20 Best Coffee Shops In NYC, Ranked

New Yorkers need their coffee. After all, how do you think the city that never sleeps stays awake? The world's favorite caffeinated beverage has come a long way from its origins; in fact, coffee was historically chewed in Africa, where the bean originated, instead of drunk.

Coffee first made its way to New York in the 1600s and was typically roasted in private homes until the invention (by a New Yorker, of course) of a roaster large enough to accommodate bigger batches. A century later, there was a Coffee District in lower Manhattan where beans were imported, processed, and roasted. Although sky-high rents have pushed roasteries to the outer boroughs, the coffee obsession remains. Nowadays, New Yorkers consume more coffee than any other city in the country.

Coffee shops can now be found throughout the city, serving traditional espresso drinks alongside just about any beverage you can imagine. Here is our list of the best coffee shops in New York City.

20. Abraço

In Portuguese, "abraço" means "hug," and that's exactly what it feels like to walk into this cozy little cafe on East 7th Street in Manhattan's East Village. Don't expect to get any work done at Abraço; laptops are strictly forbidden, so bring a friend to chat with. Milk substitutes are nowhere to be found in this traditional coffee shop, and the bakery caters mostly to locals who can be found chatting away at tables in the cavernous interior.

Abraço serves one of the best espressos in the city, and it's a steal at $2.50, but you'll have to drink it at the counter because they don't make espressos to go. And while you're there sipping on one of the Big Apple's finest espressos, be sure to order their olive oil cake, which is made in a bakery located in the back half of the café and pairs perfectly with the expertly crafted coffee.

19. Yafa Café

While Yafa Café might seem far to some, Manhattanites still make the trek out to Brooklyn's Sunset Park neighborhood to try one of the only traditional Yemeni-style cafes in the city. What makes Yemen's coffee so special is that the beans are traditionally dry-processed because of the country's arid climate, which gives a cup of Yemeni coffee a unique, complex flavor profile.

Owner Hakim Sulaimani grew up in Sunset Park, and he sources coffee from the region near his ancestral homeland of Yafa, which is the café's namesake. Although a pour-over of Yemeni coffee at Yafa will set you back $7, it helps support the coffee trade in the country, which has suffered because of the ongoing civil war there. While you're there, be sure to try a tasty Yemeni delicacy like the fried chicken sandwich seasoned with Yemeni Hawaij spice or the za'atar avocado toast.

18. Devoción

"Devoción" means "devotion" in Spanish, and the team that runs this small handful of New York City coffee shops is nothing if not devoted to the art of making a quality cup of coffee. Unlike many cafés, Devoción owns its own processing facility in Bogotá, the capital of Colombia, where it sources its beans. The processed beans are flown to Brooklyn to be roasted so that they don't lose flavor on the long shipping journey, which gives you the freshest cup of coffee imaginable.

And the interiors of Devoción's New York cafés are artfully decorated with cozy furniture and lush plants that make them feel like oases from the bustle of the city outside. Getting a coffee from Devoción is like having a little taste of Colombia in the middle of the city, which is why it made its way to a spot on our list.

17. Hi-Collar

For a unique coffee experience that looks great on Instagram, head to Hi-Collar in Manhattan's East Village. Each cup of coffee at this Japanese-style café is made individually, and it's up to you whether you want it made using the traditional pour-over method, an Aeropress, or by siphon, a unique coffee brewing method that looks more like a chemistry set than a coffee maker.

For the serious coffee snobs, you can drop $18 on a cup of Hana coffee, which is sourced on the Hawaiian island of Maui and is prized for its "approachable flavor profile," according to Hi-Collar's website. And if you end up there at night, you can order from an impressive list of Japanese sakes available when the café turns into a bar in the evening hours. Hi Collar also serves Japanese-style fare like katsu sandwiches and mentai pasta with creamy cod roe sauce.

