NEW YORK CITY CAFE OPENINGS – A RUNNING LIST

A running list of noteworthy new specialty coffee (and tea) cafes in New York City. Blurbs are in reverse date order.

3 LITTLE PIGS | FLUSHING, QUEENS

Feb 14, 2023
3 Little Pigs is the only coffee shop in the area southeast of downtown Flushing and the only specialty coffee shop in a many block radius. The fact that they serve Rabbit Hole Roasters, the Roast Magazine Micro Roaster of the Year 2023, makes them unique even in New York City as a whole; afaik no other cafe uses it as their everyday coffee. Despite their coffee’s pedigree, this is a shop firmly devoted to the average coffee consumer – a shot of espresso isn’t even on the menu, although they did make me one. There are all kinds of lattes and flavored drinks as well as bubble teas and fruit teas. Interestingly, the food menu is almost entirely onigiri (Japanese rice balls) along with a selection of sweet and savory croissants and egg tarts.
[Instagram | Google Maps]

POSTCARD | WEST VILLAGE, MANHATTAN

Feb 9, 2024
I appreciate that West Village bakery, Postcard, by the same team as next door restaurant, Nami Nori, didn’t phone it in when it came to the drinks side of their menu, choosing specialty roaster, Coffee Project NY, which works with a lot of Asian-owned cafes and restaurants, and Greenpoint’s Kettl, a Japanese tea specialist. The small bakery is stunning and is crammed with beautiful design touches, like the plastic replica of a Japanese post box that holds menus. They offer a compact menu of sandwiches, cakes and other baked items, most of them Japanese-inpired (and sized).
[Instagram | Google Maps | Website]

THE ALCHEMIST’S KITCHEN | SOHO, MANHATTAN

February 3, 2024
SoHo’s coffee scene just got a serious upgrade as The Alchemist’s Kitchen, a self-described plant apothecary, debuted their coffee program featuring Loveless Coffees, roasted in Bushwick, at their Elixir Bar.
[Instagram | Google Maps | Website]

GATHER CAFE | LOWER EAST SIDE, MANHATTAN

January 20, 2024 (soft opening)
Gather Cafe is a large Orchard St spot on a quiet block primarily populated with galleries and vestiges of both Chinatown’s northward expansion and the street’s former identity as the neighborhood’s discount shopping thoroughfare. They serve coffee and coffee drinks using modern Italian roaster Niccolo, based in Melbourne but planning a huge US expansion, smoothies, Viennoiseries made in-house, and a creative sandwich and salad menu conceptualized and cooked by on-site chef, Sol.
[Instagram | Google Maps | Website]

BIBLIOTHEQUE | SOHO, MANHATTAN

December 2019, 2023
Opened by a Manhattan plastic surgeon and his son, coffee shop, wine bar, and bookstore Bibliotheque leans heavily into the wine and books and definitely belongs in SoHo, if you peruse the last two years of their Instagram prior to opening date – lots of wine research in Italy, yachts, and parties. You enter into a claustrophobic hallway with seating to the left and a bar to the right; this opens in the rear into a high-ceilinged room with floor to ceiling books and lots of couches and high-backed banquettes. Impressive but not necessarily attractive, although the hordes of customers would beg to differ. It looks like they evaluated Onyx at one point but have settled on an ashy roast from Gardelli.
[Instagram | Google Maps | Website]

COFFEE PROJECT NY | FINANCIAL DISTRICT, MANHATTAN

December 19, 2023
It’s hard to believe that Kaleena Teoh and Chisum Ngai were newbies to the coffee world when they opened their first shop in the East Village in 2015. I’ll wax rhapsodic about their meteoric rise at another time, but suffice it to say that this new Financial District shop will not be their last. I haven’t been yet, but I assume this location will follow their standard drink / pastry / food playback.
[Instagram | Google Maps | Website]

CHE | BEDFORD STUYVESANT, BROOKLYN

December 10, 2023
Adam Keita, a partner in recently closed cafe / wine bar, Daughter, along with four other partners, has opened Che, an all-day vegetarian / vegan restaurant and wine bar with a focus on quality coffee. I scored a great shot of Sey espresso on the first day. Uncommon, roasted in Amsterdam, will be on the menu soon for batch brew.
[Instagram | Google Maps]

BAKERI | RIDGEWOOD, QUEENS

December 1, 2023
The owner of Bakeri, Nina Brondmo, has her finger on the gentrification pulse, opening her design forward, Nordic-tinged bakeries in locations that initially are somewhat off the beaten path but then find themselves right in the middle of the action after a number of years. They serve fairly well made coffee from Parlor Coffee, but the main draw is the panoply of baked goods and breads.
[Instagram | Google Maps | Website]

