A lot of cafes have opened in the past few months. I didn’t make it to all of them, but these are my favorites out of the ones I did visit. This is a running series and the previous edition can be found here. Order is alphabetical.
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New specialty coffee shops continue to open in New York City at a furious rate, and I’ve given up trying to get to all of them. However, I still (eventually) make it to a lot of them and write about the ones that are special in some way, or fill a void in a previously underserved neighborhood.
The bulk of the cafes I’ve visited lately that have opened in the last few months are in Brooklyn, with a couple in Manhattan, and one in Queens. Collectively they use coffee from a striking variety of roasters, mostly local, but some further afield.
Ignoring the warnings of a Flushing food buddy that ingredient quality and preparation had taken a nosedive, I recently revisited the ungainly named but formerly reliable downtown Flushing standby, Hunan Kitchen of Grand Sichuan (HKGS), with a small group of repeat visitors for a late-night meal. Although I have at least 10 HKGS sojourns under my belt, it was my first since 2014, and I was shocked by how far it had fallen.
Sitting astride the Lafayette Ave subway entrance at the sharply-angled corner of Fulton Street and S Portland Ave, Greene Grape Annex is one of just a few specialty coffee shops in Fort Greene and caters to a wide cross section of the local population. Open late, they offer a full array of drinks: coffee during the day and local-focused craft beer, along with wine, and a full cocktail menu later on. In addition to morning baked goods, there is a cooked food menu which switches from breakfast dishes to lunchier items at noon and is served until closing, 9pm most days, 10pm Thursday through Saturday.
Driving on Grand St in Williamsburg a while back I spotted an intriguing storefront – an Asian grocery store with the words Indonesian and Malaysian on the awning. If you know much about these populations in New York City, you’ll know they are quite small, and the number of extant grocery stores serving them is proportionally tiny. As most Indonesians and Malaysians live in Queens, it piqued my interest further that this store would be here in East Williamsburg.
Occupying a former mechanic’s shop in a semi-desolate Bushwick micro-neighborhood, the open, inviting, sparsely-decorated Supercrown Coffee Roasters uses its industrial space in the best possible way. One of the partners, Darleen Scherer, brought her gorgeous design sense from Park Slope’s Gorilla Coffee, where she has since sold her stake.