Starbucks is most people’s go-to when it comes to caffeine and free WiFi, but let’s be honest – can you really, truly relax in there? I’m not hating on Starbucks – I love myself a good Frappuccino on the go once in a while, but if I want to chill, I’m not trying to plop my laptop down in the midst of the hoards trying to use the free restroom.
The idea of the cozy, cute coffee shop where everybody knows your name may seem like a myth in New York City. However, after a bit of research, we’ve found three West Village gems that are still holding on – get out of the cold, grab your book, or your laptop, or your favorite person, and head over to one of these spots to chill, do work, or a little bit of both.
Grounded : 28 Jane Street (between Greenwich Avenue and 4th Street)
My new personal favorite, this cafe is located in a quiet little corner of Jane Street, and it’s definitely a hit with the locals. The drink menu is extensive, featuring goodies such as their popular Honey Nut Latte. The music caught me here – I stayed long enough to catch two albums worth of Dr. Dog (one of my favorite bands). There’s a couple of food items – I’ve only tried the yogurt with granola and fruit, and even though it’s hard to mess that up, it’s pretty good here. Grounded has even got plants, a skylight, and free WiFi, so points for that. Only downside: there’s a 90 minute seating limit, however it shouldn’t be a problem unless it’s peak hours. Luckily, the bartenders are friendly, even when asking you to make room for other customers.
The Path Café : 131 Christopher Street (between Hudson Street and Greenwich Street)
To be honest, I haven’t been here during the day, though it’s popular as a breakfast spot. I stumbled upon this place around 8 pm on a Monday night, lured in by the live music – and ever since then, it’s been my regular Monday night winding-down place. It’s small, but not too small, with decent seating, and I’ve been dying to sit in the little nook area that’s filled with board games. There’s live music every night (and open mic on Thursdays) and it’s cool to support local talent, so why not? They offer food all day (and also free, password-less WiFi), and, bonus! They serve beer and wine, too.
Vagabond Café : 7 Cornelia Street (between 6th Avenue and Bleecker Street)
This adorable spot is located on quaint little Cornelia Street, one of my favorite streets in the Village. The food and drink offerings are alright (with crepes, paninis, and salads boasting names such as “Let’s Get It On,” “Raspberry Beret,” and “Rapper’s Delight”) but you’re really here for the ambience. It’s never too busy, never too quiet, there’s a good amount of seating, and it has that hipster living room vibe to it. There’s occasionally music, and they have wine in case you need something a little harder than a latte.