Exploring the streets of New York City is one of my favorite things to do. Looking for new discoveries or going to recommended ones, I never stop. This is not a traditional food blog. I don't focus on restaurant reviews, or cooking tips; but I find specific items that you absolutely must try. Whether it be a cranberry donut or the best cappuccino. The focus isn't on the usual, but the cheap, the best, and the hidden.

I am always looking for new places to go! Send me a tweet, or leave me a tip of your favorite place or find in the comments!

Follow me on twitter!
@remingtonguest

All photos taken with my iPhone 4

 

It’s no mystery La Colombe is my most frequented cafe in the city. I love their coffee. I drink near 20 iced coffees a week. But today, today was different. One of the baristas sat down next to me and asked if I have ever tried the americano. Regretfully, I told him I hadn’t. The next few words that he spoke to me, resonated through my body and restructured everything I thought I had known he simply described the americano as, “the truth.” So everything I’ve know has been lies up to this point? I can’t live in a world of falsities especially when the truth is within my grasp! Let me tell you this, the americano is not for the faint of heart. Containing no less than 4 shots of espresso, and still coming in at $2.50; have mercy! The truth has been spoken!

La Colombe

TRIBECA
319 Church Street
212 343 1515

SOHO
270 Lafayette Street
212 625 1717

NOHO
400 Lafayette Street

Score one for Kava Cafe. With competition from the newly improved High Line, Kava now has a back garden to sit in and enjoy your java. It’s no High Line, but if you’re not feeling the few hundred tourists lurking in the park above, the back garden at Kava is pretty fantastic. 

There are a few things that get me to love a place. One of the things that is becoming hardest to find, is a space. Let me explain the context in which I am using “space”. When I say “space”, I mean the look, feel, people, music, light, comfort, outlets, wifi, location, etc. This sort of “space” (yea I’m saying “space” a lot, sue me) is becoming harder to find in New York City with the recent shift toward coffee bars and the anti laptop movement. What if I told you there is a place which feels amazing, the people are cool (not Ace Hotel, Williamsburg Bridge, or LES trying to be cool), amazing music (think classics you actually want to hear), bright and airy, comforting, outlets EVERYWHERE, wifi, and in an amazingly private, yet convenient location. Well, I’m telling you. I haven’t been this impressed with a place in a while. Partly because I’ve never seen anything like it. Everything excites me here. From the center island coffee bar, to the surrounding tables that you can sit at and just have coffee. The walls are covered in beautiful photos that you actually stare at, rather than just notice. There is a real New York cool about this place. The majority of patrons are on their laptops, and broadcast this positive, “let’s make it in the world feeling.” I’m telling you, it’s major and motivating. The coffee is amazing; I’m especially impressed with the french press (it’s huge, accompanied by a tiny heated milk, huge plus), and the cappuccino. Pastries are good. We’ve all had better, but the chocolate croissant has a delicious pudding/mousse sort of filling that is a few miles ahead of enjoyable. Of course a doughnut hole is always hard to hate. You may need the name as well. Cafe Minerva.

What a coffee bar should be, in the West Village.

Tip: Sit at the bar. You feel productive and cool.

Tip: Don’t pass the cafe. No signage, just a sleek iPhone like glass storefront.

Tip: The french press is big enough for 2 

Tip: free wifi

304 W 4th St.

(212)242-4800


Mirrors, black, gold, cool lights. This is obviously the formula for sexy. Add coffee and you have a sexy coffee cafe. I’m talking about Kava Cafe. A beautifully designed space, now open by the High Line. While I’d appreciate a bit less counter space and a bit more seating, the few barstools are in line with the new wave of coffee bars that push standing room only. The coffee is Stumptown, and my cappuccino was on a par with others around the city. But where I was really blown away, (aside from the acceptance of credit cards!!!!!!) was the fact that they carry caneles. I spotted 2 lonely ones overshadowed by a massive scone. Ever since the infamous 25 calorie canele article, I’ve been on the hunt. Although steep at $3.75, I must tell you, I was actually blown away. I mean blown to pieces; only able to reconstruct myself enough to realize that I must buy the other one. Immediately. These caneles are really indescribable. Go ahead and just cube each one of the adjectives for me. Moist, perfect, best thing ever. It was sweet, but at the same time wasn’t. This is really one of my favorite pastries in the city right now. It’s the perfect coffee accoutrement. So go to Kava Cafe. Get a canele or 3, and sip your cappuccino in the company of the too cool for school meatpacking folk.

