I’m not a morning person, so coffee is a must anywhere I go.

And given the ease of looking up reviews these days, why not make sure it’s great?

If I’m desperate, then any java will do, but ideally, I’m all about indulging in a quality latte or cappuccino. 

After living on New York’s Upper East Side for almost a decade, I’ve developed my personal list of favorite java joints.

These are the best Upper East Side coffee shops that I’ll always stop at when that caffeine craving hits.

1. Bluestone Lane 5th Ave.

Bluestone Lane is a chain from Australia with an amazing latte and breakfast menu.

Their UES locale is my all-time favorite because it’s right across the street from Central Park. Architectural Digest even recently covered the stunning interior of this gem. 

If you sit down to eat, make sure you try the avocado toast. I know it’s so cliche these days, but it’s delicious!

Local’s Tip: Stop here for a latte to-go before strolling around the Jackie Onassis Reservoir in Central Park.

Address: 1085 5th Ave. (at the corner of 92nd)

2. Oren’s Daily Roast

This spot is close to my heart—Oren’s is around the corner from my old apartment and was my daily caffeine stop when I was living on the UES. 

Oren’s makes a strong cup of coffee with a rotating daily selection. Plus, they have a great local pastry selection with a lot of healthy choices available.

They have little seating, so I’d recommend this as a place to grab a drink to walk around with. 

Address: 1574 First Ave (between 81st and 82nd)

3. Hutch & Waldo

This is another Aussie java spot that does a great latte.

Their menu is so healthy that I never feel guilty stopping here after a workout. If you want something that keeps you feeling good, try a smoothie, smoothie bowl with granola, or even a turmeric latte. 

This is a magnificent joint to grab a to-go drink or sit down and have a casual bite to eat.

If you sit on the patio, try the Wild Mushroom, and Ricotta Toast—it’s my favorite!

They also have delicious sandwiches with locally sourced ingredients if you’re in the mood for something heartier. 

Address: 247 East 81st Street (at the corner of 2nd Ave.)

4. Irving Farm New York

Cortado Irving Farm 2
Photo courtesy of Irving Farm

Irving Farm is always a good idea anytime you see one of their locations in the city.

Their UES location has a good amount of seating and is a chill spot to hang out in. Irving Farm is a place I like to go to write and devour multiple cappuccinos. 

I love indulging in a latte and pastry when I work there. Their drinks and pastries are consistently delicious.

I also love that they are a local brand. They opened their first store in 1996 on Irving Place (hence the name), and even roast all of their beans upstate.

Local’s Tip: Grab a bag of their coffee beans to go. It’s my dad’s favorite NY brand to pick up anytime he’s in town.

Address: 1424 3rd Ave (at the corner of 81st)

5. Oslo Coffee Roasters

This is the place to go to if you want a wide variety of milk options—they even offer hemp milk.

I love grabbing an oat milk latte and strolling over to the walkway along the East River. Sometimes I even detour over to Bloomingdales if I’m feeling extra indulgent!

Address: 422 East 75th (Between York and 1st Ave)

6. Two Little Red Hens

They make a solid latte, but the major draw for me is the dessert selection that goes along with it.

I head here for a chocolate peanut butter cupcake and latte anytime I need a little pick-me-up.

This is a small shop, so expect to be ordering take away. I always bring mine down the block to Carl Schurz Park and enjoy it on a bench overlooking the East River.

Address: 1652 2nd Ave (at the corner of 86th)

7. Birch Coffee

Birch Coffee is one of my favorite chains in the city. Every location has consistently delicious and well-made drinks. 

This location isn’t large, but they have some seating available. I like that every time I stop by the staff is friendly and knowledgeable. 

This is also another spot that does a killer almond croissant that’s a must-order. If you’re feeling a bit old school, they also have fabulous homemade pop tarts. 

Local’s Tip: They don’t offer WiFi because they like to encourage people to be present and chat.

Address: 171 East 88th (between 3rd and Lexington)


Latte Pulling Irving Farm
Photo courtesy of Irving Farm

Caffeine is a necessity in my book—I honestly don’t understand how people function without it. 

I’m already 2 cups in today and after writing this I’m already desperately craving another latte.

I hope my fellow caffeine addicts find this helpful the next time they’re on the UES.

Let me know in the comments below if you know a brilliant spot I’ve missed. I’m always on the search for my next great latte!

While you’re on the UES, check out some of the MET and some of these popular tours!


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