I don’t have an office, rather I have a coffee shop where my “co-workers” are writers and artists who set up their laptops and fuel their craft with cappuccinos and French pastries. Instead of oppressive silence or the symphony of fellow employees typing away on outdated keyboards, I have light jazz mixing with the sweet smell of coffee and the day’s bakery selection. Instead of a grey desk (God, how I hated my old desk) and a swivel chair that looked like it was from the 80s, I have a wooden high top table by the window where I am exposed to sunlight and the streets coming to life outside.


As a freelance journalist and full-time travel blogger, coffee shops have become one of my favorite places. I simply adore the little flowers that dot my “office” and the music that seems to inspire my writing as much as the caffeine that fuels it. When I used to commute to my office in downtown Manhattan, I used to walk past my local coffee shop and eye the people enviously as they leisurely sipped their lattes while typing away on their MacBooks. No commutes, no “checking in” with bosses before I leave, no late night projects or last minute asks – simply me, my coffee and my writing. New York City is bursting with coffee houses; consider this your definitive guide to New York’s BEST ones to sit and relax a while.


JOE Coffee Company


Tucked away on the corner of Waverly Street and Gay Street in the West Village is JOE Coffee, a coffee shop that serves up foamy cappuccinos and delicious pastries. Although you can find JOE Coffee around the city, the West Village location has a certain charm to it and seems to be more spacious than its counterparts.


La Maison du Macaron


Although not a dedicated coffee house per se, La Maison de Macaron is a wonderful spot to munch on macarons and other French  pastries while sipping on a cappuccino. La Maison de Macaron is close to Union Square on W. 23rd Street and offers a nice respite from this busy part of town. Coffee and pastries are served on silver platters and the wooden tables have little bouquet of flowers – it is a picturesque place that will make for a great treat (and some Instagram-worth snapshots)!


The Roost


My friend who lived on Avenue B in Manhattan’s East Village said it perfectly when she described The Roost: “tons of coffee places have opened and closed on this street, but The Roost is the one that stays.” The Roost is both a coffee lounge and a speakeasy with a bar hidden in the back in typical prohibition style and a coffee shop up front.


Ground Central Coffee


Sometimes it’s difficult to find a spot to relax in midtown Manhattan where the streets are overcrowded with tourists and cluttered with stores. Often, the only coffee spots you’ll find are Starbucks where the locations are small and meant for a quick order and quicker leave. Ground Central Coffee (love the play on words) is one of the best coffee houses in midtown to relax, write and find a respite from the city.


Birch Coffee


Birch Coffee is a popular coffee spot that is almost always crowded but worth the wait for their fantastic Kyoto drip iced coffee. If you can snag a seat, the coffee house plays great music and has that odd paradox of being both a relaxed setting with a high energy vibe.


Stumptown Coffee Roasters


Stumptown Coffee is Portland, Oregan’s artisan coffee company that made a splash when it opened in New York. There are two locations of Stumptown in the city – Greenwich Village near NYU and the Ace Hotel – but the NYU location is by far the better option as it is spacious and offers ample indoor and outdoor seating room. The pastries at Stumptown are perhaps the best part of this coffee house as they are sourced from some of the top places around the city, including Momofuku Milkbar, the Doughnut Plant and the Breslin.


Madame Sou Sou


Welcome to my “office” AKA Madame Sou Sou, my favorite coffee shop in New York City and the place where I can most often be found working on stories for both Travelettes and my blog, The Pin the Map Project. Tucked away in Astoria, Queens off of 31st Avenue, Madame Sou Sou has delicious pastries, quiche, coffee and always seems to be playing my favorite jazz music. With free WiFi and a friendly, local staff that doesn’t mind the writers and readers hanging out until closing time, I cannot recommend this place enough.


Gossip Coffee

Best Coffee Houses in New York City

Gossip Coffee just opened up in my neighborhood, Astoria, and I happen to absolutely love it. The cappuccinos are a bit smaller than the ones I tend to gravitate towards at Madame Sou Sou, but the pastries are phenomenal and they have an array of rice pudding to choose from. The best feature of Gossip Coffee is the coffee shop’s backyard with wooden benches to sit and type away while sipping on a coffee.


Sitting at a coffee shop in NYC is one of my favorite things – especially as summer gives way to autumn, tank tops are replaced with chunky knit sweaters and iced coffees are swapped for toasty drinks and pumpkin spice lattes. New York is home to plenty of coffee houses to discover at the end of some charming side street but if in doubt, these coffee spots will always offer delicious drinks, yummy pastries and a place to warm up and write.