Brooklyn Coffee Spots
With the weather getting colder, I’ve been scouting places to huddle up and grab a warm drink after work or on the weekends. As a Clinton Hill resident, I’m lucky to live near some of the best coffee spots in the borough. While not a definitive list, these spots each offer something that’s a bit unique (even for Brooklyn) and are worth making a visit if you’re in the neighborhood.
1. Stonefruit Espresso + Kitchen | 1058 Bedford Ave
I’ll admit, naming my local coffee shop as my number one choice is a bit biased. However, it’s hard not to find this little coffee and floral shop (!) hybrid charming. A short walk south from the Bedford-Nostrand G-stop, Stonefruit Espresso & Kitchen is as bright, open, and incredibly friendly as the neighborhood it's located in.
Their menu offers your typical café menu, ranging from basic drip coffee to nutty, flavorful cortados and espresso. They also have a rotating breakfast and lunch menu. The all-day breakfast menu includes one of my personal favorites, an oats and chia pudding. Think overnight oats – but even better. Feeling something a bit savory? Their Monk Bowl, mixed with rice, slightly spicy sweet potatoes and charred kale, is one of their best sellers, and is usually sold out by the early afternoon rush.
One of my favorite places to sit is their backroom, turned quasi-floral shop. Tucked away with the soft afternoon sunlight and surrounded by mountains of flowers, it’s hard to remember where you are at. Their communal-style wood table also makes it a great place to work for a few hours. It tends to get a bit busy on the weekends, particularly with the traffic from two local yoga studios, but if you’re in the neighborhood making a morning Dough Doughnuts run – add some Stonefruit into your morning.
2. Baba Cool | 64 Lafayette Ave
A stone’s throw away from the hustle and bustle of Downtown Brooklyn, Fort Greene is one of my favorite places to go when I need to feel away from the city…but not too far away. Baba Cool’s incredibly tiny storefront off doesn’t have much seating, so this spot isn’t ideal for longer coffee-fueled work binges during peak hours. However, what it lacks in size, it makes up for with its friendly staff, chic aesthetic and amazing brioche buns.
Whenever I’m in the mood for a great breakfast sandwich on the weekends, Baba Cool is usually my first stop. Their Carny egg sandwich, with soft, fluffy eggs, white cheddar cheese, crispy applewood bacon and a sprinkling of red pepper flakes is a personal.
3. Sweatshop | 232 Metropolitan Ave
Located in the heart of Williamsburg, Sweatshop is tucked into a garden-level storefront directly on Metropolitan Avenue. Its location next to older, more residential buildings makes it a little hard to spot at first, but on a nice day, there’s usually a line out the door. Its small space doesn’t make this very hard to accomplish! While Sweatshop has limited seating, it’s décor and reasonably priced drinks are worth a drop-in if you’re headed towards other Williamsburg staples.
4. Regular Visitors | 149 Smith St
As one of my favorite examples of mixed-use retail spaces, Regular Visitors is equal parts coffee shop, newsstand and a hodgepodge collection of local goods. It’s worth a visit alone for its photo-worthy interior, but Regular Visitors is more than just a place to take coffee art photos. It’s also a poster child for the “live small, shop small” movement. While you’re waiting for your coffee, take some time to explore the wall-to-ceiling magazine rank, which houses everything ranging from the Paris Review to Surfer’s Journal and almost everything in-between. They also carry a variety of products from small businesses, including my favorite brand of soap, Common Good. If you’re someone who loves supporting local or American-made products, Regular Visitors is your one-stop destination.
5. Variety Coffee Roasters | 146 Wyckoff Ave
The truth is, I almost never go to Bushwick, but when I do (and usually it’s to go thrifting), I love stopping by Variety. Cute lettering and an old-fashioned, dark wooden ordering counter make this one of my favorite places to stop by after a long afternoon. Prime real estate for a decent seat is hard to come by on the weekends, but sometimes it’s nice to relax by their giant coffee bean grinder, which they store towards the back.
Mixtape Bushwick | 1533 Myrtle Av
A short walk away from Variety Coffee Roasters, don’t be fooled by its take-out window facade. Mixtape is a self-described coffee bar and espresso specialist. If you’re serious about your coffee, definitely worth a visit. Unfortunately, though, there isn’t any indoor seating, so plan accordingly!