Giving us a run for our money. Coffee in New York and Chicago

The US has a reputation for bad coffee, and for good reason: namely, Starbucks. These things are everywhere – every other street, train station, department stores, you name it – and while their marketing techniques are amusing (deliberately misspelling names in as ridiculous a way as possible to be photographed for social media), their coffee is far from humorous.

But Starbucks simply have the exposure (and the occasional uncomfortably placed DJ – yes); they don’t control coffee. While location convenience and free wifi are going to win over a majority, there are choices for a good caffeine fix all over the place, from the Melbourne knock-offs to the New York originals.

Here are a few places that won me over in New York City and Chicago, beginning with, hands down, the best coffee I had in NYC:

New York

The Jolly Goat Café – 515 W 47th St, New York

This is a tiny bar with the friendliest staff and the finest cappuccino around!

Jolly Goat

Little Collins – 667 Lexington Ave, New York

Melbourne all over, amazing espresso and drip coffee and tasty brunch snacks, too.

Bluebird Coffee Shop – 72 E 1st St, New York

Another tiny place in an unassuming location. This was taken from a list of Aussie knock-offs, too.

Two Hands – 164 Mott St, New York

Completing a trifecta of Aussie cafes, this Little Italy location offers more space than the others, cool surroundings and a very decent cup.

Bluebottle – Rockefeller Center, 1 Rockefeller Plaza, New York

This is a chain that delivers awesome espresso. Conveniently, they have a spot hidden away at the bottom of the Rockerfeller were you otherwise struggle to find anthing half decent. They also popped up in kiosk form on the Highline.

Champion Coffee – 52 Gansevoort St, New York

It’s in the name. A sweet as coffee spot in a hipster paradise “food court” – get your caffeine fix at the trendy end of the Highline.

Two Little Red Hens – 1652 2nd Ave, New York

In truth this one made the list because the cupcakes are incredible (peanut butter & chocolate mud = heart attach heaven). The coffee was pretty good, too.

PB Cupcake

Black Brick – 300 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn

The Brooklyn location is pretty stellar – the cold brew is fantastic.

Toby’s Estate Coffee – 125 N 6th St, Brooklyn

An Aussie company, I didn’t really like how Mac(Book)Cafe the space was, but the coffee was tops.


Intelligentsia – Heritage At Millennium Park, 53 E Randolph St, Chicago

A Chicago chain that was always super busy and for good reason.

Buzz Killer Espresso – 1644 N Damen Ave, Chicago

Up in Bucktown where everything’s cool anyway, may as well have a prime coffee spot to go to.


King Café – 900 North Michigan Shops, 900 N Michigan Ave, Chicago

Unassuming in a shopping centre, this place gives high hope to a commercial district with little great coffee that easily visible.


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