Ninth Street Espresso has been around since 2001, making it something of an established player in New York’s speciality coffee market compared to newcomers such as Pushcart Coffee where I’d started my day. I tried two branches, the original on 9th Street in Alphabet City and the East Village branch just two blocks away on 10th Street/Tompkins Square.
In theory I should have liked Tompkins Square as much as I liked 9th Street. However, I didn’t. On such small things hang the status of a Coffee Spot, although in fairness to Tompkins Square, the reasons I didn’t get on with it were very much specific to that visit.
In both branches, the focus is firmly on the coffee, which is excellent, while what’s on offer is very typical for an American coffee shop. Although Tompkins Square has seating, it’s set up more for takeaway trade, while 9th Street is much more the place to linger for an hour or two. They’re a little off the beaten (tourist) track in the East Village/Alphabet City area, but if you happen to be in the vicinity, both branches are worth visiting.