Long Island runs on coffee, and while coffee chains are great for a cup on the go, there’s something special about settling into a coffee shop. These intimate, personal venues allow patrons a chance to relax and unwind while enjoying some high quality espresso and good company. A coffee shop needs more than just excellent coffee to thrive; it needs a cozy ambiance and great service.
Here are some local java joints that offer all that and more.
3268 Railroad Ave., Wantagh; 516-826-9533
Dimly lit and decorated with the art of local artists, The Cup is the perfect place to spend a few hours listening to the musicians who play on the weekends, playing a classic board game, or catching up with friends on the comfy couches or outdoor patio. Guests can’t go wrong with the Shakey Tracks, an espresso frappe with mocha and hazelnut over a scoop of ice cream, or the Butter Beer, made with vanilla, butterscotch and caramel. Warm up with the gingerbread latte or the hot mocha cocoa. On the dessert menu, the rainbow cookie cake is always delicious, and sugar-lovers can indulge with the giant black and white cookies.
151 E. Park Ave., Long Beach; 516-605-2370
Coffee connoisseurs will find themselves satisfied at Gentle Brew. The shop roasts their coffee beans on site, and the effort they put into their craft comes through in the smooth taste of every cup. Brightly lit with a clean feel, the relaxed locale is a great place to get some work done or meet up with a friend. The cold brew and pour-over coffees are pure and flavorful, and guests rave about the chai lattes.
311 Hempstead Tpke. West Hempstead; 516-489-9482
Perhaps one of the most well-known coffee shops in the area, The Witches Brew is a hotspot for people of all ages. The eclectic decor, which includes mismatched furniture, dark curtains and colored lights, provides a cozy, intimate ambiance. In addition to the wide variety of hot, cold and frozen coffee offerings, tea lovers will be charmed by the vast selection of brews, which includes standards like Earl grey and ginger and more elaborate mixes like Eve’s Temptation (apple and mango) and the Cape Town (mango, passion fruit, sunflowers, rose petals and hibiscus).
1045 Tulip Ave., Franklin Square; 516-358-2233
Local art, great drinks and fresh food all collide at the Starving Artist, which serves up the perfect homey atmosphere. Musicians play almost every night and art from local artists adorn the walls. In addition to a wide eats menu, there’s also dessert offerings like ice cream, tartufo and cannoli dip. The teas are very popular, as are the flavored coffees and cappuccinos.
64 Rockaway Ave., Valley Stream; 516-341-0491
This cozy espresso haven in Valley Stream provides those looking to enjoy some delicious coffee and good conversation a warm and inviting place to do so. Though it does get busy on weekends, the shop offers lots of seating and the friendly staff will make you feel at home. Play a board game, get some work done or just sit back and enjoy the nightly live entertainment as you sip on a specialty cup of Joe. The freshly made desserts pair well with any of the drinks, including the raved-about chai lattes, iced drinks and hot cocoas.