When I first moved to New York, I couldn’t grasp the concept of having a coffee to go. Especially, not in the subway. Back home, my girlfriends and I religiously got together for after-lunch coffee every Sunday, preferable by the beach, and spent hours catching up with what started with a cup of coffee and ended up with drinks and little snacks. So imagine my horror when I saw New Yorkers just walking around with their coffees to-go in those very practical (yet not aesthetically pleasing) cups. After over 15 years in New York, I must confess that I have turned into one of them (I guess that when in Rome…).
New York is a coffee lover place and not only has coffee gone from being that very first thing you need in the morning to becoming a more refined beverage but coffee shops are also catering to the whole experience of actually taking your time and enjoying your coffee.
One of the places I have recently discovered is Stumptown Coffee Roasters. Located on the corner of West 8 and MacDougal, this gorgeous shop has the perfect inviting atmosphere: a long wood bar welcomes you as soon as you enter the space, which is bright, with high ceilings and exposed brick walls that work perfectly with the light wood benches and little black round tables opposite the bar. The end of the seemly always crowded bar is open, and people stand there sipping their coffees in cute porcelain cups, as if they had been magically transported to any European café.
At the back of the room, heavy bookcases and a communal table give you the sense that you are in someone’s living room/library. I feel that the only missing piece in this idyllic space is a fireplace.
The menu is limited to coffee, tea and baked goods and, boy, do they know their coffee. Apart from their coffee, I had to try the rosemary and currant scone and it didn’t disappoint: not hard, not excessively dry, perfect amount of rosemary without an overpowering taste. As they don’t have a kids menu and you don’t want to start your little one on coffee yet, you can always go for their hot chocolate and add a croissant or a muffin to the mix. Coffee ain’t cheap here (although it seems to be the average price for specialty coffee places nowadays) but it’s totally worth it. Especially when a cute hipster barista throws you a heart on your cappuccino.
There are no highchairs and I got the feeling that it is a relaxed hang out place for people to chat over a nice cup of coffee or people working on their laptops, so kids on the quieter side would enjoy more this place. And even though the space is ample, I wouldn’t recommend going in with a stroller as each time I have been there or walked by, it was really crowded.
The bathroom is on the back, hidden in a corridor between the espresso bar and the next door Brew Bar. It is very ample and decently clean with no changing table. Unfortunately, it is not as beautiful as the rest of the space.
Overall, a most lovely place to have that cup of coffee, to be enjoyed more than just gulped. Wouldn’t it be nice that it could always be that way?
Stumptown Coffee Roasters – W. 8th
30 West 8 Street
New York, NY 10011
Monday – Sunday: 7:00am – 8:00pm