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Best coffee shop in Brooklyn (to read and study in)

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As a coffee loving medical student, I'm always interested in knowing/finding the best coffee shop to study in. I've tried the usual places in park slope (Starbucks, Tea Lounge, Ozzy's). I was wondering if there is any other coffee shope (or starbuck's like shops) that you would recommend.

I think out of the 3 that I listed, I like starbucks b/c of the space, time (opens til midnight) and big tables. However, I do want to switch it up a bit and see new faces :)

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  1. Have you tried the Ozzie's on 5th Ave? It is big and pretty quiet--not like the 7th Ave branch. I find it a good place to work. (Coffee only mediocre, tho)

    1. I haven't done this, but I've noticed that you can have coffee in the Brooklyn Public Library at Grand Army Plaza. There are tables and I see people with their lap tops. It could be pleasant.

      1. I like Tea Lounge on Union off 7th--it does get a bit noisy and wild with the stroller set but you can still find a cozy corner.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Arthur

          There's one at the corner of Seventh Ave. and 10th St. as well. A cozy spot, and very popular in the neighborhood.

        2. Go to Vox Pop

          Fair Trade coffee, free WIFI. Cool left of center books.

          If you really need to study, check their schedule to make sure there's no performance on that nite.

          It's on Cortelyou Road in Ditmas Park.

          Link: http://www.voxpopnet.net

          6 Replies
          1. re: lawra

            thats a cool looking place, we need something like that in queens..I dont mean Starbux either.

            1. re: Wells

              my favorite cafe in Queens (at least for reading/studying or other quiet contemplation) is Ten63 at 10-63 Jackson in Long Island City. It's right above the Vernon-Jackson stop on the 7 train and near the LIRR station. They have local art, good tea and food menus, and the staff has pretty good taste in music (not too loud, either). i LOVE the ruby sipper tea (blood orange and something else), carrot ginger and artichoke soup, and who doesn't love a banana nutella sandwich?

              Only catch is they close early - like 7pm most weeknights, i think. they stay open late (9pm) on Tuesdays because me and a bunch of other folks go there for a stitch n bitch group.

            2. re: lawra

              Any other suggestions for good coffee in Brooklyn? I haven't come across anywhere really good in Bensonhurst/Bay Ridge/Dyker Heights yet...

              1. re: CoffeeHead

                On 3rd Ave and 83rd St(?), there is Caffe Cafe. They don't have WiFi, but they will let you use an outlet so that you cna work. I find it a nice place to transcribe notes. Coffee is pretty decent, though not as strong as I like it. But the staff is pretty friendly.

                1. re: ellyel

                  The Little Cupcake Bakery on 3rd and 91st in Bay Ridge has great coffee and it is pretty quiet in the morning and early afternoon but when school gets out and on the weekend it is busy.

              2. re: lawra

                consumer democracy wins again. to the original poster, i think the tea lounge is the best place, hands down. at least they know they are in business of selling coffee and tea, without political pretensions.

              3. only one missing from this list is gorilla on park place and fifth. also happens to be the best coffee of all of the above.

                4 Replies
                1. re: ribbi

                  I have to disagree with Gorilla. It's incredibly noisy in there and the chairs are like sitting on rocks. I also find the coffee too strong, but I know others love it.

                  1. re: Kate

                    it may be a bit noisy, but they have the best coffee in brooklyn. i'd reccomend going to joyce bakery on vanderbilt ave in prospect heights. besides serving gorilla coffee and having pretty steller homeade baked items, the interior is comfortable and quite cheerful.

                  2. re: ribbi

                    I like Gorilla's coffee, but I couldn't imagine lingering there-- it's tiny!

                    I know that during the day, Half Wine Bar on Vanderbilt and Prospect is open and serving coffee and tea. I believe they even have free WiFi.

                    1. re: JessicaSophia

                      Gorilla people tend to favor death metal or noisecore it seems to be... not that relaxing an environs for some.

