Most of Brooklyn's big business happens downtown, and when it comes to fueling locals, the district delivers more than Starbucks (though there are plenty of those, too). The best downtown coffee spots are uniquely Brooklyn — globally influenced, sustainability minded, with some of the world’s best beans and brewing methods. From DUMBO down to Boerum Hill, here are eight places for your next cup, along with good reasons to stay a while.
% Arabica - 20 Old Fulton St.
Dumbo marks the first U.S. location of this Kyoto-based coffee chain, which is famed for two things: a minimalist white aesthetic and really, really fresh beans. Here, you can slide up to the “green bean corner” and choose unroasted beans from around the world, which employees will custom roast right there to your specifications. (Bonus: they also serve Balthazar pastries.)
Blank Street - 2 MetroTech Center
This company is all about sustainability, which is why, in 2020, it reimagined the classic New York coffee cart as a fully functioning coffee shop in a completely electric, battery-powered five-by-ten-foot space. Costs are more sustainable, too — the service model allows them to charge less for a great cup than other third-wave brands. Today, they have carts all over the city, featuring beans from local roasters, with many more in the works.
Burrow - 68 Jay St.
This nondescript storefront hides a one-of-a-kind Japanese bakery, which serves airy cheesecakes, matcha financiers, and cookies with black sesame and coconut. Come for the artistic sweets (as many high-profile clients do), but stay for a cup of coffee, brewed to order in the classic Hario pour-over method. Beans come from 95 RPM, a Brooklyn-based micro-roaster.
Cookie Cutter - 275 Flatbush Ave. Ext.
Yes, this bakery specializes in cookies — but there are many more twists to the story than the name suggests. Flavors blend influences from Brooklyn, Taipei, Shibuya, and San Sebastian, with cinnamon apple muffin tops in the morning and black sesame-peanut butter cookies in the afternoon. Coffee comes from Black 6, which funds a nonprofit bringing resources to people in need, including Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.
Devoción - 276 Livingston St.
Devoción upended the standard supply chain. Instead of importing from third parties and storing beans in warehouses for months on end, the shop buys directly from Colombian farms, processes beans at their own facility in Bogotá, and sends them immediately to Brooklyn for roasting. House blends feature flavors of Andean blueberry and lemongrass, and limited-edition bags highlight women growers.
Hungry Ghost - 80 Dekalb Ave.
While lots of coffee obsessives make toasting their game, Hungry Ghost focuses attention on the brewing, hiring baristas who take pride in chasing the perfect espresso shot. The chain, which now has 12 locations across New York City, serves Stumptown coffees (including a signature Hungry Ghost blend), along with sweets from local businesses such as Ovenly and BKLYN Larder.
Parlor - 11 Vanderbilt Ave.
Parlor Coffee opened in 2012 in the back of a Williamsburg barbershop with a single espresso machine. Today, it sits in a repurposed carriage house on the edge of the Brooklyn Navy Yard and supplies coffee to shops, restaurants, and home brewers globally. Check out the brand’s Parchment magazine, highlighting the people and places behind the brews with interviews along the supply chain.
White Noise Coffee Co. - 57 Smith St.
Named after the constant, calming sounds of a city cafe — espresso grinding, milk steaming, friends chatting — White noise is all about energy. Founded by a former actress with a flair for theater, the eye-catching shop sits next door to the Hilton Hotel, so you’ll find a mix of locals and tourists. Try the flat white or cortado, made with beans from artisan roasters, such as Counter Culture.