Coffee in New York: historic coffee shops


Despite the contaminations that have occurred over the years, New York retains nooks and crannies that tell stories and reflect the deep tradition of the city that never sleeps. Prominent among them are New York’s historic coffee shops, which over time have become true symbols of the city.

Let’s discover them in a virtual walk down the alleys of the Big Apple.

Cafes in New York: haunts for the intellectuals of the 1900s.

Throughout the 1900s, as was the case in the coffeehouses of London or Paris, New York was a haunt for artists from all over the world. Writers, philosophers, and poets, from the Beat Generation and into modernity, sat in the city’s coffee shops discussing the issues of the day and reflecting on their works.

Even today, in some of these coffee shops, you can still touch the signs of their passage.

Hungarian Pastry Shop

Not far from Columbia University in downtown Morningside Heights, the coffee shop has been a neighborhood institution since 1961.

Sitting at outdoor or indoor tables, you can enjoy strudel and hamantash and mingle with professors and students from the university, as well as intellectuals residing on the Upper West Side.

Travel guide Fodor’s, in 2014, listed this coffee shop as one of New York’s top 10 literary haunts.

White Horse Tavern

Nestled deep in the West Village, the tavern has continued to host poets, artists and celebrities since 1742. Prominent among them is the name of Dylan Thomas, celebrated English poet, about whom a curious anecdote is passed down.

Accustomed to sipping his shot of whiskey while observing the customers for inspiration, one day he apparently drank so much that he left the premises completely drunk. After a few meters, the poet stumbled, hitting his head violently. This is said to have been the cause of his death that occurred the very next day.

According to tavern-goers, his ghost still roams among the tables and behind the bar counter.

Café Reggio

Among the various historic cafes in New York, this appears to have been the first café in the city to serve cappuccino. As its name suggests, the café was founded in 1927 near Washington Square Park by Italian Domenico Parisi, a native of Reggio Calabria.

Inside, the café’s first espresso machine is preserved to this day.

This place is also very famous because in 1959 it served as the backdrop for John Fitzgerald Kennedy’s election speech, as well as for many cult scenes in American cinema.

Fraunces Tavern

Deeply connected to the history of the Revolution, Fraunces Tavern is the oldest bar in New York City and one of the first government buildings in the United States of America. It is located at the corner of Pearl and Broad Streets and over the years was used as an office by such great personalities as Alexander Hamilton and George Washington.