                  3. Can't believe nobody's mentioned Cafe Regular on 11th St, just off the western corner of 5th Ave. Place is small, but turnover's pretty good, and it's a friendly place to study for an hour or so. Coffee's some of the best around, they have decent pastries from Marquet, rolls from Sullivan St Bakery, hardboiled eggs and a nice tea selection.
                    Another decent place is Parco, on the east side of 7th Ave between 14th & 15th Sts. The guy uses La Colombe Torrefaction, just like Cafe Regular, and his espresso drinks get better every time I try them. He also makes crepes and some other food.

                    1. if we're still taking ideas, let me put in a vote for Fall Cafe in Carroll Gardens. It's at 307 Smith and steps from the Carroll Street stop on the F. I just googled up an article about it and put it in a link, below. It's quiet and comfy and bright. If I were in school, I'd definitely study there.

                      I haven't been there since I moved out in '01, but I used to really like Tillie's in Fort Greene (248 Dekalb). It's small and cozy and caters to Pratt students and neighborhood residents alike. Local art on the walls, readings and music and lots of free reading material. It might be a bit more highly trafficked than Fall, and you'd have to look at their calendar to avoid going on a night with a scheduled event if noise/distractions get to you. Their website is http://www.tilliesofbrooklyn.com/

                      And maybe I'm alone, but I can't stand the Union St tea lounge - it might be cool to go have a drink with a friend at the bar, but the noise is ridiculous, it's crowded, and the counter staff have a little too much attitude.

                      Link: http://www.nynewcomer.net/zine/php/ar...

                      1. On the boarder of Clinton Hill and Bedstuy is OUTPOST LOUNGE. The best coffee hands-down in the neighborhood and free wi-fi, etc. The baristas as really great. It's on fulton and Grand or Classon.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: ben5

                          i actually went to OUTPOST today (based on this suggestions). the barista's are good, amazing coffee and good food, but it's too noisey to study. the music is not background, it's foreground and it's not stereotypicaly coffee house music (when i left they were playing Beck). on the other hand if you're simply going to talk to friends and hang out for a few hours, this place is great and in expensive. also, they no longer have free wifi.

                        2. Chocolate Monkey on latbush between Park Pl and Prospect or Muddy Waters on Vanderbilt Ave by the corner of park Place. With regards to Muddy, it has the worst coffee in the world but people (not a ton) seem to like to hang out there. I have no idea what the coffee is like at CM, but I do see people inside.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: bigmackdaddy

                            The woman who owns both these places is one of the most retched human beings I've ever met - I haven't heard *anyone* say anything positive about either of these places. And does Chocolate MOnkey even have coffee anymore - last time I went in about two years ago they had an espresso machine but just served beer and wine.

                            1. re: lambretta76

                              Actually, I have the name wrong. Chocolate Monkey is a club. I mean the coffee house next to it whose name escapes me. And I quite agree she is a witch but like I say people do seem to hang there.

                              1. re: bigmackdaddy

                                i think that place is called (slope?) heights coffee. the coffee is decent, but it can be hard to get seating during the weekends iirc.

                          2. Flying Saucer on Atlantic has wi-fi and some sofas.
                            I also 2nd Regular.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: JenMarie66

                              I second Flying Saucer. It's got a great chill atmosphere and good coffee. Check it out.

                              1. re: bhill

                                Third Flying Saucer. Good coffee, friendly staff and cozy chairs.

                            2. Heights Coffee also seemed nice and quiet. It's on Flatbush right across from the Q train. I really can't vouch for their coffee though, I have had their chai and it was kind of generic.

                              As for Tea Lounge on Union, I once had one of their "I'm too cool for this place" counter people give me an attitude because I didn't notice that he burned himself making my tea. I much prefer the one by 13th Street.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: MrsT

                                the tea lounge is unbearable- i fell like i'm in some kind of hellish nursery school. the coffee is also overpriced and weak.

                              2. Are you interested in williamsburg coffee houses? If so, Fix on North 11th and bedford is pretty spacious (tho perhaps a little dim), Atlas at Grand and Havemeyer is nice and sunny, and both the Roebling Tea Room and Oslo at Roebling and Metropolitan are very nice.

