New York is home to a vibrant coffee culture that includes independent shops, small scale roasters, and knowledgeable baristas, all bent on delivering the finest cup of joe from bean to brew. If you’re looking to up your coffee game, the answer might already be in your neighborhood—or a short subway ride away.
Whether you live in the city or are just visiting, take some time to explore the independent businesses that keep New York caffeinated. You never know when you’ll find your next perfect cup.
- What is Third Wave Coffee?
- Uro Cafe
- Brooklyn Roasting Company
- Maglia Rosa NYC- Industry City
- Bond St. Coffee and Goods
- Cuisine by Claudette
- Astoria Coffee
- Baruir’s Coffee
- Prince Coffee House
- Cafe Amrita
- Pasticceria Rocco
- Porto Rico Importing Co.
- B Cup Cafe
- Bloom Cafe
What is Third Wave Coffee?
Much of New York’s current coffee culture is considered “Third Wave,” which broadly encompasses the artisanship of roasting and brewing. Third Wave coffee shops are businesses opened in the past two decades that put emphasis on sourcing, processing, and preparing coffee in different ways.
Most third wave coffee shop owners and baristas have a true passion for all aspects of preparing a quality cup. You might call them connoisseurs. The subtle flavor, strength, and even texture of the drink depends on the region in which its beans were grown, how they were dried and roasted, and the method used to brew the ground coffee.
It might seem abstract, but the more different coffees you try, the more sensitive you’ll become to their unique flavor profiles.
Talking to the barista during your first visit to a new shop is a great way to learn about what you’ll be drinking. An expert recommendation will help you find the exact bean, roast, and process for your taste buds.
The following businesses offer an impressive variety, exceptional dedication to quality coffee, and awesome atmospheres (because vibes are just as important as the latte art)!
Located steps from McCarren Park and the G Train, Greenpoint’s Uro Cafe is a neighborhood fixture where simplicity meets specialty.
Blink and you might just miss it—the shop serves nuanced flavors in a small, no-frills setting, making it the perfect spot to pop into on your way to the farmer’s market or to do some vintage shopping in the area.
Expect friendly service, strong espresso, and a lack of long lines, as Uro is a bit of a local secret hidden out in the open. It’s the kind of place you come upon—and keep coming back to.
Stop by and try the iced americano, hot mocha, or chai latte with oat milk for chillier North Brooklyn mornings.
Brooklyn Roasting Company
High on any list of New York’s top roasteries, Brooklyn Roasting Company has been around since 2009, bringing out the flavors of the borough while supporting community institutions.
While the company’s original location at the foot of the Manhattan Bridge is no longer operating, new locations in Brooklyn and Manhattan are set to open within the next few months.
In the meantime, visit the Brooklyn Roasting Company shop at 200 Flushing Ave., located just across the street from the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
A focus on fair trade coffee and rotating releases make this location a go-to. Grab a travel mug with the company’s signature block-letter logo on your way out and enjoy that latte on the go.
Maglia Rosa NYC – Industry City Cafe
As a high-end custom bike shop that fuses Italian and American cycling culture, Maglia Rosa’s expansion to a café location in Industry City seems only natural.
Serving Industry City visitors, shoppers, and employees, the café embodies its founder’s Milanese roots, serving a house blend titled “Milano.” Chocolatey and decadent, the coffee matches the seasonal small plate menu in personality and vigor.
Most meals are made with ingredients from local farmers markets, and even the tea selection is made up of customized blends.
The shop also offers a small grocery collection featuring imported dry goods, pasta ingredients, and more.
Maglia Rosa’s decor makes it clear that cycling and espresso go hand in hand, especially in a Milanese-inspired café in the heart of Sunset Park. Choose a fresh pastry delivered daily from Ceci Cela (a Manhattan patisserie), and relax at the outdoor tables or in one of Industry City’s spacious public courtyards.
As an added bonus, the café will soon introduce an after-hours wine bar.
Bond St. Coffee and Goods
Bordering the Gowanus Canal, Bond Street Coffee and Goods serves locally roasted D’amico Coffee, along with an extensive breakfast, salad, and sandwich menu.
The D’amico coffee legacy goes back over half a century in Brooklyn history. Stopping at Bond St. gets you seventy years’ worth of expert roasting in a single cup of black coffee.
Perched on the edge of Carroll Gardens, Bond Street is the kind of shop you seek out to spice up your morning buzz—it doesn’t get overly crowded like Brooklyn’s better-known coffee destinations.
Ample outdoor seating, fresh-cooked plates, and roasted beans that honor the neighborhood’s Italian heritage put Bond Street Coffee & Goods on the map as one of the area’s best casual stops for brunch or a get-together.
With three locations open in Brooklyn and one in Manhattan, Konditori has become a household name in third wave coffee—thanks in part to its unique roots and telltale Swedish flag logo.
