Advertisements
Archive | 5 Cup RSS feed for this section

NYC Starbucks: 23rd & 1st

21 Dec

23rd and 1st Starbucks

I really was not expecting to find very many great Starbucks left in Manhattan this close to the year’s end. Yet, here I sit at the beautifully designed Starbucks on the border of Stuyvesant Town and Kips Bay. This Starbucks  can’t be more than a few weeks old, and its size, design, decor, seating and overall newness really do make for a perfect Starbucks in the city.

My favorite attribute has to be the chain screen panels that separate the seating area from the hall and the bar. But other great features include the hanging lighting, the wood paneled walls and the hanging pictures. And the closest thing to a flaw this Starbucks has is its location. This area on 1st ave is at least 10 blocks from everything and a long walk to public transportation that’s not a bus. Fortunately there is a Citi Bike just out front. How do you think I got here?

Continue reading

Advertisements

NYC Starbucks: 34th & Broadway (Macy’s 2nd Floor)

1 Dec

34th and Broadway Macy's 2nd Floor

Well, I have to admit. I came to Macy’s today with a plan: Visit the four Starbucks inside starting from the top and work my way out of the massive store in time to meet some friends for brunch. I started with a latte at the 6th floor Starbucks, quickly followed it with a double shot of espresso at the 5th floor Starbucks, took my time sipping a tall pike in the 3rd floor Starbucks’ generous seating area, and then arrived at the first floor balcony Starbucks with just enough room in me for another double shot.

What I did not expect was to be told by one of the baristas at the balcony location that there is actually a 5th Starbucks cafe inside Macy’s on the the 2nd floor. Hell, I thought I was technically on the second floor! But no. When I asked about the supposed “Evening Menu”, I was told I would find it at the 2nd floor Herald Square Café. Needless to say, I quickly downed my double shot, cut through the perfumes and headed back up the escalator.

And there it was, right on the Broadway side of the building in the corner of the women’s shoe department. I had literally passed by it on my way to the 6th floor earlier and not even noticed. Why? Two reasons: they do a good job at distinguishing it from the rest of the merchandise, and there is technically no Starbucks branding on any of the signs. None. As you can see above, all signs read: Herald Square Cafe. Now before you go jumping to any conclusions, this is not like your typical Barnes & Noble Cafe that happens to serve Starbucks coffee. This is a truly unique experience altogether.

Where do I start?

So yes, this location is called the Herald Square Cafe, but it is owned by Starbucks. Some have called these kind of stores mercantile or non-branded, but honestly the coffee cups are still typical Starbucks red-cups, so it’s not that sneaky. Yes, there is also an evening menu that includes champagne and wines. It also has some pretty neat food options like truffle oil mac & cheese and hand-crafted chocolates, but honestly my mind went straight to the fact that they serve alcohol. I wonder what that says about me?

Anyway. The seating area — in fact, the entire cafe — is very elegant and classy. The tables and chairs are composed of marble and wood. The sofas are upholstered with a dark grey floral design, and there is a beautiful clock fixture mounted on the wall that represents Macy’s exterior clock that overlooks Broadway.

Well , I must admit I probably looked like a crazy person. Here I stand, a Starbucks enthusiast hyped up on 2 double shots of espresso, a latte and a coffee, standing in a newly discovered and very unique Starbucks that serves champagne and brings your food to your table. So what did I do? I ordered myself a brut rosé, sat down at one of the extravagant sofas and simply allowed myself to relax for a moment — a long moment. I sipped my champagne and thought how cool this past year has been and how I’ve enjoyed discovering places like this around the city. I know New York is not for everyone, and I know there is much more than Starbucks in New York. But this experience really has led me on quite the journey. Those are just a few of the thoughts that came to mind before I finished my glass and walked out of the Macy’s Herald Square and its five distinct Starbucks within.

Continue reading

NYC Starbucks: 88th & Broadway

3 Oct

88th and Broadway Starbucks

I’m moving to the Upper West Side. It’s settled.

Well, not really — or at least not yet — but I keep finding all the best Starbucks in this neighborhood. Over the summer, I royally impressed by the large and expansive Starbucks on 86th and Columbus, and now just a few blocks away I’ve come across another Starbucks deserving of a 5-Cup rating. And for very similar reasons!

Take Broadway north 6 miles from yesterday’s Starbucks on Thames and you’ll arrive at the Starbucks on 86th & Broadway. What difference does 6 miles make? A whole lot of room. In fact, this Starbucks has an entire floor dedicated to nothing but lounging about and sipping coffee. There’s two sets of padded comfy chairs, tons of smaller tables, a long sofa and tons of power outlets for New Yorkers in need of a recharge. But aren’t we all?

