East Village tea and coffee shop, Gramstand shuttered its doors for the final time in early December, leaving nearby residents homeless of a roomy, wifi-endowed café. We are not without quality coffee in the area—think 9th Street Espresso, Abraco, and Everyman—but we are short of those offering an atmosphere conducive to lingering away lazy Sundays.
Someone must have been thinking along those lines when Ost Café opened up but a few weeks later, just a block south of Gramstand. With high pressed tin ceilings, exposed brick walls, and another papered in white and gold, the bohemian vibe is easy to love.
Magazines and newspapers are another lure, especially when there is an abundance of seating. Baristas are cute and completely unpretentious, a complete sigh of relief. I feel it's a spot I can stumble in with undone hair, my dowdiest clothing, and still be treated well. The coffee is Intelligentsia, and while the final product isn't nearly as swoon worthy as those churned out at Abraco, the trade-off for space to linger is much worthwhile. I personally prefer the hot chai over their coffee, but make sure you ask for it extra hot—it arrived lukewarm on the last two visits. Pastries, including strudels, hamentashen, and baklava, come via the Hungarian Pastry Shop over on 111th Street.
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