European Cafe Ambiance in New York City: Ost Cafe

How do normal people discover good cafes?  I will never know.  I guess word of mouth could be the culprit, but how many people have friends who like good coffee?  If you do, please introduce them to me, because I am in sore need of some coffee geek-out people in my life.  Do people just go to the cafes they happen to stumble upon in their daily routine?  That could get boring.  Besides, how do they choose between Starbucks, The Bean, Think Coffee and that independent gem?  I’ll never understand.

I wish Ost Cafe was on my daily routine, though.  That way I would have discovered it sooner and spent many more hours, days and cappuccini in this gorgeous East Village cafe.  That way I would have a reason to stop by every day, or at least more frequently than every once in a while.  Sure, I read about it online, but, for some silly reason, I didn’t actually expect them to serve excellent coffee.  I’m prepared to admit I was wrong.  Not only was the cafe itself gorgeous, the coffee was pretty darn good as well.

Ost Cafe models itself on a bohemian Viennese cafe.  To East Village dweller, this translates to wood, cafe-style chairs, circular marble tables and a cool interior that really does feel like you tripped into a European cafe from a movie set.  I was in love the moment I pushed the heavy door open.  The till is right up front so there is no mistake as to where you would get your drink (doesn’t anyone else hate when it’s confusing in cafes?  I sure do).  I ordered a cappuccino, which was a tad pricey at $4, but the location was worth it.

Sitting down at a marble table in a gloriously rustic wooden chair, I looked out onto Avenue A and watched people lazily walk through their holiday routines.  There are big windows, well french doors really, that open onto the street and allow plenty of light in.  Apparently, when it’s nice out, they open the windows.

My cappuccino was good, perhaps a tad milky, but not excessively so.  They rotate two different espressos, which is pretty neat.  It was a bright tasting coffee with the tiniest touch of acidity that, truth be told, would probably be tastier in less milk.  The schiuma was lovely.  That always makes a drink approximately 1000x better.

If you’re one of those people who finds out about new cafes through reading blogs, here’s my recommendation: run, don’t walk, to Ost Cafe.  Even if you don’t like coffee (I’m sure you like it, though, you are reading my blog), you’ll love the gorgeous setting for your daily cafe-time.

What does your ideal/dream cafe look like?  Sleek and clean, or eclectic and European?

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