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What Are the Best Coffee Spots for Fifth Avenue Shopping Trips?

Shopping on Fifth Avenue requires near-Herculean strength—or at the least, a strong cup of coffee. From Bendel to Bergdorf, there is no shortage of treasures here: handbags, jewelry, clothing, gifts, and so much more. When your energy starts to flag (and it will), you’ll need a strong cup of joe. While coffee shops are a rare find on Fifth Avenue itself, we have some of the best best coffee in NYC nearby to get you up and running again! Find eight exemplary coffee shops below for your caffeine fix.

Zibetto Espresso Bar

zibetto espresso bar

A little ways off Fifth but well worth every second of detour is Zibetto Espresso Bar. Step into one of their three locations in midtown Manhattan and you’ll have the feel of walking into any small café from Trieste to Milano. This is a coffee shop, but there’s no ordinary drip coffee served here. The beans are a custom blend, specially roasted in Bologna. A gleaming La Cimbali machine is perfectly calibrated, with temperatures set out to the decimal place. All the favorites are served, from super-smooth cappuccinos and espressos to lattes, Americanos, and cocoa-enhanced Marocchinos. (Come back later in the day and you may be tempted by a selection of beer, wine, or Prosecco, plus mimosas and bellinis.) 1385 Sixth Ave. (on 56th St.), 646-707-0505; also 1221 Sixth Ave. (on 48th St.), 212-332-2648 and 1 Park Ave. (btw. 32nd & 33rd Sts.), zibettoespresso.com

Ninth Street Espresso

Ninth Street Espresso

Ninth Street Espresso believes “good coffee should be simple.” You’ll agree the minute you see the menu, which avoids technical beverage names in favor of drinks like “Espresso w/ Milk.” All their beans are roasted at their facility in Chelsea Market, so you can be sure they’re fresh as fresh can be! Their new location lies between Lexington and Park Avenues on East 56th Street. Take a load off in this black-and-white space with stools along the walls, and continue on to your next score on 5th Avenue. 109 E. 56th St., 646-559-4793, ninthstreetespresso.com

Blue Bottle Coffee Rockefeller Center

Let’s be honest: the ground floor of Grand Central is a maze, and not always in a good way. Among the many coffee options you have there, we’ll point you to the superb Blue Bottle Coffee. This coffee roaster values flavorful, sustainable beans. This is the kind of place where beans are listed on the menu by region; don’t worry, there’s only a few options for espresso and drip coffee so you won’t get overwhelmed. Not only is the Rock Center location convenient for shoppers, but they also have a new location just off 5th Avenue at 53rd Street. 1 Rockefeller Plaza, Concourse Level, Suite D; 10 E. 53rd St., bluebottlecoffee.com

Ground Central

Ground Central

Ground Central sits just off Lexington Avenue in Midtown East, a few blocks from all the action (shopping action, that is). It’s a surprisingly large coffee shop for the area, with solid brews and cushy armchairs in the back of the long space. They also have plenty of pastries, sandwiches, and Liquiteria juices if you’re looking for fresh greens in your liquid pick-me-up. This one might be a great place for coffee after your 5th Avenue trip, when you’re on your way to Bloomingdale’s just a few blocks up the street! 155 E. 52nd St., 646-964-4438, ground-central.com

Matto Espresso

Just off Fifth Avenue on 46th Street, Matto stands out for its cheap prices. Everything on the menu, from the pastries to the espresso drinks, is $2! And Matto serves solid coffee that would be twice the price anywhere else in the city. With decent seating options and a wide variety of pastries (remember, just 2 bucks apiece!), Matto just might be the unicorn on this list. 8 W 46th St., matto.com 

Gotan

Gotan

Gotan is your best bet not only for coffee but also a relaxed lunch in the midst of a busy day in Midtown. This cafe is full of blonde wood and live plants and exposed brick. The coffee’s not too shabby either. Their veggie-forward menu has some reliable salads like the tuna avocado, in addition to acai bowls and sandwiches. Whether picking up a drink to-go or lingering a bit to give your feet a rest, give Gotan a shot. 20 W. 46th St., 212-300-4910, gotannyc.com

Kaffe 1668

Kaffe 1668 is one of the few coffee shops directly on 5th Avenue, which is almost exclusively devoted to retail space. The Kaffe found a loophole by setting up shop in the lobby of an office building. While we’re not over-the-moon about the coffee here, we fully support the local roasting of a diverse selection of beans—plus the fuzzy sheep figurines littering the shelves above the espresso machine. If you’re looking for something quick, convenient, and a little different, Kaffe 1668 is your best bet. 530 Fifth Ave., kaffe1668.com

Juice Press

Although Juice Press specializes in organic juices and smoothies, it also serves our favorite coffee in the city. Their organic Almond Latte is homemade almond milk mixed with strong cold-brew, sweetened with coconut sugar. This singular, delectable concoction comes in a bottle for maximum portability too. If the latte’s not your thing, Juice Press serves its cold-brew black or nitro-brew coffee in a can. And they have an organic answer to the frappuccino: Harvey Wallbanger with The Works. There are three locations in the area, and we couldn’t be more grateful. 625 Madison Ave.; 65 W. 55th St.; 30 Rockefeller Plaza; 212-777-0034; juicepress.com

for:ground

Another option with plenty of seating, for:ground is a slick, minimal space near Bryant Park. They serve coffee from local favorite roaster, Counter Culture, and there’s an all-day breakfast menu too. The beet latte is a bit polarizing but perfect for curious palates, while the berry toast and standard latte win every time. Start here, and head uptown for the nearby Muji, & Other Stories, and Zara. 8 E. 41st, forgroundnyc.com

Bluestone Lane

Bluestone Lane

Not to be confused with Blue Bottle, Bluestone Lane is yet another Australian import and a valued newcomer to the New York cafe scene. Their brighter cups of drip “Flagstaff” blend and espresso drinks made with “Maverick” beans make for complex and energizing drinks. Their diverse organic teas, bottled kombucha, and juices are wholesome alternatives as well. Check out their glass-on-three-sides standalone shop north of Bryant Park with outdoor seating in the warm months! Or their newer location at Madison Avenue and 47th Street. Bryant Park: 1114 Sixth Ave.; Madison: 400 Madison Ave.; 718-374-6858; bluestonelane.com

About the Author

Merrill Lee Girardeau lives and writes in Brooklyn.

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