Housing Works Bookstore Cafe

Neighborhood: Soho
Address: 126 Crosby St.
Website: shophousingworks.com
Perfect For: Starting a revolution (or at least talking about one)

Housing Works is a bookstore first, and a coffee shop second, we'll admit that. That being said, you can get a quality cappuccino here, and it's served in a real mug, which always wins points with us. But the true perks lie in the decidedly intellectual vibe.

Bookstores tend to attract thoughtful people, but used bookstores, where you can buy a Proust paperback for 50 cents, the proceeds of which go towards AIDS/HIV causes bring in a crowd that is damn near enlightened. Lingering over your latte in the literary fiction section, conversations quickly escalate into heated discussions about social issues. Maybe its the smell of old books in the dusty air, or the fact that literary mag n+1 frequently holds events here, but something about this coffee shop gets people talkin' bout a revolution.