3. Caffè Reggio
Considered to be the grand dame of Greenwich Village coffee shops, Caffè Reggio was opened in 1927 by Domenico Parisi, an Italian immigrant. Located at 119 Macdougal Street, it became the first American cafe to serve cappuccino. Complete with tin ceilings and Italian furnishings, Caffe Reggio retains much of its original interior design from when it was frequented by writers from the Beat Generation like Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac.
One of Caffè Reggio’s most prized possessions is a 1902 chrome and bronze espresso machine, having cost the store’s original owner $1,000 to ship from Italy. Considered to be the oldest espresso machine in New York City, it originally operated on coal before transitioning to gas in the 1970s — around 20 years after the store was bought by Niso and Hilda Cavallacci. Today, Caffè Reggio is owned by their son and the espresso machine holds an honorary place on display inside the store.