New York City Specialty

Establishment neighborhood
Smith Canteen
343 Smith St., Carroll Gardens
This grab-and-go café and coffee bar is tucked into an old pharmacy from the turn of the twentieth century (tile floors and original shelving that now displays indie journals). It also happens to be run by Cherry Bombe's Kerry Diamond. The team whips up their own fresh almond milk daily, and the turmeric latte is the thing to order; there’s also a solid menu of green, black, and herbal teas, plus the standard espresso drinks you’d expect from a spot like this. Their new baker, Gabi, is known for her strawberry, basil, and quinoa muffins—they’re usually sold out by 9 a.m. Photos: Naian Gonzalez
Champion Coffee
142 Nassau Ave., Greenpoint
A goop staffer randomly happened upon this gem on Nassau Avenue when she was—appropriately—craving a coffee. Champion is a tiny, subway-tiled hole-in-the-wall that ticks all the boxes: They roast their own beans in Queens (which you can buy, packaged in retro tins for a non-exorbitant price), the counter holds a tempting selection of baked treats and bagels for sustenance, and best for last, you’ll find a decent selection of magazine titles to rifle through should you be caffeinating solo.
90 W 3rd St, West Village
Springbone brings the often-perceived-as-niche cult of bone broth into the mainstream with their clean, minimalistic hole-in-the-wall space in the West Village. The menu is a nice mix of "drinking broths" (literally mugs of broth that you drink like you would a hot tea), and actual meals incorporating the broth in some way (chicken and rice, meatballs). Don't knock it 'til you've tried it: drinking hot, savory broth is not only like a hug in a cup, it's also an incredible pick-me-up alternative to tea or coffee that you can enjoy on the go. (Although, Springbone's drinks menu is pretty solid with matcha, Chaga tea, smoothies, and a particularly delicious riff on healthy hot chocolate spiked with a little reishi and cinnamon on offer). Our favorite cup of broth is unquestionably the liquid gold—a turmeric spiked chicken and coconut milk soup—warming, healthy, and flavorsome.
El Rey
100 Stanton St., East Village
A beautifully outfitted spot for grab-and-go meals, El Rey and its menu live at the intersection of healthy, filling, and delicious. The offering is a tight edit of easy, craving-quenching, nutritious foods like chia pudding and granola, nutty farro salad, spicy chicken bowls topped with zesty yogurt, and flavorful add-ons like pickles, avocado, or eggs. For a caffeinated indulgence try the Mexican mocha, then settle into a window seat for prime people watching while you drink.
FEED Shop & Café
55 Water St., DUMBO
Lauren Bush Lauren’s decade-old, philanthropic FEED program now has its own physical café and retail space in DUMBO, which stocks her entire line of functional, aesthetical FEED products (each bag–made from durable burlap or leather–is emblazoned with the number of meals its sale has provided to children in need). Bush Lauren came up with the idea while working as World Food Program Honorary Spokesperson where she witnessed the detrimental effects hunger can have on a child's physical and educational development. Aside from the bags, FEED has branched into other carefully made, ethical products like candles, jewelry, and apparel. The café itself is bright, light, and airy with walls of windows, exposed brick, and touches of greenery—somewhere you want to settle in with a perfectly brewed cup of coffee (a Heritage custom blend, roasted in conjunction with La Colombe). While placing your order you’ll notice the bar features a live meal counter, which ticks up meals that have been donated as people buy their coffee or FEED goods.
Flour Shop
177 Lafayette St., Soho
Every corner of Soho's Flour Shop pops with rainbow-colored sweet treats—cakes, specifically. Owner and mastermind Amirah Kassem is as much a sculptor as she is a baker, many of her cakes, although classic in flavor, are totally untraditional in appearance—think trompe l'oeil burgers and fries, flowerpots, even ice-cream cones. Many are mini edible masterpieces—the explosion cakes in particular—with layers of rainbow sponge interspersed with creamy frosting, sprinkles, and chocolate pouring like lava out of the cake itself. Aside from the truly incredible cakes, donuts, and desserts, Kassem's color-happy aesthetic, which dominates the space as much as it does the confectionary, is light-hearted and fun (and beloved by sugar-high littles). For adults who need a dash of savory with their sweet, a well-balanced cup of La Colombe's coffee is readily available to wash down that slice of funfetti cake.
Cook Space Brooklyn
603 Bergen St., Prospect Heights
New York City—a metropolis obsessed with eating—isn't short on restaurants, but Cook Space offers a totally novel, modern alternative to the classic dinner out. This multifunctional space in Brooklyn's Prospect Heights hosts cooking classes, catering opportunities, workshops, and even classes for kiddos. Whether you're an accomplished home cook or a newbie in the kitchen, the roster has a little bit of something for everyone: paleo, Ayurvedic, and Whole 30 classes, alongside New Orleans cuisine, classic Thai, or even vegan for carnivores—the list goes on. The best part? The lesson ends with a meal in the loftlike dining room.
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