The Best Cafes in Harlem, NYC

NEW SERIES UPDATE: Starting a new series where I share one of my favorite places in New York City each month. Over the next few months, I’m going to put together guides for my favorite neighborhoods, and tips for what to see on weekend visits during each season in the city. Until then though, I’ll be starting to highlight a few of the things that make this city so great to live in (and visit). 

Last month, I talked about a pop-up experience in Manhattan, The Museum of Ice Cream.

Next up: The coffee culture in Harlem. When I moved to Harlem after spending three years on the Upper East Side in a neighborhood with few choices besides Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts, I was excited to move somewhere with a bunch of local cafes.

Three of my favorite spots in this part of town, Double Dutch, The Chipped Cup, and Lenox Coffee share the same owners. All three are the perfect place to settle in and get some work done (free wifi!). I normally just go for coffee or tea (love that they all brew fair-trade and offer Rishi Tea), but the bakery items are good too- they’re usually delivered fresh daily from places like Ovenly and Balthazar.

  • Double Dutch: I’ve loved this place for years, although it becomes busy on the weekends when tourists are in the neighborhood. Despite the crowds, it’s my favorite place to stop to enjoy a cortado on the back patio- talk about morning coffee dreams. It’s the definition of a neighborhood coffee shop that gets it right with rustic style and a back patio that sets it apart form other cafes.

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  • The Chipped Cup: In a city that’s chaotic more often than not, I’m grateful to have a little slice of serenity so close. Somehow, the courtyard manages to feel quiet and removed from nearby street chaos. And, whimsical decor makes the Chipped Cup just as cozy inside.

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  • Lenox Coffee: In 2011, Lenox Coffee became Harlem’s first specialty coffee house. Like Double Dutch and the Chipped Cup, this place is such a gem. It’s a great alternative to chain coffee shops, love that they serve Stumptown Coffee, and the almond croissants are delicious.

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& Because I love my neighborhood so much, a few other spots to check out: Manhattanville Coffee, Cafeine, Sugar Hill Cafe, Hamilton’s Bakery & The Monkey Cup.

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