by Matthew Schneier, 06/12/2012
Mocha at Cafe Royal. Photo: Joe Buglewicz
- more in itineraries/
- more in neighborhoods/
193 Meserole Ave., 718-349-7623
195 Nassau St., 718-349-8584
Grumpy hasn't got much to be grumpy about: the chain, which began in 2005 with its Greenpoint location, has blossomed into a mini coffee empire, with outposts in Chelsea, on the Lower East Side and in Park Slope. But the Greenpoint location remains the heart and soul of the enterprise, thanks in part to the on-premises roaster, a vintage Probat that does beans in small batches. (If you want to have a very long conversation about the roasting process, just ask.) The shop and its baristas—famous for their latte-foam art—recently took the inaugural Munchies Award for coolest coffee shop. It's found a bit of competition in Cafe Royal, Cody Utzman's espresso bar and café, modeled on France's bar-tabacs. The beans are from Oregon's beloved Stumptown, the backyard's beautiful and, for the jittery, there's fresh-pressed juice.