Sunday, August 19, 2018


QWNS Café is a boutique café located right at the end of the N and Q line in Astoria, Queens. We stumbled upon this spot seeking refuge from the rain and we were pleasantly surprised as soon as we stepped inside! It was pretty packed, and although most of the tables were being hogged by people with laptops, we were able to find a spot to sit by the time we were done ordering.

The spot is beautiful with lots of natural light, plenty of seating, and decorated with a subway mural on the wall. The staff are super friendly and put a lot of effort into every drink that they make! They serve Joe's coffee and we all loved what we ordered. My friend is a pretty picky coffee drinker yet she loved her cappuccino here and said it wasn't too strong or milky, and the flavour was on point (her words)! My chai latté was also very good and had the perfect amount of cinnamon!

The selection of baked goods and brunch menu items looked delicious as well but we had just finished a big meal and had no room for sweets. If I had come here for brunch I would've definitely tried their avocado toast, açai bowl or any one of the fresh pastries! Check out the full menu here.

Travel Tip: Astoria is known for their Greek food. Check out the original Taverna Kyclades right by the Astoria Ditmar subway! Bonus - they served us complimentary dessert after our meal!

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Ninth Street Espresso

Ninth Street Espresso is a cute, simple spot that we discovered inside the Chelsea Market. It's a "no frills" coffee bar with a modest menu. Ninth Street first opened in 2001 in the East Village and now has grown to 5 locations all over the city. Their goal is to serve great coffee, and to remain genuine and consistent.

The menu is very simple and literally has 4 items: hot coffee, cold coffee, espresso and espresso with milk. They have made their menu simple and inviting for the non-coffee experts - and let's be honest, who out of us is actually a coffee expert (not me!)? I loved that I could order my latté without any confusion or judgement. They believe that good coffee should be simple and I couldn't agree more!

Ninth Street originally worked with specialty roasters and in 2016 they opened their own roasting facility at the Chelsea Market - where they now roast on a Loring 515 Falcon. I had a latté with Alphabet City beans, and it was so smooth and a little nutty - but perfectly balanced between the milk and the espresso. The Chelsea Market location doesn't have any seating but it's ideal to grab your coffee and stroll through the shops in the market or head to the Highline for a walk and a nice view of the city!

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Matto Espresso

Matto Espresso is an awesome little café with a number of locations all over Manhattan! They are an Italian espresso bar and their entire menu is only $2! I've been here a few times now and I've never been disappointed. Their cappuccinos are delicious and I also really like their drip coffee.

We stopped in for a quick breakfast before church and enjoyed a coconut health bar and tomato olive focaccia roll. There is plenty of seating at the Chelsea location and their hours are also pretty long. Their pastry and baked good selection is also pretty extensive. This is definitely one of our regular spots, and with such good prices how could you resist? 

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Double Dutch Espresso

NYC is filled with charming streets in every neighbourhood! This past weekend we explored South Harlem, and I loved strolling down the quiet, tree lined streets! It felt like a nice escape from the sirens and city noise in Chelsea.

We stopped at a charming café called Double Dutch Espresso on Frederick Douglas and 118th. It's close to Morningside Park and seemed to attract the academic and creative crowd! This spot is the classic neighbourhood coffee joint. They serve counter culture beans and my drip coffee was fruity but not overwhelming!

The coffee shop looks deceptively small from the outside but it's actually very spacious with plenty of seating, and a cozy antique vibe with exposed brick! If you walk all the way through the cafe you'll find a backyard patio outside. There is free wifi and some pastries and sandwiches to help you power through a few hours of productivity!

Travel Tip: Check out the famous Apollo Theatre, and grab brunch at BLVD Bistro to satisfy your craving for southern comfort food.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Tisserie 55

Tisserie bakery is a wholesale bakery located in Union City, New Jersey. They primarily serve the hotel and restaurant industry in the NJ and NY area. In addition to serving hotels and restaurants, they cater to offices for breakfast meets or special events.

Tisserie has one retail location - called Tisserie 55 - in midtown, connected to the Park Central Hotel on 8th Avenue between 55th and 56th. We stumbled upon this café while apartment hunting! They have long hours and are open 7 days a week from 7 am to 8 pm.

