If I had to choose right now, then I would say this location is my “Go-To” Starbucks. Perhaps the purpose of this entire blog is to find my Go-To Starbucks in NYC?
Having a Go-To Starbucks is an important thing. Back in Orlando, my go-to was in a little nook of Downtown Orlando called Thornton Park. It was biking distance from my house and had an inviting inside as well as a splash of outdoor seating that overlooked the cobblestone road. I spent countless hours there doing coursework, studying for the GREs, meeting with friends, reading on astrology, or even just people watching. A good friend and I actually coined the term “Go-To Starbucks” when we new that was where we needed to go to either catch up or talk about something a little more serious.
This Starbucks is actually directly between 8th and 9th avenues, but since there is another Starbucks on 49th & 8th, I figured this one can occupy the 9th avenue side for clarity’s sake. By distance alone, this is the closest Starbucks to my apartment. Proximity is very important when determining your Go-To. Also, since this Starbucks is not directly on an avenue, it gets less of a crowd than most, so seating is never hard to find (another important factor). But this Starbucks’ greatest asset is the amazing outdoor plaza that cuts between 49th and 50th streets. Equipped with public seating, a gorgeous fountain, and plenty of greenery, it makes for a perfect sunny afternoon hangout. If only the Starbucks WiFi reached there!
There is one threat to this Starbucks’ grand status, and that is the fact that tour buses tend to line up on 49th right outside the courtyard. Weekends or weekdays, they don’t discriminate. When there’s a tour bus outside, the tourists invade this Starbucks like a scene from Mars Attacks. Lengthening all the lines and consuming all the seating. Luckily, if a tour bus is outside I know to go to one of the 3 other locations within a 2-block radius.
The View… The windows look out into a courtyard-like seating plaza with a fountain and trees. For a minute you forget you’re in NYC.
The Size… Large enough to host an L-shaped bar and still have plenty of room for patrons.
The Seating… A large seating bar up against the plaza-facing window, a few comfy chairs, tables-for-two, and a community table. Plenty to go around.
The Location… Right near the C/E and on the border of the public seating area that divides up the Worldwide Plaza.
The Crowd… On weekends it can get a little crowded, but I’m usually able to grab a seat.
The Restroom… Just one. And pray you don’t need to use it when a tour bus is outside.
Drink of Choice:
Venti Iced Coffee
Overall Starbucks Rating:
A Starbucks with a view.