12.23.2009

Sipping in the City

"Given enough coffee, I could rule the world."
Author Unknown

Believe it or not, I was not always the coffee lover that I am today. In fact, if memory serves me correctly, it was just shy of three years ago that I was turning my nose up at the steaming cups of caffeine, refusing to so much as smell the muddy blend let alone allow it to pass my lips. Even at this stage of the game, as much as I adore a kick of java every few hours, I can’t credit myself with being a coffee connoisseur or aficionado in any way, shape, or form; I’m simply a passionate individual with a desire to sip on something warm and cozy – a beverage synonymous with the comforts of a well-loved knit sweater. The fact that it helps me to get through the day…well, that’s just frosting on the cupcake!

But I digress; admittedly I would never survive without a cup of Joe early in the morning, or a calming cappuccino in the afternoon, or even an invigorating mug of hot chocolate right before bed. How I ever survived without such luxurious concoctions is truly unfathomable.

For me, warm beverages are the equivalent of an old friend re-entering one’s world, or a cute boy doing something unexpectedly romantic just to make you smile. They are a part of the simplicities in life that make one’s existence enchanting, charming, and magnificent with a singular sip. Therefore it is truly no surprise that I have my favorites; Toffee Hot Chocolate, White Chocolate Coffee, and Pumpkin Pie Lattes being amongst my most beloved brews. But I’ve learned over time that savoring such delicacies in the privacy of one’s home can often leave a bitter taste in the drinker’s mouth.

"No coffee can be good in the mouth that does not first send a sweet offering of odor to the nostrils."
Henry Ward Beecher

It may sound silly. Perhaps a whimsical notion, you might say; but it’s the truth. I feel that ambiance and a charming surrounding truly do play roles in how much or how little an individual enjoys ones warm drink du jour. Cobblestoned patios add character; brick walls provide history; and very light jazz music murmuring in the background establishes old-fashion noir and glamour. Thus, when I find myself navigating the concrete jungle that is New York, I do not seek out, or comb various neighborhoods searching for the most commercialized, well-known coffee shops.

In a city as full of life and personality as New York I see these locations as clichéd. When experiencing a new place, it is best to immerse yourself in the culture and aestheticism that you would be unable to experience anywhere else. Therefore I rummage for regal little gems with the ability to tantalize my taste buds and proffer an ambrosial atmosphere. These are just three of my absolute favorites.

"No one can understand the truth until he drinks of coffee’s frothy goodness."
Sheikh Abd-al-Kadir

Red Horse Café – Park Slope, Brooklyn. Despite the fact that I think of Park Slope’s Red Horse Café as a blogger’s paradise, I am truly not being biased by stating that this is one of my favorite little places to hide out in whenever I find myself in New York. Located on the corner of 12th Street and 6th Avenue, Red Horse Café is, without a doubt, one of the most darling places I have ever found myself dwelling in. Due to the fact that it’s located in Brooklyn, you have the New York City cultivation and attitude, coupled with the captivating quaintness most often seen in the suburbs – a fact that is pinpointed by the tree-lined streets visible through the windows; hence, you get the best of both worlds.

But outer sights don’t even begin to compare with the beauty found right within Red Horse. The walls are lined with pieces created by the hands of local artists; while overstuffed couches, armchairs, café tables, and window-mounted bars with stools create heavenly seating options for everyone. The true charm of Red Horse, however, comes from the fact that it’s a multifaceted venue that serves yummy iced coffee (with coffee ice cubes as opposed to water-based ones!) and mind-blowing mochas to bloggers, couples, old friends, and families throughout the mornings and afternoons; then transforms into a hipster hangout featuring live musicians, and other special events come nightfall. It’s the type of place one never wants to leave; but since you ultimately have to, don’t do so without grabbing a cupcake or handful of macaroons! 497 6th Ave. (between 11th and 12th St.), Brooklyn, NY 11215.

