In our fast and busy lives, no one has time for those leisured working lunches - ah those Halcyon Days! The twenty-first century has relegated these to a bygone era, so now the most popular places outside of the office to hold meetings are the growing number of coffee/bar spots – that are proving to be ideal for quick meetings and networking needs.
And New York is definitely leading the way in this movement, with a vast number of coffee/bar and more casual dining places regularly popping up. It is at these groovy places where laptops and macchiatos abound, that firm relationships are forged, contracts signed and real deals get done.
Below we outline some great coffee places and bars that have emerged from some serious foot-slogging across NYC. So if you happen to be in New York for work, head to one of these spots and you will be sure to impress your local colleagues with your insider knowledge.
Starting at the top of Manhattan in Harlem…
1. Lennox Coffee- Central Harlem - 60 West 129th Street
Lenox Coffee is a specialty coffee house and micro coffee roaster owned and operated by Jeffrey Green right in the heart of Harlem. It is all about the coffee with their own unique line-up of seasonal Single Origin Drip Coffees, Single Origin Cold Brews and Espresso Blends. If you are there before midday and feeling like you need something light to have with your caffeine, there are a lot of beautiful breakfast and brunch items on offer.
2. Double Dutch – South Harlem - 2194 Frederick Douglass Boulevard
Double Dutch Espresso opened in 2013, serving coffee from its roaster, Counter Culture Coffee with gorgeous coffee accompaniments that include a variety of pastries from Colson Patisserie and Balthazar Bakery. Great for your business meeting particularly if you need to either wait or prepare - be sure to access the free WiFi on the lovely back patio that is open in the warmer months. This little haven is a perfect place to settle in and get some work done.
3. Tarallucci E Vino – Upper West 475 Columbus Avenue
There is a famous Italian saying that basically translates to any matter can be resolved over a glass of wine and tarallucci, the classic southern Italian cookie. Tarallucci e Vino has adopted this philosophy and applied it since its doors opened in 2001. This little Italian Upper West secret is great for coffee and handcrafted pastries in the morning to fresh pastas and inspired Italian plates at night. Whatever your meeting at either the start or end of the day, why not prepare or unwind at Tarallucci e Vino.
4. Café Lalo – Upper West 201 West 83rd Street
Cafe Lalo with its unique European design and open-air atmosphere by floor-to-ceiling French windows, is the place to sip an espresso, and indulge in arguably New York’s best baked cheesecake. You can always find a table at this delightful spot among the writers, artists and celebrities who join the locals to enjoy soothing jazz and classical music in an atmosphere that oozes Parisian café.
5. Joe’s (Upper East 1045 Lexington Avenue and 6. Joe’s Upper West – 514 Columbus Avenue)
Joe’s was founded in 2003 as a singular specialty coffee house in Manhattan and its growth from strength to strength enabled the July 2013 launch of its own roasting operations in Red Hook, Brooklyn, and they now roast 100% of their own single-origin and blended offerings. There are four located around New York’s CBD but our favourites are the Upper East and West incarnations. Make sure to try the Cortado – double shot flat white with only 4 ounces of milk – sure to get you started for your busy day!
7. Birch Coffee – Upper East 134 East 62nd Street
Two coffee devotees and NYC based coffee roasters have established four coffee shops with their understatedly stylish locations in the Upper East and West sides, plus in Murray Hill and in the Flatiron that are all about catering to the New York community’s keen desire for fabulous coffee. If you need to have some quiet time before or after or for a meeting, head to Birch and give your coffee taste buds a run for their money.
8. The William - Midtown 24 East 39th Street
Stepping a bit more beyond a quick coffee fix is this speakeasy-type lounge that offers a nice blend of opulence and design, including curtained off booths, service bells for waiters, and a lengthy list of drinks including a build your own Old Fashioned allowing guests to select their bitters, booze, and sweeteners. The William with its cosy private areas is the perfect locale for some after work drinks particularly if you are in NYC during the cooler months.
9. Soho Grand – Soho 310 West Broadway
A favourite haunt for savvy visitors and locals, the Soho Grand’s famed Grand Bar and the elegant Club Room are great options for either dining and cocktails or both. Open everyday, the classic Grand Bar & Lounge is the archetypal hotel bar, is always buzzing with a stylish crowd, so if you plan on dining, it is advisable to book. Offering a selection of 50 rare American Whiskeys, carefully crafted cocktails in an environment of turned wood and marble makes the Soho Grand a must on any NYC trip.
10. Le Pain Quotidien – Soho 100 Grand Street
Le Pain Quotidien is an upmarket French styled chain and the one located in the heart of the Cast Iron Historic district of SoHo is well worth a visit. The ornate ceilings, original columns and floor-to-ceiling windows, all fit perfectly with Soho’s distinctively charming character. During warmer months, sit by the open windows and people watch over a latte, or when cooler pop into the cozy back dining room.