Some New York City coffee shops, like Chelsea’s Cafe Grumpy, have ceased providing Internet service as to prevent freelance writers and students from overstaying their welcome. So where is the self-employed, recently unemployed, or just plain Facebook-addicted New Yorker to go when they want to get their work done (and nurse that small cup of coffee until the very last drop) ? That’s where we come in. Here is a list of the best New York City cafes and coffee shops where you can hunker down with your laptop and stay awhile. By Lawrence Bonk.
108 Central Ave
This quaint, unassuming Bushwick establishment is the perfect place to just chill and get some stuff done. Great Internet. Great coffee. Friendly staff and patrons. What else is there? They also have bonafide actual couches which is a rarity in a borough that usually favors the aesthetic hell that is the steampunk speakeasy. They also offer up a full sandwich menu and real bagels.
House of Small Wonder
20 Skillman Ave
This Williamsburg haunt is a favorite with the locals, and for good reason. It’s a warm and cozy spot that has style to spare. There is even a piano for when you just need to plunk out some Chopin. The coffee is decent and the net is stellar. Another plus? Their sandwich selection is cheaper than most, with some clocking in at just $4.
If you go to Columbia, you no doubt have spent some time at Max Cafeé. It is usually considered the go-to coffee shop for residents of Morningside Heights. This place is never dead, but is surprisingly chill for a Manhattan cafe. The staff won’t bother you if you want to hunker down in front of your laptop for a few hours. The coffee gets the job done and the delicious pastries get the job done even harder.
The Panorama Cafe
This spacious establishment has a definitive West coast vibe. The music is never very obstructive or loud and comfy seats abound. Panaroma also boasts an array of caffeinated specialities like their famous red velvet latte. Tasty sandwiches, salads and smoothies round out the menu. A Jamaica gem.
49 Bogart Street
The space at Swallow is a venerable Bushwick institution. It used to be known as Archive and the staff rented out movies as well as prepping great java. They have since scrapped the flicks, but the great coffee remains. The space is big with plenty of seats and the Internet is surprisingly fast. They are light on food but the bagels and cookies are good.
Beans and Berries
2038 Eastchester Rd
The Bronx may be heavy on quality zoos, but it is light on quality coffee shops. Beans and Berries was voted the best coffee in the Bronx by the Krups coffee company, and this new establishment has quickly become the go-to haunt for Bronx residents looking to get some work done. They have tons of food, including some decent lunch specials. The place is stacked with reading materials, too. Just be sure to not walk out with a magazine or two.
Housing Works Bookstore Cafe
Not only is this a great cafe with all the necessary accouterments to get work done, it’s also a used bookstore. As such, the place is quiet. Also, if you subscribe to the osmosis theory of learning, the quality of your work is sure to increase just being near all of those books. The books are reasonably priced, so pick up a few. Kindles are overrated.
186 W 4th Street
You know what really hits the spot after a long day of slinging words on your laptop? Karaoke. If only there was a great coffee shop out there that also had a karaoke bar in the back. Too bad. Oh wait. There is! Coffee Foundry manages to merge two very disparate worlds. Not much food, but there is beer. Get your work done then unwind.
1108 Manhattan Ave
Greenpoint is home to several quality coffee shops but Champion is the standout. It may be a bit out of the way, but the coffee is fantastic and the full menu is jam packed with tasty gems. There is also a backyard. You heard that right. What is better than sitting outside when the weather is nice? Now you won’t feel bad when you have a deadline and your friends are off to the beach somewhere.
Red Horse Cafe
497 6th Ave
Park Slope has tons of coffee shops, but places like Gorilla Coffee are just too busy and loud. Instead, try this quiet spot tucked away on the less busy sixth avenue. It has everything you need: Fast net, good sandwiches, great coffee. Also, it is pleasantly devoid of crying babies. A plus for Park Slope!
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Lawrence Bonk is a freelance writer from Brooklyn.