Ninth Street Espresso Chelsea Market
Almost a year ago, on my first official visit to NYC I studied up and knew that Ninth Street Espresso was some of the best espresso in the city. Although the specialty coffee scene has certainly exploded all over the city and even more since then, I decided to make Ninth Street Espresso my first stop. Their original location is located in Alphabet City on the Lower East Side between Avenue C and D on, whaddya know, 9th Street (it would've been hard not to find that one). On a weekend morning the cafe was packed with people reading newspapers and leisurely sipping on coffee drinks. At the espresso bar, I could immediately sense the professional quality of the baristas and have been impressed at every location at which I've visited since. If it's one thing I can appreciate in good baristas, its their freakish precision with every step of the process. If you haven't before, watch a good barista make just one espresso. It could take ten minutes and when the machine's right, its a graceful little dance from machine to grinder to portafilter and back to machine. As for the locations--the one in Chelsea Market is usually tucked away enough from the headache of swarming crowds that are mainly waiting in line for the bathroom. If you are trying to find it amidst the mayhem, just listen for the fountain. Unfortunately because I am writing this review well after I have tasted the espresso, I do not recall the specific flavors or even the origin of the beans--I beg of you, forgive me! However, after having visited two of the now four locations of Ninth Street Espresso multiple times, I can give Ninth Street my Princesspresso crown of approval (damn I'm feeling punny).
Recommend: Their espresso. Also, if you are in Chelsea Market I highly recommend stopping there for lunch (maybe during an off hour though) in almost any of the shops (almost every one that I've tried has been good). On a sunny day, obviously visit the High Line right above you!
Note: There are two locations in East Village, one in Chelsea Market, and one now in Midtown in the Lombardy Hotel. Lucky you, you New Yorkers.
Espresso Rating: 9/10
Overall Rating: 9/10
Locations: Lombardy Hotel, 109 East 56th Street; Chelsea Market; Tompkins Square, 341 East 10th St.; Alphabet City, 700 East 9th Street
Hours: Open around 7am (varies) to 8pm everyday!