The vision of a Swedish-American duo, the shop’s handcrafted, homey aesthetic goes well with a large coffee selection focused on Central American beans. That means nutty, chocolatey flavor to complement fresh pastries. There are plenty of gluten-free options to choose from, as well.
Breakfast sandwiches and bagels add a savory twist to the assortment of baked goods behind the counter. Stop by any of the locations in Prospect Heights, Park Slope, Cobble Hill, or the Financial District for a hot matcha and a Scandinavian take on what makes a coffee spot truly local.
Another Industry City favorite with a newly opened location in Midtown, Gumption Coffee brings Aussie panache, a strong reputation, and freshly roasted beans to the five boroughs.
Both the roastery and Brooklyn café are located on Industry City’s 39th Street. The Gumption team is involved in every step of a bean’s journey to the roastery, from the hands of a coffee farmer to its arrival in New York.
For those who prefer to brew their coffee at home, Gumption offers a monthly subscription, making sure you’re the first to try the latest blend.
The selection of bagged beans is global, with various South American and African options. Try the Costa Rica Yellow Honey (peach, pineapple, honey), the Ethiopia Yirgacheffe (Apricot, Honeysuckle, Black Tea), or something in between.
If you’re in the city, the Midtown location offers the perfect coffee break from the general rush of the area. Gumption interiors match the coffee—color, geometry, and minimal accents set the scene for a burst of flavor.
Cuisine by Claudette
Tucked into a storefront right off the Rockaway Beach boardwalk, Cuisine by Claudette is as charming as it sounds.
The family-owned café and eatery, opened in 2012 just before Hurricane Sandy, persevered to become the fixture it is today. Take a look at the business’ Core Values for insight on what goes into running a community-driven gathering spot, other than fresh ingredients.
Serving homemade pastries, vegan entrees, nutritious bowls, and a whole pita menu, chef Claudette takes an innovative, healthy approach to cooking with a hint of Mediterranean inspiration.
From espresso to drip, the coffee pairs well with the all-day breakfast—try the Monkey Bowl alongside an Almond Latte!
If you’ve hit your caffeine limit for the day, Claudette’s juice and smoothie bar deserves a special mention. The Halva smoothie is like brunch and dessert in a cup.
Take advantage of the café’s outdoor seating area, or enjoy a five-minute walk and picnic on the sand.
Well-known and lauded in this pocket of Northern Queens, Astoria Coffee stays true to its beginnings as a bean delivery service.
Making sure their neighborhood had easy access to a variety of beans was the owners’ priority. Since then, the business has evolved into a mainstay on 30th Street, serving a rotating collection of beans sourced from roasters throughout the United States—so be sure to ask your barista what’s on the menu.
Run by residents and frequented by locals and visitors alike, Astoria Coffee supports independent roasters, varying up your palette with every new featured blend. Fast service, history in the neighborhood, and a passion for discovering hidden talent in the coffee world make this Astoria destination a staple.
For a house blend built on almost six decades of coffee roasting experience, look no further than Baruir’s, a coffee and grocery shop on Queens Boulevard in Sunnyside where you can grab beans by the pound along with your cup-to-go.
Baruir’s roasts on site, just as they have been since 1966. The vintage roaster in the front window is where your beans begin their journey to your morning coffee—they quite literally couldn’t be any fresher.
Along with a daily Latin American blend, other specialities include Turkish and cold brew, complete with ice cubes made of frozen coffee so that your drink doesn’t become watered-down.
Balkan and Turkish groceries including condiments, dried fruit, and nuts round out the selection.
If you’re looking for artisanship that’s been thriving long before the specialty coffee craze took over New York’s hippest neighborhoods, you can’t go wrong with Baruir’s.
Prince Coffee House
Located just off Arthur Avenue in the Bronx’s Little Italy, Prince Coffee House brings specialty coffee to a corner of the borough steeped in tradition.
With origins in Kosovo, Prince caters to the neighborhood’s diverse immigrant population, which includes large Balkan and Latino populations, as well as a rich history of Italian influence.
A cozy corner space, the coffee house is worth the journey. If you’re only in the area to visit attractions like the Bronx Zoo or Bronx Botanical Gardens, take some time to explore the neighborhood as well.
Plenty of seating, spanning two rooms and an outdoor section of sidewalk, will convince you to stay a while. Hot espresso drinks, pastries, and table service make this a great casual meeting spot, or a place to have some much needed “you” time.
Don’t leave without seeing the café’s high-flying cup collection (just look straight up)!
Counting nearly twenty years on West 110th Street, Café Amrita lights up the block with breakfast, brunch, and entrees in an inviting atmosphere.
