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takeout coffee in Jackson heights

I live in JH but am away for the summer while a friend is staying in my place. He loves all the cheap food options in the neighborhood and has been adventurous trying places, but he is very frustrated that he can't seem to find a good cup of takeout coffee. Since I generally make my coffee at home and haven't ever even looked for a takeout coffee nearby, I did some searches and suggested he try la nueva on 86th and Lety bakery near 77th. (My apt. is on 85th). I don't know if he's tried those but he mentioned again he is frustrated so maybe he tried them and they didn;t fit the bill. I recently read on the about.com page that Cositas Ricas might be good for an espresso but I before suggesting another potential dead-end to my friend I thought i should ask on here. Do any of the diners have particularly good takeout coffee? What about dunkin donuts?

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  1. I am not a fan myself, but it looks like a Starbucks is opening at 78th St. & 37th Avenue:

    http://www.starbucks.com/retail/locat...

    2 Replies
    1. re: ebird

      When I click on this link to the new JH Starbucks store, it still works. However, when I go directly to the starbucks website and do the search myself (tried 'stores' 'new stores' and 'coming soon') nothing comes up for 11372. does this mean they decided not to come after all?

      1. re: seneca

        I just called them, and customer service said that their database still shows it, even if the public one does not. She told me that we could find out by calling the city and asking, as it is possible that building permits have not yet been given (landmark building and all that) just yet.

    2. With La Nueva, I believe you have to get the cappucchino because the cafe con leche is very weak. There is a Dunkin' Donuts opening up on Roosevelt Ave by 82nd Street, but it may not be here for the summer. There's also going to be an independent coffee shop on 77th near 37th any day now. The diners' coffee isn't great around here. The coffee in Colombian places isn't bad. It just has a lot of milk. However, I usually drink my own coffee (very strong Bustelo or special) at home because I can't have caffeine after noon so I really haven't tried the coffee in most of the restaurants.

      1 Reply
      1. re: JH Jill

        An independent coffee shop in JH ? we havent' been able to sustain one of those for qutie some time. I'm curious to know more about it. Mayhaps it will be a viable alternative to the invasion of the Starbucks Machine. I'd love to know more about it.

      2. You'll be very surprised at the recommendation. Burger King on 82nd St off of 37th Ave. It's called Burger King Joe. It's 100% premium arabic bean and its very good. I've had it many times and is available in decaf and regular. It was introduced November 2006.

        1. Lety's has a pretty decent (thought not great) cup -- and when you pair it with one of their cookies, well, it gets even better.

          As for the Starbucks news...I thought we were still a few years off from it ending up here. I've really grown to love that JH isn't loaded with all that's everywhere else. I know I'll end up there, laptop in lap, soy latte in hand, but I am sort of sorry to hear that it's on the way.

          6 Replies
          1. re: jennsch

            I'm not at all sorry especially considering the type of stores we have on 37th Ave. We certainly don't need another 99 Cent Store, Fabric Store, Sari Shop, Korean Produce Market, Eyeglass store, etc. I look forward to Starbuck's. Lety's coffee/espresso/cappuccino can't campare to Starbuck's and neither can any of the other coffee places such as Dunkin Donuts.

            1. re: Mike V

              Actually I think Lety's coffee--and I don't even love it--is much better than Starbucks regular coffee. I like other Starbucks products but...the plain old coffee is dreck. And no, we don't need another 99 cent store but I really just hope the neighborhood doesn't end up looking like every other neighborhood. I'm rooting for the small independent coffee shop that's opening in the neighborhood -- I just hope they do well.

              1. re: Mike V

                Hey JH'ers,
                Any idea about the latest on Espresso 77 and Starbucks? Every time I walk by 78-25 I expect to see at least the gates open, but so far it seems like everything has stopped. As for Esp 77, where is it? It seems like it's all residential there...
                Thanks

                1. re: mehalling

                  Scroll Down to yesterday. The owner Jules NYC posted an update on Espresso 77, 35-57 77th St. It's next to 3 others stores (barber shop, asian doctor & cell phone store). Starbuck's is a mystery. No one seems to know why no construction work. Originally thought it had to do with an issue between Starbuck's and the Jackson Heights Beautification Committee.

                  1. re: Mike V

                    And i just wrote to Starbucks asking for even a general opening date, and they wrote back with a cryptic "due to various construction laws we cannot approximate any store opening dates."

                    It was a total non-answer.

