14. Hungarian Pastry Shop (est. 1961)
The bathrooms at The Hungarian Pastry Shop were once adorned with the intellectual graffiti of Columbia students long since graduated (don’t worry, the wall has been restarted). A hand-painted sign from the original owner advertises pastries that are no longer sold, and there’s no WiFi. Those shouldn’t be distractions when there are so many spectacular pastries still being baked here, and so many weird and fascinating people to talk to while you enjoy them.
In fact, many writers and students come precisely because the no-frills decor and lack of WiFi lets them concentrate on their work. And work they do—the café displays the book jackets of its well established patrons to prove it. It was also where a scene in Woody Allen’s Husbands and Wives was filmed.