Queens Coffee Fix
There was a time, not too many years ago, when gourmet coffeehouses were considered far too bohemian for the blue-collar sensibility of Western Queens.
Oh, how times have changed.
Not only are coffeehouses now ubiquitous in our neighborhood, but they’re also helping redefine the centuries-old café business.
Here’s a list of just a few that are drawing citywide accolades for their trailblazing efforts.
The Queens Kickshaw
40-17 Broadway, Astoria
There’s an old adage in the New York City restaurant scene: “Successful businesses do one thing and do it well.”
Don’t tell that to The Queens Kickshaw.
The Kickshaw began as a coffee purist’s haven in 2010. In 2011, they added micro-brewed beer. A year and a half later, they’re equally renowned for their gourmet grilled-cheese sandwiches.
Such versatility hasn’t gone unnoticed. Citing the Kickshaw’s diverse menu, the Village Voice recently named the café the best coffee house in NYC.
47-02 Vernon Blvd, LIC
Widely known by Gossip Girl fans as “the place where Vanessa works,” Communitea offers customers much more than a chance to reenact scenes from their favorite post-millennial teen drama.
Communitea conducts an Afternoon Tea Service every day between 3-6 p.m. The meal features a three-tiered serving platter, including a choice of any one of 40 teapots from around the world, a home-baked scone and a dessert of the day.
They also offer a wide array of gourmet coffees, espressos, mochas and lattes – all of which can be enjoyed amid lots of table space and free Wi-Fi.
10-93 Jackson Avenue, LIC
It’s a testimony to the quality of SweetLeaf’s coffee that its accolades are too numerous to list in a few paragraphs. The praise the NYC media has heaped upon the coffee house in recent years reads like a novel-length love letter.
In 2010, The New York Times named SweetLeaf one of the city’s top 30 coffee bars. Soon after, Time Out New York placed them on a similar list, while The New York Daily News deemed their cappuccino the best in Queens.
More important than its panoply of acclaim – SweetLeaf makes a fine cup of coffee. One of the best in NYC.
Brooklyn Bagel & Coffee Co.
35-05 Broadway, Astoria
35-09 Ditmars, Astoria
36-14 30th Ave, Astoria
In NYC, bagels and coffee go hand-in-hand. Few do the combination better than Brooklyn Bagel.
Since its first location opened in Astoria 10 years ago, Brooklyn Bagel has been the source for a quick and high-quality commuter’s breakfast on route to the N and Q trains.
Not that they’re resting on their laurels.
This year they added a killer Sumatra roast coffee – a traditional Indonesian blend that dates back to the days of the 18th-century Dutch East India Company.
Triple Shot World Atlas Cafe
27-06 Queens Plaza South, LIC
The new Queens Plaza is a sight to behold. Thanks in large part to an influx of huge corporate and governmental jobs, what was once an industrial ghost town is now drawing comparisons to the busiest sectors of Manhattan.
With the increase in foot traffic, it was inevitable that a line of small cafes and eateries would soon follow. Lucky for those working in the area, the Triple Shot World Atlas transcends proximal convenience. Their scientific approach to brewing coffee has turned more than a few heads in recent months, as has the revolving menu of gourmet soups.
19-23 Ditmars Blvd, Astoria
For years, the Agnanti Restaurant on Ditmars Boulevard has provided one of the most diverse, most affordable Mediterranean menus in all of Western Queens. Their new cafe, which opened last summer, is well on its way to becoming just as essential.
Besides offering a small but great list of light breakfast and lunch options, they also sell an arsenal of wickedly strong eastern European beverages. The Greek iced-coffee – known in Greece as a “frappe” –packs enough punch to send even the most acclimated coffee nerd into a frenetic, hyperactive tizzy.