The ground level of this Starbucks only has a small patch of seating, but that also works to its advantage. This way the crowd and service area of this Starbucks is completely separated from the seating. So your coffee talk with a friend isn’t constantly interrupted by a constantly flowing line of espresso deprived strangers. Even the restroom is downstairs. Perfecto.

Continue reading

NYC Starbucks: 81st & 2nd

23 Aug

81st and 2nd Starbucks

Just when I thought the Upper West Side had a leg up on the Upper East Side — where Starbucks are concerned, that is — I discover the Starbucks on 81st and 2nd.

This Starbucks is in the thick of Yorkville and has more character than any I can remember visiting. The building has obviously gone through some reconstructions throughout the years, and I’m very happy with the end result. The first two floors belong to Starbucks. They’ve expanded the ground floor with a glassed in patio, filled the second floor with seating and kept all the exposed bricks. The sealed in fireplace is still visible, and you can see where the staircase used to climb to the 3rd floor. I’m assuming there are still apartments above this Starbucks — and I’m hoping they’re for rent!

This is definitely a Starbucks that I could spend endless hours in. It would be my “go-to” if it weren’t so far away.

Continue reading

NYC Starbucks: 86th & Columbus

16 Aug

86th and Columbus Starbucks

Life has a natural symmetry… a way of balancing things out. Yesterday, I visited one of the worst Starbucks in Manhattan and today I’m sitting at what is arguably one of the best.

The Upper West Side Starbucks on the corner of 86th & Columbus is roughly the size of three regular NYC Starbucks. I actually passed by the entrance on my way to grab lunch and as I kept walking I noticed that I was still passing by windows that belonged to the Starbucks. It just goes on and on.

The neighborhood surrounding this Starbucks consists of nice restaurants with outdoor seating, coffee shops (other than Starbucks, that is), a few delis and, of course, Central Park to the east.

Inside, the Starbucks has two seating areas equipped with sofas, comfy chairs, tables-for-two and a few larger tables as well. The decor is nice; including a curving mural wall, hanging mirrors, pictures and even some white pillars on display in the window. The lighting is a little dim but not too bad. But, what I think is most impressive about this Starbucks is the lack of a crowd. I’ve been here for quite some time, and there has always been a few seats available — comfy seats at that! There’s even open outlets.

I could go on and on about how much I like this Starbucks. But I’d rather spend a little more time enjoying it instead of writing about it.

Continue reading

NYC Starbucks: 28th & 3rd

15 Jul

28th and 3rd Starbucks

There is something special about the Starbucks on 28th and Lexington.

I couldn’t quite put my finger on it at first, but I’ve chocked it all up to the ‘newness’ of this location. This is another of the recently added NYC Starbucks locations that are popping up in 2013. And this one is definitely the best one that I’ve seen so far.

It’s not the biggest, not the least crowded and not in the best neighborhood. But it is indeed one of the best. All in all, its design and style are what give it so much character. The interior is shaped like  perfect square with a minimally invasive barista bar and a cooler built into one of the walls. The rest is all seating — seating as varied as the colors of the rainbow. There are padded sofas, raised communal tables, tables-for-two, coffee tables (duh!) and even tables with wheelchair access. There are even two trendy looking benches built into the exterior walls of the Starbucks.

In other news, the Treat Receipt has officially returned to Starbucks as of today, and they will be offering them until August 18th. Hurray! So, I definitely don’t need another reason to follow up my morning cup of coffee with an afternoon iced beverage, but it sure does save some cash.

Continue reading

NYC Starbucks: 58th & Madison

11 Jun

58th and Madison Starbucks

It’s been over 3 months of dedicated Starbucks blogging, but I’ve finally stumbled across another 5-Cup location. The 58th & Madison Starbucks  (b/w Madison and 5th Ave) caught my eye earlier last month. Unfortunately I was in no shape to bang-out a blog at the time but I made a special note to return here another time.

I walked in this morning and was once again impressed by the overall size, style and accommodations provided by this Starbucks. But something else struck me as well — a heat wave. Apparently the AC was on the fritz. Although today’s high 79 degrees, it felt more like 90 degrees inside. Okay, I thought, a minor setback. Luckily the baristas were super apologetic to every guest that complained, and the AC problem was fixed shortly after I arrived.

So what makes this location so special? It’s the impressive styling put into it combined with the size and location. When you walk in, you first enter a decent sized entranceway separated by glass panes. There’s even a tiny bit a seating here. Then as you walk into the main area you can immediately see this Starbucks is larger than most. To your right you’ll spot a seating area composed only of a large ottoman and tree trunk stools. Straight ahead is the monstrous barista bar which counters another large seating area equipped with a communal table and a raised sofa with high tables attached. There are two restrooms in the corner, and the walls are decorated throughout with shelving, mirrors, and Starbucks merchandise (of course).

