Whenever I move to a new part of town, my motives are simple and few – explore the neighborhood and seek out a more or less nondescript coffee place that I will call my own and entrench myself so deeply that my order is ready without the words "large coffee, black, please" having to be formulated. I generally go for the café that would not be an apparent chain (if it turns out another exists on the island – so be it) and I usually like to get a mini historical rundown of my chosen location.
Having recently moved to the Upper East Side, I conveniently found a place just a block away – Juliano's Espresso Bar – a wonderfully satisfying gourmet coffee provider. It fits perfectly into my morning circuit as well – I can go through my usual gym routine and hit it up on my way home for my morning fix of caffeine infusion into my bloodstream. Located right on Lexington between 90th and 91st (more so 91st, as it straddles the corner), this green-awning, unpretentious UES gem has become a crucial part of my daily routine. Now, my former coffee affairs have sadly been stopped due to the ever increasing prices – my usual (large, black, yadda yadda) is still under two bucks, which more or less adds to my morning grin.
I asked the barista this morning how long Juliano's has been around – fifteen years! Hell, even if you don't live in the UES, it's a measly 5 blocks from the express train. Definitely worth the trip – the array of coffee flavors available keeps anyone from becoming bored, and let's be honest – the pastries are a plus as well (if you want a bagel though, you need to get there pretty darn early – I'm zero for three attempts currently).