Photo by Joey Bui/The Gazelle.
New York- Go for a walk and get lost. Many will tell you it’s the best way to experience New York City. But when the snowstorm morphs into a blizzard and you're stranded out in Greenpoint, Brooklyn with no sign of the L train, New York is less forgiving. The winter will go down a lot more nicely if you know the right cafés to duck into en route to soul-wandering. Here are some picks from downtown Manhattan that are conveniently located near NYU locations.
1. Stumptown Coffee Roasters
This espresso bar invites obsession. A selection of scales, grinders and filters span the counter, and bags of coffee from all corners of the world — from Rwanda to Indonesia — line the walls. The master baristas take source trips overseas and hold public tastings at 2 p.m. Step through the door to The Brewery, where you can get cappuccinos from 9 to 5. When both rooms are crowded, customers lean against the bar to sip their espressos, just as in the cafés of Rome. But if you get a seat, there's free Wi-Fi for studying, and The Brewery is only a block away from Washington Square. You can't go wrong with an espresso, but a big mug of drip coffee is a great excuse to stay longer.
30 W 8th St., New York (one block north from Washington Square West)
2. Third Rail Coffee
Students will brave a snowstorm to make it to this café. Luckily, it is right across the street from the law school. The signature roast is pretty acidic and fully delicious, best served in a cappuccino. If you get a seat, it's a great place to read a book or chat with the friendly baristas. Otherwise, get takeout and run down another block to Mamoun's Falafel for a sandwich. No Wi-Fi.
240 Sullivan St., New York
3. Mojo Coffee
Deep in the West Village, this is the best café in which to spend your day. Pass through the canvas coffee bag curtains to a spacious interior of tree trunk tabletops. There are seats by one window, a loveseat at another window and a wide communal table. Get the Guatemalan drip coffee and a dessert — they're famous for them. There are also quirkier selections such as axlegrease, the extra shot coffee, and the hot apple cider. Free Wi-Fi.
128 Charles St., New York (near Greenwich Hotel)
The barista is Australian and serves excellent flat whites. Though a pricey restaurant by night and a brunch place on weekends, by day you’ll find a relaxed café vibe (8 a.m. to 4 p.m.). Spread your work across its rustic wooden tables. Sit by the window to watch people drift toward St. Mark’s Place and check if anyone ever steps into the Gothic Cabinets shop next door. The pastries are delicious. Free Wi-Fi.
102 3rd Ave., New York, NY 10003 (a block from Palladium Hall)
5. The Coffee Foundry
Although a short walk from Washington Square, you're likely to miss this discreet West Village café. Its windows are frosted over, the shopfront is tiny and only a small grey sticker says “The Coffee Foundry”. Always quiet and cool, this café is great for studying. The barista will get up from behind his MacBook to make you a cappuccino. Everyone is working. At night, this place will transform into a loud, colorful karaoke bar — true story. Free Wi-Fi.
186 W 4th St., New York
6. Everyman Espresso
The 13th Street location is hidden behind Palladium and tucked away from loud 14th Street. It has a minimalist feel, with its bare interior, spindly chairs and little round tables. It is also home to an off-Broadway theater Classic Stage Company. The thrown-together vibe is strangely comforting. With its fridge full of milk from Battenkill Valley Creamery in Salem, NY, you should probably get a latte. Free Wi-Fi.
136 E 13th St., New York (right behind Palladium Hall)