6. Black Cat, Lower East Side

Black Cat, a cozy coffee shop with red lounge furniture in LES
Image courtesy Black Cat LES

Black Cat LES is “basically a living room,” says Untapped contributor Apoorva Tadepalli. It’s a neighborhood-driven coffee and tea house inside a dimly lit space that is fitted with comfy seats and vintage lounge furniture. The brainchild of Aaron Ho, a business owner and criminology professor, Black Cat LES was founded as a community space that brings together like-minded intellects.

With that in mind, the cafe offers an extensive food and beverage menu, as well as free events. Scheduled programs include open-mic events, comedy shows, academic lectures, themed movie nights and even tutoring services. Address: 172 Rivington St.