Lack of nice cafes in NYC
Other than Starbucks or corner delis, NYC lacks nice cafes like the ones in most European cities.
I wonder if this is because of the high rent NYC but then isn't rent very high in Paris?
I think there are tons of nice cafes in NYC, more than there ever have been. What exactly are you looking for in a cafe though?
downtown has a lot of cafes that might fit your criteria...but as others have said, it depends what you're looking for.
here are a bunch (in no particular order):
-the bourgeois pig (e. 7th st, e. village)
-palacinka (grand st, soho)
-tarallucci e vino (agreeing w/the other poster; 1st ave/10th st, e. village)
-cafe gitane (during off-hours; mott st, nolita)
-caffe dante and caffe reggio (2 touristy places on macdougal st in the village)
-caffe vivaldi (jones st, w. village; usually not as crowded as the more touristy village cafes)
-doma (perry st @ waverly pl, w. village)
-dt-ut (2nd ave, upper east side)
-88 orchard (orchard/broome sts, lower east side)
-the grey dog's coffee (carmine st, w. village)
-grounded (jane st, w. village)
-snice (8th ave/w. 4th st, w. village)
-la bergamote (9th ave, chesea; great french pastries)
-le gamin cafe (multiple downtown locations)
-71 irving place (irving pl, gramercy park)
-think coffee (mercer st, noho)
-theeee coffee chamber (bleecker st, noho)