Ten Of The Best Coffee Shops To Work From In New York

Anyone who’s ever lived in New York knows that you can find almost anything you need there, but there are some things that the city has a special abundance of. One of these things is coffee shops – from chains to small family establishments to hipster cafes, you’ll find coffee shops on almost every other street in New York, and most of them are at least decent. Strangely, what New York doesn’t have a lot of is coffee shops with Wi-Fi.If you want to find a coffee shop to work from, Wi-Fi is essential, along with an adequate number of power outlets, and of course great coffee to fuel you. In recent years, Wi-Fi is something that has turned into pretty much a standard, free add-on in coffee shops not only in the US but around the world. In New York however, you need to search a bit before you find one. It’s not that it’s a rarity exactly, but with the number of coffee shops in the city, it can take a while to find one that has the right combination of a work-friendly environment, good coffee, and Wi-Fi and power outlets. To make things a bit easier for you, here are ten coffee shops that we recommend for a productive afternoon of work and a cappuccino.

Intelligentsia Coffee (The High Line Hotel)

Intelligentsia Coffee began as a single coffee roaster-retailer in Chicago, but eventually expanded to multiple coffee shops in its home city and Los Angeles, and then opened one in New York. The Manual, a men’s guide to “beer, whiskey, cars, food, beards, and more”, recently gave Intelligentsia its award for “Best Coffee Shop in New York City”. The New York Intelligentsia shop is in the lobby of the High Line Hotel, where you can either sit at the zinc-topped bar or in the courtyard at the back. The courtyard is the better choice if you’re there to work. It’s quiet and peaceful, usually sparsely populated, with comfortable tables and chairs to work at. The coffee is great too, and available in enough forms to satisfy any coffee drinker.

Intelligentsia’s coffees are exclusive to them, and are sourced directly from the coffee producers, with whom they work closely and also maintain and exceed fair trade standards.

180 10th Ave at 20th St
New York, New York 10011
(212) 933-9736

7am – 6pm / Sunday – Thursday
7am – 7pm / Friday – Saturday

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Breukelen Coffee House

Breukelen Coffee House started out when there weren’t too many coffee shops in the area, but even today, it’s still described as the best coffee shop on Franklin Avenue, and among the best in New York. It’s a warm, friendly place with a cultivated but unpretentiously Bohemian vibe to it, cheerful and helpful staff, and a casually dressed, pleasant crowd, many of whom are there to work in the back room. The coffee is also excellent and very affordably priced. The Stumptown cold drip, the Ethiopia Duromina, and the Nutella Mocha are fantastic, and the iced coffee is great too. They’ve also got some excellent breakfast options, and decent range of pastries and other bakes. All in all, Breukelen Coffee House is the perfect environment in which to spend the afternoon peering into your laptop. But they don’t take cards, so remember to carry cash.

764a Franklin Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11238
(718) 789-7070

Mon – Thurs, 7am – 8pm
Fri, 7am– 8pm
Sat, 8am– 8pm
Sun, 8am-8pm

Henry’s Local Espresso Bar Cafe

Henry’s Local is run by the same folks who used to run Café 474, which was another great coffee shop to work at until it shut down a couple of years ago. You’ll probably still find people in New York who miss Café 474, but fortunately there’s now Henry’s Local. It’s a family-friendly place, but it somehow still manages to be a great place to work at. The vibe is casual, so fortunately you don’t need to dress up. The range of coffees isn’t spectacular, but it’s fairly good, and the baristas certainly know their coffee. The food is particularly good for a coffee shop, and many of the local patrons seem to come more for the food than the coffee (or the free Wi-Fi). Henry’s Local is another cash-only coffee shop.

570 Henry Street
Bet. Carroll St & 1st Place
Brooklyn, NY 11231
718-522-3508

Monday-Friday 7:00am – 7:00pm
Saturday-Sunday 7:30am – 7:00pm

Roasting Plant

The Roasting Plant coffee shop has a wonderfully modern, minimalist feel that makes for a great working environment. It’s also a surprisingly warm and welcoming space, considering the look that they’ve gone for. The Wi-Fi here is free and fast, the seating is comfortable, and the place is fairly quiet throughout most of the day, allowing you to work in peace. One warning though – watching the coffee beans shoot through tubes, and get roasted, ground, and brewed in the wondrous contraptions that are on display here is rather mesmerizing, and it can be quite a distraction for anyone who’s a coffee fanatic. The Roasting Plant isn’t cheap, but they have an excellent range of coffees, and each cup is brewed individually. They also serve tea, including some of the best chai in the city, and they have gluten-free and vegetarian options for everything. The food menu is a bit limited, but the croissants in particular are great.

