Lower rents and a tabula rasa of long-forsaken storefronts with huge potential dominate the ever-changing Bed-Stuy, and coffee is hot on the heels of restaurants and hipster-exodus gentrifiers in populating the city's streets. Three of the newest are doing a great job both in pouring above-the-bar espresso and coffee drinks, as well as filling out a sense of community in a constantly shifting landscape.
Bedford Hill Coffee Bar
Still a relative newcomer, this seven-month-old garden-level gem is an artfully executed cozy coffee spot on the speedily caffeinating Franklin Avenue. The lively custom tile and reclaimed wood and antique effect go beyond the by-the-numbers "shabby chic" trend approach and are instead lovely and gentle: it's Bed-Stuy's best coffee shop with a diorama, that's for certain.
Brooklyn-baked Ovenly pastries sit in handsome jewelry display cases, and while the coffee is of the more rocket-fuel than tasting-note style, espresso drinks (brewed with Milwaukee-based Anodyne roasters' espresso blend) are rich and flavorful.
Bedford Hill Coffee Bar
This newest member of Bed Stuy's coffee posse is a diamond in the shadow of the Franklin Avenue Shuttle. Intelligentsia beans fuel the wee shop's French Press and espresso program, while cappuccinos, macchiatos and lattes are sweetened by amazing Hudson Valley Direct dairies.
The shop offers prepared bagels, 4th Street Cookies from Philadelphia, and an array to-go artisan breads and quality bottled milk that are sorely lacking in the community. The drinks are delicious—and the space is beautiful, carefully anointed with not too many antiques and strong nods to the community it's a part of.
Where once reigned Sputnik nightclub now roosts this full-on-prettified-warehouse cafe conversion. A family-owned espresso (and waffles!) bar serving Stumptown drinks to Pratt kids and neighborhood folks alike—at least those neighborhood folks wandering down wee weird Taaffe Place.
The coffee program is immaculately presented and well executed, and the spacious room—full of wifi friendliness and industrial implements—just begs you to sit back and relax with a coffee and pastry. And at night the basement turns into a Korean bar! This is an excellent stop off of an otherwise somewhat down-at-the-heels stretch of DeKalb—no offense, Umi Nom—who are taking their coffee wonderfully seriously.