KAPE KATORCE (KC14 COFFEE) | FORT GREENE, BROOKLYN

December 1, 2023
Coffee Roasters Kape Catorce, helmed by Jewel and Jessica Martin-Ballard, partners in business as well as life, opened their first cafe (or at least a long-running popup with an undefined ending) in Fort Greene near the western edge of Myrtle Ave. The multi-use space, Locals BKNY, has a mysterious website.
[Instagram | Google Maps | Website]

KIJITORA EAST | WILLIAMSBURG, BROOKLYN

December 1, 2023
Japanese cafe Kijitora’s second Williamsburg branch (the first is in the Coat of Arms boutique on Driggs Ave) occupies the half-basement spot previously held by As You Like offshoot, My Coffee & Cream, which lasted only a year. They serve 95 RPM Coffee, roasted in East Williamsburg, and a slate of creative tea drinks.
[Instagram | Google Maps | Website]

KATAN | RIDGEWOOD, QUEENS

November 28, 2023
This homegrown northern Ridgewood spot, in a previously unserved neighborhood, uses Loveless Coffees, roasted in Bushwick, and serves a small savory food menu in addition to the standard slate of pastries. The shop is furnished with mismatched thrift store furniture, a tin ceiling that almost overcomes the brutality of the linoleum floor, macrame plant holders and a quality rear art nook replete with sofa.
[Instagram | Google Maps]

D&A COFFEE | SUNSET PARK, BROOKLYN

Nov 13, 2023
There are no specialty cafes of merit anywhere near this spot, so just by opening, D&A | Coffee in my DNA (not sure if this is a play on words or just muddled branding – their Google Maps name is DNA Coffee Lounge) instantly became the best coffee shop in an approximately one mile radius. Although not as darkly atmospheric as their socials would suggest, it’s still a nice cafe, run by nice people, and they use good equipment, set up by their coffee purveyor, Coffee Project NY.
[Instagram | Google Maps ]

MIOMIO | SOHO WEST, MANHATTAN

November 1, 2023 (approximate)
Miomio is located on the ground floor of one of the new West SoHo high rises, on a side street devoid of character, and is a spinoff of high quality Japanese restaurant, Hirohisa. The cafe is down a few steps from street level and occupies a space that looks like it was meant to be a boiler room or some such, with pipes jutting out of the wall and running along the ceiling. Despite that, the cafe has a certain elegance; coffee and tea are served in antique china, and the staff wear designer uniforms. The wonderful food and sweets, in Japanese-sized portions, are all made in house. The coffee is brutal – stick to tea.
[Instagram | Google Maps | Website]

SORATE | SOHO, MANHATTAN

October 14, 2023
Sorate was opened by a couple from Italy who learned about and fell in love with Japanese tea culture in Kyoto. The shop’s aesthetic is spare, in just the right way, and their tea-making skills are top notch. I visited before the full food menu, but the cookies from Patisserie Fouet are delicate and not over sweet.
[Instagram | Google Maps | Website]

PEACE CAFE | BEDFORD STUYVESANT, BROOKLYN

Sep 23, 2023
A social enterprise of the Brooklyn Peace Center, Peace Cafe hopes to “build community, provide employment opportunities in the neighborhood, and create an earned revenue stream to support the operational and programmatic costs of Brooklyn Peace Center.” A homegrown-looking cafe somewhat reminiscent of a fraternity basement bar, Peace Cafe rises above by dint of the serious coffee chops of head barista/coffee director, Javier Rodriguez. If you stop by you might find yourself on the receiving end of something from his personal stash; their house coffee is imported from Colombia by klatsch regular, The Marquesina Coffee.
[Instagram | Google Maps ]

BBF | LOWER EAST SIDE, MANHATTAN

Sep 17, 2023
The attractively-decorated BBF has a counter that is great for reading. They bake their own bread and serve coffee during the daytime before converting to an izakaya at night. BBF’s namesake is East Williamsburg’s Brooklyn Ball Factory, a Japanese eatery and cafe that’s been around for 10 years. Brooklyn Ball Factory is also home to coffee roaster 95 RPM, which is used by many Japanese businesses in New York City including BBF.
[Instagram | Google Maps | Website]

(NOTHING COMES) BEFORE COFFEE | SOUTH WILLIAMSBURG, BROOKLYN

September 1, 2023
Before Coffee – which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense until you prefix the name with the unstated (Nothing Comes) – is a tiny, bare bones South Williamsburg shop that opened in the fall (in the old Mountain Province space) and obviously fills a need based on the number of customers who walk through the door in any given time period. Two loveseats sit adjacent to a large coffee table near the door, and that’s the only seating. The coffee menu is pretty basic and includes a few specialty drinks, all made with Parlor‘s garden variety offerings, but the baked goods are all created in-house except for the croissants. The egg tart is quite good and better than many others in town.
[Instagram | Google Maps]

