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Apr 17, 2008 07:58 AM

Best coffeeshop in Midtown?

We will be staying in midtown this weekend (E 48th) and are wondering what the best places for cup of coffee and pastry/bagel are? Hoping for something beyond Starbucks or ABP. Thanks!

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  1. Maybe not the best place, but much better than starbucks or au bon pain, is the Belgian Le Pain Quotidien ( There is one on West 40th between 5th and 6th Av. accross Bryant Park.

    1 Reply
    1. re: kikilucho

      I'm also a fan of Le Pain Quotidien. I work in the neighborhood of the 40th Street location, but Im discouraged by going in the morning for a quick cup of coffee and a pastry. Despite being EMPTY weekday mornings, The only way one can sit at one of the many empty tables and chairs (including the communal table) is to have wait service. I dont want or need wait service for my morning coffee and a pastry. I want to grab a cup of coffee and something to eat, sit down, read my paper, and chill out before walking to work. I dont need a fancy $4 pot of coffee or deal with tipping waiters. silly.

      The only alternative they give me is to take the coffee out, or sit on the cold front windowsill, and put my coffee and pastry on one of 3 or 4 tables that is way too high for sitting, and I dont want to stand.

      I understand the policy at lunch when the restaurant is busy. But come on guys, you have no breakfast business and two separate and distinct dining areas. I know you would get more breakfast business from me if you change your policy, and I doubt Im alone in my thinking.

      -Just one potential customer's opinion.

    2. If you are willing to head up town a bit, I'd suggest Bottega del Vino on 59th between 5th and Madison. No bagels though.

      1 Reply
      1. re: MMRuth

        Yeah, for bagels go to a specialist. Unless you want the sort of crappy bagels found in coffeeshops outside NYC....

      2. Best coffee in midtown is at Zibetto, 6th Ave at 56th Street (daringly kitty-corner from two Starbucks). Italian-style stand-up espresso bar. Great coffee, a few pastries which I haven't tried.

        1 Reply
        1. re: pronek

          I agree -- Zibetto has excellent coffee! But be forewarned, there is nary a seat to be found there.

        2. I don't know if it's too late or not, but you could give Caffe Crestanello a try: 5th Ave. betw. 40th & 41st. It's a true Italian caffe with a wide assortment of pastries, better than most midtown options, IMO.

          3 Replies
          1. re: vvvindaloo

            sorry to say but crestanello closed maybe a year or two ago. If i remember correctly, i think the place was seized by the marshalls office. nothing has opened in its place, although recently some construction has finally started there.

            1. re: ESNY

              really?? i had no idea... and i would have sworn i saw it open for business well under a year ago. oh, well. sorry for the bum recommendation, bostonbroad.

              1. re: vvvindaloo

                I was very curious to know what happened with Crestanello, since I knew it had recently opened and shuttered (what I believed to be) an outpost in my neighborhood. Apparently, they closed their original location about a year ago in order to move into the former DeMarco's restaurant space (where the infamous shooting took place just over a year ago) on Houston St. I had noticed the brand new Crestanello sometime last autumn, and made a mental note to stop in. But before I got the chance, it was gone. Abandoned-looking by December (chairs on tables) and now papered. Too bad.

          2. I've been pondering the same question, know that my kid will be going to college at Eugene Lang. Haven't done any sampling yet, but plan to be guided by a very recent article from that you may want to check out: where they mention Cafe Grumpy, Ninth Street Espresso, Joe-The Art of Coffee.

            Similar theme mentioning many of the same spots in NYTimes article back in 9/13/2006 titled Expresso's New Wave Hits Town -- if you give me an email address, I can send you a copy, or if you're a subscriber run a search. A nice quote, on what separates mentioned shops from their peers: "It's ingredients, equipment and technique. But its also attitude that combines craftsmanship and artistry."