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Thread: Hate Starbucks - Looking for a Coffee Shop to Relax In

  1. #1

    Cool Hate Starbucks - Looking for a Coffee Shop to Relax In

    I'm on a quest to find the perfect coffee shop, or other relaxing cafe-type spot, in which to just kick back and relax with a good book, a friend, a board game. Some place for a rainy day. A fireplace would be nice, with bean bags, or sofas, or just nice armchairs. Does any of this sound familiar? Or am I just dreaming?

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    Where are you in the city? Presumably you want somewhere nearby and not a 2 hour subway odyssey away...

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    Are there any like this in the village or soho?

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    Hungarian Pastry Shop, 1030 Amsterdam Avenue at 111th Street, right opposite St. John the Divine. http://cityguide.aol.com/newyork/ent...&type=overview

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    Ha, I don't think the Hungarian, as beloved as it is in Morningside Heights, quite fits the bill. The lighting is too dim for games, let alone reading, and there are rarely hard wooden seats available- to introduce sofas or whatnot would be an anathema. Fireplace? It's heated solely by intellectual hot air.

    I would recommend searching around the Villages, East and West, for the type of place described. Brooklyn, I'm sure, has its own variants by now.

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    I know of at least 4-5 of them that fit the bill nicely in the Carroll Gardens/Cobble Hill/Red Hook area.

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    Quote Originally Posted by czsz
    Ha, I don't think the Hungarian, as beloved as it is in Morningside Heights, quite fits the bill. The lighting is too dim for games, let alone reading, and there are rarely hard wooden seats available- to introduce sofas or whatnot would be an anathema. Fireplace? It's heated solely by intellectual hot air.
    Seems to fit the bill quite wll by your description; it has some of the traits of a Viennese coffee house.

    Besides the ones you've identified, these include a no-hassle policy that allows you to linger for hours over a good coffee, a dazzling selection of great pastries, plenty of atmosphere and aroma. It's not fancy or decorated, but neither are some in Vienna. And there is enough light to read; I can personally vouch for that. Students can be found in there writing term papers.

    It's also a great place for people watching. Very European.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ablarc
    Hungarian Pastry Shop, 1030 Amsterdam Avenue at 111th Street, right opposite St. John the Divine. http://cityguide.aol.com/newyork/ent...&type=overview
    see photos here : http://www.angelfire.com/ny/queenofdarkness/hps1.html

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    One I like is the Dean and Deluca on 11/10th and Broadway. Great atmosphere.

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    The Dean and Deluca is on University Place, actually. It's even more cold and hard than the Hungarian, but at least has some natural light.

    People have recommended Saurin Parke Cafe as a superior alternative to the Hungarian to me...it's on 110th St. near Central Park West, which is still a bit of an iffy area late at night, and somewhat isolated from everything, but practically across the street from a stop on the (I think) B-D line.

    If anyone does go to the Hungarian I recommend checking out the political grafitti in the bathroom, though I hear the staff has been prone to often repainting it recently.

    Ablarc- aren't the coffeehouses in Vienna a bit more spacious and bright? I know the cafes in Krakow are better than the Hungarian.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by ablarc
    Seems to fit the bill quite wll by your description; it has some of the traits of a Viennese coffee house.

    Besides the ones you've identified, these include a no-hassle policy that allows you to linger for hours over a good coffee, a dazzling selection of great pastries, plenty of atmosphere and aroma. It's not fancy or decorated, but neither are some in Vienna. And there is enough light to read; I can personally vouch for that. Students can be found in there writing term papers.

    It's also a great place for people watching. Very European.
    Ablarc

    Do you have a Hungarian ancestry? I am learning this cool language now. It's distantly related to Ancient Japanese, one of my fortes. Like Japanese, Hungarian is an Altaic Language.

    Have you tried ordering coffee there in Hungarian yet?

    Kérek egy csésze kávét

    Thats:

    Keh-rek edge chess-eh kar-veht.

    And its a fricken cool language, almost as cool as Czech. Cooler maybe.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by czsz
    Ha, I don't think the Hungarian, as beloved as it is in Morningside Heights, quite fits the bill. The lighting is too dim for games, let alone reading, and there are rarely hard wooden seats available- to introduce sofas or whatnot would be an anathema. Fireplace? It's heated solely by intellectual hot air.

    I would recommend searching around the Villages, East and West, for the type of place described. Brooklyn, I'm sure, has its own variants by now.
    Czsz - your name sounds like it has a hungarian connection to me - or is it from Polish?

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    Quote Originally Posted by czsz
    The Dean and Deluca is on University Place, actually. It's even more cold and hard than the Hungarian, but at least has some natural light.
    That's right, its on University. But as far as how "cold and hard" it is, to each his own. They have a large table with large windows and a tall ceiling. Plus they stock food from Sullivan Street Bakery.

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    Have you tried ordering coffee there in Hungarian yet?
    While the owners of the Hungarian are indeed Hungarian, most of the staff hail from Ethiopia.

    Czsz - your name sounds like it has a hungarian connection to me - or is it from Polish?
    My family is Polish and my last name, Szabla, is a Polish word (it means sabre), but it was one loaned to Polish from Hungarian.

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