I can’t say that this is the best one I’ve seen in New York City so far. But I will admit that it was a pleasure to stumble upon a top-notch location such as this one. The fact that it’s technically in Midtown makes this Starbucks even more impressive.

Continue reading

NYC Starbucks: Leonard & West Broadway

3 Mar

leonardandwestbroadway

I’m back with another NYC geography lesson. Today’s topic: TriBeCa. Another one of Manhattan’s abbreviated neighborhoods, TriBeCa stands for the “TRIangle BElow CAnal street.” Seriously, who comes up with these things, and how do they catch on?

Anyway — this neighborhood is literally an upside-down acute triangle, with Canal Street as the base, West Street and the Hudson on the west, and Broadway on the east. Just north of the World Trade Center and the Financial District (FiDi), TriBeCa consists of a lot of residential lofts with inviting restaurants and shops below. TriBeCa also houses many celebrities. A few of the most noted include: Beyonce & Jay-Z, Meryl Streep, Jon Stewart, Justin Timberlake, and Gwyneth Paltrow.

The Starbucks on the corner of Leonard and West Broadway is directly in the center of the triangle that is TriBeCa. And I must say — this is another of the elite Starbucks of the city. I think what is most impressive about this location is the plentiful supply of seating and relatively few occupants. Usually the weekends slam Starbucks with crowds — regardless of the neighborhood — but this location is less than half full — or is it half empty?

More-so than any other Starbucks, I can imagine myself coming here to really knock out some work. The benches and walls are equipped with power outlets, and the the exterior is made up of paneled glass which fills the room with natural light. Although there are an estimated 130 other Starbucks between my apartment and this particular location, the environment this one provides might be worth the trip.

Continue reading

NYC Starbucks: 17th & Union Square West

21 Feb

17thandunionsq

The Starbucks on the north-west corner of Union Square Park further exemplifies my theory that not all Starbucks are created equal. This location is first-rate. Rivaling the SoHo location on Spring and Crosby and far outweighing its sister store just on Union Square East.

What places this Starbucks a notch above the rest?

Location is definitely a bragging right. It’s not too far from anything. Just steps from Union Square and transportation goodness, this Starbucks is also right off of 5th Avenue and a fresh patch of retail stores. Shopping doesn’t interest you? Keep walking past 5th, and before you know it you’re in Chelsea — and why wouldn’t you want to be in Chelsea? Or you can travel south and take your pick between Greenwich Village or East Village.

Other then it’s prime real-estate, this Starbucks flaunts many  noteworthy characteristics. It has a front and back entrance, keeping the line from flooding into the two — yes two — seating areas. It has copious amounts of chairs and tables that don’t really seem to fill despite the ever-flowing crowd. The bathroom is far removed from view by a tiny hall in the back. The neoclassical decor — with chain dangling lights and short leather chairs — is a design to admire. And it’s open til midnight daily.

Great for a quick cup on-the-go, but you may find yourself tempted to sit and stay awhile.

Continue reading

NYC Starbucks: Spring & Crosby

4 Jan

SpringandCrosby

Oh no, it’s SoHo!

For those less familiar with the neighborhoods of Manhattan, SoHo is the neighborhood of expensive boutiques, expensive lofts, and expensive retailers in general. A good friend once referred to NYC as “a black hole of expenses,” and if that is true, SoHo is the deep-dark center. The name SoHo is actually an acronym, meaning SOuth of HOuston street. And now that you know that, PLEASE do not let any self-respecting Manhattanite hear you pronounce Houston wrong. They’ll either read you to filth, or turn up their nose. It’s Houston like “house-ten”. We’re a long way from Texas, ya’ll.

Anyway, onto the Starbucks on the corner of Spring and Crosby.

I must admit, that when I selected this to be the 3rd location I would visit, I expected to find a small corner-cafe, a large crowd of constantly shuffling tourists loaded up with shopping bags, and exhausted looking baristas. And this Starbucks has totally proved me wrong. Not only is this one of the biggest locations I’ve yet to see in the city, it is also the most inviting.

Yes, it gets hit with a hefty crowd of tourists and shoppers alike, but this location brews them up and spits them out, leaving plenty of room for singles or groups to come enjoy a cup of coffee in one of the most picturesque parts of the city. The location itself begs you to look around and gaze. Besides the usual Starbucks advertisements, art hangs on the walls from artist Peter Tunney (captured above), as well as black-and-white images of the coffee-roasting process. Comfy chairs and cushioned benches are everywhere to be seen, and a long-wooden table to seat ~14 stands in the back.

And did I mention power outlets are everywhere? Not just on the walls, but on the floor as well. So go on, charge that phone! Bring that laptop! This Starbucks has got a seat for you.

Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: