Luxurious and elegant NY establishment in which to sit and read?
June 18, 2011 10:45 AM   Subscribe

Elegant, spacious coffee establishment or lounge, in NYC, suitable for reading for hours in comfort and civilization. Has delicious beverages. Extra points if it has a view. Where can I find this?
posted by shivohum to Food & Drink (16 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
I like DTUT. No view.
posted by bq at 10:46 AM on June 18, 2011

Response by poster: Dtut seems closed, unfortunately.
posted by shivohum at 10:53 AM on June 18, 2011

Best answer: Easy. Cafe Gitane at the Jane. Good nibbles and a full bar, too.
posted by mochapickle at 10:56 AM on June 18, 2011

Best answer: I love Argo Tea. They mostly sell super yummy tea-based beverages (hence the name) but they do also sell coffee. I've only ever been to the Columbus Circle location, but there are other locations throughout the city.
posted by lovelygirl at 10:58 AM on June 18, 2011

Price range? Alcohol?
posted by the young rope-rider at 11:03 AM on June 18, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks for the answers so far. Price range: not too important. Alcohol: indifferent (part of the reason price isn't a big issue).
posted by shivohum at 11:11 AM on June 18, 2011

Best answer: I'm obsessed with the lobby lounge at the Mandarin Oriental. Very $$$ though.
posted by the young rope-rider at 11:13 AM on June 18, 2011

Best answer: Hotel lobbies. Some that might fit the bill: the Mandarin Oriental at Columbus Circle, the Gramercy Park Hotel (rooftop garden seating, too), the Algonquin, The Mansfield across the street (small and never busy, so you might feel uncomfortable staying the whole day), the Crosby Street Hotel drawing room and/or sculpture garden, and The Jane.
posted by Yoshimi Battles at 11:14 AM on June 18, 2011

Best answer: Yes, afternoon tea at the Mandarin Oriental!
posted by elizardbits at 11:16 AM on June 18, 2011

Best answer: Seconding hotel lobbies. The Ace Hotel has NYC's only Stumptown flagship adjoining the lobby. (Actually Stumptown would fit the bill nicely even if it wasn't part of a hotel.)

I love reading in the Rose Reading Room at the New York Public Library. No beverages, though (there's a bag check at the entrance and I'm fairly certain they don't want anyone bringing in food or drink). On the other hand, you could always grab a cafe table in the shade outside in Bryant Park, and sip/nosh to your heart's content.

For reading al fresco, check out the roof of the Metropolitan Museum (bench space can be tight at peak times, though) and either the west side Boat Basin or Central Park Boathouse.

The Met link reminded me that there's also the Great Hall Balcony Bar, which has tables and waiter service.

As long as you don't go on a weekend during brunch hours, Cafe Sabarsky would be ideal.
posted by Sara C. at 11:28 AM on June 18, 2011

Best answer: B Cup on 13th & B is a hidden gem, and was my go-to spot when I lived in the area.

Mudd on e. 9th probably has the best coffee, and they've got pretty good atmosphere, too.

Esperanto in G. Village is a good option late at night.
posted by Afroblanco at 12:11 PM on June 18, 2011

Best answer: Think Coffee has several locations, including a very bewindowed one on Bowery and Bleecker or so. There is also a less windowed, more spacious one at Fourth Street and Mercer.

I believe Esperanto has closed--at least that seemed to be the case last time I went by, much to my dismay.
posted by mlle valentine at 9:34 PM on June 18, 2011

Came in to second the Ace Hotel lobby. Beautiful people, great coffee, awesome ambiance. Think is alright too, though I tend to find it too grubby and the staff too rude to qualify as 'elegant.'
posted by sideofwry at 9:48 AM on June 19, 2011

Oh, and I forgot: Bouchon Bakery at the Time Warner Center will let you sit for a few hours if they're not packed, and the view is a straight shot down 59th Street/Central Park. Gorgeous after dark.
posted by sideofwry at 9:50 AM on June 19, 2011

Avoid the Think on Mercer if you enjoy things like "music at a reasonable volume" and "customer service."
posted by kathryn at 8:46 AM on June 21, 2011

If money were no object I'd go back to the top of the Rock (there was no line when I went on a weekday) and go sit in the sun on the benches on the 68th floor. There are some indoor ones too if it gets too hot.
posted by Salamandrous at 10:53 AM on June 25, 2011

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