Lately, we’ve been noticing a lot of coffee shops that double as some other kind of store. It got us wondering, is a good old cuppa joe not enough anymore? Are people so busy that they need to get their coffee and their floral arrangements in the same place? Or are shop owners just so ambitious that they can’t satisfy themselves by only focusing on one thing?
Whatever the answer, we have to admit that these shops are doing something right, presenting us with some fun and quirky new ways to caffeinate ourselves. From a surf/coffee shop to a motorcycle shop/cafe, here are 12 of the most interesting examples in New York City. If you know one that isn’t on this list, make sure to leave us a comment:
12. Feminist Bookshop | Coffee Shop: Cafe con Libros
For book lovers and coffee aficionados, Crown Height’s recently opened Cafe Con Libros is a must visit. The feminist bookstore, founded by Kalima DeSuze, is a community-oriented space, which provides unique programming like book clubs, book fairs, prison outreach and more.
“It’s a place made safe and accountable by boundary pushing Feminist books, community members, and open dialogue,” writes DeSuze about the shop. “We hope to provide a space for building community and healing through reading, dialogue, and simply being in the company of fellow community members.” Address: 724 Prospect Pl.
11. Record Room | Coffee Shop: Sweetleaf
An Untapped reader recently nominated Long Island City’s Sweetleaf for our list. Housed inside a 19th century building with original tin walls, the shop opened back in 2008 and has since tripled in size. “It’s where old world charm meets state of the art machinery to create something special and unique,” the Sweetleaf website writes about the space, which is decorated with antiques brought over from Paris.
In addition to the cafe, there’s a laptop room and a quiet nook in the back where patrons can find a record player and a selection of record and LP’s. Address: 10-93 Jackson Ave.
10. Surf Shop | Coffee Shop: Saturdays Surf NYC
If you happen to need a surfboard along with your espresso, Saturdays Surf NYC in SoHo is the place to go. Its coffee counter is right next to a display of surfboards.
The shop also sells men’s clothes, surf gear, accessories and books. In the warmer months, grab a macchiato and head out back to sit in the courtyard. Saturdays also made our list of the Top 10 Coffee Shops in Manhattan (for Design Buffs). There’s also a West Village location too. Address: 31 Crosby Street (SoHo) | 17 Perry Street (West Village)
9. Home Goods Shop | Coffee Shop: Homecoming
Image courtesy Homecoming
This pint-sized shop (formerly known as Spina) has got you covered if you need to pick up a potted plant for your own home. Located in Greenpoint, Homecoming serves Verve coffee and espresso, alongside pastries, ceramics, apothecary, art, jewelry, and plants.
With its minimal design and earthy interior, this outpost made our list of the Top 10 Coffee Shops in Brooklyn (for Design Buffs). There are only a few seats here, so it’s best if you’re planning to grab a coffee to go. Address: 107 Franklin St.
8. Motorcycle Shop | Coffee Shop: Jane Motorcycles
One of our favorites on this list, Jane Motorcycles was born out of the desire to have a motorcycle shop where people could hang out and admire bikes without feeling pressured to buy one. Owners Adam and Alex love to talk with motorcycle buffs about the bikes in the shop, some of which they built themselves.
The shop itself sells men’s clothes and gear, grooming products, and books. There’s also free wifi, making this a great place to hang out. Read more about Jane Motorcycle here. Address: 396 Wythe Ave.
7. Bookshop | Coffee Shop: Toby’s Estate + The Strand
The bookshop/coffee shop combination is pretty standard, and there are several of them in New York City. What we love about its Flatiron location is its excellent coffee (some of the best in the city) coupled with a beautiful space to browse for books.
The combination seems like the perfect extension of Toby’s Williamsburg location, where the New York Times is always laying around on the big table, so freelancers can take a break from working on laptops to read the paper.
6. Record Shop | Coffee Shop: Black Gold
Black Gold was previously featured in our list of 5 Record Stores in NYC Where You Can Still Get Vinyl. Originally, Sommer Foster-Santoro wanted to open a coffee shop, while her co-owner Jeff Ogiba wanted to open a record shop. Luckily for us, they decided to combine both ideas.
