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Coffee Talk: Where to Find the Best Pours Near the Theater District

Category Broadway

|by Matthew Wexler |

Grab a cup of joe before or after your show

So you’re headed to New York City for a weekend of theater. Diehard fans will often book up to four shows throughout a weekend to catch all of their favorite performances in one fell swoop. But that dramatic dedication sometimes requires an extra jolt to stay attentive after intermission. Fortunately, the theater district’s adjacent neighborhood, Hell’s Kitchen, is filled with unique finds that offer a fresh alternative to chain coffee shops. Here are some of our favorite picks, what makes them so unique, and which shows are within striking distance:

Make a stop at one of these Hell’s Kitchen coffee shops (Photo: Matthew Wexler)

Make a stop at one of these Hell’s Kitchen coffee shops (Photo: Matthew Wexler)

 Bird & Branch
One of the newest kids on the block, wife and husband Faith and Brandon Lee recently opened this beautifully designed storefront shop on a bustling street, but their peaceful aesthetic (the shop’s name comes from a biblical reference about not worrying) offers much-needed respite from the bustle of Broadway. French pastries are sourced from pastry chef Rory McDonald’s Chanson while baked goods are prepared in-house.

The real discovery, though, is beans sourced from San Francisco-based roaster Saint Frank, who work directly with farming communities from around the world to procure ethically sourced beans. The couple is also working toward providing job training for people with barriers to employment, teaching them barista skills so they can find long-term positions throughout New York City. 359 West 45th Street.

Nearby Show: Kinky Boots – see it while you can! This longtime hit closes April 7, 2019.

                                                       Bird and Branch (Photo: Matthew Wexler)

Need a breather from all of the pedestrian traffic? Head just a few blocks west of the Theater District past bustling Ninth Avenue and the neighborhood transforms into locals walking their dogs, charming (and less crowded) restaurants, and this terrific coffee shop co-owned by Erol Zeren and Alex de Marchena.

Pink neon illuminates a quaint interior, and if you’re traveling with a companion that would prefer vino over a cappuccino, they also offer wine! In addition to classic coffee preparations, the pair has also created funky signature drinks such as Hot Chocolate Sauvignon (red wine and hot chocolate) and Butter Butter (coffee blended with grass-fed butter, vanilla, coconut oil, cacao butter, raw honey and cinnamon). 667 Tenth Avenue at 47th Street.

Nearby Show: The Band’s Visit, winner of the 2018 Tony Award for Best Musical.

                                                     St Kilde Coffee (Photo: Matthew Wexler) 

St Kilde Coffee
You don’t need to go “down under” to get a taste of Aussie coffee culture. Native New Yorker Arthur Rangini spent several years traveling throughout Australia and was so impressed by Melbourne’s coffee scene that he wanted to bring some of that authenticity back to New York City. The name refers to a Melbourne neighborhood (think Williamsburg, Brooklyn) and the subterranean shop tends to attract a hip, artsy crowd. Most beans are curated from Brooklyn-based roaster Sey Coffee, who sources traceable beans from high-quality producers such as Guatemala’s Eduardo Gomez. (Ask about the Hunapu Guayo blend!) Baristas serve quintessential espresso drinks (order a cortado to experience their expertise) with nibbles provided by local bakeries such as nearby Underwest Donuts. 328 West 44th Street.

Nearby Show: The Phantom of the Opera, celebrating 30 years on Broadway!

Bonus Tip: Be sure to stop by Underwest’s own location (inside a car wash!) if you’re headed to the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. 638 West 47th Street.

Matthew Wexler is a lifestyle and culture writer. Read more of his work at and follow him on social media at @wexlerwrites.

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