Zibetto: Midtown Coffee Guide

This is part of our Midtown Coffee Guide!

Zibetto: A classic Italian Coffee Bar in the middle of Midtown Manhattan.

The Basics

Six words or less: Classic Italian, Dark Roast, Office Break

Locations: 501 Fifth Ave (SE corner of 42nd and Fifth Ave)

They have several other locations as well.  Full list here.

Open Since: 2014, other locations since 2006

Hours: 7am-7pm Weekdays// 9am-6pm Saturday// 10am-6pm Sunday

Amenities:No bathroom, Long standing bar, seating for two bar seats near window, No wifi

Must Try: Cappuccino (Dark Roasted Italian Style)

Owner: Anastasios Nougos and Mikael Olsson

Roaster:  The roast their own in Bologna, Italy!

Visiting Zibetto’s Espresso, just around the corner from New York Public Library’s Big Lion statues, I was was surprised by the entropy of the place.  It was abuzz in customers at 2pm on a weekday.  The spot is low frills, almost no seating, no bathroom, no wifi, a tiny coffee menu.  Yet the place is all Italian.  The baristas dress in white button-up shirts and ties which are tucked inside their front plackets to avoid the accidental steam milk dipping.  The bar is white marble.  There isn’t a line so much as a person behind this long white marble counter that greets you, takes your order and then places a white saucer upside down and a spoon to signal you have a drink coming from the barista.  It is a bit of Italian old school in the middle of the full capitalist engine of New York.  Office workers break here and pretend they are in Milan before they have to return to the thirty-something floor of some shiny building nearby.

If you are sick of third wave, bright, acidic coffee, step right up to this marble top.  They roast their own in Italy and ship it over.  The cappuccino was perfectly executed and left a darker caramel sweetness in my mouth–something you won’t find easily from third wave of coffee geeks that have taken over the shops.  This kind of shop is what inspired Starbucks before the frappa-extra-skinny drink orders took over second wave coffee.


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