Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
Aug 15, 2012 04:29 PM

Espresso after dark

We've seen a real espresso revolution over the past few years - Blue Bottle, RBC (RIP), Bluebird, Betola, Bowery Coffee, Gasoline Alley, Grumpy, Third Rail, Gimmie, Abraco...

But, all of the good places I know seem to close before 7pm. Where's a third wave espressoholic to get his fix at night?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. The East Village brick and mortar Van Leeuwen stays open late.

    1. In Manhattan, besides VLAIC mentioned by Kathryn, the only places open late are both branches of Kaffe 1668.

      1. Caffe Dante on Macdougal St is open until 2am... 3am on Fri-Sat.

        3 Replies
        1. re: iluvcookies

          There are plenty of late night cafes, but the OP is specifically looking for Third Wave coffee joints.

          1. re: Peter Cuce

            OK, so what is third wave? I took it to mean he works a night shift (third shift)

            1. re: iluvcookies

              Never mind... Googled it!
              I did not know that was a thing.

        2. The Randolph at Broome is a bar that added a coffee program, and offers combined drinks too.

          Il Gelato Laboratorio were using Grumpy beans, and they stay open pretty late now if I do recall.

          Irving Farm closes at 10 or maybe even a little later.

          Ost in the East Village is also open late, and I want to say 10pm there too.

          The Bean isn't in league with these places, but it's open late.

          Think Coffee is better than the Bean, and open later than the others. I find their espresso the only semi reliable option there. I believe it's where the RBC staff originated.

          Peels keeps the walk up counter going late, with Stumptown. Endless lists of restaurants use Stumptown or other 3rd wave roasters.

          18 Replies
          1. re: sugartoof

            Thanks, Ost, I didn't think about that, I'm always afraid of getting shouted at for no reason there, but maybe they're more relaxed at night when they don't have to keep hosing the laptop people out! Peels could be a good option too.

            I find that The Bean is very bad and has that 1990s internet cafe vibe, I don't know why it's always packed, and multiplying.

            I haven't tried Van Leeuwen mentioned above yet, or K1668.

            1. re: Gargle

              Peels uses La Colombe now & doesn't do a particularly good job with it.

              The Bean's coffee is actually worse than Starbucks.

              Think's espresso is from Porto Rico, so it's second wave at best. At least with their pour overs they're doing direct trade, even if they don't necessarily prepare it very well.

              Il Laboratorio has dropped Grumpy for something pretty noxious, can't remember what.

              Van Leeuwen uses Toby's Estate but doesn't seem to have a managerial dedication to good espresso. It's inconsistent.

              The OP specifically asked for espresso...

              1. re: Peter Cuce

                The OP has been getting suggestions for espresso. Why do you think otherwise?

                And why do you believe Think uses Porto Rico for espresso? They have changed their beans more than once.

                1. re: sugartoof

                  You gave suggestions for other than espresso, which is why I mentioned it. Randolph at Broome has no espresso.

                  That's what I had been told about Think's espresso. I sent an email, hopefully they'll respond.

                  1. re: Peter Cuce

                    Don't know, but that's 1 of 7 places I named that stay open past 9pm.

                  2. re: sugartoof

                    I heard back from Think that they are using Dallis Bros at the 8th Ave shop and Longo, as they call it, (which is the family that runs Porto Rico) at all of the others.

                    1. re: Peter Cuce

                      Um, no the quality of Daillis Bros. branded product is distinctively different from Porto Rico Roasters.

                      Also, the "something pretty noxious" that you couldn't remember at Il Laboratorio, is Blue Bottle.

                      1. re: sugartoof

                        Are you arguing with Think or with me? Where did I conflate the quality of Dallis Bros & Porto Rico? As a matter of fact, I've never been to the 8th Ave branch, their newest. All other branches use Porto Rico. And for the record, Dallis roasts a lot of different coffees, some of which are good, and some of which are barely indistinguishable from dreck, notwithstanding the fact that all of the above points are pretty much irrelevant in the face of a bad barista.

                        Regarding the Il Laboratorio. As mentioned before, in the face of a bad barista, anything can be bad - there are shops all across the city desecrating coffee by top tier indie roasters. I'm somewhat surprised by that though. I don't know why they'd switch from Grumpy to Blue Bottle. I had been told it was something other than BB, like Kobricks or something in that vein. If it really is BB, I'll have to give it another try.

                        1. re: Peter Cuce

                          I heard back from Il Laboratorio. They are using Blue Bottle.

                          1. re: Peter Cuce

                            "Are you arguing with Think or with me? "

                            You stated that Think uses Dallis, and then implied that's the same as Porto Rico. It's not. Contrary to what your post implies, all Think stores use the same assortment of beans.

                            Finally, while I'm not a coffee purist, your expertise seems to be in Lattes, and Latte art - neither of which have much respected value in discussions about so called "third wave coffee roasters".

                            As for Il Laboratoria, Blue Bottle has a big program for outside shops using their beans, unlike Four Barrel NYC, or Grumpy. They were selling Grumpy drastically cheaper than Grumpy.

                            1. re: sugartoof

                              1) Here is the exact email sent to me from Jason at Think Coffee. I will be happy to forward it to you if you wish.
                              Hi Peter: Dallis Bros is our current roaster at our Bleecker and 8th Ave location. Longo Coffee is our roaster at Mercer, 4th Ave and the NYU Bookstore. Please let me know if you need anything else.

                              2) Check my Tumblr if you want to see an example of my expertise.

                              1. re: Peter Cuce

                                So you're making a correction about the previously stated claim that Porto Rico is their roaster?

                                1. re: sugartoof

                                  From their website:
                                  Owned and operated by the Longo family for three generations, Porto Rico Importing Co. has a tradition of serving the finest coffees in the world since 1907.

                                  1. re: Peter Cuce

                                    Still not the same thing.

                                    You're talking about the 2 oldest, and largest wholesalers of both roasted coffee AND green beans on the East Coast.

                                      1. re: Peter Cuce

                                        Unless it's a relationship, direct trade coffee, many so called third wave roasters are obtaining beans through established wholesalers like Porto Rico. That's not the same as using Porto Rico's store product.

                                        Think is far from the best option, but your depiction of their beans is misleading.

                                        1. re: sugartoof

                                          I have no idea what you're talking about. I didn't characterize anything as anything. Those are all direct quotes from either humans or websites.

                  3. re: Gargle

                    Kafe 1668 is great for coffee, but usually cramped. I think of it as more of a takeout option, like The Bean and Think are for me.

                    Ost does this thing at night where they turn the lights down low and pretend they're a wine bar. It's usually pretty empty as the night goes on.

                2. Jalopy Theater in Carroll Gardens has great espresso til very late!!!

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: gadler

                    Listen - if you're going to go to Il Laboratorio, get gelato. Other than a restaurant with a good espresso "program," you might as well forget about having one after 7 PM in Manhattan.

                    At that time of the night, have a cocktail.

                    1. re: mitchleeny

                      Who knows if the OP even drinks alcohol?

                      Is there a restaurant with a good espresso program you recommend?