Stumptown Coffee (8th St)
Totally unassuming, Stumptown opened this new location on the corner of W 8th St and Washington Square West (at the time I happened to be staying off of Washington Square West as well). After arriving in New York City, I must've walked past it the first three days I was there and had no idea what I was walking past (it wasn't even on Google maps). Finally, after reading online coffee news (probably sprudge.com) I found out that this was the latest and greatest Stumptown location! Needless to say, the interior was much more exciting than the nameless exterior. In fact, the long wooden bar and bookshelves have the look of an old library and the customized espresso machine, cold-brew on tap, and pastry case of Momofuku milk bar goods left me jittery with excitement. Even the cups are delicately branded with the Stumptown logo! However, I had a few problems with this place. It is super intimidating to have the espresso bar slightly elevated, where you feel like the baristas are looking down on you. Also, there is rarely seating because people have taken over every table with their laptops. In addition, the branding of Stumptown is simply over the top. Everything is labeled with their brand and ready to be sold. All in all, the espresso wasn't even the best Hairbender espresso that I've had-- and the location slightly made up for that.
Recommend: Try the Momofuku milkbar pastries! Donuts and cakeballs are unreal.
Vibe: Library, pretentious
Espresso Rating: 7.5/10
Overall Rating: 7.5/10
Note: WiFi available (for lack of seating), pour-over bar next door that I didn't get a chance to check out, and also they have a location in the Ace Hotel that is worth seeing- if not just the Ace Hotel itself
Hours: Espresso Bar-7 am to 8 pm; Brew Bar- 9 am to 5 pm