"I orchestrate my mornings to the tune of coffee."
Harry Mahtar

Financier Patisserie – Stone Street. Please ignore the fact that Brooks Brothers reigns within the four walls of Stone Street’s Financier Patisserie. You really can’t be surprised; after all, it’s located in the heart of the Financial District. At the same time, whenever I so much as glance upon the exterior of this Wall Street wonder, I feel as if I’m transported to picturesque Paris or idyllic Italy. While many cafes embrace dark color schemes, Financier Patisserie sets itself apart by flaunting light and airy hues, outdoor tables, and elegant windows – all of which work as one to create an adorable atmosphere perfect to indulge in two of my favorite things: mochaccinos and madeleines. A word of warning…since Financier Patisserie is known for their scrummy pastries please, please, please do not walk out that door without at least a chocolate croissant or brownie in tow. They are a heavenly complement to any warm drink you happen to order. 62 Stone Street (between Mill Lane and Hanover Square), New York, NY 10004.

B Cup Café – East Village. If given the choice between moving into the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, or residing at the East Village’s B Cup Café for all of eternity, darlings I have no qualms about proclaiming that I would not even hesitate before announcing my decision…the B Cup Café, of course! While the free WiFi, Caramel Café Mocha, White Chocolate Café Mocha, and Hot Chocolate have lured me into the charming hot spot time and time again, these are not the main reasons for my frequent visits. Mais non! The truth of the matter is that I am convinced that one could find love in this enchanting East Village nook.

There’s something about the ambiance found within that makes you feel as if you will meet the cute boy of your dreams while standing in line awaiting your Frozen Vanilla and White Chocolate Café Mocha, or cozily perched upon the olive green couch flipping through the latest issue of ELLE. Perhaps your eyes will lock between sips of splendor, leading the two of you to share a Bagel with Cream Cheese before strolling into the sunset, destined to live happily ever after. It sounds outlandish, but I truly do believe that there is potential for such a tale to take place within the alluring atmosphere. 212 Ave. B. (Corner of E. 13th St.), New York, NY 10009.

"The morning cup of coffee has an exhilaration about it which the cheering influence of the afternoon or evening cup of tea cannot be expected to reproduce."
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

These may be a few of my favorite places to "sip in the city," but there are millions of others out there eagerly awaiting your sip of approval. Find your own or share these saucy little coffee shops with me. Just make sure that you’re getting your twice daily cup of Joe somewhere!


Fashionably yours!


Note: I originally wrote this post for one of my favorite blogs, Olive Writes, back in November 2009; but I loved writing it so much, that I thought I would share it with all of you here, just in case you missed it!


Thanks to We ♥ It, It's Unbeweavable, and vi.sualize for the pictures.


Don't forget to enter the Twenties Girl Giveaway for your chance to win a copy of Sophie Kinsella's Twenties Girl.
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54 comments

Tights Lover said...

I love the quote at the top. I am a huge coffee addict, no doubt. So I love this post.

In fact, I kinda want a Starbucks egg nog latte right now. I love those this time of year!

Couture Carrie said...

Delicious and beautifully written post, darling!

Love the photos, too!

xoxox,
CC

Leah said...

Erika, I'm a social coffee drinker... I only drink coffee when I'm out with friends so the ambiance of the cafe is very important to me. I love rustic settings, those with old-world charms and lots of character.

And this is what's funny, I don't drink hot coffee. I always order iced coffee.

B Cup Cafe sounds interesting.

bananas. said...

were you the one who told me to check back to see if blogger was unblocked, i can't remember? if so then guess what? IT IS!!! woohoo...i could finally follow your blog. i couldn't on my phone. lol. ANYWAY...

love coffee. been drinking it since i was a wee one, no lie. my mom used to serve me coffee as a kid. people used to say i was short because of that. whatev.

Jamie Jenson said...

"Sip in the city." Too cute!

jayne said...

I love that Oliver Wendell Holmes quote, morning coffee is the best, I love having the time to savour it while reading blogs or the newspaper in the morning

Mimi said...

Loving these adorable quotes and pictures. Great post about coffee!! I need some right about now.. :)

Jennifer Fabulous said...

My mouth is watering for a yummy latte or coffee right now. Mmm...hehe.

Summer (BisforBrown) said...

I am not a coffee lover but husband is. I like my tea. lol. I do love nyc coffee shops a lot though! xo

Allegra said...

I adore coffee! there's no way on any day without my latte to go..

wish you merry christmas

ana said...

