City of Saints’ charming shop sits just east of 4th ave on 10th street, anchoring a corner of the East Village, just to the east of one of New York’s most popular Dim Sum brunch spots, Tim Ho Wan, specializing in Hong Kong’s street food. The long narrow shop has a row of bar seats facing the street and a mod bar, hiding the mechanics of espresso under the counter, allowing you to chat face-to-face with your barista. City of Saints roasts out in Bushwick and crafts some of the city’s best roasts. The street art graphics emblazoned on their coffee bags decorate their Brooklyn roastery. Stopping in here, you’ll find some great coffee with a very welcoming neighborhood vibe.
One of the neighborhood’s most beloved shops, Abraço, meaning to hug, squeeze or embrace in Portuguese, opens its arms to the neighborhood for an all-in hug. Roaster and Barista Jamie McCormick oversees all things coffee while Elizabeth Quijad, his partner, churns out some of the neighborhood’s most delectable pastries. Their shop is truly a neighborhood gem, with the owners’s kids running around, regulars with coffees named after them and their faces illustrated on coffee bags to flaunt their fame. Cash only. Find them just east of 1st ave on 7th street in a sunken-in little spot on the northside of the street.
Ninth Street Espresso‘s original location east of Avenue C on 9th Street, marks almost the end of the East Village, bookended by the East River and Thompkins Square Park. One of of the city’s first original voices on the coffee scene, their pared down menu asks only one question: do you want coffee, espresso or espresso with milk? The barista will chat with you from there–how much milk do you like? what kind of coffee do you like? The shop has sunny outdoor sidewalk benches for taking in the east village or lots of tables inside for lingering among the city’s freelancers, geeks and old school East Village citizenry. Ninth Street roasts in the Chelsea Street Market and has several shops that have popped up a little more on-the-grid than this spot, but nothing exceeds this original location’s ability to bring you into the East Village’s neighborhood culture.