75 Greenwich Avenue
New York, NY 10014
(212) 775-7755, x3

Every day: 7am – 9pm

Sweetleaf

One of the great things about Sweetleaf is that you’ll find plenty of street parking outside, something that can be quite difficult to find at many New York coffee shops. It’s very popular both as a hangout and as a workspace, and since they expanded a few years ago, the place is even more work-friendly. The combination of European antiques and modern coffee-making machinery is a lot more charming than you’d expect it to be. Sweetleaf even has a separate laptop room – that’s how seriously they take their working customers. If you prefer, you can sit at the front and look out the windows, and when you want a break you can pop into the record room at the back, where you can choose something to play out of the hundreds of records they have. When the weather is good, there’s also outdoor seating, in case that’s what you prefer. The staff here are warm and friendly, the prices are reasonable, the coffee is great, and they have a small selection of baked goods, from muffins to croissants to cookies. Sweetleaf is now in three locations in New York, but the original Jackson Avenue location is still the best one to work at.

10-93 Jackson Ave
Long Island City, NY 11101
+19178326726

Mon-Fri: 7 am – 7 pm
Sat-Sun: 8 am – 7 pm

Café Grumpy

Café Grumpy has several locations in New York, including the ones at Chelsea and the Lower East Side, but the Greenpoint location is the only one to allow laptop use and offer free Wi-Fi. It’s a good choice of location as a work space, because it has an in-house bakery and the Café Grumpy Roastery is right next door. The space is a bit bare, but it’s quiet, roomy, and well lit, with adequate and comfortable seating, including both communal and personal tables. The staff are friendly, the coffee is excellent, and so is the food from the bakery. There’s certainly no reason to be grumpy if you’re working here. And if you find Café Grumpy somewhat familiar, that’s probably because it was featured on the HBO show ‘Girls’.

193 Meserole Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11222
(718) 349-7623

Monday – Friday 7am-7:30pm
Saturday & Sunday 7:30am-7:30pm

Greene Grape Annex

One thing you’ll notice about the Greene Grape Annex as soon as you walk in is that this coffee shop is brightly lit and has loads and loads of space, allowing for a variety of seating arrangements including couches, a communal table, and smaller tables. The place is very welcoming to people with laptops – in fact, the majority of the crowd here consists of people who spend hours and hours at work. The only place where laptops aren’t allowed is the counter. With a crowd this large, finding a power outlet can be a bit difficult at times, even though there are quite a few of them; however, that’s what laptop batteries are for. Old regulars at the Annex complain that the food isn’t as amazing as it used to be (the old baker has apparently left), but the coffee is still great, and the place is still one of the best locations in New York to work at.

753 Fulton Street, Brooklyn,
New York 11217
(718) 858-4791

Mon-Thu: 7am – 10pm
Friday: 7am – 11pm
Saturday: 8am – 11pm
Sunday: 8am – 10pm

Think Coffee

Think Coffee has several locations in New York, but not all of them have Wi-Fi, and of the locations that do have Wi-Fi, the original Mercer Street one is without a doubt still the best. The coffee is great, and there’s a decent choice of food too. Due to its location, the Mercer Street Think Coffee always has a substantial crowd of NYU students, which can make things a bit chaotic at times. However, there are plenty of entrepreneurs and freelancers here too, and the space is quite large, so it’s usually easy enough to find a quiet section if you really need to concentrate.

248 Mercer St
New York, NY 10012
b/t 4th St & 3rd St
Greenwich Village
(212) 228-6226

Mon-Fri: 7 am to 11 pm
Sat-Sun: 8 am to 11 pm

Tea Lounge

Going by the name and the fact that they serve over 65 varieties of fresh, loose organic tea, you might think that Tea Lounge doesn’t really belong on this list. However, they also serve a fairly decent range of excellent coffees, and provide a great environment to work in. Tea Lounge has a huge focus on community, which means that not only are they happy to have you sit at your laptop and use their Wi-Fi for hours, but they also offer a space for their customers to interact with and learn from each other. Apart from the freelancers, entrepreneurs, and students who work here during the day, Tea Lounge is also home to poetry sessions, storytelling sessions, live music, and sometimes even lectures, which means that at the end of the workday, you can shut your laptop, switch to wine or beer, and enjoy the evening’s entertainment.

837 Union Street
Brooklyn, NY
(718) 789-2762

Mon-Thu: 07:00 am – 12:00 am
Fri: 07:00 am – 01:00 am
Sat-Sun: 08:00 am – 01:00 am

Postmark Café

Postmark Café is tucked away so neatly that you could easily miss it – which would be a pity, because it’s one of the nicest, most charming little cafes you could spend your day at. The café has a wonderfully homely, laidback vibe to it, and the credit goes to both the décor and the staff. The crowd that hangs out and works here is also diverse but warm and friendly, which makes for a lovely community feeling. There’s a variety of seating options, including benches, sofas, and stools, and when the weather is good, there’s an outdoor seating area too. The Wi-Fi is great, as are the and food, but this is another place that only accepts cash.

326 6th St
Brooklyn, NY 11215
b/t 5th Ave & 4th St
(718) 768-2613

Mon-Fri: 7:00 am – 6:00 pm
Sat: 8:00 am – 6:00 pm
Sun: Closed

What are your favourite New York coffee shops?

Sources: [1], [2], [3]


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