                    1. re: adesso

                      Adesso: Many thanks for contacting Starbuck's. Sorry you didn't get an answer. I don't want to be negative but I'm beginning to wonder if it will ever open. It's 4 months since the former tenant closed and absolutely NO work has been done. I certainly don't want to blame it on the JH's Beautification Committee without having all the facts. I just returned from spending $2 at Carollo's Bakery for an espresso that was awful. Ledy's isn't any better. I've never had a bad espresso at Starbuck's and I've had hundreds.

            2. I live in Sunnyside, but I second the recommendation on any of the Colombian places. There's plenty of those in my nabe as well. If he wants coffee black, ask for cafe solo. I have a couple of places here I stop into once in awhile when I don't want sbux.

              7 Replies
              1. re: lindoca

                I agree with Mike V. We have enough crap stores on Roosevelt that keep the dregs of society around. It will be nice to have a place where you can sit and enjoy a cup of coffee. There is no nice environment like that in the neighborhood. Dunkin Donuts is always filled to capacity and is not a nice space to sit and relax in at all. I welcome the change.

                1. re: 4real

                  4real: I looked at the space at 78-25 37th Ave and it's enormous. It's at least twice the space of most Starbuck's. They'll be lots of space to sit and relax. The space is currently occuped (Gift Shop). It's next door to NOVO Restaurant. We most likely have at least a 6 month wait. I'm excited.

                  1. re: Mike V

                    Mike V, I also took a stroll looking for the Starbucks locale to be, but didn't see the number 78-25 on any of the buildings. I'm sure I missed it. However, I did see that the Global telecommunications place on the corner has closed down and the windows are boarded. I assumed that was the location for the Starbucks. I'll have to check the numbers again.

                    1. re: sandrina

                      Sandrina: NOVO Restaurant is 78-23 and the corner (formerly Global) is 78-31. So the Gift Shop must be 78-25. However, I feel that the address on the Starbuck's website 78-25 37th Ave could be a mistake and that the space is actually 78-31 78th St. This could be a Realtor mistake concerning the actual address. The reason I say this is that the Gift Shop is still open and the space they have is enormous. I doubt if Starbuck's would need so much space. I feel strongly (could be wrong) that it will be the corner store. Also, work is in progress at the new coffee shop scheduled to open on 77th St.

                      1. re: Mike V

                        Mike V, thanks for the info. I too believe that the 78-25 address may possibly be a realtor mistake. The corner place seems to be a more reasonable size for a Starbucks than the gift shop. Re: the 77th Street place, I live just a block north and therefore walk by quite frequently. Whenever I do, the gate is down. I'm looking forward to this place opening. Are you aware of a specific grand opening date yet?

                        1. re: sandrina

                          Work is in progress at 77th St. I live on 77th St and walk by very often during the day (I work at home). The workers only open the gate very little and have plastic at the door so I can't see in. It must have taken a long time to get the permits from the City. Originally, it was scheduled to open in June. Mid August seems reasonable.

                          1. re: Mike V

                            My wife and I are so happy that Starbuck's is coming. Looking forward to the increased property values...While we're sad to see the Indian clothing store leave 77th Street, we live two doors down and we're glad a new coffee shop is coming. Lety is a let down. I always go to Carollo bakery, much better baked goods than Lety, in my opinion.

              2. If you like cafe con leche, there are two Seba Seba outlets that have outstanding coffee. We don't need Starbucks in Jackson Heights, but I guess it's inevitable. Any Latino restaurant in JH has tastier coffee, but the army marches on.

                5 Replies
                1. re: Threepointz

                  Threepointz, have been to Seba Seba on many occasions, but never for coffee. I love cafe con leche, so I'll have to give them a try. Re: the Starbuck's -- I was surprised to learn of the impending opening on 37th Avenue. I've been in this neighborhood for many years, and have always felt the majority of residents did not want a Starbuck's here. At least in my building (35th Ave.), most folks are not too thrilled by this news. Most prefer to support the small business owner. They say that's one of the things that makes this neighborhood unique, in addition to the plethora of restaurants. I have no problem with Lety's coffee. Is it the best? Not really, but it's not horrible either. It's a nice place to sit, relax for a bit, do some people watching from the window and enjoy some coffee and perhaps a pastry. I happen to like their iced coffee. As a matter of fact, I stopped by earlier today and enjoyed one. It hit the spot. Will I frequent Starbuck's? No. I just think it much too expensive for the product they provide. Having said that, I won't avoid the place completely, but my regular business will be elsewhere.

