I wanted to start with the cafes and coffee shops of the East Village. I didn’t realize that there are so many quaint, quiet shops until I spent one morning strolling around for a couple of hours only searching for coffee shops. Let me tell you, I was pleasantly surprised.
On Saturday morning, don’t sleep in. Get up and stroll around the East Village for a coffee and pastry. Take a book with you and chill at Tompkins Square Park. Or walk over to the East River and hang out on the new pedestrian path. The path has plenty of benches, waterfountains, and green grass to relax in. I actually was surprised by how nice it was. Let me get to the top cocoa shops, then I’ll tell you more about the pathway…. Sugar and Milk? Enjoy.
Feed Me’s Faves Coffee Shops & Cafes:
1. Zucker Bakery – 433 E 9th St., New York, NY 10009 (between Ave A & 1st Ave)
This place is a dream. Decor and ambiance is eclectic and vintage, with various love seats, window seats, chairs, etc. for your seating pleasure. If you are lucky enough, you can score the big bench & table outside. I had two pastries – the lemon bar and the Zucker Rugelach – and a pomegranate tea. The lemon bar was crunchy and zesty and a great pick, but the Zucker Rugelach melted in my mouth!! It’s a crispy, light pastry filled with dates, almonds, and clove. Zucker Bakery got this one right – it was amazing and perfect for a morning snack. The pomegranate tea was refreshing and nice too). Next time, I would go for one of their specialty coffees. As I was happily walking out of Zucker (and debating if I should get more treats….), the woman sitting outside ordered toast with an avocado spread that looked absolutely delicious! I overheard the barista telling her that they have sundried tomato spreads and eggplant spreads as well. I will definitely be coming back to try one of these and to have some more Rugelach! Yum yum!!
2. Cafe Pick Me Up – 145 Avenue A., New York, NY 10009
This place doesn’t have a website and isn’t corporate at all, you may even walk right past it at first — but I’m telling you don’t! This place has great food and the best people watching that the East Village might be able to offer. It’s right next to Tompkin’s Square Park, which one day, I was with my friend who was watching her dogs from home and we were starving, there were a few tables outside and we decided to give it a try. I had the veggie burger, which was great. Very wholesome and you could tell it was home made. I also had a blackberry tea and espresso — both were winners. However, the real kicker is in the carrot cake!!! The carrot cake is so moist and the icing is so sweet that we ordered a second slice! Couple the carrot cake with amazing people watching and it makes Cafe Pick Me Up a for sure winner.
3. Mudspot - 307 E 9th St., New York, NY 10003 (btw 2nd Ave & 1st Ave)
Now this place is pretty well known and I tend to stray from the touristy, poppy type of places when in search of a good coffee, but after coming here once, I understood why it was all the rave. The Mudspot looks like a tiny little coffee shop with more servers than bar stools available, but that’s because there’s a back sky garden with ample seating and a great atmosphere. The back sky garden is a glorious thing! We ordered different coffee drinks, and all three were amazing. Nothing was a miss on that menu!! The people next to us ordered the guacamole, which looked amazing. I will be back for that. This place is almost a little retreat out of the city, at least for 30 minutes or so…. definitely go.
1. The Bean – 147 1st Ave., New York, NY 10003
Another great coffee joint. I’ve had their coffee and macaroons in the morning and it does just the trick. Always a great vibe. I would try it, if you’re in the neighborhood!
On Feed Me’s To-try List:
1. Ninth Street Espresso – 700 E 9th St., East Village, NY 10009 (btw Ave D & AveC)
Great curb appeal — I want to try it just for that!
2. Ost Cafe – 441 E 12th St., New York, NY 10009
Inside decor is very charming. They also serve meats, cheese, and wine
Strolling through the East Village: