Six Alternatives to Starbucks: Finding the Perfect Cup


Cup of Coffee For the coffee snobs out there - you know who you are.

Seeking more than just your average Starbucks experience?

Luckily, New York City is the home to a mélange of coffee shops and cafes. Throughout the city, little caffeine paradises can be discovered everywhere from Midtown to the Village. Each one is an adventure, and each one offers a tantalizing coffee sensation.

Over the last several years, Starbucks has continued to grow in size and power, but the experience for some people has been unsatisfactory. Many coffee drinkers have described Starbucks as not personal, tacky, too corporate and lacking good coffee. Little neighborhood coffee shops are becoming more popular, offering something new to each one of their guests.

But how do you choose one? Here are some coffee considerations:

Try the coffee: When you enter a coffee shop, you’re not just there to sit down and eat a sandwich. No – you’re there to become the owner of a sultry and intoxicatingly delicious cup of coffee. Whether you like it black or with cream, try the house specialty. Allow the flavors to deluge your taste buds with caffeinated happiness. Compare and contrast different shops. Continue to sample different styles until you find that perfect morning pick-me-up.

Atmosphere: Atmosphere is an essential variable that can make or break a restaurant. From the music to the servers, every component adds to the uniqueness of the coffee shop. Some coffee shops are simple with an outside bar and relaxed servers who joyfully conjure their coffee concoctions. Others have fun and approachable servers dressed in their own style and who are willing to talk about anything from life to music. Others are warm, comfortable, and quiet, allowing you to experience peaceful bliss. And unfortunately, others are just not.

These qualities need to be taken into consideration when searching for a coffee shop, and the right combination will provide for a wonderful get away for the rest of the year.  Here are some excellent coffee getaways for any occasion—first dates, hang outs, homework, journaling, reading, etc:

Stumptown Coffee Roasters (5th Avenue and 29th Street) – A lively coffee shop filled with friendly servers and a lively atmosphere. Featuring a lounge, it is the perfect place to come with friends to study or have a study group. The coffee is by far excellent, and the servers who make it are masterful.

Birch Coffee (5th Avenue and 27th Street)- Birch coffee is a hidden oasis in the middle of Manhattan. With a menu filled with delicious sandwiches and an excellent cup of coffee, they provide a wonderful place where you can come with friends for lunch without any hustle or bustle. If you need a quiet place to read or a place to forget about time, just climb up into their lofted library, and do not be afraid to spend the whole day there.

Think Coffee (4th Avenue and 13th Street)- When you walk into Think Coffee, you will find a fun and artist coffee shop perfect for a fun hang out with friends. The coffee is delectable, and they features coffee beans from around the world.

Guy and Gallard (34th Street and Madison)- Guy and Gallard is small café filled with delicious food and fantastic coffee. It is a perfect place to visit in between classes especially if you’re looking an affordable cup of coffee.

The Bean (10th Street and 6th Avenue)- The Bean is a charming and picturesque coffee shop. Offering a quiet place, you can truly find solace here and meet new, fun characters all the time. In many ways, it is like a small Parisian café just blocks away from Union Square.

The Bluebird (Houston Street and 1st Ave)- Hidden away in the Village is a wonderful little spot know as the Bluebird. With five tables, chairs, and an outdoor bar, its quaint atmosphere invites many weary New York travelers.