                  1. re: sandrina

                    OP here. I gave the feedback from this board to my sublettor but I don't think he has made any strides in getting what he considers a nice cup of coffee. My question is, how much is a small ('tall') coffee at Starbucks anyway? Isn't it about $1.60 or around there, and not all that different than prices at say, Dunkin Donuts? If so, it seems like a good value and not inappropriate for the neighborhood. Why do you feel it's not good value? Maybe I am underestimating the price of a small? Also, there is already a tradition in JH of non-small-business-owners esp. if you look at other types of businesses (drug stores, banks, vitamin stores, fast food) so I don't feel a Starbucks would be out of place.

                    1. re: seneca

                      true, look at 82nd street, it is not exactly mom and pop central. starbucks fits.

                      1. re: ceeceee

                        I'm also looking forward to Starbuck's and the new Coffee Shop opening on 77th St. I like sitting down and relaxing over a good cup of coffee and this is not possible at Dunkin Donuts, Seba Seba, La Nueva Bakery, etc. Seba Seba has good coffee but it's a restaurant and doubt if they would tolerate someone taking space drinking a cup of coffee. Another great place for take out is Kabir's on 37th & 74th St. I did take out early this morning and ordered a large Bran Muffin & Coffee for $1.25. Every morning they have specials posted in the window ranging from $1.25 to $1.50.

                        1. re: Mike V

                          At least Starbuck's will be clean.

                2. Dunkin on 37th ave between 75th and 76th is fine. As long as they get your order right. I've been told Seb Seba on 80th and 37th has good cafe con leche. There's a tiny Colombian bakery on 37th between 81st and 82nd that has a decent cup too.

                  1. Seba Seba in Jackson Heights makes really good coffee. I believe it's $1.25 for a large.

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: lucybobo

                      It's Lety vs Carollo. I went to Carollo this morning for rolls. Immediately noticed they no longer have just one table. They now have 5 tables and 10 chairs. The big difference is price. Carollo espresso is $1, large pastry $1.45 which is much less than Lety. However, Lety has more atmosphere.

                      1. re: Mike V

                        Carollo's bakery has been around for quite a long time. I can't seem to remember their original location on 37th Ave. though. Was it where the furniture store is now or where Baskin Robbins was? I just remember it being larger and better back then when Mrs. Carollo manned the counters and one had to take a number to be served because the line of people was out the door on weekend mornings. Forget about holidays...it was impossible. Once she and her family left, the place just seemed to go downhill, or at least that's what the neighborhood buzz was, especially in the pastry department. I can tell of an occasion when I purchased a cheese danish at the new location. It was stale. On another visit, I purchased a danish ring to take to a neighbor's house to share with some coffee. It was also stale. These were my last visits. I can't attest for their coffee though.

                        1. re: sandrina

                          I've only ordered the small club rolls and pastries. Never had bagels, danish, muffins, croissants, coffee, etc. The large Italian pastries are only $1.45 and very good and inexpensive. I've never had one that wasn't fresh in three years and I order often. Once they were bringing out a tray of Baklava. I ordered a slice which was incredibly fresh and good and $1.45. I've had great experiences with the rolls and Italian pastries. I plan to stop by next week for the espresso since they now have seating. They'll continue to survive because of low prices. Once I order a pastry at Lidy to go. It was a bubba rum pastry with cream which is an Italian favorite. It was $3.50. This pastry at Carollo is $1.45 and you can choose from two creams (regular and cannoli cream) plus Carollo pastry has far more rum and is larger. I've only been going to Carollo for three years so I'm not familiar with the former owners and the quality of their products. It located across from the MET Supermaket. I'm not certain if this is the original location.

                          1. re: Mike V

                            Mike V, their present location is not their original one. The original Carollo owned and run by the Carollo family was also on the north side of 37th Avenue. I just don't remember which specific locale they had. It may have been where the furniture store is now located, somewhere between 76th and 77th Streets. Even though the place was bigger in the past, they offered no seating.

                            1. re: sandrina

                              I agree with Mike, I live around the block and get pastries from Carolla all the time (only been her 18 months). It's cheap and good. Lety is ok, but I had much more grand expectations considering the owner has a shop in Manhattan. It's basically identical to Carolla, but costs more, for no reason. The coffee was marginally better than Carolla. Can't wait for Starbucks and the new cafe on 77th. I kind of miss the old Argentinian bakery, though.