                                1. we call it book bar, but i think it's called union hall. it's on union between 4th and 5th ave (maybe) in park slope. i think it's only open as a coffee shop on the weekends.

                                  1. I think that while Heights Coffee has a nice space and Gorilla... well... has fancy packaging, both have undrinkable coffee. Could try Mule on 4th. I was only there once. The espresso was OK but the place was nice and had a quite vibe despite being fairly busy. Hopefully the regular coffee is good.

                                    Cafe Regular is great but small.

                                    1. No - it could be the fact that snarfmaster doesn't like the taste of carbon - Gorilla dark roasts its beans in the Starbucks style - otherwise known as burnt. I find their espresso to be OK, but their regular roast coffee has that same Starbucks burnt flavor to me. I applaud their success, I just don't particularly care for their coffee. And I guess since I prefer the likes of La Colombe Torrefaction, Counter Culture, and Gimme!, but not Gorilla, I don't particularly like the flavor of coffee, either?

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: lambretta76

                                        I actually don't like Starbucks at all but quite enjoy Gorilla.

                                        1. re: Peter Cuce

                                          Well, I really wanted to like Gorilla because it's cool and local I like the shop and everything BUT their coffee is pretty bad. AND I happened to have some Starbucks beans lying around my apt. and did a test between the two and Starbucks is definately much better coffee. Meaning that whatever you think or feel about the two brands, Gorilla tastes even WORSE than starbucks. I do not like EITHER. I am all about La Colombe Torrefaction! And love Cafe Regular for using it! But I would wager to say that Gorilla's beans are even MORE burn than Starbuck's. Foul.

                                      2. A fairly new place in South Slope/Greenwood Heights is called Cafe Sutra. The coffee is decent (Black Cat, I think) but it's really cozy & quiet. Awesome study spot. Corner of 18th St & 5th Ave.

                                        Better coffee (Barrington beans), but slightly less cozy and more "cafe" is Red Horse Cafe on 6th Ave & 12th Street in the slope. If you're in the hood be sure to stop by Colson on 9th & 6th for a sandwich. Mediocre service, taaaaaaasty sandwich.

                                        1. Cafe Sutra also has wi-fi and is open until 11 I think.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: SmittyT

                                            Right, forgot to mention that. Red Horse has WiFi also but closes at 10 I think.

                                          2. Cafe Sutra has Intelligentsia coffee (Chicago), which is excellent and known for their Black Cat espresso.

                                            1. my wife's given all the Slope places a try as a study place and tends to prefer both the Ozzie's locations, as well as Heights Coffee, but a good spot is not always available at Heights. the Ozzie's on 5th Ave. can also have an unbearable glare coming in from the windows.

                                              Of course, the drawback to the places listed above is that none of them have particularly good coffee, so sip on a Chai instead with your hours of studying, and go to Gorilla afterwards. :)

                                              1. Pillow Cafe on Myrtle Ave., between Grand and Ryerson in FG/CH, has the best coffee in all of NYC, hands down. Also free Wi-Fi, and an excellent menu if you're looking for a bite as well.

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: funkjester

                                                  Has Beans on 5th Ave near 18th Street is excellent and has a nice, friendly mixture of old-time locals and recent arrivals. I go there every morning to study and it's usually pretty comfortable unless there's a huge rush. The baristas and the owner are all sweethearts and don't have the snobby attitude that you find in too many Brooklyn coffee shops. They close at 8 PM, though.

                                                  1. re: fat_hot

                                                    What exactly is excellent about it? The iced americano I got there recently was awful.

                                                    1. re: Peter Cuce

                                                      I was saying it's an excellent place to study and hang out.

                                                      I haven't had their iced americano, but I do like their lattes and cappuccinos.

                                                2. I like Gimme Coffee in Williamsburg. It's futuristicish.

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: JFores

                                                    Gimmie Coffee has great espresso shots, but it is about as pretentious a scene as one can get. The young hipsters take themselves VERY seriously, and display this posture all day long in this establishment.

