The Ten Best Coffee Shops in Manhattan

Urban Backyard Coffee Shop in NYC

If you are anything like me, then you are probably looking for your next coffee fix. Please don’t visit one of the thousands of Starbucks or Pret a Manger for coffee in New York City. Here are some gems instead. They are easy on the eyes, instant hits on your Instagram account, but MOST importantly, they all serve a delicious cappuccino!

Intelligentsia at the High Line Hotel

My discovery of the Intelligentsia Coffee Shop was very serendipitous. My husband and I were on an apartment hunting trip in New York City during the dead of the winter last year. We rolled in at 5 am from San Diego on a red eye, and threw ourselves on the mercy of the nice people at the High Line Hotel to let us camp on their couch for a few hours (we had a room booked for the next few days, but not for the previous night).

They were super sweet, and we made ourselves comfortable on the couch, only to awaken to the best morning smell ever – that of freshly brewed coffee. Soon followed chic New Yorkers, walking in with their dogs and/or their newspapers. Judging by the way the dogs enthusiastically greeted the baristas, they were regulars. Once I had a sip of my cappuccino, I knew why. I’m not exaggerating even a tiny bit when I say it was the best cappuccino I’ve ever had. And to this day, I am now one of the (unfortunately not-as-chic) regulars at this delicious little hidden gem in West Chelsea.

Some practicalities – They have a lovely garden to sit and enjoy your coffee when the weather is nice, and a cool, cozy lounge for the rainy / cold days. There is hotel wi-fi and an ancient typewriter that actually works!
You can buy Intelligentsia coffee beans here (they also grind them for you if you want) and they have specials on Tuesdays and Saturdays!

Variety Coffee Roasters, Chelsea

Variety Coffee Roasters is where Chelsea residents go to see and be seen. Just kidding (but only a bit!). This lovely cafe has windows that open out to Seventh Ave (snagging those window seats can be tough!) and beautiful interiors. There are more than enough outlets and a strong wi-fi connection.
The cappuccinos are strong and delicious. It’s hard to find a coffee shop that is great for working, pleasing on the eyes, serving both amazing coffee and people watching all at the same time. Variety Coffee Roasters just nails it!

Partners Coffee (formerly Toby’s Estate) West Village

Partners Coffee originated in Brooklyn and has a few outposts all over the city. I first fell in love with their Flatiron location, a tiny strip of a coffee bar with a bookshop at the back! I frequented this way too often for the health of my wallet, and it was also my supplier for weekly coffee beans. Alas, the Flatiron location is no more. But – the West Village location serves coffee just as good, has tons of space AND floor to ceiling windows on Charles Street and 7th Ave for the best of West Village people watching!
Note: The pictures below are from the Toby’s Estate Flatiron location, I just can’t let it go even though it closed recently (sadface)

A Little Taste, Chelsea

On the most fragrant block in the city (28th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues) sits a little coffee shop . You might almost miss it if you aren’t looking for it, which would be a shame. A Little Taste is one of the cutest coffee shops I’ve been to!
A Little Taste has the best cold brew in the city, perfect for those warm days walking among the flower shops. Don’t worry, on colder days they have your back with their delicious cortados.

Saltwater Coffee

We can thank the country of Australia for many exports, among them, good looking surfer dudes with cool accents, the allure of kangaroos and other marsupials, and avocado toast. Their most valuable export though? The reliably excellent coffee culture! Saltwater Coffee, focussed on strong, delightful third wave coffee for leisure, is an outpost that illustrates this perfectly. A tiny cafe in the East Village, it is bright, welcoming and always willing to serve a pretty cappuccino. One coffee shop you should not miss in the city!

Felix Roasting Co.

A new, sophisticated entrant to the New York Coffee scene, Felix Roasting Co. is the speakeasy of coffee shops. You can feel the style the moment you enter – it is hip, it has a bar, it has milk on tap. It is a little over the top, but in a good way! In a way that keeps you coming back!

Oslo Coffee Roasters

Tucked into the West Village, on West 10th Street, is a cute little Scandinavian cafe. One of the reasons I like Oslo Coffee is that it is a bit of an enigma. The coffee is, of course, really great. The shop is pretty, with a little bench outside and a gorgeous window seat. But the music is what gets me every time. It is completely random, quite loud and totally mis-matched with the vibe the interiors are trying to convey. However, it all just works together! Trust me, go see for yourself!

Urban Backyard

This little coffee shop in NoLiTa took the Instagram world by storm when it opened a few months ago. It truly has the prettiest facade, super dreamy to photograph. Fortunately, it also has great coffee, yummy treats and good tea as well! Phew! Not JUST an Instagrammer’s paradise, but a well rounded coffee shop! Note – If it is too crowded, Happy Bones around the corner serves an excellent cappuccino as well.

Birch Coffee

This is one of the first coffee shops I tried in New York City, back when I wasn’t even a local. Since then I’ve discovered other favorites, but Birch will always be my go-to recommendation. I love both the No-Mad and SoHo locations, and they have a few more around the city too! I assure you that you will be in good hands with Birch! Note that their coffee shops don’t usually have wifi as they like to foster conversations instead.

Remi Flower and Coffee

The perfect combination of flowers and coffee is the best pick-me-up. Remi Flower and Company is a coffee shop inside a flower shop, or a flower shop inside a coffee shop – does it even matter? The point is that it smells and looks very lovely, and sipping a lavender cappuccino in the midst of the unexpected greenery in Midtown East is one of the best things you could do in the city. I really respect that Remi focuses on the quality of their coffee, don’t mistake this for just another Instagrammer’s delight. It is an excellent coffee shop in its own right.

I’ve included a Google Map below of all my favorite coffee shops in New York City! There are more in the map than on the list, so feel free to use it while you navigate the city! If you want more information on HOW to use this map, read my Guide to Google Maps!

Let me know if you try any of these out! You could always contact me privately or comment below!



  1. March 30, 2019 / 10:39 am

    These coffee shops are absolutely adorable! I can’t have caffeine until my baby is born in May (BOOOOO) but once I can drink coffee again, I’m so checking these out! I adore the high line and any cute place to sit and people watch near there has my interest! Also, I visited Oslo over the summer and really liked it so I can’t wait to check out Oslo coffee roasters. The quirky interior seems like a cute place to have a date. Excellent page and lovely post.

    • Tanmaya Godbole
      July 1, 2019 / 10:10 am

      Thank you so much Stephanie!! I saw this comment so late, I’m sure you have had your baby by now (Congratulations! <3 ) Hope you can now enjoy some caffeine again!

  2. March 30, 2019 / 5:31 pm

    SERIOUSLY wish I’d known about these before my visit! I was hunting around for ages trying to find a good coffee!

    • Tanmaya Godbole
      March 30, 2019 / 5:40 pm

      aww that just means you have to visit again! 🙂

  3. Mustafa Al Niama
    December 13, 2020 / 7:15 am

    To add:

    Suited – FiDi, corner of Dutch and John St. – beautiful Australian coffeeshop

    1668 – TriBeCa – two locations on Greenwich – another beautiful Australian coffeeshop and known for their signature wooden sheep decorations

    Laughing Man – TriBeCa location and a smaller Batter Park location (inside CME building facing the Hudson) – owned by Hugh Jackman with his favorite coffee being flat white. I hear all proceeds go to charity

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