Philadelphia is really lucky when it comes to having several wonderful specialty coffee shops and you could just stay here enjoying these without complaint. However for a fun day trip we decided to travel up to New York City because several roasters such as Blue Bottle and Intelligensia have their own shops in addition to Jamie’s personal favorite Joe Art of Coffee. In addition to that we had a huge hankering for New York Bagels and Brooklyn Bagels is located just a hop and skip away from the shops.
Living in Collingswood, New Jersey we’re fortunate to have the ability to get up to New York City on a Saturday morning without traffic, door to door, within two hours. 2 hours was good for us because our baby was asleep nearly the entire drive up (and back) so it made for a quick up and back trip with minimal baby related issues. So with that in mind we opted to go to Chelsea because three of the shops we wanted to visit we located in that section of the City and within a short walking distance of each other and also the Bagel shop.
Our first stop on the trip was Intelligensia which is located on the bottom floor entrance to the High Line Hotel. To say it was fedora central wouldn’t be fair. But it was. Fedora’s for forever. Some people can wear them. Most cannot. Don’t try. And if you’re at a specality coffee shop there’s already a perception and this only furthers that “hipster” view people have. With that said the visit wasn’t a judgement of these people’s fashion skills. The coffee was most excellent and service was friendly. The space was welcome and their coffee is wildly successful for a reason.
Our next stop was Brooklyn Bagels. Little did we know but we were about to experience one of life’s greatest moments. Eating a super high quality bagel. There’s been a line almost out of the door each time we have visited. And for good reason. The bagels are enormous, chewy and the cream cheese they serve is out of this world. You might find better bagels elsewhere but if this was your only New York bagel experience you probably wouldn’t miss much.
On our way back to the car we stopped off at Joe. The location according to Google Maps was a little off but with a little exploring we found the location mostly fine. The location was a bit cramped for space but the time we stopped in it was mostly uncrowded. And this is New York City after all. The coffee was excellent as is standard for Joe.
Blue Bottle Coffee
Our last stop on the trip was at Blue Bottle located just across from the Chelsea Food Market. The Chelsea food market if you’ve never been is a bit like Philadelphia’s Reading Terminal, but more spacious and “planned”. In Jamie’s opinion it’s a great conversion from an old factory to more modern usage. Something that Philadelphia might benefit a little from considering the amount of empty factories in town. Back to the coffee. There were no “iced” coffee’s only the New Orleans style which has milk and chicory. I wouldn’t say that’s something jamie would go for again but it wasn’t unpleasant.
Overall it was a wonderful trip. We did miss out on other shops like Joe’s first location, or their new Pro Shop as well as Grumpy’s, Stumptown and numerous others but we felt in 3 hours we accomplished a lot with our trip.