by Sarah Lagrotteria
With all the shopping to be done between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, it’s essential that every New Yorker have a favorite espresso bar where they can drop in, warm up, and forget holiday stress. The following are the Babbo staff’s favorite places to duck in for a cup when holiday shopping has them feeling overwhelmed.
21 Bedford Street
When you’re feeling particularly rushed, an espresso taken Italian-style (standing at the bar) at Bedford Street’s authentically Italian cafe will provide you with the necessary boost to face the day. If you have a little more time, take a seat in this tiny paninoteca and enjoy a hot pressed sandwich. With plenty of choices by the glass, cozy ‘ino is also a great spot to treat yourself to some nice Italian wine.
79-81 Bleeker Street
One of New York’s oldest cafes, Dante has been a favorite for generations. The espresso is perfectly bracing, strong enough to re-invigorate the weariest shopper. For those needing something even stronger, try the Caffé Corretto alla Sambuca, coffee flavored with Sambuca liqueur. If you’re hungry, Dante serves small cured meat sandwiches on crusty bread.
242 Mott Street
Located in Nolita, Café Gitane may provide the proof that you don’t necessarily have to be Italian to make great espresso. Here, the French do it wonderfully. Once you’ve landed a spot at this crowded cafe, there’s no rush to give it up, so it’s best to stop in when you have time to relax. On sunny winter afternoons, it’s nice to wrap your scarf extra tight and sit outside with espresso and croissant to watch the neighborhood roll around you.
184 Prince Street
The chalkboard outside announces the sandwich special of the day (we like the popular tuna salad), but it’s the segafreddo espresso, perfectly rich, that keeps locals stopping at Caffe Tina day after day. With a laid-back staff, a full menu, and a display case stocked full with rich dolci, Tina’s welcomes anyone who wants to while away a few hours with a friend or a book.