By Brienne Walsh
Although alcohol can make the whole process a little less, well, awkward, not everyone wants to drink on a first date. Fortunately, New York is even more populated with spots for caffeine addicts than it is with bars for drinkers.
With such a wealth of options, choosing a place to meet your latest MeetMoi Intro is the only challenge. To make the decision easier, we’ve put together a list of the best coffee shops for a casual meet-up in the city.
1.Lost Weekend, 45 Orchard Street, Lower East Side, New York: Outfitted with long wooden table, a projector that shows classic films, a wall of curated photographs, and a single sofa facing the street, this coffee shop on the border between the Lower East Side and Chinatown almost always has the perfect saturation of customers. Not too busy that you can’t find a seat, but not too empty that it feels awkward, it’s a great spot for caffeine connoisseurs and art lovers alike.
2.Urban Vintage, 294 Grand Avenue, Clinton Hill, Brooklyn: Located on a quaint street in this up-and-coming Brooklyn neighborhood, Urban Vintage is just as much a design store as it is a coffee shop, given that all of the perfectly curated antique furniture in the interior is for sale. Serving pastries baked on the premise, by the gorgeous family who owns the store, the atmosphere is romantic and chic.
3. Hungarian Pastry Shop, 1030 Amsterdam Avenue, Upper West Side, Manhattan: More of a neighborhood institution than a mere coffee shop, this spot has been catering to Upper West Side intellectuals and Columbia University students for years. Spacious and softly lit, there’s no Wi-Fi available, giving the shop a distinctly old-world European feel.
4. Birch Coffee, 5 East 27th Street, Manhattan: Started by two friends with sustainability in mind, this expansive space next to the Gershwin Hotel features locally grown food and great cold-brewed ice coffee. It also has plenty of seating, both in the main room, and in the cozy library located on the second floor.
5. Stumptown, The Ace Hotel, Manhattan: Since it opened a few years ago in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, the Ace Hotel has become known as a foodie paradise, thanks in no small part to Stumptown Coffee. Meet a date in the shop, and then carry your coffee into the lobby of the hotel, which features plush sofas, moody lighting, and lots of well-dressed people.
6. Housing Works, 126 Crosby, Soho, Manhattan: A staple of the neighborhood, this wonderful book store has a café in the back that serves coffee and snacks. Grab a seat at one of the tables near the barrister, or make your way up to the balcony that lines the store, where seats are buried among stacks of classic novels.
7.Café Grumpy, Chelsea, Manhattan: With locations not only in Chelsea, but also on the Lower East Side, Greenpoint, and Park Slope, this shop caters to a young, hip crowd that takes their coffee seriously. In Chelsea, the interior is sleek and modern, and the exterior features benches where you can sit and enjoy the spring weather with your latest MeetMoi fling.
8.Joe, 1045 Lexington, Upper East Side, Manhattan: Another coffee shop that prides itself for the quality of its brews, this local chain has locations all over the city. In its outpost on the Upper East Side, the atmosphere is decidedly modern and relaxed, a breath of fresh air from the more crowded diners, Starbucks, and cafes that line Lexington Avenue.
9. Gimme Coffee, 107 Roebling Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn: Featuring not only great coffee, but also pastries from Dough, the incredible donut shop in Clinton Hill, this spot is located on a quiet strip just a few short blocks from the heavily trafficked Bedford Avenue.
10. Sweetleaf, 10-93 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City, Queens: Located just a few short blocks from MoMA PS1, the owners of the café kept the original 19th century tin walls and ceilings of the space intact. Decidedly chic in a neighborhood full of bodegas and gas stations, it’s a great stop on the way to the museum, if you want to extend your date.