Brazilia Cafe

684 Broadway, New York

NoHo is a neighborhood with a high concentration of high quality espresso: in a few blocks radius the choices include Think Coffee, La Colombe, UR Cup and Gasoline Alley. The espresso density and quality further increased with the recent opening of Brazilia Cafe.

The professional service and great presentation are a prelude to a gentle espresso that pleases your taste buds without hitting them with excessive bitterness. Acidity is absent, leaving room for the full enjoyment of South American coffee.

The small chocolate donut was complimentary and much appreciated.

The Smile at Shinola

177 Franklin Street, New York 

A good espresso with an Italian daily newspaper, at location that seems coming straight from the 30s-40s. Everything in New York, obviously. It is not a movie, neither a time machine nor a teleporting system: it’s “The Smile at Shinola”, in Tribeca.

The Shinola store alone is worth a visit, if you like their elegant bicycles, leather goods and classic accessories. The coffee shop is worth an even longer visit, to relax and enjoy the strength and density of the espresso.
The Smile @ Shinola

Gregory’s Coffee

40 Broadway, New York
Gregory's Coffee

The espresso landscape in the Financial District is quite depressing. Luckily, Gregory’s Coffee took the bold initiative to open a new location a few steps from the Charging Bull. 

Gregory’s espresso is ideal for an intra-day recharge of caffeine. Lightly bitter, moderately strong and with nutty flavor, this espresso is one of the few worth of mention in the Financial District.

Happy Bones

394 Broome Street, New York
Happy Bones

The first time “Happy Bones” found me, it was while I was visiting a vintage clothing store on Bond Street on a Sunday afternoon. The scent of coffee coming from the back of the store attracted me to this unusual location for a coffee shop where I ended up spending a few hours at the communal table. I left the store with a good flavor of coffee in my mouth, without even knowing the name of the coffee shop

A few months later I went back to the same vintage clothing store. This time I walked directly to the room in the back, making my grand entrance into an hair stylist shop. This is New York, I thought: stores pop up and disappear quite rapidly.

Luckily for me, “Happy Bones” did not disappear. It just moved. And it found me again, this time on Broome Street. At first it seemed a new place but the quality of the Counter Culture coffee, the small glass for the espresso and the signature spoons made the connection with that Sunday afternoon on Bond Street.

This espresso is really good and since the location is now permanent, there are no excuses for not trying this coffee.

Wayside Coffee/ Bar

139 East 12th Street, New York
Wayside Coffee Bar

A newcomer to the East Village that brings a much needed infusion of high quality coffee on East 12th Street. The quality of the espresso is ensured by a combination of Intelligentsia’s beans and barista’s ability in brewing the right amount and density of coffee. The low acidity and nutty flavor make this cup a good choice for an enjoyable afternoon break.

I am Coffee [CLOSED]

9 Saint Marks Place, New York
I am coffee

Just a few stairs separate the street level of Saint Marks Place from the espresso heaven. “I am coffee” is probably one of the tiniest coffee places in New York (Abraco, located a few blocks away, is similar in size but benefits from a standing area on the sidewalk), and it confirms that size and scale are not a requisite for success. The mix of arabic beans brings delicate flavors of roasted nuts and licorice to a nicely brewed espresso.

The presentation is top class, with the ceramic tray and a glass of water.

Next time I am back (very soon, indeed) I would like to see the sugar cup at the center of the tray replaced by a piece of dark chocolate. As far as the coffee is concerned, do not change anything, please.

O Cafe

428 Sixth Avenue,  New York, NY 


Brazilian coffee is the king at O Cafe. The espresso is strong and dense, with a nutty flavor and a hint of licorice. Acidity is pleasantly absent from the first to the last sip.

The reclaimed furniture creates an informal and warm atmosphere that invites you to sit and relax while enjoying your coffee.

Another good place at Chelsea, for both a coffee and a light meal. Talking about food:  sandwiches and baked food are excellent and deserve a separate review.


Stumptown Coffee

30 East 8th Street  New York, NY 

Stumptown NY

Stumptown’s flagship location at 8th Street and MacDougal offers almost every brewing option that a coffee fanatic could dream of: from espresso shots to Chemex coffee (the latter is actually a really awesome brewing method, despite the unfortunate branding).

The espresso is rich and complex, from the nutty and cocoa flavor of the first sip to the strong and bitter notes of the last. This does not come as a surprise and it was actually the minimum expectation, considered the quality of the espresso brewed by other bars using Stumptown Coffee.

The real surprise is that one of the most expensive espressos in the city ($3.25 for a single shot served by the barista) does not come with the perks that would justify a such high price tag: no complimentary glass of water is served with the espresso; no options to choose coffee beans from different producers or geographies; the chairs and the tables seem to come from the playroom of my kindergarten (both in terms of size and comfort).

Bottom line: a very good coffee that would have been stellar a few years ago. In today’s competitive market, you could walk a few more blocks to either UR Cup or Third Rail Coffee and probably have a better experience.