Coffee Crawling Around the City


There are a lot of unique coffee shops right around campus to explore. (SOFIA RILEY/THE OBSERVER)


Coffee is such a sweet word. The vowels flow into each other, resembling hot water pouring through the ground beans. A cup of joe (which should rather be called a cup of joy) is among the easiest and the best pick-me-ups before, after or even during a long day for many. And while you can find it in any Starbucks on every other corner, it is often more satisfying to have it in a cafe with less people and shorter lines. So, here are six cafes near Fordham College Lincoln Center’s campus, rated best to pretty good based on their espresso.

Kahve (774 9th Ave)

(5 out of 5 coffee beans)

This coffee shop greets you with a tiny space and an open brick wall. To your right, there’s an Eastern-looking mirror. To your left, there are beautifully painted pictures of people with non-traditional gender expressions. Energetic jazz fills the room, adding to the artistic ambience of the place. The espresso enchants you with its slight bitterness and a hint of acidity that’s often overpowering in strong coffee drinks. Its subtle yet full-bodied aroma and silky texture are captivating in the best way possible. The service is quick, and the baristas are friendly.

DSquare cafe (714 9th Ave)

(5 out of 5 coffee beans)

When you enter this spacious cafe, you see two sides: one is hip, with an open brick wall painted white, while the other has vintage-looking lighting resembling lanterns with candles and wallpaper made of old photos. It is a lovely place to take a break from the busy life in the city and return to it refreshed. Their espresso starts off with a delicate smell and creaminess as you take a sip. It’s not too strong, but at the same time it has a deep flavor that reaches your heart and soul. They have nice coffee that doesn’t hit you over the head, but gradually makes you feel better with each sip.

Frisson Espresso (326 W 47th St)

(5 out of 5 coffee beans)

This tiny, unassuming cafe allows you to relax in a comfortingly simple setting. An open white-paned brick wall and wooden bar stools make it comfortable and uncomplicated enough for you to look within yourself and not focus on the decor. There are a couple of cute posters that make the room seem brighter and lighten your mood instantly. It is a good place to meet with friends if you are looking for a calm spot with nice coffee. Their espresso has a rich flavor and calming creaminess. It has an earthy acidity, leaving you with a pleasant sharpness on your tongue. And while it is quite strong, it will gently flow through you, lifting you up as the caffeine works its magic.

The Jolly Goat Coffee Bar (515 W 47th St)

(5 out of 5 coffee beans)

This quiet place modestly presents a sign that reads “Coffee,” while the full name of the cafe is written on the window. While there is barely any place to sit, the atmosphere is cozy, with either a succulent plant or a bouquet of flowers next to the window and calm colors making you feel right at home. The finishing touches are brought by a surrealistic mural on the brick wall and a sign that explains the dangers of food allergies in Russian. They make espresso with a powerful aroma and strong acidic taste, yet it doesn’t taste sour like in other shops. This coffee bar is jolly indeed, with a goat figurine standing next to the window to bid you good day as you walk out the door.

Rex (864 10th Ave)

(4 out of 5 coffee beans)

This cafe with a wall of windows may have little decoration, but it makes up for it in coffee. While their espresso lacks expressive bitterness, it has a definite aftertaste, comforting in its familiarity. Their coffee is strong and will get you through your day easily. They are also famous for their egg sandwiches, served for breakfast on weekdays and brunch on the weekend. The service is friendly, attentive and helpful.

Amorino (721 8th Ave)

(4 out of 5 coffee beans)

Amorino is a chain that has cafes all around the world, mostly in Europe, but it has a couple of places in Manhattan as well. Its setting is thoughtfully presented with an air of historicity and luxury. It has an open stone wall, reminding you of small cafes in old buildings across European towns. The place is decorated in quiet hues of black and light brown, almost gold, colors. They recreate a truly Italian experience, starting with gelato and ending with figures of Renaissance-style angels in the corner. Their coffee is wonderfully creamy and rich. It has a lovely aroma and is strong enough to get you through all your homework assignments.

In the words of the German novelist Franz Kafka, “I’ll get some sleep when I’m finished with my studies. I keep myself going on black coffee.” And indeed, who needs sleep when they have fascinating college classes and coffee from amazing coffee shops?