Meet my partner in coffee crime (among other misdeeds) Lynn Kim Do of Neckbreakin' Style. By now, she's already a popular collaborator and featured social influencer on my blog, but today, I'm introducing her as the accomplice in my NY coffee shop adventures. Also, because she's the only other person crazy enough to wake up at 8 in the morning just to coffee-hop: the grandmas' version of bar-hopping. And as the visually motivated millennials we are, only the quaintest and unusual places were worthy of our brutally early visit. This is our list of three Instagram-worthy coffee spots in Midtown and a little snippet of our weekday morning rituals.
I don't think I can be as secretive about coffee shops as this hidden gem in a building resembling an old library has deliberately done. A shared cemented space with a clothing retailer in Dover Street Market, this rustic coffee spot is the essence of appropriate minimalism. We were even more lucky to capture lighting glory at 2pm that further enhanced our midday experience. Pair that with charming eateries like scone with clotted cheese and homemade jam and coffee specialties like green tea latte and you have the perfect Sunday afternoon setup.
To be honest, I do my best to avoid Midtown as much as possible. As a local inhabitant, it's a pedestrian nightmare with tourists roaming 24/7 and aimlessly walking at an annoyingly slow pace. So thank goodness for coffee havens like Culture Espresso to break up the irritable madness in that area. This tiny spot, conveniently tucked in between 6th and 7th Ave, offers the right amount of morning rush with their espresso shots and hibiscus doughnuts fresh from Dough Doughnuts. And if you have a couple of minutes to spare, it has a quaint setting inside with a wall completely wallpapered floral aka an Instagram worthy moment.
Pretty sure I've passed by this place a couple of times before, excusing it as some little store of whos-its and whats-its in K-town. It wasn't until we Yelp'ed coffee shops in the area that this place came up. From the outside, it doesn't seem like much even though its unusual decor grabbed our visual appeals. We walked in and it was definitely not your typical coffee shop, but in a good way. Kind of like Rose Bakery, it was a hybrid of cafe and retailer with trinkets and things hanging and displayed around the space giving it an odd-worldly vibe (probably the inspiration behind the name Space Gabi). But the real jackpot was discovering Sweet Potato latte. Yes, sweet potato. And even more yes, it was quite heavenly.
Photography by Pedro Morales