                              1. re: spanishfish

                                I walked by 78-25 37th Ave this morning and the Gift Shop is going out of business that occupies this space. It now appears this is the location for Starbuck's and not the much smaller store next door at 78-31. Many felt (including some local Realtors) that 78-25 was much to large for a Starbuck's and that the address on the Starbuck's website was an error. I have not seen any construction at the new cafe site on 77th in many weeks. I stopped by Carollo's yesterday afternoon and all four new recently added tables were occupied.

                                1. re: Mike V

                                  i can only hope that "many' are right about starbuck's biting off more than it can chew in my neighborhood. as far as the new cafe, i walk by most mornings on the way to work and it's easy to hear construction through a pulled down grate. hope they get open soon!

                                  1. re: david sprague

                                    Well, I am absolutely thrilled that a Starbucks is coming to Jackson Heights -- finally, a store that I can actually patronize! I'll be an enthusiastic and very frequent customer.

                    2. anyone have any update on the independently-owned coffee shop?

                      16 Replies
                      1. re: ebird

                        If you mean the independently owned coffee shop on 77th Street, I have not seen any activity in quite a while and I live on this Street and walk by it several times a day. The gate is always closed and locked. The last time I've seen any construction was many weeks ago. Someone recently reported that construction was in progress and projected an opening in early August. Only time will tell.

                        1. re: ebird

                          "Ditto" on ebird's question. I have been walking by the place frequently for months, and have yet to witness any work at all. I am hopeful though, as some posters here have mentioned that work has indeed been in progress behind the closed gate.

                          1. re: sandrina

                            (This may get pulled down, because I am one of the owners, but I will offer this caveat to the moderator: I am providing info as requested by other posters in this thread. This is not any sort of advertisement or shilling for the business!)
                            We are in progress and aiming at a mid-August opening date.
                            Cheers! Jules

                            1. re: JulesNYC

                              Why is it taking so long? I live two doors down and it seems to be taking an extremely long time for such a small store. I hope the coffee is amazing. We're looking forward to something good being so close by. A good cappucino would be excellent. Haven't had one yet in Jackson Heights. And a good organic, low fat muffin. Yum.

                              1. re: spanishfish

                                Oh, ditto on the low fat muffin. While I love a lot of the coffee around here, problem is that a lot of the shops have never heard of skim milk and don't carry anything to eat that isn't a no-no on my diet. (Lety has skim milk). I'll admit it, I'm a lazy bum: on the way to work, I want to be able to grab a coffee w/skim and a yoghurt, fruit or lowfat bran muffin. While I'm not dying for a Starbucks, some of the advantages of Starbucks are that they have sandwiches and fruit (overpriced, but they have them), and generally a lot of seating. (But IMO Starbucks' regular coffee is just awful).

                                1. re: worldwidedeborah

                                  Low fat muffins would be high on my list along with a good cup of coffee and an afternoon espresso. Walked by early this morning and work was in progress. The workers use the air conditioner so the gate was closed. Looking forward to the grand opening.

                                  1. re: Mike V

                                    All of the sounds great! Can I add a request for soy milk? Can't for the shop to open. Good luck.

                                    1. re: marieclare

                                      The new coffee shop scheduled to open at 35-57 77th St is named Espresso 77. I live on 77th St and yesterday spoke with a young gentleman standing out front who is the Co-owner (along with his wife). This couple have resided in JH's for many years and are making an enormous investment in the Community. Being an Espresso lover, I look forward to the opening and supporting this welcomed addition to the neighborhood. The opening is in about two week. When it opens, I'll post again.

                                      1. re: Mike V

                                        Mike, I live right down the block from the place, and as I walked by about 2 or 3 days ago, they actually had the gate open for the first time that I've noticed. The place still seems to require a lot of work, but I know how quickly contractors can work. I'm also looking forward to the grand opening.

                                        1. re: sandrina

                                          It looks "nearly" complete this week. Keeping fingers crossed that they pass health inspection soon. These things always take longer than anyone anticipates.

                                          1. re: spanishfish

                                            I'm ready for this coffee shop to open. Please, please, please! I, too, live on 77th street and would be happy to have some decent coffe and baked goods.

                                            As for Starbucks, if you really want them to move in too, it wouldn't be a bad idea to let them know. A few people in my building have called to protest, which I think is pretty rotten.

