Hipster Coffee & Fancy Cocktails: Drinking Our Way Through New York

We spent a lot of time drinking in New York. During the days we’d go from coffee shop to cafe, sipping coffee drinks while we worked, and at night we’d meet up with friends for beers and cocktails.

We got into New York on Monday afternoon, and our first stop was Shake Shack, because a shake and fries were totally necessary, they had a specialty Stumptown coffee shake that was excellent. From there we made our way over to Williamsburg in Brooklyn to drop off our stuff at a friends apartment where we were going to stay for a couple of nights. Then we were off to the cafe, Urban Rustic was a mellow neighborhood spot, they had lots of tables and wifi which made for a good afternoon work space. They closed at 5 though so, we wandered over to Black Brick Coffee to do a little more work and sip on an iced chai latte. This place was the epitome of Brooklyn hipster coffee shop, and I loved it. With exposed brick, cool back patio, and what I’d call, “industrial rustic” decor it’s probably one of the best places to hang out with your laptop and work on your screen play.

As afternoon turned into evening we figured we should switch from caffeinated beverages to alcoholic. For that we walked just down the block to Brasserie Witlof (closed now), where we sat at a table outside on the sidewalk, perfect for people watching. We share the cauliflower hummus while sipping rosé and Belgium beers and watched hipsters ride by on their fixies. And that might be the most hipster sentence I’ve ever typed (#sorrynotsorry). As it got dark we abandoned the people watching to meet up with Rob’s friend Eric (with whom we were staying with) at Night of Joy, a rooftop bar, for one more drink. Rooftop bars are so cool, and this one was complete with string lights over head, paper lanterns, and graffiti art on the side walls.

The next morning in an effort to offset all the drinking of the night before we decided to go for a run over the Williamsburg bridge. It was hot, I hadn’t exercised in probably over a month, so I basically felt like I was going to have a heart attack. I will concede that it was a cool way to see both Brooklyn and Manhattan from the bridge.

After recovering from the run (and showering), we spent the rest of the day in Manhattan, working, running errands, and eating halal food. Rob’s meetup group, Designers Who Code (discontinued), was having an event that night in Midtown so we made our way up that direction. We still had some time to kill so we stopped into a little coffee shop, Brich Coffee to surf the internet for a little. This place felt pretty hipster for Manhattan with its bookshelf lined walls. They didn’t have wifi, which seemed kind of weird for the amount of laptops I saw, but hey, I guess sometimes you need to unplug to appreciate coffee?

The meetup event went well, and after we grabbed a drink with one of the organizers at The Rum House, quite possibly the coolest bar in the Time Square area. I’ve never been much of a rum drinker, it may have something to do with a bottle of Captain Morgan one Halloween in college. However The Rum House has changed my mind, they have excellent rum cocktails, as well as a selection of premium rums, which I didn’t even know was a thing! I enjoyed a couple different rum cocktails, if you ever find yourself there, try the Fair Maiden, the cucumber and mint with the rum make for a refreshing and sophisticated drink to sip on.

When your are in Brooklyn you pretty much need to go to brunch. So we grabbed some food and coffee at Egg the next morning. The food was good, and they had French press coffee (how fancy!), but I think my favorite part was listening to all the conversations going on around us. There were some serious hipster first world problems being discussed, and it was definitely amusing to listen to. Like “who would be going to the Hamptons this weekend?” And “there’s a new play out, you haven’t heard of it? It’s very underground.” Serious stuff.

From there we went to an even more hipster coffee shop to work, Devocion roasts all their coffee beans on sight and have a big glass window so you can see it all going down from inside the cafe. The space is there is huge with a giant skylight in the middle providing natural light for the giant living plant wall on one side of the room. Honestly this place was pretty cool, hipster yes, but the coffee was good and it was a good place to work for a few hours.

The evening got a little over booked with plans to meet one of Rob’s coworkers for drinks, then go to our friends apartment for dinner, we also wanted to try and catch part of the Warriors game, add in the fact that we were running late for everything and the night got a little crazy. But we made it work, it’s very important to us to be able to drink with everyone. Our first stop of the night was Union Hall in Park Slope. I would love to come to this place on a rainy afternoon with a bunch of friends for drinks and bocce ball. Because they have an indoor bocce ball court! I love bars with games. Our next destination for the evening was to pick up beer and head over to our friends apartment, also in Park Slope. I guess if you lived there you’d know which bodegas sold beer or not, but finding beer became kind of a mission. We finally found some by the third corner store we went into. We barbecued on the roof which was so cool, and I’m a little jealous of their rooftop patio. After dinner we ran down to Dram Shop a sports bar, to catch the end of the Warriors game. They lost so we didn’t end up staying very long. It’s the kind of place you should get to early on a game day so that you can get a seat, and some seriously delicious looking bar food. We ended the night at the Owl Farm, a beer bar also in Park Slope. They have a huge selection of beers and ciders on tap, as well as pinball machines in the back.

The next morning we figured we should have brunch again, because why not, this time at Peaches in Bed-Stuy. I definitely recommend Peaches if you are into delicious southern cooking. For a popular spot in Brooklyn it didn’t feel pretentious, and the general vibe of the place was mellow and welcoming. Definitely check it out if you ever have the chance! I had the salmon croquettes and Rob had an omelet with just about everything but the kitchen sink in it, both were amazing! We spent the rest of the day running around Manhattan, cruising through the High Line and walking around the city.

That evening I left Rob to work at Ninth Street Espresso while I went to meet up with my friend Jessie who just happened to be in New York for work. We grabbed wine and dinner in the East Village at a little wine bar called Grape and Grain. I really enjoyed their rosé, and the “small plates” were delicious and definitely big enough to share. We caught up and chatted over a few glasses of wine before deciding it was time for fancy cocktails. For those we went to The Eddy, one of Jessie’s go to places when she’s in New York. It’s a small neighborhood bar/restaurant sort of place with seasonal food and killer cocktails. We sat at the little bar and ordered some of the house specialties. My favorites were the Guilty Pleasure and the Pickled Ramp Gibson. We hung out there chatting with the bartenders, trying cocktails, and talking about the meaning of life (haha jk). Rob came to meet up with us for one of those fancy cocktails and we were all hanging out and having a good time when Jessie got called up for some work-networking-something-or-other. She was going to have to bail, but suggested we try the tiki bar down the street next. With a few tipsy selfies outside we said our goodbyes, and Rob and I went in search of Mother of Pearl, the tiki bar. Mother of Pearl is the fanciest tiki bar I’ve ever been in. To be fair my only comparison is Tradr Sam’s in SF though. The inside was excellently decorated, I’d call it classy tiki, and it’s the kind of place where a hostess will seat you unless you want to just sit at the bar, which is what we did. The drinks here were not only delicious but beautiful.

And so ended our last night in New York, with good friends, sugary cocktails, and a long uber ride back to Brooklyn.


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