Let´s get one think out of the way already: I don´t drink coffee. I have nothing against it, I actually have tried to become a coffee drinker. The thing is…my stomach had other plans, always giving me terrible pains after a couple of sips. Luckily, he had nothing against tea or sweets so…YAY, I can still have fun at Coffee Shops. In fact, visiting cute Cafés that offer a relaxing atmosphere and delicious goodies became my favorite thing to do. It is also a great way to start your day slow outside the hotel when visiting another city.
In my most recent trip to New York, I found out some really charming coffee shops worth of a stop. Today, I´m sharing them with you! I mean, if you are taking a break to rest your legs anyways, it might as well be at a cozy place with delicious drinks and treats!
Like most of the shops, I found Urban Backyard on Instagram. It looked absolutely adorable with a lot of plants around and a sustainable theme. But it also looked very, VERY, small. So we knew the best chance we would have to enjoy the place in peace was to show up early in the morning.
I´m very thankful for the jetlag, which allowed us to be there at 7:15 am. We actually almost missed the entrance because it´s so discreet! But it fits well in the entire Urban Backyard’s´ concept: this coffee place is simple, friendly, and full of love in every single detail. We never felt this cozy in a Café!
The atmosphere is really the one of being in someone´s welcoming backyard. There´s a lot of wood, summer lights hanging from the ceiling, greeneries and eco-friendly products. By the way, don´t miss the vintage floor tiles on the door´s entrance, which are very unique!
What is also worth a million pictures are their mini cupcakes and macaroons. Even Mathias, who normally rolls his eyes when I get excited with pretty food, fell in love. The cupcakes are designed as small yards with cactus, flowers and succulent plants. It´s a poem on a plate, really. The macaroons are just as cute, “dressed up” as girly cactus. It´s almost too pretty to eat! (I said almost!) They also offer homemade pastries like croissants, bagels, and tarts.
The beverages´ menu is very diverse and you will feel like having a sip of everything. Apart from the normal coffee selection like espresso, macchiato and cappuccino, you can also find a nice tea menu with real flowers, and many interesting latte options, which are usually my favorite! Don´t you like when people get creative and you have different offers than your normal plain drink? Here you will find choices like rose (it comes with rose petals!), lavender, ube, turmeric, pumpkin spice, matcha, peppermint and masala latte. I had the pumpkin and I enjoyed it until the last sip. Mathias had a normal espresso and he said it was the best he ever had.
This is definitely the kind of place I could spend hours eating, working and drinking!
When I found this coffee shop, I just couldn´t believe it. Colorful drinks with the cutest Japanese-like animal designs, mouth watering waffles with fruits and ice cream, and bingsoo. Wait, bing what? I´m not sure you wanna know what this is all about, because it could be addictive. So, proceed reading at your own risk.
Bingsoo is a dessert made out of shaved ice and an extensive list of possible toppings. This is Sweet Moment´s signature dessert, and the reason why most of the people come here. The combinations are just heavenly! Take the Mango and Cheesecake Bingsoo, for example. It is composed of fresh mango, cereal, vanilla ice cream, milk shaved ice, cheesecake, rice cake and condensed milk. Not convinced? What about trying the Choco oreo, made of crushed oreo, dark chocolate syrup, rice cake, brownie pieces, chocolate ice cream, and milk shaved ice cream?
You can also try the Asian flavors, since you are in the middle of Chinatown anyways. They offer taro (sweet potato), matcha with cheesecake, and black sesame with red beans. There are, additionally, the seasonal fruity bingsoos like melon and watermelon, which are a great option for summertime – they are served with generous amounts of fresh fruit.
The waffles are a great option for those with a sweeter tooth, and the combinations are seriously no joke. On the menu, you will find, for example, the honey cinnamon banana waffle and the ricotta berry waffle. What I love about this coffee place is how inventive they are, always trying to include a hint of Asian flavors, like in the strawberry and matcha sauce waffle. By the way, they also have very tasty savory options like the avocado chicken and the salmon waffles.
Talking about being creative, what made me put this Café on my must-go list was their coffee art. Apart from offering a normal selection of coffee and teas (some with a twist, like the black sesame latte), they have what they call the “creamart” options. The “creamart” drinks have a base of cold milk tea or cold coffee with a flavored cream topping. You can choose from chocolate, matcha, red velvet, taro or thai. The drawings on the colored cream are just the most adorable I have seen on a drink!
Sweets Moments definitely has a killer recipe to cure those days of bad mood!
A flower shop and a bakery? Sounds good to me! I actually don´t know why we don´t see more of these. I find the idea just genius. You can go in, have a cup of coffee with a friend, and leave with a beautiful flower arrangement for your house. Or, you can go in to buy a gift for someone, and while you wait for the bouquet to be prepared, you sit down and have a croissant with a hot chocolate.
A friend who is a New Yorker told us this a new trend there, but Remi remains the most famous flower shop & Café in the city. I can definitely see why. It´s small, cozy, relaxing and whimsical, with all the flowers and plants embellishing the store. It´s amazing how comforting can a hot beverage be paired up with such beautiful natural surroundings.
