One of life’s little pleasures is the neighborhood coffee shop – especially when they also serve yummy pastries. Here are three good spots – 1 an old standby, 2 brand new:
Bluebird Coffee Shop
This gem of a place is my morning go to – every day I stop in for a latte and maybe a scone or muffin before descending into the F train to make my way to soul-less midtown. They serve Counter Culture coffee and some quality eats, like the BLT on a croissant or the egg sandwich with bacon and Swiss on a cheddar-chive biscuit.
Sole criticism: about 6 months ago they were taken over my new management who saw fit to remove the jalapeño jam that used to accompany the aforementioned egg sandwich. Please join me in petitioning them to bring it back!
This place just opened down the street from Bluebird from the guys at Ninth Street Espresso. The space is all exposed brick with two long trestle tables and high chairs with the bar at the far end. Coffee is served 8-5, then dinner starts and goes til 1am.
They serve pastries from François Payard – I sampled the ham and cheese croissant which was delish. Their food menu for lunch/dinner looks good too so I’ll be returning soon.
Location: 58 East 1st Street between 1st and 2nd Ave (and more specifically between Prune and Bluebird Cafe)
Subway: F to 2nd Ave
Website: if they’ve got one, I can’t find it
Prices: $4.50 for a latte, $5.50 for a stuffed croissant; dinner mains $15-22
Dominique Ansel Bakery
Another newly opened joint, this one is on the West Side on Spring St. The draw here is really the baked goods and the headline item is Dominique’s (a former Bouley pastry chef) kouign amann, which is like a croissant covered in sugar and butter and baked again. It is some kind of good. I also sampled a Cannelé de Bordeaux, an eggy creation that’s crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside – kind of like a very dense popover with a hint of vanilla. Washed down with a cup of the Chef’s not-too-sweet-and-very-rich Hot Chocolate, it was the perfect start to a crisp fall Saturday. Oh, and they serve lunch, too.
Location: 189 Spring Street between Thompson and Sullivan
Subway: A, C, E to Spring Street
Prices: $4 for a hot chocolate, pastries $3-6 each; see the menu here.