The Perfect Cup of Coffee in NYC

Walking into Ost Café last night, I experienced one of those serendipitous New York moments—stumbling upon a great neighborhood cafe. Located at the corner of 12th and A, Ost is the quintessential local coffee shop and an East Village gem. Ducking into the warmly lit space, I knew I was in for a treat. A scruffy barista wearing an all too familiar pair of black thick-rimmed glasses greeted me when I walked to the marble countertop. Of course, in lower Manhattan this is nothing new. Scanning the menu board for the perfect beverage, we chatted while I waffled between cappuccino and café au lait.

Having made the trek down from Gramercy, something indulgent seemed appropriate. Perhaps a chocolate chip cookie sandwich slathered with Nutella? Yes, please. Add a hot cup of coffee and for a mere five spot, this lovely after-dinner treat is well within reach. A quick stopover at the marble bar for a splash of milk and sugar and you’re ready to snag some prime real estate in one of Ost’s cozy nooks. Whether it’s sitting in the brown leather booths or lounging on the couches overlooking Avenue A, there’s not a bad seat in the house. There’s even room at the bar, if you so desire. Easing into a chartreuse velvet chair, the glow of candle-lit mason jars illuminated the café as I leisurely sipped my coffee, picking my cookie apart piece by piece. No sooner had I covered my fingers in chocolate than the snow began to fall, blanketing the surrounding streets and buildings.

Watching comfortably from inside, I settled into my chair, sipping and nibbling at my own pace. Nothing like a little butter, sugar and chocolate to warm up even the coldest night. Beside me, I watched as a twenty-something couple sat arm-in-arm, chatting and drinking from oversized mugs, while a pair of old friends exchanged boyfriend troubles over glasses of red wine. Did I mention that they serve wine here? Well, now you know and it’s all the more reason to stop in, grab a coffee and get comfortable.

Ost Café
441 East 12th Street
New York, New York 10009

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