I'm starting a new series of reviews of coffee shops in New York. I thought it would be appropriate to start it off with one of the best specialty coffee shops in my very own neighborhood!
Astoria Coffee opened just blocks away from my apartment about 2.5 months ago. I was pretty excited, since it's one of the few local specialty coffee shops in Astoria. I knew I immediately loved the space as soon as I walked in. The high ceilings and huge windows were a breath of fresh air compared to the smaller cafes in Manhattan. Natural light flooded into the well-designed interior space beautifully.
I got the chance to meet the owners Dennis and Liz, who came to New York from Ohio a couple years ago. They wanted to bring the laidback coffee shop culture they had loved in the Midwest to New York. Lucky for me, they felt that the community in Astoria would be a great fit with what they envisioned.
The Midwestern hospitality and friendly culture really does come through in their coffee shop. Everyone there was open to conversation, and I found myself meeting photographers, graphic artists, and other coffee enthusiasts who frequented the cafe.
Dennis and Liz said the best part of their job was the opportunity to meet and get to know everyone in their neighborhood. You can tell they really involve the community in their store, as they also feature local artist work on their walls on rotation. They're also planning on hosting more events like live music shows or gallery parties in the near future.
Another thing I noticed when I walked in was the bar seating area. You can seat yourself directly at the counter, right in front of the coffee-making action. It’s a great place to get to know Dennis and Liz, who also double as the main baristas for Astoria Coffee. (PS for those who love the little details like me--there are purse/bag hooks under the table, super convenient for storing your stuff!)
And if you need to get work done or if you're there meeting friends, there are plenty of other tables and free wifi. They played lots of jazz and classical music, which is perfect for studying or even just hanging out.
I really love their coffee. They even serve affogato, my favorite! They feature roasters from all over the country on a rotating basis, which is great because a lot of them aren't normally found elsewhere in New York.
Dennis and Liz are also going to be serving beer & wine soon--you know where you can find me on the weekends!