DAYGLOW | BUSHWICK, BROOKLYN

Aug 25, 2023 | Sep 16, 2023
By far the most anticipated New York City specialty coffee opening since Denmark’s La Cabra landed on our shores on October 1, 2021, Los Angeles import Dayglow (which has a nighttime alcoholic alter ego, Niteglow) has two start dates, because due to getting screwed over by their landlord, they initially opened in the garage adjacent to the current shop while completing the finishing touches on the actual space. Dayglow is an over-the-top, multi-roaster shop just south of the East Williamsburg border with an extreme selection of beans for purchase along with an extreme selection of different coffees available on pourover – usually around 10 or so. They also have a huge menu of coffee mocktails. At night, they become Niteglow and while they still serve coffee, craft beer is on offer along with some no-longer-mocktails.
[Instagram | Google Maps | Website]

ENSŌ | PARK SLOPE, BROOKLYN

August 20, 2023
Named after the Zen Buddhism symbol, Park Slope’s Ensō is a cozy, living room style cafe on a north slope side street, a perfect space for reading and contemplating the circle of life. The gluten free cakes look amazing, and while I was there, a customer was telling the owner how much he loved them. The medium/dark roast coffee is private labeled; cold brew is from Superlost.
[Instagram | Google Maps]

SECRET COFFEE | EAST WILLIAMSBURG, BROOKLYN

Aug 11, 2023
Nestled in the hideous environs of the Broadway Mall (a grandiose name for this structure), Secret Coffee is accurately named. A musicians’ side project, Secret purveys an array of clothing and other objects, while serving up Canada’s 94 Celsius, Brandywine, and some other roasters.
[Instagram | Google Maps | Website]

COFFEE FOR SASQUATCH | NOLITA, MANHATTAN

Aug 4, 2023
Los Angeles import Coffee for Sasquatch has some seriously eye-catching digs, one of the most beautiful cafe spaces to open in recent memory. This spot on the southern edge of Nolita opened with some decidedly un-LA coffee, New York City-roasted mid-market specialty coffee Partners, then switched to a combination of Troy, NY’s Touchy and San Francisco’s Ritual. But then they fired the whole staff and were closed for a few days. I’m not sure what they’re using now or if it’s still the same.
[Instagram | Google Maps | Website]

DAE | CARROLL GARDENS, BROOKLYN

Aug 2, 2023
Carroll Gardens objet-filled, high concept Korean cafe Dae serves a fairly long, dark roast espresso from Korea’s Anthracite Coffee Roasters that’s not my cup of toxic waste, but the menu is chock full of other items unique to New York City cafe menus, such as shiso tea, that I’m happy to keep returning for. House dog BaoBao has a forbidding stare but supposedly welcomes pets. Prices are on the high side, something reflected in their online reviews.
[Instagram | Google Maps | Website]

A&C SUPER | WILLIAMSBURG, BROOKLYN

July 9, 2023
A&C Super is a tiny takeout coffee bar, bakery and breakfast / lunch spot that uses coffee from Redux, roasted at Pulley Collective by the people behind Mixtape Bushwick. The space is attractive, with pretty design touches, breakfast sandwiches are great, and they bake all of their own laminated pastries plus a whole lot more. There’s a nice backyard space as well.
[Instagram | Google Maps | Website]

KUA BORI COFFEE LOUNGE | ASTORIA, QUEENS

July 1, 2023
Opened by a volleyball Olympian, Kua Bori Coffee Lounge is situated across from Astoria’s Socrates Sculpture Park in the ground floor of a new luxury apartment building. Modern and high-ceilinged, with expanses of white and concrete, the large space sports a stairway up to a small second level lounge which will eventually be built out into a cocktail bar. With a full food menu and in-house pastries, they’re the only cafe in New York City using famed Massachusetts roaster Little Wolf as their house coffee, and if they extracted it a little better, it could be a destination spot. As is, it’s a great resource for the neighborhood.
[Instagram | Google Maps]

LARRY’S CÀ PHÊ | EAST WILLIAMSBURG, BROOKLYN

June 18, 2023
Replacing the long-running Tarpit, this was a peaceful handover, with Larry’s, a Vietnamese-influenced cafe, retaining the same Pulley Coffee-roasted beans.
[Instagram | Google Maps | Website]

CHOLITA | RIDGEWOOD, QUEENS

June 17, 2023
Cholita is run by a passionate, second generation Ecuadorian from Astoria, Bryan Siranaula. Cholita uses beans from both Athens, GA roaster Choco Coffee, which sources exclusively from Ecuador, and
Ridgewood neighbor, nano-roaster Obscure Coffee. The menu features some well-thought-out specialty drinks that showcase Mr Siranaula’s Andean roots.
[Instagram | Google Maps]

