What to expect when you're Connecting: The best coffeeshops for ICNY

Our favorite picks for places to grab a great cup of coffee during ICNY

Whether caffeine is a daily ritual for you or more of an every-now-and-again treat, you’ll find it helps fuel the Inman Connect experience, especially in New York — the city that never sleeps. Between the sessions, the networking and the parties, you may find yourself in need of a quick pick-me-up and maybe a pastry or bagel, too.

So where can you go to get your joe fix? Here are our ten favorite coffeeshops within an easy walk (or ride share) of the Inman Connect New York headquarters.

1. Bluestone Lane
11 Times Square, New York, NY 10036

The Bluestone Lane at 11 Times Square is located in the heart of Times Square; the building is also where Microsoft, Ullink and E*Trade can be found, and it’s right by The New York Times Building, too. Despite its central location, it has an air of serenity and timelessness that are a welcome change sometimes from the lights and action outside. If you’re looking for breakfast, the avocado toast and banana toast both come highly recommended, and you can take advantage of the free wireless internet for an hour while you’re enjoying your drink.

2. Ground Central Coffee Company
888 8th Ave, New York, NY 10019

The coffee at Ground Central is top-notch, of course, but that special something that keeps people coming back for cup after cup is just as much about the atmosphere as it is about the caffeinated beverages. The comfortable seating, shelves of books, large tables for meeting or catching up on work and generally relaxed ambiance are rare for this part of New York, and if you need a place to relax with a friend or three, this could be perfect. Ground Central offers a full array of coffee, plus salad and sandwiches, pastries — even beer and wine if you’re facing that in-between hour where some of your crew wants a cold beverage while some would prefer a hot one. And vegans will be pleased to see that plenty of dairy alternatives beyond soy milk are available, including oat milk and macadamia milk (try it with the matcha latte).

3. La Colombe Coffee Roasters
Seven Bryant Park Building, 1045 6th Ave, New York, NY 10018

You may have encountered La Colombe in Boston, Los Angeles or Chicago, and if you’ve been in one of these outlets before, then you may have heard of its draft latte offering — a coffee-milk drink served on tap (no sugar added) that’s served cold with a gorgeous foam topping and is available in a non-dairy version for those who prefer a plant-based option. Even in January, it’s worth trying, but if you’d rather have hot coffee or a hot espresso drink, well, La Colombe does that, too. Dark-chocolate-lovers will also want to save some room for this coffeeshop’s mocha, which isn’t as milky-sweet as others you may have encountered; it’s made with dark chocolate and is unsweetened, giving you all the kick and flavor of a purist’s chocolate-coffee drink with none of the added sugar or sweetener.

4. Joe Coffee Company
Structure #9, Kiosk #4, 55 W 40th St, New York, NY 10018

Need an excuse to take a little walk to Bryant Park and enjoy some nature in the midst of the midtown Manhattan ebb and flow? The Joe Coffee Company kiosk, right by the carousel, can provide you with that excuse. There are small tables where you can sit and enjoy your drink and a board-game area if you brought some friends and want a reason to linger outside, or you can take a walk through the park before heading back to Times Square. Some of the non-dairy milk alternatives include oat and almond milk, and Joe also has a selection of pastries and other treats you can indulge in for a quick treat. If the weather is nice and you’re aching to drink a coffee among trees instead of tall buildings, a walk to Joe is a no-brainer.

5. Gregory’s Coffee
58 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036

In a hurry? Download the “Gregulars” mobile app before you head to grab your coffee and order via the app; then everything will be waiting for you when you arrive. The cold brew and dirty chai are two standouts on the menu, which also includes all the typical drip and espresso offerings, and Gregory’s also has an assortment of baked goods that might just be your main reason for dropping in or coming back. (The s’mores cookie is one that regulars say pairs well with just about any drink for an afternoon caffeine-and-sugar-laden pick-me-up.) And if you have time to stay for a few minutes, you’ll find plenty of seating, free WiFi and enough outlets to power up your laptop while you catch up on email or take a breather from the networking.

6. Cafe Grumpy
89 E 42nd St, New York, NY 10017

Don’t let the name fool you; although Cafe Grumpy is located in Grand Central Terminal (a bit of a hike from Connect, but worth the walk if you had a hankering to Instagram the terminal as part of your New York experience), and although it’s packed during rush hour, the service and the coffee here can’t be accurately described as grumpy. And even when the lines are stretching into the terminal hallway, you can expect fast service and an array of options, including jasmine citrus iced tea and other specialty drinks, such as matcha and even turmeric beverages. Cold brew is another popular choice, and when you get up to the counter and see Grumpy’s orange Synesso machines, they might just put a smile on your face.

7. Knave at the Parker New York
118 W 57th St, New York, NY 10019

Be warned: The prices at Knave can be steeper than what you’re used to seeing, so be prepared to spend a little bit extra for your coffee. Given that Knave is the coffee bar for one of the most prestigious hotels in the city, you’ll probably understand the prices when you see the marble furnishings and take in the high-end ambiance. You can also order cocktails, wine and beer, and the drinks come with complimentary snacks. It’s usually not too crowded at Knave (especially if you’re there for coffee hour rather than cocktail hour), and the service combined with the decadent atmosphere might coax you into staying for a while; bring a friend or two and settle in to enjoy yourself if you’re in the mood to get pampered.

8. Best Bagel & Coffee
225 W 35th St A, New York, NY 10001

There’s a reason why bagels get the top billing at Best Bagel & Coffee: First of all, this is New York, and they take their bagels seriously; and second, the smorgasbord of bagels with schmears or surrounding a sandwich is worth the trip even if you don’t drink coffee. But the coffee is still worth pairing with your bagel — try the hazelnut or iced coffee. There isn’t a lot of seating, so be prepared to take your food and drink with you to go, and don’t be afraid of any seemingly endless lines, as the staff is well accustomed to keeping everything moving quickly and efficiently. When breakfast or lunch is a must along with your caffeine, you should definitely consider giving the bagels and coffee at Best Bagel & Coffee a try.

9. St. Kilda Coffee
328 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036

Just a block and a half from Times Square, St. Kilda is tucked below ground level and is modeled after the coffee culture in Melbourne, with a laid-back ambiance, delicious coffee and music that’ll get you amped up for the day ahead. There’s not a ton of seating, so keep that in mind if a chair is a necessity with your brew, but if your priority is good coffee and an array of baked goods (including vegan muffins and plenty of non-dairy milk alternatives), then St. Kilda’s is a solid choice. Try the pour-over coffee, the cold brew or the flat white if you’re not sure what to get; this is also an ideal place to while away a few minutes or an hour before your planned theater attendance.

10. Pennylane Coffee
305 E 45th St, New York, NY 10017

You might want to catch a ride share to Pennylane Coffee; its location in Midtown East might be a smidge beyond walking distance, especially if you’re in a hurry. The minimalist interior might make it easier to finish whatever project is currently occupying your mind (be aware that the free WiFi cuts off after an hour, though!), and the iced coffee and cold brew come highly recommended, as do the baked goods and breakfast options. If you want to embark on a little adventure close to the UN and don’t mind traveling, drop by Pennylane for coffee and breakfast, then after enjoying your palate-cleansing journey, head back into the lights and action of Times Square.

Did we miss your favorite ICNY coffeeshop? Tell us where it is in the comments!

Discover the opportunities in a changing market at Inman Connect New York, January 29 – February 1. Jumpstart 2019 with tactical takeaways, unlimited networking and thought-provoking speakers. Learn more.

Thinking about bringing your team? You may qualify for special group perks! Contact us to learn more.