It’s hard to say what, if anything, separates Brooklyn’s specialty coffee identity from Manhattan’s. We might posit, though, that the lack of gigantic buildings leads to coffee shops focused more on neighborhood folks. Our favorite shops on this side of the East River all serve excellent coffee and are the gems of their communities, which include many members of Team Trade.
1158 Myrtle Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11221
In Spring 2019, the New York coffee scene mourned this spring as Little Skips — a shop that truly wore its commitment to community and inclusivity on its sleeve while also serving delicious coffee, food, and vibes — closed down.
Luckily, the rest of the Little Skips family is still going strong with Little Skips East and Little Skips South, and our favorite, Baby Skips. With a wonderful vegetarian-friendly Filipino brunch menu, more standard coffee shop offerings, and consistently tasty espresso drinks, Baby Skips makes it clear that greatness runs in the family.
The Mixtape Shop
1129 Bedford Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11216
Brooklyn has no shortage of coffee shops that double as other businesses with several coffee shop/barbers and coffee shop/florists. Our favorite is probably this coffee shop/record store, which slings Intelligentsia coffee in front, and a well-curated selection of dance, soul, and jazz records from all around the world in back.
Music is hugely important to any coffee shop, but it’s especially the case here. While picking up your order at Mixtape, you’re pretty much guaranteed to hear something interesting enough that you’ll write it down for your future playlists and/or buy it on vinyl online.
212b Pacific Street
Brooklyn, New York 11201
You expect a Stumptown shop to be aesthetically pleasing, but their latest effort, which occupies a nineteenth century firehouse in Cobble Hill, is an easy contender for the most beautiful coffee shop in New York.
Several distinct but congruous spaces with plenty of gorgeous wood, brass, and tile make this easily the coolest space to open in the city in a very long time. And with dependably delicious Stumptown beans brewed by a particularly strong staff of baristas, the coffee keeps up with the aesthetic splendor.
Marlow & Sons
Brooklyn, New York 11249
The food and wine offerings at Marlow & Sons are so perfect that one sometimes forgets it is also one of the best coffee shops in the city.
Serving multiple roasters, including our Boston favs George Howell, Marlow’s drip and espresso are always on point, and its pastries and prepared food is definitely in the upper echelon of NY cafés (though if you’re into sandwiches, doubling up the coffee here with a sandwich at Marlow & Daughters down the street is also a great idea).
616 Halsey Street
Brooklyn, New York 11233
Bed-Stuy’s Trash Island has a bar with a cool white and blue countertop which very accurately gets across how much fun it is as a coffee shop. Featuring coffee from a number of roasters, like Miami’s beloved Panther Coffee, this shop has the power to transport you to warmer climates at any point in the year. The snacks, from nearby Cuban bakery Pilar, don't hurt either.