New York, New York. A concrete jungle where dreams really are made of… Alicia didn’t just make that up. She may have missed out a verse about how shockingly expensive the jungle can be, but I guess it wouldn’t have quite fit in or something.
It’s every tourist’s dream aim of staying at the top of a tower overlooking Times Square or seeing the glimmer of Liberty’s torch from their bedside, but with a quick bit of research we realised our time in NYC wasn’t going to be like that. Instead, we booked an AirBnb across the water in Bushwick, Brooklyn… which may have been the greatest compromise we have ever made.
It opened up a brand new perspective on this stupendous city and although we probably spent the majority of what we saved on accommodation on caffeine and pastries, we’d much rather it be just like that.
Brooklyn is an amazing place. With Williamsburg the first area to be gentrified into what is almost an extension of Manhattan, Bushwick is the next on the list for a hipster invasion. It’s an area where the so called ‘creatives’ come together and whether it be the street art, quirky bars or endless cold brew outlets that bring you here, we felt an enormous sense of community and culture that was lost as soon as we stepped on the L train back over to Manhattan.
Luckily we were on this trip with our good friends Ashley & Hannah, who’d been to New York and stayed in Bushwick before, so when it came to scouting out the best coffee shops, we let them lead the way.
1158 Myrtle Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11221, United States
Our first breakfast stop was at Baby Skips, an arty coffee shop which is just perfect for the Brooklyn youth to eat and drink well. It’s so easy to eat without a thought of nutrition in New York, and we didn’t stop ourselves indulging in pizzas and beers thoroughout the week in all honesty, however breakfast was a time to find some balance. The overnight oats bowl topped with granola, coconut, peaches and berries was absolutely delightful, and the coffee was also some of the best we had. It was actually the coffee cups themselves which we were most impressed by at Baby Skips though – unfortunately the nearby art studio in which they’re made was closed at the time otherwise we would’ve treated ourselves to a couple to take home.
Hala Coffee and Kitchen
40 Wyckoff Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11237, United States
Emerging from Jefferson Street station to find our intended destination to be closed, we turned to “coffee shops near me” on Google to find an overwhelming amount of options. Good coffee really is what Brooklyn is all about. To save us from a state of hanger, we went for the one closest by and set foot in Hala Coffee and Kitchen not knowing what to expect. Açai bowls and iced lattes all round set us up perfectly for a day exploring the MET Museum of Art, rowing through the lakes of Central Park and absorbing the atmosphere at our first ever baseball match – New York Yankees vs Los Angeles Angels.
18 Grattan St, Brooklyn, NY 11206, United States
Staying a stone’s throw from Morgan Avenue station, we were in perfect situ to get to SEY Coffee – the one place glowingly recommended by our food tour guide (future post pending). With a greater focus on the outstanding coffee and only offering pastries on the food menu, it was a case of doing the simply things fantastically well here. The dreamy aesthetics of the place has clearly captured the imagination of many and is a place to see the creatives at work on the Apple Mac’s whilst no doubt listening to a motivational podcast through their AirPods. For this reason, a little tricky to get a table but well worth the wait.
City of Saints
297 Meserole St, Brooklyn, NY 11206, United States
Our final Bushwick coffee stop was at City of Saints, which at first glance seems to be located where gentrification hasn’t quite reached. Almost alone on a street with more stray plastic than people, is a converted warehouse with its walls plastered in peculiar art and just a few tables. With a one man band serving up the coffee and croissants, we walked in skeptics and exited thinking that despite a week in Bushwick, we’re clearly still not hipster enough to appreciate what a place like that is about!
Before we wrap up, a special shout out to a coffee not in Bushwick or Brooklyn at all (at least the shops we went to). The New Orleans iced coffee at Blue Bottle is our favourite we’ve ever had. We must’ve had 4 or 5 each in the space of a week. Go there!
With much more NYC content coming soon, thanks so much for reading this post! Let us know if you’ve been to New York and had the pleasure of going to any of these spots!