Address: 18 West 29th St.
Perfect For: Feeling inferior to your barista. Also, flirting with Ace Hotel guests.
Never has a short espresso looked so sexy. Ok, well it's not the java itself, but the dapperly dressed gentleman handing you your cup. Either way, the entire business is almost condescending. It's 10 a.m. and and your eyes are still narrow with caffeine defficiency, and here's señor suave, serving you your Americano with a smile. It's just not right.
But, really, we can forgive Stumptown's painfully perfect staff because they do good work, creating miracles with a black bean not seen since Jack and his miracle-grow stalk. After a strong soy latte, when you're buzzing with glory of well-crafted caffeine, head into the hotel lobby, a charmingly appointed den that converges lucid coffee drinkers with satiated diners and (if it happens to be 10 p.m.) tipsy hotel guests who've been doing ample time at the bar. All these things combined create the perfect storm, leaving you alert enough to talk to Mrs. Robinson about her night on the town (and her plans for later) or have a chat with a woman who just consumed a full pig at The Breslin. What's hotter than that? Not your barista's Willy Wonka hat, that's for sure.