2 UES Coffee Shops That Are A Cozy Escape From City Life


When I was living on the Upper East side of Manhattan, I spent a lot of time writing. I found myself living independently for the first time in over a year and had a lot more free time to focus on my hobbies-- one of which was to start this blog.

I was constantly looking for new places that felt quiet and cozy in a big city, and if you've ever been to Manhattan you'll know that's pretty hard to find. So for a few months last fall, I spent my days, both after work and on the weekends trying out different coffee shops in the UES.

I narrowed a pretty extensive list of recommendations down to two favorites that I took turns visiting weekly for the remainder of my time living in New York.

Today, I wanted to share these cozy gems with you. Whether you're living in the city yourself, or there for a visit-- These are definitely worth stopping by.


Birch Coffee

Birch coffee has a few locations in the city, but can be found in the UES on 88th street and 3rd. They strive to be a "people first" business and inspire community building, which can be seen from their ignition initiatives in the shops. This shop is definitely on the smaller side, so while I love the cozy element of it, it can sometimes be hard to find a seat if you don't go early. They have one long community table inside, a few standing bars and some outdoor seating as well.


Irving Farm New York

I would say that the majority of my time was spent at Irving Farm NY, which is directly on 3rd avenue (81s cross-street). This shop is a lot bigger with much more seating in both the main room and back area, so it's easier to open your laptop or book and stay awhile.

Irving Farm has a wide variety of drinks, friendly staff and a buzzing energy to it. The company started in 1996 and has a roaster in upstate New York that supplies it's various cafes throughout the city. The UES branch opened its doors back in 2016 as their largest shop within the business.

City life was a lot for me and I struggled to get used to it over the almost two years that I lived there. However, I can honestly say that certain places hold a spot in my heart to this day, for giving me a feeling of solace in a chaotic place. Both of these coffee shops fueled my energy (both literally and figuratively) for writing and offered a comfortable and familiar atmosphere to unwind in. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.