Among the beverage selection, you will find espresso drinks like americano, cortado, and cappuccino. They also offer loose leaf teas such as camomile, peppermint and jasmine. I actually really like that they work with loose leaf tea, which is supposedly a lot healthier than the usual tea bags. As specialties, they sell many different flavours of latte like beet, rose, berry rose, butterfly pea, lavender and turmeric. I had the beet and though I couldn´t really taste the beet itself, it was very good! Tip: if you are after an instagrammable pic, definitely order the lavender one!
The food changes every day. But it´s usual for them to have croissants, muffins, chocolate, madeleines, canelés, cakes and other sweet filled-pastries. Nobody in our group ate because we had just had lunch, but all the pastries looked very inviting. I remember seeing they had rose croissant and I felt really tempted. I just love the idea of combining food with flowers!
Like a sign says at the door, “flowers are restful to look at. They have neither emotions nor conflicts – Sigmund Freud”. If Freud had come to the idea of opening such a place back then, I bet he wouldn´t have had that any patients, lol. Warm drinks can keep our stomach warm, but nature can heal our souls.
Bibble & Sip is a coffee shop and a bakery whose owners knew exactly what to do in order to attract customers in a very competitive city like New York. Truth be told: you won´t find anything there that you probably can find in some other places. They serve, for example, macaroons, cakes and fruit tarts. I do challenge you, though, to find these same desserts as pretty and full of details as they do at Bibble & Sip. I´m yet to find competition.
Their macaroons and cakes are little pieces of fun pop art. You can find pigs, alpacas and characters from Japanese culture like Totoro and Hello Kitty. The cakes are meticulously decorated with pearls, hearts and delicate macaroons. Needless to say, the alpaca mousse is the one that stole my heart! This cake is in the shape of the cutest alpaca head, with its fluffy hair and ears. The apricot and peach cake is also a delight for the eyes, looking like a perfect peach sitting on top of a base. Spoiler: nope, the peach is not real!
Another trendy dessert here is the puffs. The puffs are basically pastries filled up with a super soft cream. They reminded me a lot of the French choux, just, you know, in American size! You can choose from a variety of flavors like matcha white chocolate , cookies n´ cream, earl grey vanilla cream and hazelnut. Make sure you get enough napkins!
The drinks match the lovely desserts, by the way. Their cream art is very pretty and looks effortless. The beverage selection is also very nice ranging from normal espresso to yummy matcha jasmine latte. Some come with Japanese cartoon characters´ foam art and they are just adorable! For the warmer days, they also offer a nice selection of cold drinks including lemonades and iced versions of coffee, tea and lattes.
Though most of the people come here to satisfy their daily sugar rush need, you also find non sweet options. Quiches, savory muffins and croissants are, like their desserts, baked daily on the spot.
Set your table with an alpaca mousse, a few cartoon macaroons, a puff, a matcha latte and a raspberry mascarpone cheese croissant (yep, if you are lucky, you can find those!). Instant Instagram boost!
Butler Bakeshop has that old-timer clean vibe we all love. The decoration mixes shades of blue, leather seats and golden tables. I wouldn´t say it´s a super cozy place, though….it´s more about open space and the view. Oh, the view! That´s what makes this coffee place super instagrammable!
Located right next to the Brooklyn Bridge, the seats on the right edge of the shop have a privileged view of this New York landmark. Sundays´ breakfast at industrial Brooklyn never looked so charming!
There are definitely many edible interesting choices to complement your picture with the view. For breakfast, they offer acai bowl, warm oatmeal, avocado toast, parfait and the delicious breakfast sandwich. For lunch, you can order wraps, salads, sandwiches or soup. You should definitely leave some room for dessert, since I believe they are the star here. No wonder. The bakeshop´s kitchen is actually led by Michelin starred pastry chef Ryan Butler.
Among the many dessert options, you can choose a sticky date muffin – made with almond flour, coffee, dates and apricot jam -, a devil´s foodcake – with chocolate banana cream -, or a super food ball – containing blueberries, sunflower seeds, almonds, cherries and honey. I had the morning glory muffin, with carrot, coconut, pineapple, vanilla bean and passionfruit cream cheese icing. I gotta be honest and say that I didn´t expect much of it, since it sounded like a “crowded” dessert with too many flavors in it, but…..It was a-b-s-o-l-u-t-e-l-y delicious! A Michelin starred chef couldn´t have gotten it wrong anyways!
When it comes to drinks, you will find more common options in comparison with other coffee shops here already mentioned. You can drink coffee, tea, juice, soft drinks or coconut water. The most interesting thing I found on the beverage menu was the turmeric and ginger latte. Anyways, Mathias had a normal double espresso and said it tasted really good! By the way, they sell their brand coffee on the spot, as well as Butler shop coffee cups. I seriously fell in love with the cups, which come in special colors like baby pink, turquoise and prussian/cadet blue.
Here you will also experience Brooklyn like a New Yorker. We were the first to arrive on a Sunday morning and we watched many locals come by (one in pj´s!) with their dogs and order their morning coffee from the pick up window.
The only thing we didn´t not appreciate in this Café is that it was definitely too cold inside. We were not sure if the cold air was coming from the pick up window or if the ventilation was turned on inside. In any case, come wearing warm clothes so you don´t have to wear your jacket inside and still feel warm enough. After all, the view is so iconic that you will want to stay long!