blend worth coming for, while the talented and warm staff keep you coming back while taking the edge off what might otherwise feel like a hipster black hole. Drip coffees are available here in superfast airpots or the more artisanally prepared by-the-cup brew via Clever Dripper. Feels like your local, even if you don't live in the hood.
495 Lorimer Street, Brooklyn NY 11211; 718-388-7771
One of borough's first Stumptown accounts, Variety's original store draws all the cool kids for their supple single origin espresso drinks and French pressed filter coffees.
And if you're not dressed well enough to feel like hanging out on the front bench, Variety's a great place to go in the neighborhood to pick up a bag of one of Stumptown's single origin coffees for filter brew and scurry along home.
368 Graham Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11211; 347-599-2351
The original location of the three (and soon four) store Cafe Grumpy, this is also their only cafe that allows laptop use. So sit and linger for awhile among the study set while overlooking the cafe's house coffees being roasted almost every day in the back room. A constantly rotating, seasonal menu of coffees and friendly staff accompany the exquisite preparation of your espresso, pourover, or no-nonsense-Fetco-brewed coffee. And the staff will be eager to talk to you as much—or as little—as you want about where your coffee came from.
193 Meserole Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11222; 718-349-7623
Blue Bottle fans are notoriously starry-eyed at this West Coast roaster's chic Berry Street outpost, and though some debate the tradeoffs of style over substance here, there's no question this place has got style for miles.
Watch roasters at work in back firing the chain's signature blends and single origins, and enjoy delicately crafted coffees (like the adorable SL-28, a single-origin espresso mini-mini milk drink named after its glass) prepared on modern machines or the vintage lever-pull brewer. Standing room only.
160 Berry Street, Brooklyn NY 11211; 718-387-4160
It may be tough to find a seat in El Beit, but once springtime rolls in, at least you'll be crowded on a patio.
This Bedford strip cafe has cornered the market on lush macchiatos, prepared brevé style as per the smart choice of their roaster—49th Parallel Coffee Roasters from Vancouver, BC.
158 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11211; 718-302-1810
Where's your favorite coffee in Williamsburg and Greenpoint?