I love coffee so much!!!!
Happy Christmas darling!

Mitsy said...

I just found your blog! SO CUTE! And loving the coffee quotes, I'm a junkie! Merry Christmas. xx Mitsy

sequinsandbows said...

This is one of the posts that I've been waiting for. I've been an avid coffee drinker since I was a child (my parents gave me decaf of course :) Since, the one place I ever drink coffee from has been Starbucks, I've been waiting for some more interesting and different cafes to catch my eye since. And I'll be a bit more daring and try out some new cafes (I'm a bit picky when it comes to coffee and cafes) Wish me luck, hopefully I'll find a favorite in a more quaint cafe.

Lara said...

A coffee loving fashionista, a woman after my own heart. I'm always looking for great cafe's, I'm excited to try these places!

Julia said...

I love finding little coffee shops with character! I don't know where I'd be without my wondeful cup of coffee in the morning.

xoxo
FashionEye

Jaime said...

Toffee hot choc sounds delish! I will have to visit one of these Brooklyn places when I go see my bro next time :)

betz said...

i heart coffee! now you make me wanna grab my second cup!

xx,
betz
http://herarmoire.blogspot.com

Marz said...

gorgeous photos. You make me want to run out to my nearest coffee shop right this minute! Can't wait to visit NY and visit these places for myself.
-Marz

Elizabeth Marie said...

OHHHHHHHHHH MY GOSH.

A perfect post. We'll be going to all of these places and more. I am dying. DYING.

Love you. and NYC. And Coffee. And having coffee with you in NYC. :)

Miss Caitlin S. said...

Wow. Your writing here is fabulous and I'm booking it to Starbuck's immediately if not sooner. Such a way with your words! And like you, I was a late bloomer into the Coffee world...

http://candyflosspersie.blogspot.com/

Sherin said...

Oooo, I remember reading this last month. It was a great post. I can't wait to visit New York and to check out these cafes.

Nicole Marie said...

i couldn't stand coffee less than year ago. look what grad school does to ya :)

little mermaid said...

I've been a coffee lover since I was 12 years old, seriously!
People call me coffee adict and can't believe I drink 3 to 4 cups a day, I can't live without it. But the truth is, I'm not so much as "an adict".. that sounds like coffee was mean, when in fact it isn't. I consider it to be a delicacy, like someone would love a chocolate chip cookie or a delicious steaming hot chocolate drink. Coffee is a divinity.. it's just what completes my day :)
LOVELY QUOTES! LOVED THIS POST! And by the way, heads up for the Jane Austen books... best author ever!

Ashley said...

I feel the exact same way about coffee as you do! Until my last year of college I'd never even had a taste. This year for my bday I asked for a Starbucks gold card and for Christmas I asked for the Mr. Coffee cafe frappe. My how things have changed!

Fifi Flowers said...

You've just reminded moi... I NEED a cup of cafe creme!
ENJOY the holiday season!
Fifi

Midtown Girl said...

I make deli coffee runs while I walk Midtown Pups - in the morning & night. The amt of $ I spend on coffee is INSANE!

I have never owned a coffee maker since living in the city. However, my parents are getting me one for Xmas and I am so excited.

But, I will never stop my evening deli coffee runs - LOL!!

PS - One of my abs favs coffee places in Manhattan (I have a tragic craigslist budget hair-dye trauma story following the discovery of this place) is
Grey Dog's Coffee in West Village
http://thegreydog.com/ - let's go next time you are in NYC darling!

XOXO
Amy

Style, She Wrote said...

Great post. Thanks for the local tips. You really have a way of playing with your words that is truly fantastic...

Kristin said...

Toffee hot chocolate??? OMG, that sounds absolutely amazing. Where an I find that little piece of heaven?

Emily said...

New York coffee shops are the best, I wish I had more time in the city to explore these wonders :)

B a la Moda said...

I love taking muy cup of coffee although the way I really like it is 3/4 milks and 1/4 decaf coffee. The place where you drink it it totally helps the whole experience.

xoxo
B* a la Moda

Catie said...

You're so right about this. Coffee tastes so much better in a cafe. Are you posting about all of the coffee shops in cities you have been to? If you've been to Boston can you post on Boston and Cambridge coffee shops?

