There's nothing quite like the agonizing pleasure of shopping to make a cup of coffee sound that much more wonderful, or even like the only thing left that could possibly keep you alive. Rather than settling for the nearest chain-store swill (and bumping seasonal gift totes with all the sheeplike masses), why not search out one of the city's finer coffee establishments to break for that most appreciated cup of quality coffee, espresso, tea, or hot chocolate? Here are a few of our top recommendations, by district.
'Joe' on Serious Eats
Glorious Chelsea! From gallery to warehouse to office to mediocre restaurant, this neighborhood has it all—not the least of which is a small handful of reliably solid, innovative coffee purveyors ready to meet your daily West side needs. Of the billions of businesses in this small area, we've highlighted a few whose coffees rise above the crowd—so take a short stroll through the 'hood and sip as you go.
When the uberlords of coffee-slinging meet to debate, what kinds of hijinks transpire? Cups of hot coffee tossed angrily amidst bickering over seasonality, direct trade, latte sizes and espresso to go? Alas, nothing quite so scandalous (or scalding) went down last week at the Great Coffee Debate, a broad-reaching seminar hosted by Illycaffè and the International Culinary Institute in New York City. Drawing together luminaries from all angles of the industry—roasters, scholar-scientists...hoteliers?—the forum sought to raise pertinent issues about the direction of coffee.
Starbucks Frappuccinos were an obsession of mine until I moved to New York and realized just how many other better blended icy coffee concoctions there are in this city of ours. I've been drinking my way through many of New York's offerings, and have narrowed down my favorite espresso-based blended drinks to two places.