Must-See East Village
by Julie Besonen, 02/08/2012
Abraço. Photo: Premshree Pillai (via Flickr)
Coffee is coffee, some people say, but try telling that to the fanatics in line at Abraço, often saluted as serving the finest coffee drinks in the City. The silky cortado, an espresso cut with warm milk and served in a glass, is unparalleled. (It tastes even better alongside a slice of sweet-savory olive-oil cake.) Though a confining vortex, it's a convivial scene thanks to co-owner Jamie McCormick, the jocund master of ceremonies. Another caffeine-infused magnet is Mud. The name is a misnomer, since Mud's signature blend is rich, sweet and not in the least muddy. The business began with a Mudtruck parked at Astor Place, followed a few years later by the Mudspot, a cozy, stationary hangout that is mere blocks away. Serious coffee drinkers will also find paradise at the sweet little Bluebird Coffee Shop and at the two East Village locations of Ninth Street Espresso, where the baristas are passionate about their beans and foster a quiet environment to contemplate blue-chip brews.