A wine bar is your best bet to indulge in your favorite Riesling or discover new wines from small producers or underused grapes that are getting their day in the sun (hello, Greece!). But nothing says this day is for friends, food, and exchanging ideas over a few favorite bottles of your go-to wine like a tried and true café.
The café has a long and important history in the arts, politics, as well as culture. It’s where people throughout history have sat around discussing ideas from sunup until sundown, sometimes resulting in movements that have changed the world. For example, in Barcelona, Café 4 Gats is where the Modernisme movement began and where a teenage Picasso was a regular and created the signage for the restaurant.
La Rotonde in Montparnasse is one of the most famous Parisian cafés of the American literary ex-pat era of the early 20th century. Gertrude Stein, F. Scott Fitzgerald and T.S. Eliot were patrons and it’s where Hemingway set his novel The Sun Also Rises. And in St. Petersburg, Russia, the aptly named Literary Café was home to some of the country’s leading intellectuals like Chernyshevsky and Dostoevsky, and it’s rumored to be the last place that poet Pushkin visited before dying in a duel. And most recently, the Elephant Café in Edinburgh was made famous by JK Rowling who wrote much of her Harry Potter series there.
So if you find yourself in New York City and looking for that place to call your home away from home, whether on your own or with friends, we’ve rounded up a list of the best cafés to drink the day away in Manhattan. (The other New York City boroughs deserve their own post!) If it’s a long and lingering coffee watching the world go by that you’re after or a brunch so rowdy that it extends into dinner, these are our 9 favorite New York City cafés that will accommodate you morning, noon and night.