16. SEY Coffee

Walking into the breezy, light-filled interior of SEY Coffee is like stumbling into the pages of an Architectural Digest spread, with lush plants hanging from the ceiling and chic furnishings. This Bushwick cafe opened in 2017 in an industrial sector of the neighborhood that is quickly filling up with restaurants and bars that cater to a hip, young clientele that crowd the tables with laptops and lattes.

And SEY isn't only about the design. Owners Lance Shnorenberg and Tobin Polk are dedicated to the bean; they've spent years honing their roasting process, which ensures that the espresso drinks served in these designer digs are perfect every time, which is why SEY has made it to this spot on our list. They also work closely with coffee suppliers and are committed to fair, transparent business practices that benefit the coffee farmers who grow the beans that end up in your cup.

15. Black Fox Coffee

Black Fox Coffee, which opened its first shop in Manhattan in 2016, is dedicated to providing New Yorkers with the European café experience, which is all about coffee breaks and conversation. And a coffee break is exactly what we need in New York, especially in Manhattan's Financial District and in Midtown, which is where Black Fox's three outposts are located.

Black Fox sources its beans from farms and roasteries around the world, and these cups of joy are served in stylish European-style digs with wooden espresso bars and chic light fixtures. If you like what you taste at the café, you can join the Black Fox coffee club, where you have a different bag of coffee from some of the world's top roasters sent to your home every month. Looking for a little nosh while you sip on your latte? Try the ham and cheese croissant or the yogurt parfait.

14. Topos Bookstore

There are few things that make a New Yorker feel cooler than sipping a coffee at a bookstore. Manhattanites might think they're too good to venture out to Ridgewood, Queens, one of New York's most rapidly changing neighborhoods, just for a coffee and book browse, but we think it's worth the trek. Topos Bookstore offers the neighborhood's hip, young inhabitants just that experience.

You can browse the new and used collection of literature at Topos with a latte in hand. And if you find something you like to read, you can buy it and start reading with your fellow coffee-sipping intellectuals at the coffee bar, which serves espresso drinks all day long alongside delicious baked goods. And if the weather is nice, take your coffee and scone to one of the outdoor tables. If you find your way to Ridgewood, make sure you set time aside to enjoy this quintessential New York experience. 

13. Grace Street

Rose Petal Milk Tea, anyone? How about a Coconut Ube Latte with Boba? These are just a couple of the creative concoctions on offer at Grace Street, a coffee shop in Manhattan's Koreatown that is locally famous for its unique, aesthetically and palate-pleasing products.

If you're dropping by Grace Street for a coffee, a matcha latte, or a boba milk tea, be sure to try the Basque Burnt Cheesecake, which is heated up until the outside layer forms a caramelized crust and leaves the interior fluffy and rich, and is available in three flavors: chocolate, matcha, and "O.G." plain. There are some other Intstagrammable must-tries like the Milk Tea Boba Toast with blueberries and ice cream or the Mochi Waffle with fruit and whipped cream. Grace Street is certainly not your average coffee shop, which is why it claimed this spot on our list.

12. Intelligentsia Coffee

For over 20 years, Intelligentsia has helped to define the third-wave coffee movement, one of the three waves that define coffee history, which focuses on the origins of the coffee beans on offer and the specific flavor profiles that they produce. Intelligentsia boasts a seasonal rotation of beans from small farms in countries around the world, and the owners clearly have an eye for quality, which is why it made it to this spot on our list. You can even select the origin of your coffee beans if you're a real connoisseur.

It's easy to miss the tiny outpost of Intelligentsia Coffee on 10th Avenue in the fashionable Chelsea neighborhood in Manhattan, but you don't want to. The cute, comfortable space is in the lobby of the High Line Hotel and has just a few seats, but it's definitely worth the trip. And if you've got a sweet tooth, try one of the pastries furnished by the West Village bakery Mah-ze-Dahr.

11. Bourke Street Bakery

If you haven't heard, Australia has been on its coffee game for years now. Espresso drinks are ubiquitous in the land down under, and, lucky for us, one of the finest coffee shops from  Australia has set up shop in New York City.

