Far from home, while discovering the “Big Apple,” you might want to taste something that reminds you of Italy. Therefore we have decided to recommend a few New York bars where you can find real Italian coffee in New York.
From coffee to coffee through the streets of New York
To recommend the various bars, restaurants, and hotels which serve the best coffees in New York, we decided to suggest a route like that of Tom Thumb or Hansel and Gretel with the difference that, in contrast with the fairy tales, you won’t be picking up bread crumbs, you’ll be tasting the best cups of coffee the city has to offer.
Our journey starts by waking up in one of the rooms of the Michelangelo Hotel.
Located in the heart of the city, between 51st and 7th Avenue, this structure is “an Italian oasis in the heart of New York,” and the aroma of coffee (rigorously espresso) which is served at breakfast, is clear proof of that.
After this excellent start to the day, we suggest as your first stop off of the day to go and visit Times Square, which is just a five-minute walk away.
This square, one of the most famous, photographed and filmed in the world, is the real crossroads of the city that never sleeps.
Millions of people meet (each other) in this iconic place in Manhattan, illuminated every hour of the day and night by immense, flashing billboards.
The time of year which makes it an unbeatable destination is undoubtedly New Year, in fact for this holiday every year an average of 750,000 people come together in Times Square!
After enjoying the real New York street spirit, the time has come to get away from the chaos of yellow taxis that shoot around the city and find a little peace and tranquility within the walls of one of the most famous modern art museums in the world, the MoMa.
The Museum of Modern Art is home to controversial artists, amazing works and some of the leading personalities from American history.
Established in the early 1900s by the eclectic mind of Abby Aldrich Rockefeller (wife of John D.
Rockefeller Jr.), the museum continued to grow until its first successful exhibition in 1929, housing works by world-famous artists such as Van Gogh, Cézanne, Gauguin and Seurat.
Considered by many to be the best collection of modern art masterpieces, the MoMa includes over 150,000 artworks, more than 22,000 films and 4 million still images.
Among the most famous that you can admire are “Unique forms of continuity in Space” by Umberto Boccioni, “The Persistence of Memory” by Salvador Dalì and “Les demoiselles d’Avignon” by Pablo Picasso.
To “recharge your batteries” after this visit, you have to stop for a coffee, so why not take a walk about ten minutes and head for the Hotel Fitzpatrick between 56th and 57th street to get yourself an excellent espresso?
The hotel, besides its 91 rooms, also offers a bar with a superb selection of blends, the ideal place for a break from the museum attractions and the chaos of the city.
Once restored by the familiar taste of the coffee, it is time to continue our tour of the streets of New York.
This time, no paintings, sculptures or crowded places, the destination is the giant “green lung” of the city: Central Park.
The favorite place of New Yorkers for walks or to admire the incredible views, this park remains one of the most important symbols of the city, to the point that it is the dividing line between two of the most elegant and important neighborhoods: the Upper West Side and the Upper East Side, thus called because of their position in relation to the park.
Crossing Central Park from East to West and turning downtown, you arrive in another neighborhood made famous by films and tv series, Broadway.
Home for all musical and theater lovers, it is one place you absolutely must visit before going home again. We’ve walked a long way so far and now it’s lunchtime. So why not stop at Piccolo Cafè, a gem bursting with Italian charm set in the heart of the city thanks to the entrepreneur Michele Casadei Massari?
Here, after a gourmet sandwich or a salad, you can order an expertly prepared espresso coffee.
After culture and nature, the time has come for that other important holiday activity: shopping. Walking up to the Upper West Side’s Columbus Avenue, you’ll discover one of the main streets for buying almost anything and for all budgets. This long day, travelling between iconic places, art, food, shopping and coffee is coming to an end.
Finally, it is dinner time, so if you liked the experience at the Piccolo Cafè, you can’t miss La Lucciola, a fantastic bar where the cozy furnishings are inspired by the Pupi Avati film, “Festa di Laurea”.
Espresso VS American coffee
If you’re not in the mood for an espresso even in the Big Apple, it will be useful for you to know what the American traditions are, in order to avoid inquisitive looks from baristas and then being disappointed; so we have decided to point out a few distinct differences between Italian and American habits when it comes to coffee.
Coffee to go or not to go? That is the question!
In Italy, having a coffee is considered a moment in which to take a break, a pleasure to be savored sitting down at a table or at the bar. In America, on the other hand it is a travel companion when walking around the city, ordered “to go”, as they say in New York.
If it is true that in Italy there are millions of different ways to order a coffee – macchiato hot or cold, long, short, with a shot of alcohol, shaken, marocchino – we know though that the size of the cup generally remains the same.
In America though, the sizes vary significantly: the coffee and the cappuccino can be small, medium and large, while the espresso you can find only single or double shots.
In Italy very often cold coffee is associated with the idea of crema di caffè (link), whereas in America it is recognized as the classic plastic cup filled with coffee and ice.
Have you already got your tickets to fly overseas and have you made a note of our handy hints? Have you already seen these places and want to recommend other destinations to us where we can taste the best Italian coffee in New York?
We’re waiting for your comments!