If you’re craving nothing more than a smooth cup of coffee, Cafe Amrita won’t disappoint. Start your day outside at one of the wooden tables or head to Central Park, only a block away. Come back for an evening cocktail—the café is open daily until 11:00pm.
While many drinking and dining spots around Central Park can be overcrowded and overwhelming on any given day, Cafe Amrita manages to slip under the radar and preserve its intimate vibe.
If you’re planning to spend a day in Central Park, make your way Uptown to unwind at Amrita.
For soccer fans, call ahead to find out when the café is showing televised international games.
Pasticceria Rocco (or Rocco’s, as it’s known), is an example of the quintessential New York business. This classic Italian eatery and coffee shop has been around since 1974, standing its ground as Bleecker Street changed through the decades.
Today, you’ll find pistachio cannolis, giant cookies, an all-day breakfast and sandwich menu, and more.
If you’re spending a day in Lower Manhattan, walk over to the West Village and expect a warm welcome at Rocco’s. The Pasticceria holds a special spot in the hearts of countless locals, from longtime residents to first-timers.
Nostalgic and approachable, it’ll feel familiar as soon as you step in. If you’re in a hurry, grab a cappuccino to go with your biscotti cookie, and take a moment to savor the timelessness of it all.
Porto Rico Importing Co.
If you’re familiar with New York City or know anyone who has called the city home, you might have heard of Porto Rico.
Established over a century ago, the shop is hands-down one of the best-known “by the pound” coffee shops in the city. Both the East and West Village locations are bound to have a devoted regular sipping a piping hot drip coffee on the bench outside.
If you’re just looking for a cup to go, expect options—the baristas will point you in the right direction.
The menu is rotating, and you can also order a fresh pour-over made from any of the varieties that are for sale by the pound.
Flavored beans, multiple blends in every roast, organically grown products, and a global approach to sourcing only the best make Porto Rico your one-stop shop for coffee to brew at home—and an expertly prepared cup to start your morning off right.
Check out the café’s gift sets for the caffeine lover in your life, or grab a souvenir for yourself. Even a bag of freshly ground French Vanilla roast makes a great present.
Always painted just the right shade of red, each Porto Rico storefront is a precious slice of New York history. You can find additional Porto Rico outposts at the Essex Market and on Grand St. in Williamsburg.
Just visiting? The company ships everywhere, so you won’t have to wait too long for your next dose of fresh roasted Porto Rico goodness, no matter where you’re located.
B Cup Cafe
Wander all the way down 13th Street to the corner of Avenue B, and you’ll come across B Cup Cafe.
You can’t miss it—the painted storefront beckons to a quaint and just-as-colorful interior. Look out for a mural of the café’s adorable “B in a cup” logo.
Hot espresso drinks served in mugs, cold brew, and unique tea blends complete the drink menu, while the food menu serves up sandwiches, hot soup, salad, and pastries. Sink into a comfy couch inside, or relax in the outdoor seating area.
B Cup was founded on a love for the neighborhood, and the feeling is mutual. Local art adorns the wall, and mornings are full of regulars from down the block or the other side of the East Village.
Try the Israeli breakfast paired with tahini cookies for dessert and foamy latte on the side.
While Staten Island’s various businesses sometimes get the short end of the stick when it comes to New York-based features, the borough has plenty to offer whether you’re coming from New Jersey, Brooklyn, or beyond.
Separated from the rest of the city by the New York Harbor, the island thrives on its own terms. Bloom Café, located on Rosebank’s Bay Street, rivals any of Manhattan’s specialty coffee shops. What’s more, it’s within walking distance of the Staten Island waterfront.
The café serves Think Coffee, a local roaster known for its dedication to improvement projects within the farming communities that source its beans.
A full coffee selection, including bonuses like the Superfood Latte and Chaga-ccino, accompanies a line-up of health-conscious breakfasts, including many vegan options.
Finish up brunch, take your drink to go, and head over to Alice Austen Park for views of Downtown Manhattan and the Verrazano Bridge.
The sheer amount of NYC coffee aficionados bringing their passion to the public means that every shop has something to add to the table, whether it be creative brewing methods, experimental blends, or a one-of-a-kind business model that goes beyond counter service.
Loved and frequented by generation after generation, they’re the true purveyors of third wave coffee culture. Don’t hesitate to visit the experts while also stopping by independent cafés in every borough, whether they opened less than a month ago, or two decades ago.
If you’re new to the city or just visiting, seeking out different cafés can be a way to discover entire neighborhoods that aren’t in the tourist handbook. There is a lot more to NYC than amazing restaurants, sightseeing and shopping. If you live in the city, show your support by becoming a regular at your favorite spots, but also make an effort to visit new ones—even if they’re a train ride (or three) away. A quick stop on your day trip from the city before you leave would be a perfect way to support these businesses. Plus, you get to have a delicious cup of coffee on the way!