In addition to coffee, they also sell taxidermy and a variety of antiques, from Victorian-era pieces to mid-century modern. You can grab a drink by the counter and sit in the front window. Address: 461 Court St.
5. Game Shop | Coffee Shop: The Brooklyn Strategist
The Brooklyn Strategist in Carroll Gardens runs after school programs for kids by day and becomes a BYOB game center for adults by night. They have over 350 board games, including rare and out of print games.
Kids can learn card games, ancient strategy games, chess, checkers, role playing games, and more. For adults, there are trivia games, Dungeons & Dragons tournaments, a fantasy sport club and more. They serve French press coffee, teas, old fashioned sodas and snacks. Address: 333 Court St.
4. Chocolate Shop | Coffee Shop: Mariebelle
Reminiscent of fancy chocolate shops in Paris, Mariebelle in SoHo sells gourmet, handcrafted sweets from chocolate truffles to bars. If you walk through the chocolate shop, you’ll find the cacao bar and tea salon in the back, where you can grab coffee and tea, as well as hot (or iced) chocolate, pastries and sandwiches.
The stunning interior, featuring antique chandeliers, velvet seats and antique armoires filled with chocolate, is truly breathtaking, giving you another reason to pay a visit to the shop. Address: 484 Broome St.
3. Game Shop | The Uncommons
Another game shop, The Uncommons is Manhattan’s first boardgame store and cafe that welcomes guests of all ages. If you’re looking for a place to burn a couple of hours, pay a visit to this quirky outpost, where you can find an expansive inventory of board and card games — one of the largest in the East Coast — that spans across multiple genres.
In addition to being a game center, The Uncommons is very much a social space, where events likes tournaments and meet-ups are regularly held. You are also free to “walk-in” and play on a regular game night. Address: 230 Thompson St.
2. Gift Shop | Clothing Boutique | Coffee Shop: Jill Lindsey
At Jill Lindsey, a clothing boutique in Fort Greene, there’s more than meets the eye. Designer Jill Lindsey runs the boutique and can be often found behind the coffee counter in the back. Serving coffee from Irving Farm, you can also drink alcohol here from the list of bio-dynamic wines and craft beer.
This is all to make the space more of a hangout than a store, and the events calendar attests with dinners, language classes, yoga, wine tastings and more. With wi-fi to boot and craft tables, it’s a nice spot to work and observe the community. Address: 370 Myrtle Ave.
1. Pet Shop | Coffee Shop: Boris and Horton
Photograph by Milla Chappell. Courtesy of Boris & Horton
Pet cafes aren’t a new phenomenon, but there has been a lot of anticipation surrounding the opening of Boris & Horton, New York City’s first Department of Health approved dog-friendly café, where both two-and-four-legged patrons can find a cozy place to hang. To clarify, Boris & Horton — named after the owners Coppy Holzman and Logan Mikhly’s own dogs — won’t operate the same way as Japanese cat cafes do. This means there won’t be resident dogs roaming around, waiting to be adopted. Instead, patrons are encouraged to bring their own canine friends, according to Grub Street.
Inside Boris & Horton, there will be two sections: a cafe side that offers coffee, house-made toast, pastries (from Balthazar, Bien Cuit and Husk Bakeshop), and beer & wine (during the evenings), as well as a “dog side,” which is comprised of a seating area, a canine-themed shop and a “puppy Instagram booth.” For those who want to quickly grab a brew or a tasty treat, there will also be an outdoor walk-up window, and the cafe will host adoption events and fundraisers during the weekends.
Boris & Horton’s soft opening takes place in mid-January, so be sure to rally up your friends and their canine companions for the occasion. Address: 195 Avenue A.
Also check out our Top 10 Coffee Shops in Manhattan (For Design Buffs) and our Top 10 Coffee Shops in Brooklyn (For Design Buffs). Get in touch with the author @lauraitzkowitz.