NYC Starbucks: Astor Place & Lafayette

6 Feb


I wanted the first Starbucks of February to be a good one — and the Astor Place Starbucks did not disappoint.

Astor Place is probably one of Manhattan’s smallest neighborhoods. Just encompassing two city blocks, the neighborhood was named after John Jacob Astor — the 19th century multi-millionaire. Astor Place is also home to the Alamo — the cube sculpture depicted above — and if you get enough buddies together or have the build of Atlas you can literally spin the cube installation on the spot.

The Starbucks on the corner of Astor Place and Lafayette Street is unique in many ways, but it’s ultimate trump factor lies in its generous size. Not only is the main seating area larger than most, but it also has two very extensive covered patio areas. These are insulated with glass panels and lined with high seating, giving patrons a great spot to sit and people watch the passerbys of NYC.

And did I mention the stage? Yes — this Starbucks literally has a stage. Okay, so at the moment it too is filled with table seating, but it can easily be converting into a small venue for some live music, stand-up, or maybe even some really bad karaoke. In fact — Alanis Morissette performed here back in 2005.

And if Alanis Morissette approves of this Starbucks, who am I to disagree?

The Good:

The Size… This is by far the largest location I have stumbled upon so far.

The Seating… There are various square, rectangular, and mini tables scattered throughout — not to mention the indoor patio area that is lined with bar and table seating as well.

The Location… When exiting, you could accidentally fall into the 6-train entrance — that’s how close you are.

The Bad:

The WiFi… If you’re sitting on the outskirts, you may just want to enjoy the NYC scenery — because the WiFi out there is horrible.

The Wait… Attracting quite the crowd, this beautiful location isn’t the best for a coffee-run on a busy day.

Outlet Availability… True, there are chairs galore, but outlets are few and far between. Adding some to the indoor patio area would make it much more welcoming.

Barista Friendliness:

Speedy and friendly.


Drink of Choice: 

Grande Iced-Coffee — I know I promised to have a more exotic sampling of drinks this month, and I will! Just not today, apparently.


Overall Starbucks Rating:

A paradoxical Starbucks. It’s consistently cramped yet I’m always able to find a seat.



5 Responses to “NYC Starbucks: Astor Place & Lafayette”

  1. Katie February 6, 2013 at 11:07 PM #

    Much nicer than my local Starbucks! But, I won’t complain because I’m just really glad we have one at all. Great picture and Starbucks exploring idea!

  2. Karl Peterson July 18, 2013 at 11:12 AM #

    Back in the day when I used to still do all my writing in a notebook by hand, I used to hang at this Starbucks at least once a week. And even further back in the day, I used to love going there when it was the Astor Diner – I was furious when they turned it into a Starbucks. And now Starbucks’ website is saying it is closed. Very sad.

    • Harlequin Boy July 18, 2013 at 6:02 PM #

      Actually, I think another Starbucks near Astor Place was the one to close down. This one was open as of a few days ago, as far as I know. It’s huge and is a bigger spectacle than The Cube across the street.

      • Karl Peterson July 18, 2013 at 6:08 PM #

        Thanks for the info. There was one across the street from Cooper Union that was torn down – is that the one you are thinking they mean? Strange, though – their website is clearly indicating only one Starbucks in that area, and saying it is closed.


  1. Reflection: February | Starbucks and the City - March 1, 2013

    […] favorite Starbucks this month was most certainly the Union Square West location. Although the Astor Place and Fashion District shops deserve honorable mention. As for my least favorite location — […]

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