Like every other New Yorker, I have been to my fair share of local cafes in order to escape coffeehouse-chain mediocrity. Fortunately, I recently found the complete antithesis of the corporation coffeehouse. The Grounded Cafe, located in the West Village, is a cafe that lives up to its name – it prides itself in its modesty, support of local farms, and pledge to use only fresh and organic ingredients. That, combined with its friendly service and relaxed ambiance, makes the perfect cozy New York cafe.
At first, I almost passed by the cafe without noticing it because of its unassuming exterior. But when I walked in, I felt a complete change in atmosphere – even though there was a good amount of people inside, the café was quiet, calm, and peaceful.
When I snagged a seat in the back of the cafe, the first thing I noticed was the large variety of plants that were meticulously placed around the cafe. To my left was a huge bookcase that was filled with beautiful vintage-looking novels. When I looked closely, I noticed there were even subtle oriental touches – such as a Chinese farmer figurine that sat on a lamp, and traditional Chinese dolls lined up on the top of the bookshelf. The plants, hanging lights, skylight, and exposed brick completed the low-key and comfortable setting.
After I took a seat, I walked towards the register and was greeted by a small selection of pastries and a decent-sized menu of organic coffees, drinks, and food. I was pleasantly surprised by the food menu –it had everything from breakfast wraps and bagels, to hearty salads and sandwiches.
I started off ordering the Chai Tea Latte ($3.75) and the organic fruit and yogurt parfait with granola ($6.00). The Chai Tea Latte was perfectly balanced – it wasn’t too spicy, and had just the right amount of chai and milk. The yogurt parfait was delicately put together and composed of fresh cut fruits, honey granola, and vanilla yogurt. The regular-sized Chai Tea Latte is quite small, so I ordered another drink. I got the Café Bonbon ($3.00), because it was impossible for me to pass over espresso layered with condensed milk. The condensed milk gave the espresso just the right amount of sweetness and depth. My friend ordered the Nutella Latte ($4.25), which had the perfect balance of espresso and hazelnut flavors.
Unfortunately, I do have one complaint. They offer free Wi-Fi, but for some reason I could not connect to it on my laptop. I saw many other people on their laptops in the café, so it might have just been my laptop.
Besides that, I will definitely return to the Grounded Café in the near future. If you ever want a quiet space to do work or meet with friends while drinking quality coffee and eating decent food, Grounded Cafe is the place to be.
Grounded Cafe: 28 Jane St, open daily 7am-8pm, (212) 647-0943, Subway: L to 8 Ave, 1.2.3 to 14th st, A.C.E to 14th st