The outside of Porto Rico, a Greenwich Village coffee shop

New York City has no shortage of places to grab a cup of joe. From bodegas and food trucks to espresso bars and hidden cafes, you can get your caffeine fix from a variety of shops. In this list, we tracked down the oldest coffee shops in New York City, dating back to the late 19th century! Join us to explore some of the coffee shops on this list on our Greenwich Village Coffee Tour and Tasting where you can sip on a cappuccino, nibble on chocolate-covered coffee beans, and more treats.

Coffee Tour & Tasting

Coffee at Caffe Reggio

1. Caffè Reggio, 119 Macdougal Street

  • Caffe Reggio exterior
  • Crowd inside Cafe Reggio

Opened in 1927 by Italian immigrant Domenico Parisi, Caffè Reggio in Greenwich Village is credited as being the oldest continuously operating coffee house in New York City. The shop also holds the title of the oldest espresso machine and has the distinction of being the first American cafe to serve cappuccino. Original tin ceilings, mismatched Italian furnishings, and classical paintings on the walls help the cafe maintain an old-school charm. The espresso machine, which was made in 1902 and sent over from Italy, still stands proudly in the shop, though it is no longer in use.

2. McNulty’s Tea & Coffee, 109 Christopher Street

  • McNulty's Greenwich Village coffee shop
  • Coffee scale and coffee beans in containers inside McNulty's

Though Caffè Reggio may be the oldest continually operating cafe, there were many places where you could grab a cup of joe or coffee supplies before the 1920s. McNulty’s Tea and Coffee Co. has been a staple of Greenwich Village since 1895. Not only do they serve a diverse variety of coffees, but they also have an extensive tea selection as well. Inside the shop, even the scales used to weigh the tea leaves and coffee beans are antique. McNulty’s is said to have been founded by two Irish brothers, just up the block from its current location.

3. Porto Rico Roasting Co., 201 Bleecker St.

  • The outside of Porto Rico, a Greenwich Village coffee shop
  • Sacks of coffee inside Porto Rico

Another coffee supply store and place where you can get a freshly brewed cup today is Porto Rico, opened by Patsy Albanese in 1907 on Bleecker Street. The original shop was located just across the street from the current location but moved to 201 when the company was sold to the Longo family in 1958. The Longo family has now run and lived above the shop for three generations as the company has expanded to multiple locations across the city. Inside the historic building, coffee beans are displayed in giant open sacks and loose-leaf teas line the walls in rows of handmade shelving. While the company bears a name that is the Italian spelling of Puerto Rico, a popular source of coffee when the company was founded in the early 20th century, the coffee sold here now hails from countries all over the world from Burundi and Kenya to Indonesia, and Brazil.

4. Ferrara’s Bakery, 195 Grand St.

Ferrara Bakery

What is now Ferrara’s Bakery originally opened as Café A. Ferrara in 1892 to provide the local Italian neighborhood with a place to gather and enjoy a cup of espresso. It was founded by Enrico Scoppa and opera impresario Antonio Ferrara. While the coffee was delicious, the baked goods were even more so. By the 1920s, the business shifted its focus away from caffeinated drinks and more to baked goods. Today, the fifth generation of the Ferrara family serves up gelato, baked goods, espresso, and more Italian treats.

5. Chock full o’Nuts

William Black opened the very first Chock full o’ Nuts on 43rd Street and Broadway in 1926. This simple store’s specialty was roasted peanuts. When the Depression hit, New Yorkers couldn’t afford this little luxury and Black was forced to change his business model. Instead of nuts, he began to roast coffee beans. He also started to sell cheap sandwiches made with cream cheese, chopped nuts, and raisin bread. The sandwiches came with a freshly brewed cup of coffee. With this change, Chock full o’Nuts became a chain of successful lunch counters serving up affordable and satisfying meals, always with a cup of coffee. In the 1950s, the brand had packaged coffee on grocery store shelves across the city and soon became the top-selling brand in the five boroughs. After Black’s death in the 1980s, the remaining New York City locations were sold with the final shop on Madison Ave closed in the 1990s. The cafe had a brief resurgence in Manhattan when a new location opened on 23rd Street in 2010, but it closed just two years later. Today, one cafe location, which opened in recent years, exists on Avenue M in Brooklyn.

Coffee Tour & Tasting

Next, check out The Story Behind NYC’s Greek Coffee Cups