Something I tend to obsess about in any major American city are coffee shops. In Europe we have cafes, which are just as great, but nothing beats a lazy afternoon with a large vanilla latte and a cream cheese bagel while staring at your laptop for 2 to 3 hours and possibly getting some work done. It’s a perfect place to daydream and refuel on caffeine.

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While in New York, I like to begin my days by sitting myself down in only the best of those coffeeshops and get some work done before launching into my day. Having tried out a respectable number of good coffeeshops around the big apple, I’d like to share with you my top 5.

1. Orchard 88 – a very typical NYC coffeeshop in lovely brown tones and a wide variety of food (try their breakfast!) and a perfect athmosphere. There is some outdoor seating and an extra room downstairs when it gets too full. Good overall vibes here and the french toast is probably the best I’ve had in my entire life. Only pitfall – the food menu served after 6pm is relatively unexciting. 88 Orchard Street

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2. Cake Shop – This place may not be to everyone’s taste, but it meets mine just fine with a raunchy indie-rock feel to it – a true Lower East Side gem. Everything about this place screams laid-back including the ripped leather couches and the somewhat bizarre illustrations on the walls. Staff here is smiley and there is a nice selections of drinks and cakes. Wireless is free and after 7pm there are bands playing in the basement. 152 Ludlow Street

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3. OST Cafe – Ost is a relatively recent addition to the East Village with charming French decor and excellent coffee. Big windows (which are open when it’s warm) make for great people watching. No computers allowed after 7, but free wireless for the rest of the day. 441 E 12th Street

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4. Pick me up – Just a block away from OST, Pick me up was voted best coffeeshop in New York even though the wireless here isn’t free. Its best feature are the open windows which basically turns the place into one big outdoor seating spot (with a roof). While OST has friendler staff, Pick me up has various options on bagels. 145 Avenue A

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5. Think coffee has 3 locations in the city, all of which are popular with students for the lazy vibes and the relaxed stay-as-long-as-you-like-even-when-all-youre-having-is-one-tea attitude. Think coffee hosts various events and art openings, listings on those are to be found on their website. Good coffee here, too and free wireless of course. Corner of Bowery and Bleecker St

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More suggestions on good coffeeshops are listed here and here. If you know of a good place and want to share it with us, we would love to hear about them in the comments.

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