licks picks4 min read

Five inspiring cafes for a coffee date in New York City

Felix coffee roasters New York City

WordsIlana Dadras


Advanced roasting techniques, international selections of sustainably sourced coffee, stunning interiors, and lattes masquerading as works of art… you’ll find some of the most exciting places for a caffeine fix in New York City—and some of the most beautiful, too. While you can grab a strong cup of coffee on every corner, there are some places where the design is just as special as the brew. From Park Avenue to Bushwick, and everywhere in between, here’s where to have a coffee date in New York City.

A walk around the West Village—but first, coffee at Old Rose

Tucked inside the gorgeous and historical Jane Hotel, Old Rose is the perfect spot to grab a coffee (or espresso martini) before a walk through the West Village. It’s an all-day cafe shaded in tones of white, grey, and black, with plenty of plants and an abstract-patterned banquette circling the space.

Designed by The Jane's hotelier himself, Sean MacPherson, whose other projects include The Bowery Hotel & The Ludlow Hotel, it has a sophisticated yet playful vibe. Larger-than-life illustrated murals by artist Stefano Castronovo adorn the walls, with abstract Picasso-esque characters imbibing, playing music, and otherwise living their best lives. And while The Jane is known for its late-night bar scene, Old Rose makes a great case for stopping by midday instead for a coffee or pastry.

Old Rose Coffee Shop New York City
Image credit: Time Out

Bask in the beauty of Felix Roasting Co. 

Famed interior designer Ken Fulk is known for his colourful, fanciful, and arguably over-the-top style, and his work for Felix Roasting Company is no exception. Step under pastel pink marble arches, across an artfully patterned floor that brings to mind ancient mosques, and up to a curved wooden bar. Brass coffee accessories complement the colours of the space, while a stunning floral arrangement and coffee machine compete for your eyes’ attention.

The space is lit by fringed chandeliers that cast a warm glow on the deep blue Renaissance-esque murals and patrons sipping coffee cocktails with chocolate-nut rims and burnt marshmallow garnishes. Should you stick with a cup of drip, know that they’ve got almond milk on tap for self-service. Sound a little “extra”? It most certainly is.

Felix Roasting Co
Image credit: Felix Roasting Co
Felix Roasting Co
Image credit: Felix Roasting Co

See for yourself at Sey, the ‘Best Coffee Shop in America’ 

Bushwick’s Sey is an airy warehouse with a commitment to sustainability and a no-tip policy that has made headlines. They take a thoughtful approach from farm to shop, barista to customer, earning themselves the title “Best Coffee Shop in America" by Food and Wine in 2019.

The space has a very modern-day Brooklyn feel. A glass-panel front window rolls up to let the breeze in, while numerous large skylights flood the cavernous space with natural light—it’s no wonder the abundance of tropical plants are thriving. It’s a good place to bring your laptop and work at one of the long communal desks, or meet someone promising for a coffee date fueled by Ethiopian bean brews with a “ripe peach sweetness.”