As my introductory post to this blog, I think it’s only fitting that I write about the cafe that introduced me to the great city that is New York.
Almost a year ago (10 days!), I moved into the NYU dorms in Gramercy, having graduated and moved from LA in just over a week. In the spirit of full-disclosure, I’m one of the few people I’ve met who never dreamed of moving in New York. Perhaps this has something to do with my sample population, but never mind. The City just never appealed to me; as a mountain and West-coast lover, I’m much more drawn to dry summer nights, sandy toes, and sun-bleached hair. Yet life is a funny thing, and in pursuit of one dream I found myself leaving another. Hello, NYC.
So last summer I was enrolled in a graduate program, for which I got up early and went to bed late, subsisting on terrible coffee that looked, rather disturbingly, like dirty dish water. This was survival mode, and as my cup’s tears ran in the humid air, I searched for a better place to get coffee.
Needless to say, I was overjoyed to find Irving Farm just a ten minute walk from my dorm. Nestled down a short staircase and with a simple sign, though the original cafe is easy to miss. But once I sat down and took a sip of my first well-roasted, properly-made coffee in weeks, I never wanted to leave.
At the Gramercy location, 71 Irving Street the small space is full of little two-tops, and the seating area is a veritable maze that is always populated with students, artists, friends, first dates, established couples, and the like. They serve iced drinks in mason jars, and have delicious snacks that include vegan and gluten-free options. They also have almond milk, for the dairy-adverse. Irving Farm serves delicious, simple food, such as salads, bagels, oatmeal, and sandwiches. The founders “realized that to deliver a truly craft-focused, hands-on approach to their love of coffee, we’d simply have to roast it, too.” They were right. It’s homey without becoming precious or kitschy, quite the feat considering the popular pull of Williamsburg culture. They also have one of the best views in the city:
Since discovering Irving Farm, I’m willing to bet that I haven’t gone more than two weeks without visiting. There are four locations in the city (and yes, I’ve been to them all): Gramercy, the Lower East Side, Grand Central, and the Upper West Side. Gramercy and the Upper West are my most frequent haunts, but all the locations are lovely. Irving Farm is my city coffee home, where I take all my friends, and where I will send anyone who’s looking for the good stuff. My only wish is that they’d open a located over in Hudson Square (hint, hint!).
More great sights (near the UWS location):
Drink good coffee