Cafe Grumpy: Park Slope, NY

One sunny Sunday afternoon, my friend Greg and I went on an adventure to Park Slope, Brooklyn. We grabbed our MetroCards and swiped them through the Harold Square station to take the Q train to 7th Ave. Once in Brooklyn, we walked through Grand’s Army Plaza, all over Prospect Park, and soon found ourselves on 7th Ave right in front of a small shop with black exterior and a gray face that was frowning on the outside window. It was Cafe Grumpy, and of course, we had to go in.

Price: $ (from $2-$12)

WiFi: None, but there are newspapers to read and people to watch, if you’re up for it. Don’t bring your laptop, there is a strict “no laptop” policy.

Food: Minimal pastries

Locations: Four of ’em: 224 W. 20th St. (Btw 7th & 8th Ave), 13 Essex St (Lower East Side), 383 7th Ave (Park Slope), 193 Meserole Ave (Greenpoint).

Hours: Mon-Thurs 7am-7:30pm
Friday 7am-8pm
Saturday 7:30am-8pm
Sunday 7:30am-7:30pm

Tips: Order a latte. Also, if you feel like splurging, go for the $12 cup of Ethiopian coffee, hear-say says it’s to die for.

A beautiful Steven Weinberg painting now hangs in the Park Slope cafe, so take the F over the river, grab a cup of coffee (or two), pine for Weinburg’s mountainous landscape, then take a walk to Prospect Park.  That sounds like a perfect day to me!

Stumptown Coffee, NYC

It’s a ritual.

The first thing I do when I fly into NYC and the last thing I do before I catch a cab back to the airport is to go on a pilgrimage to the Ace Hotel. This reservior of hope and peace amidst the concrete jungle is renown for it’s coffee and ambiance (thanks to Stumptown and Roman & Williams). There’s a method to my madness: Stumptown Coffee just so happens to be my favorite coffee shop in midtown (convenient, since I live in midtown) and Roman & Williams happens to be one of my favorite design teams. Pair the two and you’ve got a golden duo sure to please everyone-and especially me.

Lines of people extend far out the door to laud the perfect cup of coffee and talented baristas, so brace yourself for a long wait. Don’t worry, the coffee is worth it. Go before 9AM and the wait is only a few minutes, but good luck afterwards.  Waiting in the lobby of the Ace is no big deal, the taxidermy animals are more than happy to keep you company.

Don’t forget to visit Opening Ceremony & No. 8A to pick up the perfect accessories for the perfect city day.

Price– Typical. You’ll pay $2 for a perfect cup of coffee and $3.50 for a cappuccino equivalent of Michelangelo’s David.

WiFi– Yes, just ask the front desk for the password

Payment– CASH ONLY

Food– Doughnut Plant doughnuts, various pastries from Balthazar, and additional food is available from servers in the lobby of the hotel if you’re not keen on visiting the Breslin for lunch or dinner.

Tips– DO: try the Chemex coffee or the Cortado (just order it). DON’T: hog space in the lobby if you aren’t going to buy anything. The place gets incredibly crowded. Be respectful of others.

Hours-6AM to 8PM, everyday

How do I get there? Take the NR to 28th st and you’re right there. Or, take the NQR, BDFM to 34th St. Harold Square and walk south on Broadway five blocks. The Ace hotel is between B-way and 5th.

Did you know? Stumptown Coffee Roasters has a tasting room located on 219 Van Browne St at Commerce St in Red Hook, Brooklyn.

For more information, visit Stumptown’s website. Need directions?

Blue Bottle Coffee

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Situated in a 100-year-old building off Berry Street, California-based Blue Bottle Coffee isn’t just another Brooklyn coffee shop overflowing with flannel clad hipsters and overpriced lattes. Blue Bottle is somewhat of a newcomer to the New York coffee scene, hailing from San Francisco, and has now has found a home-away-from-home in the heart of Williamsburg.

This industrial roastery is impressive.

Blue Bottle only sells quality pour over coffee (a drip bar where rows of ceramic funnels trickle coffee goodness into clear glass mugs) and espresso drinks at their peak flavor (less than 48 hours out of the roaster). And get this: their coffee is roasted on vintage gear in the building itself and is individually prepared to order.

Note to self: Blue Bottle isn’t one of those sit-down-and-stay-a-while kind of places. While you may face a long line, the coffee is worth the wait.

Price: $$

Wi-Fi: No

Payment: Cash or Major Credit/Debit cards

Food: Pastries

Hours: 7-7 weekdays, 8-7 (winter).

Location: 130 Berry St. between 4th and 5th off the Bedford L

Public cupping events are held every Thursday at noon.

For more information, visit their website.  Need Directions?