Coffee shop are aplenty in the East Village, though there always seems to be room for just one more. The latest addition is the two-month old Simon Sips on 1st Street and 1st Avenue, a coffee shop that merges the casual neighborhood vibe of Abraço on 7th Street with the seating room of Everyman Espresso on 13th Street. But unlike those two, Simon Sips is open until late at night with a Greenmarket-driven menu that changes on a daily basis. From sandwiches and salads, to wine and duck confit, the cafe is conducive to a full meal or snack—whichever catches your fancy. The glass pastry case though, is worth a few extra glances.
On a Wednesday afternoon, we spotted fennel bundt cake, rectangular cuts of bread pudding, and an exceptional moist looking date and walnut number. A fig creation—think Fig Newtons, only wider and more delicate—is their best selling pastry. But we fell for the wedge of Double Cream Cake, much akin to a classic butter cake with a fine melt-in-your mouth crumb and crisp golden surface that borders on flaky. A steady influx of regulars and new customers keep the place steadily occupied, and the owner himself has been there on every visit, surely a sign of a place that cares.
72 E 1st Street, New York, NY 10003 (at 1st Avenue; map)