Wander around the streets and neighborhoods of New York, and you'll come across some of the quaintest cafes, brimming with an eccentric attitude that highlights the city's vibrant lifestyle. For true bibliophiles, though, nothing will do except for a book cafe in NYC that serves delicious bites in a setting that radiates bookish charisma. Packed with plenty of reading material and offering mouth-watering gastronomic delights, here are five book cafes in New York you must visit during your next trip to The Big Apple.
If you ever thought books were only good for reading, think again. Molasses Books is a trendy second-hand bookstore in Brooklyn, New York, with a lovely cafe that allows customers to barter books in exchange for coffee, beer, or wine. Don't expect anything fancy here, as the focus is on bookselling and affordability, with a few wooden chairs and tables, friendly service, and an all-around bookish atmosphere, attracting die-hard bibliophiles to Molasses day in and day out. For those who continuously feel peckish, there are cookies, cupcakes, and an excellent collection of literary gems available to feed both your body and mind.
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Address: 770 Hart St, Brooklyn, NY 11237
A culinary experience that warms the cockles of the heart, in a surrounding that oozes a bookish temperament, Milk and Roses is amongst the best restaurants and book cafes in New York. The interiors of the establishment are picture-perfect. There is an entire wall stuffed with books and a patio to enjoy the sunny weather while flipping through a coffee-table read and drinking quirky cocktails like Melody Nelson, Queen Bee's Knees, and Perla Peruana, a combination of pisco Italia, absinthe, mint, and lime. The brunch menu at Milk and Roses is particularly popular with unlimited mimosas for an hour. In contrast, dinner service has excellent preparations such as Long Island duck breast, homemade ravioli, and grilled prawns, to satisfy the most avid of food lovers.
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Address: 1110 Manhattan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11222
Cafe con Libros is a book cafe in NYC with a focus on feminist literature. The ambiance, thus, is exceptionally open-minded and welcoming, creating a space that is both laidback and mentally stimulating at the same time. While the book collection here is uniquely novel in its approach and perfect for those who like to expand and challenge their reading habits, the menu of the cafe is standard fare with pastries, teas, and coffees by Irving Farm. Inside, the bookstore has a homey environment with limited furniture, cute bay-window seating, exposed brick walls, and shelves full of fantastic reads. If you enjoy having your coffee surrounded by exotic, thought-provoking books that celebrate girl-power, Cafe con Libros will beguile you to no end.
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Address: 724 Prospect Pl, Brooklyn, NY 11216
Bookmarks Lounge, on the roof of the Library Hotel, is the ideal spot in all of New York for a book date, either with a hot bestseller, or someone who is as madly in love with books as you are. When it comes to book cafes in New York, or in this case a "bar," Bookmarks Lounge provides its patrons with a few distinct options. There is the plush, yet intimate indoor seating with a fireplace and the refreshing patio with city views. However, most in-demand is the glass-enclosed greenhouse that functions through the various seasons of the city. As part of a book-themed hotel, the highlight of any visit to Bookmarks is their cheese plates, truffled popcorn, flatbread pizzas, and exclusive, must-have literary-named cocktails, such as Hemingway with rum and Champaign, and The Pulitzer with gin and elderflower liqueur.
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Address: 299 Madison Ave #14, New York, NY 10017
If you look at most book store cafes in New York, they tend to have a limited menu, featuring mostly quick bites along with tea and coffee. At Every Thing Goes, possibly in the running for one of the most unique bookstores in the world, the menu is a joy for bookish gourmands with healthy bowls featuring kale, wraps, soups, and fresh bagels on offer. While tea and coffee come in their standard avatars, customers have the added choice of trying the shop's homemade organic lemonade or delicious smoothies with bee pollen as well. Every Thing Goes promotes itself as a "cafe and neighborhood stage" and has a lovely open plan with ample seating and space for performances or displaying art, in addition to shelves full of books across multiple genres. Best of all, if nostalgia is something you relish, this hip book cafe in NYC also houses a collection of second-hand CDs, vinyl, and VHS tapes.
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Address: 208 Bay St, Staten Island, NY 10301