Originally from Sydney, Bourke Street Bakery opened its first location in NoMad in 2019 to great fanfare with a line around the block. Its stellar success prompted the opening of three more locations in Manhattan and one in Jersey City. Order a Flat White, which is like a latte but with less foam and is a common espresso drink in Australia. While you're getting your caffeine fix, be sure to order one of the sweets like the Ooey Gooey Chocolate Cake or a banana bread slice, which are made in-house and have helped catapult Bourke Street Bakery to this spot on our list.

10. La Cabra

After La Cabra opened its first café in Aarhus, Denmark in 2012, the brand has brought a unique, modern coffee experience to countries around the world. The first location in NYC was opened in East Village and also houses a bakery. And it made a splash when it first opened, with sweet Scandinavian specialties like the fluffy, spiced cardamom buns, which are so popular that they tend to sell out, especially on weekends.

They've since opened another SoHo location, giving New Yorkers a new way to refuel in the heart of Manhattan's most famous shopping district. The owners of La Cabra have also put a special emphasis on finding the world's best beans, which are roasted to perfection and can be ordered by origin and made using the pour-over method. La Cabra has claimed this spot on our list because of its dedication to these quality beans.

9. Sweetleaf

Step into the Sweetleaf café and roastery in Brooklyn's up-and-coming Greenpoint neighborhood, and you'll be hit by the tantalizing aroma of freshly ground beans that drives coffee lovers mad. Every cup of coffee at Sweetleaf is a masterpiece, and the trained baristas are there to make your coffee dreams come true, which is why it is featured at this spot on our list.

Try one of Sweetleaf's signature drinks like the Voodoo Child, which is cold brew mixed with condensed milk and sweet cream, or the Rocket Fuel, which is made with maple syrup and chicory. What makes chicory coffee unique is that it contains no caffeine but adds a sweet flavor that perfectly complements the slight natural bitterness of coffee. Apart from the Greenpoint location, there are three cafés in Long Island City and Queens that sport rustic, comfortable interiors that will make you want to sit around and sip coffee all day long.

8. Maman

If you're looking to get transported to the South of France in the middle of New York City (and, let's be honest, who isn't?), step into Maman, a Provencal-style coffee shop and restaurant with several locations around the city. The artisanal coffees offered at Maman are brewed to perfection, and many specialty, seasonal drinks are also available for those with an adventurous palate.

Try the Orange Blossom Honey Latte for a creamy, citrusy taste of the Mediterranean or the bold, flavorful Garden Rose Dark Chocolate Mocha. Not to mention the food menu, which offers French-style omelets, hummus wraps, baguettes, and more. The interiors at Maman are bright, floral, and intimate, providing a great place to share a conversation with a friend or get some work done on your laptop. It has an impeccable ambiance, perfectly balanced coffee drinks, and a seasonal, delightful food menu.

7. Variety Coffee

Variety Coffee has always been ahead of the game. The first shop opened on Graham Avenue in Williamsburg in 2008, right as the neighborhood was taking off — and Variety has taken off with it. There are now six locations in NYC and a roastery in the industrial section of East Williamsburg that is by appointment only.

Although Variety has expanded across the city, it has stayed true to its hip Williamsburg roots. The interiors of the cafés all sport old-timey signage and cozy, modern interiors where you can bring your laptop and get some work done while you sip on a latte or a freshly brewed cup of coffee. The beans at Variety are sourced seasonally, making a fresher-tasting cup of coffee, which you'll notice when you take your first sip; it's one of the many reasons why Variety Coffee made its way onto our list. 

6. Suited

Suited is an apt name for a coffee shop in one of the world's most famous business districts, where you'll find sharply dressed financiers and businessmen in search of a caffeine fix. Nestled in the bustling streets of the Financial District, Suited is a refined oasis of coffee culture among the noisy chaos of downtown Manhattan. The sleek interior sports modern furniture and clean lines, which keep the neighborhood's finance professionals coming back time and time again.