Nubiasnonsense said...

What a great article, I LOVE coffee! Happy Holidays sweets!

Diane said...

i so hope you move soon hun! :)

The Haute-Shopper said...

Love coffee and love NYC, but never had a chance to visit these coffee places yet.... I'll definitely make a note of these! And I love that first quote ;-)

Twenties Girl is such a great book btw. I won't enter the giveaway as I already have the book, but I'm sure whoever gets it will love it!

Jen said...

mmmmmmmmmmm coffffeeeee :) actually i'm not much of a coffee drink (i dump loads of creamer and sugar into mine) but i adore the smell of it. this is such a cute post. i love it :)

annoiii said...

Yum! I must visit these cafes when I come to NY!

gleenn said...

wow, this is such a marvelous post, even for a not coffee lover.

Merry Xmas girl. Have more love and blessings ;)

LML said...

such a darling post!

i didnt start drinking hot coffee until last year when i had to stay up pulling all nighters. now i cannot stop, but i only like hot coffee when its cold outside and ice coffee when its hot :)

sexylegsandbody said...

At one stage I used to drink tons of coffee, right now I maybe drink one cup a week, if that much. Just lost my appetite for it. So I now drink water most of the time. I guess it is healthier...

Thanks for leaving a comment on my readers legs post, I guess you are right about back seam stockings, they are just very sexy, I really love to see a girl walking around sporting them, wearing a pair of come hither heels.

Hope you and yours will have a wonderful Christmas, may your day be peaceful and filled with laughter!

Colin.

Ela said...

I don't drink coffee anymore but I do love my hot cocoa so if they serve it, I'm there! :)

Wishing you and your family a wonderful holiday season!!!
xoxo

Jen said...

oh! here's another comment letting you know i nominated you for a blog award :)

meraldia said...

Beautiful pictures! Great post as always, Erika!

superjadedC said...

Love your blog, it gives me New York city butterflies..

The F Word Online said...

haha i love the spice girls forever <3

i also love starbucks and gossip girls. yum. wish I had some right now.

xx lue

Caramell said...

My love to coffee takes it's beggining since I was 5 years old. Preferacbly without sugar, milk and so on, but nude, to let me indulge it. :D
I wish you a Merry Christmas, let your dreams come true and extend your blog so that everyone will be able to see what a genious you are! ;*

Jen said...

I bought my Mr a coffee brewer complete with milk frother for Christmas - he's opened it already and the smell of brewing coffee is delicious, even for someone who cannot stand the taste!

Couture Cookie said...

Fantastic selections! I love B Cup; it's not far at all from where I live! :)

sarah said...

It's funny because I love coffee but don't drink it everyday. I think it's because I have no idea how to make coffee (pathetic, I know) and am often too lazy to wait in line to buy it.

Martinis or Diaper Genies? said...

this is the greatest cutest post. Coffee rules my world and tea can blow it.
ps thanks for commenting on my guest post at bonbonrose! Following now!

Lexy @ Quirky Explosion said...

I love visiting coffee shops. Okay, obviously the ones in my small-town aren't as exciting as the ones in the Big Apple, but mehh, I still enjoy it. There's something so much fun about just relaxing and sticking your nose in a book (or in my case, pretending to, but actually people watching) and sipping a drink. Great post!

Thanks so much for stopping by! Happy Holidays!
quirkyexplosion.blogspot.com

The Pocket Stylist said...

I love this post. I adore coffee. Have a gorgeous holidays.

Barry said...

Great post, I'm sure a lot of people will want to check out these suggestions. The line in your B Cup Cafe review, "There’s something about the ambiance found within that makes you feel as if you will meet the cute boy of your dreams..." perfectly echoes a vignette I wrote for my blog last month.

It's called "Saturday Morning Cafe", I'll link here in case you're interested in checking it out...

http://life-in-quotations.blogspot.com/2009/11/coffee-shop.html

BTW my wife Sandy is a follower, talks about you a lot!

Again, Merry Christmas!

Little Bow Prep said...

I can barely stand hot coffee, but I adore iced coffee!

I really enjoyed this post!

Anonymous said...

love the smell of coffee...w/ donuts and while reading books...

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