Whether you're in this area to shop, linger, or simply be beautiful, the tiny boîtes of Soho and Nolita remain among the city's most desired spots to browse and daydream. Among them are some of the city's finest and funnest independent cafés: all of them diminutive and tres chic each in their own way. You'll know you've found a local treasure when popping into any of these quintessentially New York coffee spots.
Fun fact: this café used to be a walk-in refrigerator. At Happy Bones, you'll want to grab something hot just to snap an Insta-worthy picture of your beverage here – brightly printed blue and black paper cups are adorned with whimsical doodles of "happy bones" in homage to this small yet uncluttered café. In a tour-de-force of combining both artsy industrial chic and warmth, this space lands in Manhattan from New Zealand, and fills a welcome niche in Soho's landscape for those who seek a sunny window, a cortado, and a friendly face.
A unique gem of a café nestled between the Soho shopping district and the chaos of Canal Street, the cozy and brightly lit Café Integral buys, roasts, and serves only coffees from Nicaragua, the native home of founder Cesar Vega. Don’t think of that as limiting though – Vega ethically sources from farms in four regions of the country, and the menu here reaches well beyond the standard espresso drinks and drip coffee to include organic, house-made almond, cashew, and coconut milk specialty drinks, as well as a delightful horchata, hot and cold teas and sparkling water (Vichy Catalan, for those who know) and sodas.
You’re likely to get a welcome jolt if you walk the few steps from Canal Street’s madness into the Soho location of this NYC favorite. The interior is cool, quiet, and dimly lit, fantastically complementing the striking midcentury-style decor, which includes dazzling wall tiles, loads of exposed wood and brick, and an island with barstools set off to the side. It wouldn’t mean much without Everyman’s “damn fine” coffee, in an array of options ranging from single-origin espresso and filter drinks (including AeroPress and Chemex brew methods) to specialties such as an espresso old-fashioned and the Panacea (espresso, lemon, honey, and bitters over ice).
Local ice cream sensation Oddfellows bridges that day-to-dessert gap perfectly with its third store, Coffee & Cream by Oddfellows, both an ice cream parlor and high-end coffee shop. Come inside and settle in to the sanitary-white-and-whimsical parlor decor or, if you're in a hurry, just grab a coffee at the walk-up window on busy Houston Street. The ice cream is their own, but the coffee hails from California—one of the few places to find Verve in this city. Should you be looking to treat yourself, there are several options beyond mere ice cream and affogatos, including "signature milks", kombucha floats, and a Café Liégois—espresso, a scoop of ice cream, whipped cream, and "coffee soil".