I’ve mentioned in passing my favorite coffee shop in my neighborhood – The Hungarian Pastry Shop – but I stopped into one of my favorite cafes near my office today and I remember how surprised I was when I learned about it that I thought I should definitely share it with you guys.
If you walked up Broadway too quickly, south of the Flatiron Building, chances are you’d miss the sidewalk sign staring at you in plain sight from outside the Brooks Brothers on the corner of East 20th Street. It beckons you from afar, advertising delicious coffee, but you’d think it was an advertisement for overpriced clothing, considering it’s outside Brooks Brother’s.
But it isn’t. It’s a sign for the Red Fleece Cafe, the cozy little cafe tucked away in the basement of Brooks Brothers. I remember suspiciously walking into the Brooks Brothers for the first time and walking cautiously down the stairs to grab coffee. Was there really a coffee shop down here?
The cafe’s decor reminds you of what the inside of a preppy yacht off the coast of Rhode island would look like, or you know, what the inside of a Brooks Brothers catalogue looks like. Sleek wood finishes, clocks, framed photos, an American flag, and plush leather couches. At least this is what I think the inside of some preppy frat boy’s yacht would look like.
They have several different variations on cold brew, but my favorite is the Cold Brew Horchata. It’s just sweet enough where I can’t taste the bitterness of the cold brew. It’s cold brew mixed with rice milk, vanilla syrup, and cinnamon. Yum.
After hours they serve wine and beer, as well as ice cream cones. You can also find a number of pre-made foods for sale, like yogurts made from coconut milk, that you usually wouldn’t find at your local bodega.
When you’re visiting New York, or just on your lunch break, you should make sure to stop by to properly caffeinate yourself. It’s not cheap (mine was $5.99), but it’s worth it for the good coffee and the laid back vibes.