667 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10022
To live in New York City, you'd think that Australia's main export was coffee shops in other countries, and to be fair, the antipodean focus on full-service hospitality and providing something substantial to eat with your coffee is something New York sorely needed. Little Collins, a shop whose many charms far exceed the distinctly bland stretch of Lexington (mostly eyeglass shops and banks and dry-cleaning places) it calls home, is a small, somewhat austere space warmed by the hospitality of the staff and the quality of their provisions. Excellent Counter Culture Coffee coffees are brought to beautiful life on what was the city's first ever Modbar, and in back you'll find a busy kitchen putting together brekkies like Vegemite toasts, oats with labneh, and lunches that range from healthy to hearty and often both – think squash, chick peas, cauliflower, and grains, along with more decadent meat options like short ribs and schnitzel. Housemade pastries and cookies appeal as well, like a glazed blueberry scone or a moist lemon-poppyseed muffin with a lemon curd center.
There are a handful of teeny, fold-out-of-the-wall tables and bar seats allowing you to eat on premises, and with the popularity of this place, seating is limited – but turnover is also swift, as it's always a little hard to relax with the line crowding out the door as it does. Among Little Collins' best qualities are the small touches: bag and coat hooks under the tiny tables, Topo Chico as a sparkling water option, a tiny shortbread cookie served with each and every coffee. And because it's Aussie-style, the staff will even walk your coffee right out to you, instead of just bellowing your name at the bar. Admittedly, in this small space, it's a short walk.
Make the time to visit this little gem next time you're in Midtown East; you'll be glad you did.
Review: Liz Clayton
Coffee + Drinks
- Coffee Machine
- Coffee Grinder
- Mazzer Robur, Nuova Simonelli Mythos 1, Mahlkönig EK43
- House Roaster
- Counter Culture Coffee