Founded in 1976, the Coffee Beanery has wafted the enticing aroma of its beans not only throughout the United States but also over foreign soil. At each location, baristas brew the company's specially roasted beans and decaf coffee, which expels caffeine via the Swiss water process rather than with harsh chemicals. In addition to steaming espresso drinks and blending icy frappalattes, the staff stocks their shelves with bags of flavored coffees such as french toast, chocolate mint kiss, and Michigan cherry. Although guests are welcome to cozy up at a table or grab a cup to go, the beanery also lures shoppers inside to peruse a selection of coffee gifts, perfect for birthdays or Monday mornings.
Guy & Gallard doesn't mind where people choose to savor its menu of more than 70 breakfast items, sandwiches, soups, and pastas. Diners also get to design their own sandwiches out of diverse ingredients that range from albacore-tuna salad and grilled vegetables to tandoori chicken and prosciutto. To sate health-minded stomachs and hungry treadmills, the menu uses a green leaf to denote the meals that have less fat and fewer calories.
When Midtown Lunch’s Rachel Goldner stopped by Simon Sips, she was heartened not only by the foam art on her drink, but by staffers she described as “just the kind of people you want to interact with in the morning: calm, extremely nice, and helpful.” Perhaps this amiability stems from the fact that the shop’s baristas aren’t frazzled by overly complicated drink orders—Simon’s puritanical espresso menu includes only lattes, cappuccinos, and mochas. The New York Times' Oliver Strand called Simon Sips "worth seeking out" on its city guide app, The Scoop, and Midtown Lunch's readers even voted Simon Sips "Best Coffee 2012." The smell of drip coffee also fills the newly renovated space, where patrons can nibble on a daily rotating selection of muffins or especially fresh-smelling drink sleeves.
Le Pain Quotidien’s bakers follow a few simple rules when baking bread: no preservatives, no additives, no improvers. Instead, they use organic ingredients to create loaves and baguettes, as well as kid-friendly waffles, muffins, and apple pear turnovers. Even glasses of milk, apple cider, lemonade, and orange juice are organic.
Though cafés often conjure images of a modest menu scrawled on a chalkboard, Cafe Fresco boasts an unexpectedly extensive selection of breakfast and lunch items. The menu begins with custom omelets, then goes on to include griddle items (challah french toast, buttermilk pancakes), and homemade granola. A large portion of the list is reserved for bagel sandwiches, which can be stuffed with everything from peanut butter to veggies and tofu. Like the omelets, patrons can create their own sandwiches or head to the deli counter to order feasts to take home to a gourmand goldfish. Available by the quarter-pound, the takeout items include strawberry cream cheese and other spreads, as well as sandwich stuffers such as gourmet deli meat and chicken salad. Of course it wouldn’t be a café without coffee: baristas can brew mochaccinos, lattes, and chai tea.
At UR CUP, don't expect the house blend to always taste the same—the flavor changes seasonally, thanks to the rotating selection of beans that become available from producers in South and Central America. There are single-origin coffees as well, and they are always prepared using manual brewing methods such as full-immersion and pour-over. Updated classics include the cafe-mocha inspired Coco latte, which is made from 85 percent dark chocolate and brown sugar. Their certified organic teas pair nicely with baked goods such as the chai fig cake, which Serious Eats New York said was "a moist, delicate cake with fine crumbs and a generous portion of chopped figs tucked into each bite."