                                                    1. re: NYJewboy

                                                      Naidre's has a good cup of coffee and free wi-fi. Also, Tazza in Brooklyn Heights makes a mean espresso, but they discourage computers. If it's a lounge-y place I'm looking for, I usually head to Flying Saucer.

                                                  2. You may be tired of Ozzie's, but it is the best! (Particularly the one on 5th.)

                                                    Someone mentioned the Fall Cafe on Smith near Union - no no no! It's awful! It's tiny, noisy, the service is bad(rude), and the coffee is bad. And they don't even have WiFi - so why on earth would I go there?!?!?

                                                    Boerum Hill Food Co. on Smith near Bergen is a great spot, but not really a coffee shop and if that, only in the off-hours (i.e., between mealtimes). It gets a touch noisy when people are in there eating breakfast and lunch. However, I feel like most people who go there are respectful of the fact that many people go there to work, so most people keep it down (they're usually reading the paper or a book or working in there).

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: scarlet starlet

                                                      What about Ozzie's is the best? Their coffee is pretty poor.

                                                    2. I am in Naidre's on Henry all the time. I avoid the lunch rush. Both Tea Lounges are difficult to work in because of all the babies and kids. I LIKE watching them when I'm not trying to concentrate, but it can be pure insanity in the afternoon.

                                                      1. Brooklyn Public Library - Main Branch, Grand Army Plaza. They have a ground floor cafe, and Wifi. The other branches might work for you too.

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: Geo8rge

                                                          I just moved to Bed-Stuy and I think I'm a little further out than you guys. I'm around the Atlantic/Nostrand area. ANy suggestions for coffee out there? I've resorted to making my own!!

                                                          1. re: bedstuybarboy

                                                            try choice market on lafayette and grand.

                                                        2. My favorite coffee place is Cafe Grumpy. Their coffee is the best in NY and their space is huge, with a mix of small tables in the front room and larger tables in the back room.

                                                          1. I know I'm late to this party, and I can second (third?) Cafe Sutra in the South Slope as being very cozy and having great coffee. Plus, it's around the corner from me.

                                                            But for a really cool vibe, no one to bother you, free Wi-Fi, and decent enough coffee, pick the Retreat in DUMBO (Front Street, just west of Jay St, a block and a half from the F at York). The coffee bar is downstairs and carries homemade soup and H&H bagels, but take your swig upstairs to the big lofty lounge.

                                                            It can get a bit chilly in the winter, but cozy right about now - and they'll start opening up all their windows when it gets nice and springtimey. I work in DUMBO and come here for meetings with my colleagues occasionally -- I've had all-day work sessions there with no one bothering me.

                                                            Plus, mid-afternoon comes and it turns into ReBar which has an amazing beer selection and tapas. Nice to replace the latte with some booze mid-work or mid-study. :)

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: jillysp

                                                              The Red Horse hands down. Good music, goodo food/ dun pies sandwiches and cookies, pleasant place to do work

                                                            2. Cafe Sutra is still my fav in the Slope (18th & 5th Ave). Always relaxing, great coffee, patio, the owners are friendly, and there's usually someone to play chess with.

                                                              1. The BEST is "smooch organic cafe & wine bar" in Fort Greene. The coffee is the best I've had in Brooklyn, they have wireless, the place is very quiet, and the ambiance is pefect for conversation and studying - it's a "zone" for focus and treating yourself to coffee and PS THE BEST VEGAN CAKE (chocholate, red velvet, and carrott). I'm not vegan, but thought the 2 I tried (red and carrot) were the best cakes of those kinds that I've had, vegan or not.

                                                                Our server, Chris, was noticeably great - genuinely personable and it ended up feeling like "a place where everyone knows your name."

                                                                They also have a full menu, but I didn't even get into that.

                                                                This is 1 block away from Fort Greene Park, so if you need a sun break, you can leave and return for more caffeine and sugar ammo.

                                                                We're going back tomorrow!