Now that the radiators are clanking and the branches are spindly, we can spend whole afternoons in the cozy nooks of our favorite local coffee shops, waiting for the snow to fall. This season, forget those big green letters blazoned on every block (you know the ones we’re talking about) and explore some new homey cafés across the bridge.
These six Brooklyn spots might not offer Snuggies, but they do come with free wi-fi, environmentally friendly beans, and Johnny Depp’s old fireplace.
Atlas Cafe | 116 Havemeyer Street (bet. Grand Street & Hope Street) | 718.782.7470
Atlas Cafe, an Italian coffee shop with free wi-fi and a Brooklyn edge, can be summed up in three c’s: cozy, cappuccino, and custard. Tucked into a corner space on Havemeyer, Atlas has a much warmer and friendlier neighborhood feel than the over-crowded cafés of Bedford Avenue. Their signature drink is a creamy cappuccino, made with imported espresso from Italy. Pair that with one of their popular vanilla custard bomboloncinos (rich Italian doughnuts), and your day’s just been made.
Nearest subway: G/L trains to Metropolitan Avenue/Lorimer Street; J/M/Z to Marcy Avenue
Caffe Café | 8401 3rd Avenue | 718.748.8700
This little shop is worth the long, slow R train ride. You arrive above ground in a quaint and charming neighborhood that comes with views of the Verrazano Bridge. Choose from the large selection of roasts and teas, then snuggle into the small rustic space with a book until you’ve lost track of time.
Nearest subway: R train to 86th Street
Café Grumpy | 193 Messerole Avenue | 718.349.7623
While you can get the perfect heart-shaped foam-topped macchiato at their other outposts in Chelsea and Park Slope, the Café Grumpy in Greenpoint is both their most spacious and oldest location. Choose to sit by the window or work by the bustling coffee counter, peering over the top of your laptop (yep, there’s free wi-fi) at the local customer-characters that could inspire a short story. Since September 2009, Café Grumpy has operated their own in-house coffee roastery where specially selected beans from environmentally conscious South American growers are roasted on a vintage machine.
Nearest subway: G train to Greenpoint Avenue (Where comfortable shoes, it’s a 1/2 mile walk.)
Red Horse Café | 497 Sixth Avenue (bet. 11th and 12th Street) | 718.499.4973 497
While the Park Slope coffee scene is better known for Gorilla Coffee, this tiny Fifth Avenue micro-roastery is a great (free wi-fi) spot if you’re in the neighborhood and just need a warm place to relax. The interior is well lit with wood décor and the coffee hails from the Berkshires-based Barrington. Red Horse also hosts live music, art exhibitions by local artists, and game nights. Visit their website for upcoming events.
Nearest subway: R train to 9th Street; F/G trains to 9th Street-4th Avenue
Baked NYC | 359 Van Brunt Street | 718.222.0345
Those who can’t control a sweet tooth by chugging water, you have been warned. A cute and cozy bakeshop in up-and-coming Red Hook, Baked is known for their delicious whimsical desserts. Their extensive menu includes the traditional bakery fare plus specialties like homemade marshmallows. Section off a piece of the day to indulge in a slice of Sweet and Salty Cake—their bestselling dark chocolate cake with a salty caramel and chocolate ganache.
Nearest subway: Travel to Baked requires two-fold transportation. F/G trains to Smith-9th Street. From there, the B77 bus will take you into Red Hook.