Joe, java, mud, rocket fuel, wakey juice: whatever you call it, coffee drinkers are always on the lookout for the best brew around. Queens has a lot to offer those who want a solid cup of coffee that isn’t from some big chain. Most of these shops also offer quality, tasty sweet and savory treats to accompany your beverage of choice, so try one out and support these amazing, local Queens coffee shops!
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In an area that doesn’t have a lot of coffee shops, Waltz Astoria provides a welcome escape from the chain coffee stores. It’s a wonderful, quiet space to sip coffee, hot chocolate or tea and catch up with friends or get work done. Aside from delicious coffee, they have great lunch specials (a sandwich, chips or a banana, and soda or juice for $6.95) and pastries. Another perk is their wonderful live entertainment. They host open mic nights, comedy shows, and Little Waltzers. The Little Waltzers is a children’s sing/dance-along on Mondays and Thursdays from 10:30-11:15 ($8/family, snack included) and an art class on Tuesdays from 10:30-11:15 ($10/family, materials and snack included).
Where: 23-14 Ditmars Blvd., Astoria
This is a favorite spot for parents on their way to the park. In the summer, there is nothing more refreshing than their iced coffee, and they have a peaceful garden space in the back to help you enjoy it even more. Don’t miss their delicious paninis and baked goods, especially their chocolate flourless cake!
Where: 34-08 31st Ave, Astoria
If you like gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches with your coffee, Queens Kickshaw is the place for you. With it’s quirky, hipster vibe this Queens hot spot offers a new twist on classic comfort foods (i.e. their white bean and beer stew). They feature coffees from around the world, such as Guatemala Huehuetenango Huixoc with dark chocolate, sweet milk, bing cherries, and light spice. They have an impressive list of espresso-based coffees, and there aren’t many places you can find coffee growlers.
Where: 40-17 Broadway, Astoria
As the name suggests, Queens Comfort offers more traditional comfort food, and is less expensive than Queens Kickshaw. This greasy spoon also serves Stumptown coffee, which is some of the best coffee around!
Where: 40-09 30th Ave., Astoria
This coffee shop offers local coffee and teas (Gimme coffee and Harney and Sons teas) and other food items from local purveyors, such as baked goods from Canelle Patisserie. The honey-mint limonata, their signature drink, should not be missed, even if it isn’t coffee-based. To stimulate your mind, as well as your taste buds, one section of their shop features rotating exhibits from local artists.
Where: 35-57 77th St., Jackson Heights
If you live nearby, and need a quick breakfast on your way to work, be sure to pop into Canelle Patisserie. They bake a beautiful assortment of breakfast goodies and pair it with their delicious coffee drinks. From 6:30-9 in the morning Monday-Friday they have an express line for those who want the breakfast special or just one item. The breakfast special is a 12 oz. coffee with your choice of a croissant or muffin for $2.50. They also offer a variety of cakes, pastries, sandwiches and quiches.
Where: 75-59 31st Ave., Jackson Heights (Free Parking)
Sweetleaf is the first pour-over bar in Queens. To get “pour-over coffee,” you put a filter into a ceramic cone above the coffee mug. The coffee beans are ground on a special setting, put into the filter, and then hot water is poured directly over them. The resulting cup of coffee is supposed to be richer with more nuanced flavors. Sweetleaf features Stumptown coffee, but it is also the only New York City espresso bar to serve Verve Coffee from California. Since their opening in 2008, they have added a bakery that serves fresh-baked goods, including vegan, gluten-free, and locally sourced items.
Where: 10-93 Jackson Ave., Long Island City
Baruir is not your typical coffee shop. There are only a few seats, and they sell mostly a variety of imported foods from the Mediterranean and Middle East, but their on-site roasted coffee has been lauded as the best coffee around. Also, they use coffee ice cubes in their iced coffee, so it is never diluted!
Where: 40-07 Queens Blvd., Sunnyside
This newly opened café is getting rave reviews for its cupcakes, French macaroons, and unique variety of gelato (if you love Moscato wine, you have to try their Moscato sorbet!), as well as their coffee and cappuccinos. They serve Intelligentsia coffee, which has a very unique flavor, with hints of citrus, that have people from all over the borough coming back for more. They also have a great little area for kids to play and read books, and now that the weather is improving, check out their outdoor seating.
Where: 12-58 150th St., Whitestone
So if you are in need of a break from the same old coffee, or you like to support locally-owned businesses, be sure to visit some of these coffee shops for a great cup of Joe and delicious bite to eat.
By: Megan Ross
If you have a suggestion for a great coffee shop in your neighborhood that we missed, let us know and we’ll add it to this list! Email firstname.lastname@example.org.