I was immediately drawn to the antique lighted sign, and as soon as I walked in I was invited by the welcoming smell of coffee and freshly baked goods. I also loved the overhanging lamps which create such a warm atmosphere! The café is quite spacious inside with plenty of seating and free Wi-Fi. They serve all kinds of coffee as well as muffins, scones, pastries, empanadas, quiches and other savory treats. I also saw some soups and sandwiches on the lunch menu. We ordered a breakfast sandwich on a croissant and had some Stumptown coffee to get us fueled for a day of exploring our new city.

Travel Tip: Check out a show at Carnegie Hall which is just up the street, or grab your coffee to go and stroll through Central Park!

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Variety Coffee Roasters

Variety Coffee is a Williamsburg-born roaster that has 5 locations in New York. They opened in 2008 and have since expanded locations to serve coffee-lovers in Bushwick, Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Chelsea and the Upper East Side. 

The first thing that jumped out at me was the vintage lettering outside the Chelsea location. The inside is a beautiful large space with leather booths, and plenty of tables conveniently located close to outlets. I love the high, curved wood ceilings, gorgeous tile designs and the natural light that floods in through all of the windows. The wood accents, gold trim and long coffee bar added such a nice friendly and welcoming feel.

The day we popped in the vibe was a mix of young couples, older individuals and techie-looking people hammering away at their laptops. The coffee menu is short and simple. I had a drip coffee and Alan got a cappuccino which were both delicious. I really loved the graphic design on their cups too. Everyone online leaves reviews saying that their coffee is consistently delicious and that’s why it’s their go-to spot!

You can buy hand-brewing equipment and also subscribe for bi-monthly deliveries. They also sell their coffee at Whole Foods – just look for the package with lips and you won’t miss it!

Travel Tip: Get your coffee to go and walk along The Highline for some great views of Chelsea.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The Doughnut Plant

NYC is known for having some of the best food, dessert and coffee. I was so excited to discover a Doughnut Plant location right next door to me since it was referenced in a guide book of hidden gems that I received as a gift a few years ago!

The Doughnut Plant doughnuts are handcrafted every day, and do not contain eggs, preservatives, transfats or anything artificial . You can find so many different and original flavours and types so it’s a good idea to check out the menu online before you decide to stop by. You can find the following types of doughnuts:

Yeast doughnuts: light, airy, fluffy yeast-raised doughnuts with a slight chew

Cake doughnuts: Leavened with baking powder, the cake doughnuts have a texture somewhere near the intersection of a classic birthday cake and a buttery pound cake.

Filled doughnuts: Filled with their house made jams, creams and custards. Their filled doughnuts include flavours like Tres Leches, Carrot Cake and Black Seed (think chocolate on chocolate).

Doughseeds: Mini, filled doughnuts including flavours such as Creme Brûlée (the original), Rose (with a rose water pudding and dipped in a rose water glaze, topped with an edible rose petal), Hazelnut Chocolate, Matcha Green Tea, Peanut Butter & Blackberry Jam, Pistachio, Strawberry & Cream and Wild Blueberry & Cream.

Everyone who knows me well knows that I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, but I have to say, I am salivating as I’m writing this. Coffee and doughnuts are the perfect pair and I’m happy to say that their coffee was also delicious. It paired perfectly with the coffee cake doughnut. (Can you tell I like coffee?) If you’re not a coffee person, they have plenty of other drinks including tea and plant juices. If I haven’t convinced you to visit, then browse through these photos or take a stroll past a store in the morning. Maybe you’ll be drawn in after seeing the long lines and adorable doughnut themed decor!

Travel Tip: Visit the Chelsea Hotel right next door (currently under construction). This iconic hotel housed writers, painters, filmmakers and musicians for over a century. This is the place where Jack Kerouac wrote On the Road, Bob Dylan penned Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands, Madonna photographed her book Sex, Leonard Cohen composed Chelsea Hotel #2, Arthur C Clarke wrote 2001: A Space Odyssey and Arthur Miller recovered from his split with Marilyn Monroe.