The baristas are experts at RBC make specialty coffees. (Amelia Holowaty Krales)
Although the iconic diner cup of coffee is still alive and well in New York, specialty coffee shops are serving frothy lattes and layered shots of espresso all over the city.
These cafes combine quality ingredients — such as single origin beans and fresh, local milk — state of the art brewing technology and great baristas.
So next time you’re looking for a spot to meet friends from coffee, look beyond Starbucks and try one of these local favorites.
71 Worth St.,
This modern coffee shop in TriBeCa is known for its state-of-the-art Slayer machine (which retails at $18,000 Slayer). Note: Espresso drinks are to-stay only, because taking them to go “changes the flavors of the drink,” baristas attest.
We recommend: The Vietnamese coffee ($4) is the specialty of the house, a beautifully layered Macchiato prepared with condensed milk created by head barista Cora Lambert.
In a bit of a rush? Try the Hit-and-Run, a shot of espresso to stay and a cup of coffee to go for $4.
Stumptown Coffee Roasters
20 W. 29th St.,
Stumptown has grown quite a following since it opened last fall. The company was founded in Portland, Ore., and the New York City outpost at the sceney ACE Hotel is known for its strong coffee and dapper baristas. The beans are roasted locally, and a cup of coffee goes for $2.
We recommend: Get your espresso with a twist. Grab a con panna (espresso with whipped cream, $2.80) and take a seat one of the lush leather chairs in the hotel lobby or stand and watch the world go by at the bar.
136 E. 13th St.,
The espresso here ($2.50) is “a blend based on Old Italian coffees in the Tuscan-style,” barista Brice Hackford said. Customers drink coffee ($1.50) as they wait to see a show at the Classic Stage Company, which shares a space with Everyman, and even take their drink inside the theatre – as long as it has a lid.
We recommend: Although the selection is somewhat limited, regulars love the lattes ($4.50).
224 West 20th St.,
This spot recently garnered lots of media attention for its $12 brew (made from hand-picked beans grown in Ethiopia), but regulars oh and ah over the lovely lattes poured here, complete with foamy heart and leaf designs made in the milk. Coffee is brewed by the cup, and the beans are roasted at Grumpy’sGreenpoint location (there’s also a store in Park Slope). No laptops are allowed, so people actually talk in this cozy java joint.
We recommend: Have some variety with the Tasting Flight, a sampling of three coffees for $6 or, if you feel like a splurge, try the new $12 brew, which connoisseurs say is terrific.
Oslo Coffee Co.
133 Roebling St.,
Hipsters flock to this Williamsburg spot for fresh, full-bodied coffee in a spacious shop with ample outdoor space. The staff isn’t particularly friendly, but they are fast. There’s also a second store on Bedford Avenue.
We recommend: The house blend, Thor, has hint of berries, citrus and tobacco, which makes for a strong cup of joe ($2). Locals swear by the naturally sweetened Hibiscus Iced Tea ($3) for hot summer days.
407 Park Avenue S.,
Coffee fans consider this Swedish shop the “best kept secret in New York, with very, very smooth lattes and cappuccinos.”
We recommend: In addition to its delicious espressos ($2), Fika also has a chocolatier on the premises, making hand-rolling truffles and other candies. And what goes better with coffee than chocolate?