                                            1. re: ladymurasaki

                                              I have a lot to complain about in Jackson Heights and the opening of Starbuck's is not on the list. Be patient about the opening of Espresso77. It will happen fairly soon. About 2 month's ago I met someone who mentioned that he was giving serious thought about opening yet another Coffee Shop that would include Pannini's, Salads, Soups, Gelato and a Juice Bar and was looking for space in the 70's. This is someone already in the Restaurant business.

                                              1. re: Mike V

                                                Great! Can someone please start selling actual fresh fish? Without gallons of iodine?

                                                1. re: KateC.

                                                  A Fish Market opened early this year on 82nd St across from Taqueria Coatzingo (40-18 82nd St). I visit frequently for the Large bowl of fantastic Seafood Soup with a side order rice & plantains for only $3. This is the best Lunch value in town. I don't cook fish at home so haven't purchased the fresh fish. Consider this place.

                                                  1. re: Mike V

                                                    I saw that place once. The fish didn't look any fresher than the fish at Met, so I didn't try it. But the lunch you ordered sounds fantastic. I will definitely check it out. Thanks.

                                              2. re: ladymurasaki

                                                Be really patient. The owners are new to the restaurant business. I think they'll have decent stuff and it's supposed to have an artsy atmosphere. As for the Starbucks, I think that is probably an issue with some type of community board.

                          2. speaking of which, does anyone know a coffee shop/cafe in JH that has free wireless and where one can sit and work on a laptop for a few hours without feeling awkward or upsetting the servers?

                            as for coffee, there is a small mexican bakery (bread on shelves in window) that has good coffee. it's on roosevelt, around 76th.

                            7 Replies
                            1. re: ethnic

                              the Roosevelt and 76th Bakery is an off-shoot of Coatzingo's Taco place just a few doors down (the best Mexican food in all Jackson Heights in my opinion. It's all Mexican baked goods (which I like, yes, but many, like my wife, do not). Never had their coffee, though.

                              1. re: spanishfish

                                I passed by Bakery Coatzingo a few weeks ago and noticed a huge Scone in the window. It was just 85 cents and it was very fresh and tasty.

                                1. re: Mike V

                                  Espresso 77 is now Open...
                                  It's pretty good and was filled all day with many strollers outside!
                                  Great thing for the neighborhood!

                                  1. re: spanishfish

                                    Thanks! Will check it out!

                                    1. re: KateC.

                                      Holy smokes. I went by there tonight. This is a major change in the neighborhood. This is a Brooklyn-style cafe with high tin ceilings, bright colored walls, abstract paintings, and cookies and other baked goods. (I'm not saying this is good or bad, just different.) The joint was jumping. It seems like a very pleasant place to sit and chat with a neighbor. I haven't tried the coffee yet.

                                      1. re: KateC.

                                        Just had a good experience with Carollos. Had to get a cake in the vicinity for a party. The other options, which may have been better, weren't for various reasons. Anyways, it was a chocolate cake, with canolli filling, and buttercream frosting. I really wasn't looking for anything special, just needed something in a pinch. The partygoers really liked this cake. Everyone seemed to taste some different flavor in it. I got those who thought it was either rum, strawberry, lemon, some spice, etc.. I wonder if this place is a hit or miss type of deal, considering some of the mixed reviews.

                                        Hey, it's no Lety's or Cannelle, but, I wouldn't throw the baby out with the bathwater.

                                        1. re: foodforthought2

                                          Many years prior to Lety's or Cannelle, I would buy Carollo's 7 layer cake. It was pretty good and served its purpose...those days when I just had the strong need to eat cake!

                            2. More options. The MET Supermaket announced today its selling coffee at the Deli Counter for 75 cents. You can pay at the Deli Counter. City Coffee Shop near 78th St has a sign announcing they're serving Espresso & Cappucino. Soon a Dunkin Donuts is opening a few doors from Starbuck's at 78th St. A Bakery/Pizza place is scheduled to open at 79th St which may also have coffee take out. Peppino's recently began selling coffee. The newspaper/lottery store across from the MET is selling coffee for 75 cents.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: Mike V

                                Another Dunkin? That's odd that they would open another location so nearby.

                                1. re: sandrina

                                  that's three within a five block radius, which seems to indicate they're adopting starbucks' carpet-bombing business model. i like the folks who run the one on 37th and 76th,so i'd like to see them survive....even if i haven't been there since the advent of espresso 77 and lety's....