LAOBRA BREWCAFÉ | EAST WILLIAMSBURG, BROOKLYN

June 3, 2023
Occupying a newly-renovated East Williamsburg warehouse building, Laobra Brew is one branch of the Laobra tree, to paraphrase the inspirational words from founder Michel Oscar Monegro on the company’s about page. Open to the public (as long as you have the secret handshake) only on select Saturdays, the rest of the time the gorgeous cafe space is part of Laobra Studios. Serving coffee from Sey, they do a pretty good job with it considering the constraints placed on the baristas by only being here intermittently.
[Instagram | Google Maps | Website]

ELM ROASTERY | ELMHURST, QUEENS

May 27, 2023
Everyone who thinks they should only open cafes in “cool” neighborhoods should take a look at Elm Roastery, which opened in a part of Queens that had never seen a specialty coffee shop much less a roastery. From day one it was jammed to the gills and this has continued to present day. When I visited in early June the gas hadn’t been turned on yet for the roaster, so I didn’t get to taste their product, but what I did have was fairly well prepared, if a bit roasty for me. (It’s not related to Seattle’s Elm Coffee Roasters.)
[Instagram | Google Maps | Website]

LA CABRA | SOHO, MANHATTAN

May 26, 2023
The (for now) US flagship coffee venue of the famed Denmark coffee roaster which first landed on our shores with their East Village bakery on October 1, 2021. The SoHo shop is the first step in a massive US expansion – sometime in 2024 their Bushwick roastery will open.
[Instagram | Google Maps | Website]

WANDERING BARMAN | EAST WILLIAMSBURG, BROOKLYN

May 23, 2023
East Williamsburg’s Wandering Barman serves the company’s signature bottled cocktails at night and decided to open during the day with a coffee program headed up by a bartender who is also a coffee expert, Samantha Sun. She chose Loveless Coffees as the mainstay, but you’ll also see roaster par excellence, Standout Coffee in the mix.
[Instagram | Google Maps | Website]

EARLY YVES | BEDFORD STUYVESANT, BROOKLYN

March 25, 2023
Sporting a beautiful Alan Aine work on the side of the building, Early Yves is an an offshoot of their Albuquerque, New Mexico place with the same name. Apparently the owners fell in love with this part of Brooklyn and decided to open a business here. While they do use a specialty coffee roaster previously unknown to New York City, coffee is not something they focus on in their online presence; their main goal is building community, and they have become very popular in their under-served part of Bedford Stuyvesant.
[Instagram | Google Maps ]

HONEY MOON COFFEE | RIDGEWOOD, QUEENS

March 4, 2023
Like it was always there, already bustling Honey Moon Coffee Shop opened today on the corner of Onderdonk & Bleecker in Ridgewood. Their coffee is self-roasted under the Coffee Honey Moon moniker. An art-oriented cafe, they feature a large book area in the back with books provided by Bushwick neighbors Molasses Books, wonderful wall art (@yusukehorsejeanokada), and a record nook, along with an attractive retail shelf.
[Instagram | Google Maps | Website]

PASSIONFRUIT COFFEE | BEDFORD STUYVESANT, BROOKLYN

February 26, 2023
Passionfruit Coffee is a beautiful new cafe just off the corner of Patchen & Madison in Bedford Stuyvesant, close to the Bushwick border. They make all of their baked goods in-house, and the coffee is sourced from Idaho’s Doma. The dark roast doesn’t do it for me — but it might be your cup of tea.
[Instagram | Google Maps | Website]

WILD RABBIT COFFEE | EAST VILLAGE, MANHATTAN

February 12, 2023
Wild Rabbit Coffee is a narrow East Village shop with a variety of Chinese-influenced drinks and food items, a fairly serious coffee program using Sey, roasted in East Williamsburg, and a small back counter that seats around five people.
[Instagram | Google Maps | Website]

CURRENT COFFEE | BOWERY MARKET | NOHO, MANHATTAN

January 16, 2023
This somewhat ramshackle outdoor spot in NoHo’s Bowery Market, which is really just a semi-enclosed space with a few food businesses, the most noteworthy being the excellent Kettl Tea – serves Share Coffee (not to be confused with NYC’s Shared Roasting) out of Amherst, MA, along with some other rotating roasters.
[Instagram | Google Maps]

DO NOT FEED ALLIGATORS | WEST VILLAGE, MANHATTAN

December 22, 2022
Named after the owner’s (David Shama) photography book, Do Not Feed Alligators was an instant smash hit. A design-forward cafe that’s serious about coffee, they’re a multi-roaster shop but keep their nerdiness under wraps. They opened with pastries and bread from La Cabra, tarts from Barachou, and non-cooked daytime food that you don’t often find at New York coffee shops, such as a great cheese board. In quick succession they added nighttime cocktails and wine and now have a small scale restaurant a few nights a week. The photo above is from opening day – it’s evolved since then.
[Instagram | Google Maps | Website]