abraço espresso

November 19th, 2007

abraço espresso
86 east 7th street
new york, nyc 10003


i have been very brain-dead lately what with having moved house and country and all that. my friend jennifer said two weeks ago, “isn’t there someone from blue bottle opening a cafe in the east village?” i didn’t follow up on this. i forgot. then on tuesday i was working away, fiercely copyediting in everyman (woman and child) espresso when dan griffin tried to explain to me that abraço was the new best cafe in new york city, his favorite place ever, the only place he would ever eat coffee or drink food again, etc and so on, and how i should really put away my work and go there with him the minute he was off shift. i think i nodded and said, “yes, dan. but the canadian art world needs me and my standard proofreaders’ symbols right now.”

days later i finally got my act together!


welcome, abraço.

tiny / cozy / perfect is this stand-up only village sweet spot that somehow manages to have both righteous espresso and an upscale but cheapish food selection, just where you’d like something like that to be, at 7th between 1st and 2nd avenues. (i know, it makes me sound excruciatingly lazy that i don’t want to walk all the way over to 9th and C, but hey — some of us are excruciatingly lazy.)

counter culture toscano is on bar, tasting better here to me than it usually does, jaime mccormick claiming he brings out something in it that others don’t, and who am i to argue when i order a second drink in fifteen minutes. behind the neon-bathed lucite counter is a lamarzocco linea, and behind it a sexy pourover station they only use for one house blend. jamie is not a fan of rotating coffees. the food menu however, is updated daily (and they are actually updating it on myspace !?).


also, you can order a cortado here, which is always a welcome sight, even if it is in a gibraltar glass and the barista comes from blue bottle. (anyway the place has a portuguese name, so cortado it is. plus you can write it on a menu without upsetting steve ford.)


and despite being a cynical midwesterner i could not help but profess that abraço had a really, um, good energy. i wasn’t the only one to say that. jamie claims someone walked in the other day and said: “oh. you guys are going for that cozy thing.” (right now the decor is decidedly autumn and perfect for november new york. the wall mural is meant to evolve with time, but for now it bears the palette of seasonal decline and fallen leaves. makes you want a hot drink or something.)

people should go here. it is classy and fancy while being charming and unaustere. your toscano will be lively and unsour. you will make friends with everyone in the store and feel comfortable standing around, even though there is only room for seven people. and if you come before 3pm, you shall apparently have the panini universe at your disposal. do it! i’ll meet you there.

4 Responses to “abraço espresso”

  1. afox

    best ‘standing-room-only’ prize?

  2. Dhaval Mehta

    I saw you today at the coffee shop again. There’s just something about Jamie that’s addictive. He actually guided me to your blog. Some great effing pictures you took of the best coffee shop in NYC.

    I go there all the time now, I’m going to play Aquella Abraco on my next podcast – I have a soundclip of Jamie giving a shout out on the show.

    Such a great community is emerging behind great coffee. It’s great to see. Again, awesome pictures.

  3. Eric

    Welcome to the neighborhood! Even though I live two blocks from 9th Street, I’m been frequenting Abraco more lately. Something about that intangible coziness that draws me in. Not to mention the lovely cortados (oh how I miss drinking them in Barcelona…).

    I’m sure I’ll run into you there soon. Great writing/photos!

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