But first, coffee.

If your heart skipped a beat like mine did upon seeing the picture above, then I am proud to tell you that you are, in fact, a coffee lover.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. No, my heart skipping a beat isn’t a result of having already consumed too much caffeine (though I’m not totally ruling this theory out…). It’s just an indication as to how much I love the drink that seemingly everybody runs on. In fact, 54% of Americans over the age of 18 drink coffee everyday.

I started drinking coffee when I was a sophomore in high school. It wasn’t for any specific reason, really. I guess I was just curious. Fast forward four years, and I am convinced that Zooey Deschanel, who said that she is made up of 80% coffee and a little bit of sass, is my spirit animal.

When I moved to the city that never sleeps (could this be a nod to how much coffee its people drink? No? Okay) two years ago, I made it my mission to find a few places that serve amazing coffee drinks, as well as provide a relaxing yet fun atmosphere.

Luckily, I have succeeded in finding some places that passed my test.

Cafe Lalo

The first one I’d like to mention is one of my favorite cafes of all time. Located on 201 West 83rd St., Cafe Lalo is the place to go no matter what time in the day it is.

I can personally vouch for Lalo’s expertly-made cappuccino and deliciously creamy cheesecake (which you can see me attractively indulging in below). Whether you are meeting some friends for brunch or in the mood to satisfy a late-night pastry craving, Lalo will live up to your expectations, no matter how high.

source: my personal photo

source: my personal photo

Interestingly enough, Cafe Lalo is famous for making a cameo in rom-com “You’ve Got Mail.” Here’s the clip from the movie, featuring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.


This brings me to Kahve. It is located in Hell’s Kitchen and described as a “coffee lounge.” It’s a charming and cozy cafe that offers an array of both generic and international coffee drinks (including Turkish and Cuban coffee). Time Out New York even dubbed its oatmeal raisin cookie one of the best in the city in 2012.

Although I love and take full advantage of  the wide selection of coffee drinks, my favorite aspect of Kahve has to be its red exposed brick wall. To me, it doesn’t get more NYC than that.

City Bakery

Although my next suggestion is a fairly recent find, I’d strongly advice you all to take my word on this one. City Bakery is located in Union Square (3 W 18th St. to be exact) and is a place that my friend and I stumbled upon when looking for a bakery that sold vegan baked goods.

source: my personal photo

source: my personal photo

Sure enough, we hit the jackpot with this one. As expected, I decided to try out their coffee and was pleasantly surprised. My friend was also really happy with her order of Earl Grey tea and a vegan chocolate chip cookie (take it’s non-existence in the picture below as evidence).

I am already looking forward to the next time I visit because I’ll be trying their tasty-looking hot chocolate, which they are apparently renowned for.

When I smell coffee, I think of home. And when living in a city as chaotic as New York, the comfort and familiarity of home is always welcome with open arms.


P.S. I know this is a food blog and this post is about coffee. I thought it’d be relevant to discuss anyways because to me, coffee is basically a food group. Oh, you too? Awesome.


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