Every Tuesday night, my online chess student will ask “What coffee shop are you at?”. While I work remotely, I find myself easily getting distracted at home, so I enjoy giving online chess lessons, drafting emails, and writing articles at a handful of Upper West Side coffee shops.
For the price of a cup of Joe, one can find a nice place to work with good coffee, WIFI and power outlets at Boule and Cherie, Filicori Zecchini, Blu Café and Starbucks for a few hours.
Boule & Cherie, located on Amsterdam Avenue and 67th street, has great La Columbe coffee, WIFI and pastries. While they have the normal selection of croissants and bagels, they also have interesting toasts, including one with Nutella and Strawberries. They have a mixture of high tables to work on and lounge-type chairs to converse in. This is an ideal spot to work at in the morning and afternoon, but they close fairly early.
The hidden Blu Café is located on 66th and Riverside Boulevard. Their coffee is good and their Wi-Fi works well but they do not have as many food choices. As it’s less well-known, it is often not too crowded. The main negative of this place is that it doesn’t have a restroom inside.
Filicori Zecchini is further uptown, on 95th and Broadway, across the street from Symphony Space. They have a lot of great food choices, including cookies, Burekas, yogurt and more. If you aren’t feeling like coffee, they also have a wide-selection of teas and other drinks.
While I love supporting these local coffee shops, the one pitfall with all three of them is that they close relatively early … between 6 and 7pm. So, sometimes I end up at Starbucks to teach evening lessons or do other evening work. The Starbucks locations on the Upper West Side range in closing times from 9pm to midnight. You should note that some of them, like the locations on 71st and Broadway and 83rd and Broadway, have outlets, but others (like the one on 66th and Amsterdam) do not.
If you’re looking for a great coffee shop to work at during the day, Boule and Cherie is likely the best overall option, with a good selection of tables, interesting food options and great coffee. In the event you are looking for a place to work in the evening, Starbucks could be a necessarily evil. If you don’t need power and it’s nice out, you can also try some outdoor hotspots like the one in Lincoln Square across the street from Century 21.
And if you’re looking for an official coworking space on the Upper West Side, check out KettleSpace at The Ribbon (at 20 West 72nd Street).