The angel food cake heir, found in a cafe.

Tip: Get a canele

Kava Cafe

803 Washington St.

(212) 255-7495

kavanyc.com

Monday-Friday 7-7

Saturday-Sunday 8-8

Coffee is served on a silver tray. Let’s just start there. You’ll feel like you’re in a scene from Inglorious Basterds (it’s a good thing). The coffee comes from Julius Meinl in Vienna. Yea, like not Vienna New Jersey. Vienna as in Austria. Did I mention a little something called the Kaiser Melange ($5)? Oh, that’s just their fresh ground coffee with whipped cream. Maybe the BEST THING YOU’LL EVER HAVE. When your waiter is walking towards you with a Kaiser Melange on a silver platter, this may be the moment you realize you’re not in Starbucks anymore.. And in case you’re caught wondering, the Sabarsky Heiße Schokolad ($6.50), otherwise known as house made Viennese hot chocolate with whipped cream should also be orderedIt’s hard to go wrong with anything on this menu, but let me insist you order the Apfelstrudel ($8). Described on the menu as just apple strudel, but it’s really impossible to describe how far above amazing this is. It’s in the top 5 pastries I’ve ever had. Even the chocolate covered almonds ($3) are far beyond what you would expect. They’re not so much covered, as maybe dusted? Fabulous though. Just go here. Order. As Colonel Hans Landa would say, “Ah! Wait for the cream!” 

A time warp to another place and time, found.

Tip: Go on a weekday. There’s usually a 15 minute wait on the weekend.

Tip: Make a day of it. Go to the Met, stroll or ride through the park, and end up at Cafe Sabarsky. 

Cafe Sabarsky

1048 5th Avenue

Mon,Wed 9am-6pm

Thu-Sun 9am-9pm

(212) 288-0665

The SoHo game changer. Or maybe the best thing to happen to Soho since the Apple store. This has been a favorite of mine since its soft opening, and is already your favorite place; you just don’t know it yet. This is my hidden retreat in SoHo. It’s on the corner of Spring and West Broadway. Hidden?! Hidden on corner of Spring Street!? And West Broadway?! Yes, stop freaking out everyone and let me explain. Somehow there is a consistent calm and always available bench in this gallery turned coffee house. Maybe it has cloaking powers making it invisible to tourists, and only true New Yorker’s can see it. I don’t know, and I don’t care. This place is so unbelievably perfect, so just right, it’s uncanny. Intelligentsia Coffee is the coffee of choice, and it is expertly prepared. Even with zero customers in the shop, expect at least a 3 minute wait for your beverage. I wouldn’t have it any other way. This isn’t a pastry driven cafe although the raspberry thumbprint cookie is good . But what vaults Ground Support into the upper echelon of amazing for me? SANDWICH HAPPY HOUR. Gather yourself, I know, it’s a lot to take in. The sandwiches average about $9 during the day, which is pricey. But coming in around $4.50 each during happy hour should be illegal. They are beyond delicious. Personal favorites being the Cuban ( Grandaisy bread, free range turkey, berkshire pit ham, gruyere, pickles, peppadew relish, and dijon remoulade), and the Turkey picnic ( free range turkey, aged gouda, pickled red onions, bbq sauce, potato chips, bibb lettuce, and tomato). It really does taste like a picnic in your mouth. They panini press them until they are perfectly melted and warm. And finally, my latest discovery being a little peanut butter and jam sandwich. $1.50. Seriously. The perfect coffee companion, and I look for it every time. 

