Upper West Side coffee and tea have always been sources of fuel for our energetic reputation, but the quality of the morning Joe available has gotten even better over the years. Here are some Upper West Side places to get a great cup of brewed coffee or tea, a variety of espresso drinks, and beans or leaves to make more when you get home.
239 West 72nd Street, 2nd Floor
This Upper West Side teahouse opened in 2017. A calming space to enjoy your tea (not offered to-go), they are open from 11am-9pm and host cool events including live jazz performances. As of the time of this writing, they have 50 teas imported from China, but they plan to expand.
Giacomo Fine Foods
269 West 72nd Street
Giacomo is a small, charming store on the north west corner of 72nd and West End. Their iced coffee is thoroughly good. And it’s always nice to support one of our small businesses. This is the kind of place you “really want to like”, and luckily, you will! They have two benches outside if you want to get your order to stay, and they also make really great sandwiches (pictured below is my chicken cutlet with cheddar, lettuce, tomato and mayo on a soft roll).
Giacomo also offers some delightful desserts like brownies and cookies!
Joe, the Art of Coffee
514 Columbus, 187 Columbus, and 271 Amsterdam
This Upper West Side coffee joint can usually see a line out the door of this purveyor of excellent coffees. It’s well worth the wait, and it’s surprisingly easy to get a tiny table since most people are taking their coffee to go. There are a bunch of other locations throughout the city, including a newer branch near Columbia University. In addition to a wide variety of coffee drinks, there are teas, Italian sodas, and a small collection of lovely pastries, making it a great place for desserts on the Upper West Side — try the coconut macaroons.
Oren’s Daily Roast
112th and Broadway
Another New York mini-chain for the Upper West Side coffee lover is Oren’s, which serves fabulous coffees to go all over the East side and nearer to us at 112th and Broadway. They can advise you on and then sell you great beans, and also have a small array of pastries and candy bars. Aside from the perfect drip coffee, my favorite thing about Oren’s is their collection of coffee-brewing toys, from little Mokas for the stove-top and single-cup French-presses to fancy electric pots, and uniquely designed travel cups and hilariously funny statement mugs, some of which indicate on the bottom: “for best results, use other side.”
79th between Broadway and Amsterdam
Irving Farm has only two locations, the other is on Irving street, and ours has opened recently on 79th street between Amsterdam and Broadway. This is a great place to actually spend a few hours. They have great coffee they press for you individually, unique teas, and a host of homemade versions of popular childhood snacks like bark, smores, and peanut butter cups. They also have a regular food menu, but they welcome lingering at their long communal tables, which fill up with students and newspapers at times. If you walk just past the service counter you will discover a spacious and quiet back room for the more private Upper West Side coffee fan.
The Sensuous Bean
70th between CPW and Columbus
This shop on 70th off Columbus is tightly packed with coffees and teas of all descriptions, and the folks who work there seem to know every last detail about their inventory. Their website even invites people to come and ask questions about the imported and flavored coffees, and how to brew them for the best result. This is the likeliest place to find a really unusual or specific coffee bean without leaving the neighborhood.
Alice’s Tea Cup
73rd off Columbus Ave
This whimsical 73rd street cafe has a long tea menu and serves a proper tea with scones and cucumber sandwiches, or you can order off a long food menu that creatively highlights high-tea favorites by substituting savory scones into eggs benedict and making full-sized sandwich or salad offerings (your choice) out of typical finger sandwich fillings. The decor references Alice in Wonderland’s famous tea-party scene, and they happily host parties (unbirthdays, for example!) and on a typical weekend at brunch the place is alive with little girls in pink playing tea party, but with real tea and cakes. Make a reservation for 8, or be ready to wait.