If you fall in love with the perfectly crafted cups of delicious coffee at Suited (and you will), you can even request a house call, where a barista will come to your home or office and walk you through the best way to maximize the flavor of your beans. Suited has claimed this spot on our list because it provided the Financial District with one of its finest new spots to pick up a quality brew — and really, no suits are required to enjoy it. 

5. Ciao, Gloria

The creator of Baked, the beloved bakery and coffee shop in Red Hook, recently opened Ciao, Gloria, a café in the Prospect Heights neighborhood in Brooklyn that serves coffee and modern fare with an Italian twist, making one of our favorite coffee shops in the borough. Owner Renato Poliafito opened Ciao, Gloria just six months before the pandemic hit, but with the support of the local community, it powered through to be one of the area's most beloved cafés.

And it's easy to see why. Sunshine flows through the massive windows at Ciao, Gloria and lights up the espresso bar, where traditional espresso drinks are served alongside hot mugs of matcha and turmeric golden milk lattes. You can also nosh on baked goods like tricolor bars and coffee cake, or if you're really hungry, try the PEC breakfast sandwich, which comes with crispy prosciutto, provolone cheese, and Calabrese aioli.

4. Stumptown Coffee Roasters

Portland, Oregon is famed for its coffee culture, and although it might be a far cry from the Big Apple, you can get a taste of it at Stumptown Coffee, which has graced New York City with three locations. What makes the beans from Stumptown so special is its high standard for the best beans and roasting methods. The connoisseurs who curate the cups of coffee that come from Stumptown source the best beans, which they make sure are still green when they get to the roastery.

Stumptown was among the first coffee brands in the United States to trade directly with farmers, and it's built lasting relationships that translate into some of the best coffee you can find in New York City, which is why we've named Stumptown No. 4 on our list. The beans go for north of $16 for a 12-ounce bag, but if you know your way around a cup of coffee, you'll taste the difference.

3. Ninth Street Espresso

After it outgrew its original namesake location, Ninth Street grew to have locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn that deliver some of the best espresso drinks in the city, which is why it's made it to no. 3 on our list. Ninth Street changed the game when it opened in Alphabet City in 2001, when it became one of the first coffee shops in New York to offer manual espresso coffee as its primary offering.

Ninth Street is for coffee purists; it only serves a pared-down menu of drip, iced, and espresso drinks. And vegans, be warned: Ninth Street does not use milk alternatives. The original location on East 9th Street boasts a warm, airy interior that invites locals to sit around and smell the coffee. And while you're there, we recommend you try the Maple Shortbread Cookie, which is buttery, flaky, and baked in-house.

2. Drip Coffee Makers

Drip Coffee is all about the process. Don't expect to get your cup of joe in a New York minute; Baristas only serve pour-overs and espresso drinks here, which take a bit more time to make, but owner Nigel Price, who's been working in the coffee industry in New York for over 10 years, thinks waiting for a pour-over to be brewed is a great way to slow down and smell the coffee, literally.

Price used to serve the same quality cups from a cart that could be found roving around Brooklyn, and after just one year, the cart was so popular that he opened up his first permanent location in Bushwick. The clean walls and exposed brick invite you to hang out for a bit and enjoy the time it takes to make a coffee good enough for Drip to claim the No. 2 spot on our list.

1. Alita Café

Alita Café may be a newcomer to New York's famously competitive coffee scene, but it's stood out as one of the most consistently delicious cups of coffee that the city has to offer, which is why we've ranked it No. 1 on our list. One of the café's co-founders, Paolo Maliksi, also co-owns Regalia Roasting company, which is a roasting collective that gives small coffee companies the opportunity to roast their own beans without having to deal with the cost of buying a coffee roaster.

Apart from its socially-conscious philosophy, Alita has an impeccable vibe, which reflects the owners' mission to foster community in the East Williamsburg neighborhood where Alita is located. It also serves homemade baked goods that will knock your socks off. Try the Vegan Double Chocolate Chip Muffin, the Maple Syrup Pistachio Pecan Granola, or our favorite: the Colombian Chorizo & Cheddar Biscuit. Rest assured: You can't go wrong at Alita.