5. Fair Folks and a Goat, 96 West Houston Street (Other location in East Village)
The bustling streets of the Lower East Side are abundant with options for coffee-lovers. However, the coffee shop Fair Folks and a Goat, which doubles as a retail store, remains unique for its way of attracting loyal customers: a $25 monthly membership fee comes with unlimited amounts of coffee, tea, espresso drinks and lemonade.
Despite being somewhat nonchalantly nestled along 96 West Houston Street, the shop’s vivid blue exterior stands out. The interior is unique. Displays featuring a wide range of eye-catching merchandise fills much of the shop, with a counter and bar to the left as you enter. Its walls are brick or painted a vivid sky blue or orange, making for an aesthetically pleasing locale.
While there is a fixed menu, the options are usually discussed with the customer rather than put on a sign. The menu used to be just coffee, espresso, tea and lemonade, but the business has now added items like matcha and mocha flavored drinks as well as new pastries. Though non-members can still purchase drinks for regular prices, this unique membership fee has drawn in many regular customers since the store’s opening three years ago.