Peace and relaxation in SoHo, found.

Tip: On beautiful days, they open the side door, so head to the back of the cafe and score a seat by the doors or sit on the bench outside. It’s like a little hidden cove.

Tip: Go after 5 for the SANDWICH HAPPY HOUR!

Tip: Free and fast wi-fi. Network name is Dave. Password is drinkcoffee

Tip: There’s a foursquare promotion! Mayor gets free drip coffee.

Ground Support

399 West Broadway 

(212) 219-8722

I am rarely so overcome with excitement about a new discovery, that I almost don’t want to tell anyone about it, but at the same time want to tell everyone. Village Tart! Village Tart! I’m shouting it from the rooftops! This is one of the best espresso bar and bakeries in Manhattan, hands down. Walk in, and the first thing you notice is the expansive pastry case. It really is impressive, with each treat looking more appealing than the last. Deciding what to get is nearly impossible. The candied apple galette (green apple, caramel)($4.95) was unbelievable, like a freshly sliced apple infused with caramel served with a dab of creme fraiche. The grapefruit curd and almond frangipane ( vanilla sablee crust)($4.95) was really otherworldly. When I enjoy the crust as much as the rest of a pastry, there is magic happening. The seville orange poundcake ($3.50) is the perfect balance between moist and cakey, with orange jelly spread on the top served with creme fraiche. Finally, what they call a chocolate nutella skillet torte (toasted hazelnuts)($5.95) but is better described as the intersection of a brownie and smore. Just the right amount of gooeyness, moistness, warmth, and melt in your mouth chocolate flavor. I still can’t decide which is my favorite. The worst part of it all is the fact that there are at least 5 other items I am dying to try.

Tip: It has only been open for 2 weeks and is still in a soft opening. Go now before people discover it and the crowds take over

Tip: The french press coffee is a must order. One of the best coffees you will ever have. It makes about two and a half cups, so it is totally shareable.

Tip: Try a pizzette. It is shocking just how good they are.

Village Tart

86 Kenmare street

(212) 226-4980

If you find yourself on Starbucks overload, look no further than ‘Wichcraft. Not on every corner, but you’ll have no problem finding one of their 12 Manhattan locations. I don’t specifically go here for the coffee, unless it’s between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. for the coffee happy hour (1/2 off all coffee drinks) (yes, really), but because my coffee is not the most important part of my coffee break. The accompanying sweet it is! ‘Wichcraft has conjured up the perfect coffee companion. Perfectly sized, ridiculously priced ($1), and five flavors to meet every taste. The oatmeal cream’wich with caramel filling, the peanut butter cream’wich, lemon poppy sandwich cookie with fruit preserves, chocolate chip cream’wich, and the chocolate cream’wich. I can’t decide which is best, and just rotate cookie flavors each time I visit, but the peanut butter is astonishingly good.

Tip: Go between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. for the coffee happy hour. Half off all coffee drinks.

The perfect coffee treat, revealed.

'Wichcraft locations

The Ace Hotel New York is amazing. It is one of my absolute favorite places in this city. Not only does it have a great lounge, bar, and restaurant (The Breslin); but it is connected to Stumptown Coffee. The duo create the perfect coffee experience. Expertly made coffee and espresso drinks, with the relaxed and cool vibe only the Ace Hotel could provide. The secret treasures lie in the pastry case. By far, the best and most popular item is the french toast. Words cannot come close to describing how perfect it is. Get there early enough to secure a piece for yourself, and order one of the best mochas you will ever have while you’re at it.

Another of the best and hidden, found.

Additional finds: Any drink from Stumptown, most of the pastries, free wi-fi code from the concierge desk, the Breslin., the bar.

Tip: If the line for Stumptown is beyond long, take a seat in the lounge and order from a waiter. A small gratuity is included, but it is well worth the time saved.

The Ace Hotel New York

20 west 29th st.

(212) 679-2222

Stumptown Coffee Roasters

18 West 29th st.

(212) 679-2222