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Best cafe spots in NYC to study, drink good coffee, eat, and HANG OUT

What's your favorite cafe to sit around and study/read the paper/chat with friends? I'm starting this post because I'm taking the bar exam at the end of July and would like to try to get out of the library every once in a while to take a coffee break and recoup. I don't care if there are people chatting around me, I've learned to tune that out, just that there is a CHILL vibe in the cafe and that the owner won't kick you out after 20 minutes. Some place where you can hang out for hours. And no, I'm not putting Starbucks on this list...

Here are a few places I've liked thus far:

- Think Coffee (Mercer Ave is my favorite)
- B Cup Cafe (13th and Ave B, East Village)
- Choux Factory (87th and 3rd Ave, UES)
- Ninth Street Espresso (9th and Ave C, East Village)

What's your favorite?

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Ninth Street Espresso
700 E 9th St, New York, NY 10009

Think Coffee
248 Mercer St, New York, NY 10012

Choux Factory
1685 1st Ave, New York, NY 10128

B Cup Cafe
212 Avenue B, New York, NY 10009

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  1. Assuming you can get a seat:
    Joe the Art of Coffee
    Ost
    Ciao For Now
    Soy Luck Club -- you need to buy a food item though
    The lobby of the Ace Hotel
    Jack's Stir Brewed -- it's tiny, so hard to find a seat sometimes
    Aroma -- they play terrible music though
    The Coffee Foundry
    Vandaag -- surprisingly laptop friendly during the day/brunch

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    Joe the Art of Coffee
    141 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10014

    Jack's Stir Brew Coffee
    138 W 10th St, New York, NY 10014

    Aroma Espresso Bar
    145 Greene St, New York, NY 10012

    Soy Luck Club
    115 Greenwich Ave, New York, NY 10014

    Ciao for Now
    523 E 12th St, New York, NY 10009

    Ciao for Now
    107 W 10th St, New York, NY 10011

    Ost Cafe
    441 E 12th St, New York, NY 10009

    Vandaag
    103 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

    The Coffee Foundry
    186 W 4th St, New York, NY 10014

    3 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      All great ideas. You can typically find a seat at 88 Orchard. I also did a fair amount of Bar studying at Doma in the West Village.

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      Doma Cafe
      17 Perry St, New York, NY 10014

      88 Orchard
      88 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002

      1. re: D...DF

        Doma is/was a good coffee place, but it changed into a full restaurant w/ pricier menu, table service, etc

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        Doma Cafe
        17 Perry St, New York, NY 10014

        1. re: Simon

          During weekdays, Doma is still pretty amenable to hanging out. Weekends and evenings not so much.

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          Doma Cafe
          17 Perry St, New York, NY 10014

    2. birch coffee, at the gershwin hotel.

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      Birch Coffee
      5 E 27 St, New York, NY 10010

      3 Replies
      1. re: travel.eats

        Is Birch Coffee separate and distinct from the hotel (by this I mean next door/adjacent/etc.) or is it inside? Do a lot of the hotel guests go there?

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        Birch Coffee
        5 E 27 St, New York, NY 10010

        1. re: citykid426

          It's distinct, until you go to the library room upstairs, which requires using the hotel stairs, and has a window overlooking one of the hotels event rooms. It's not uncommon to see students in that upstairs room having study sessions. Good luck if there's an open mic night though.

      2. Choux Factory is on 1st Ave.

        Tipsy

        1 Reply
        1. re: TipsyMcStagger

          Yes Tipsy you are totally right, Choux is on 1st Avenue, not 3rd. I stand corrected.

        2. I like The Bean by 3rd st and 1st avenue, but Think Coffee on Mercer ave is my favorite as well, especially since all my classes are across the street lol.

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          Think Coffee
          248 Mercer St, New York, NY 10012

          The Bean
          54 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

          1. Check out Grounded at 28 Jane Street. Really comfortable with good coffee/tea and snacks. The Murray's bagel grilled cheese is a favorite!

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            Grounded
            28 Jane St, New York, NY 10014

            1. Went to study at Think Coffee on Mercer today. I have no idea what their deal is but they keep playing really LOUD music. So loud that if you go there with a friend, you can't even hear yourself talk. I happened to be studying and asked the staff if they could turn the music down, but they just didn't give a damn. And I wasn't the only who asked politely. Too bad, because they just lost a customer who will not be buying 3 coffees and several sandwiches a day. Two more people from my bar review class walked out as well after the staff started playing heavy metal. I really liked this place, I don't know why some of the staff members are assholes.

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              Think Coffee
              248 Mercer St, New York, NY 10012

              2 Replies
              1. re: citykid426

                that's unfortunate, schools been out of session for me but the last time I was there music wasn't loud. once in awhile they have a live band and that makes studying impossible. I also like the coffee and cakes at Bruno Bakery on La Guardia Place, it's quieter and a better place to study in my opinion.

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                Bruno Bakery
                506 LaGuardia Pl, New York, NY 10012

                1. re: citykid426

                  Heh, we also had a staff member who shrugged, turned, and walked away when my husband told them their wifi wasn't working. This was a while ago. We basically stopped going after that.

                  1. It's not coffee, but recently we've been spending a lot of time at Bosie Tea Parlor on Morton Street. The food is good and it's a comfy enough atmosphere to sit back and read and relax for awhile. I've not brought computer there though, so I'm not sure if they have WiFi. Pics here: http://smithratliff.com/2011/05/10/mo...

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                    Bosie Tea Parlor
                    10 Morton St, New York, NY 10014