Union Square’s central location makes it one of the most convenient areas of New York City to meet a friend for a meal. Given this statement, I’m amazed at how few quality restaurants there are in the area! Also given this statement, it’s no wonder why I always default to The Coffee Shop, located on 16thand University. The Coffee Shop has a crowd at all times of day and is known for its large outdoor seating area equipped with heating lamps (my favorite feature). Not only is the restaurant large and equipped with an even larger menu, but the food is delicious and the menu contains countless nobread approved items!
The food at The Coffee Shop is classified as American/Brazilian and for brunch, I recommend any of the omelettes with home fries and notoast. Several of the egg dishes are served all day, and being that I love to order breakfast for dinner, omelettes at The Coffee Shop tend to be my go-to. For lunch or dinner, the guacamole and corn tortilla chips are the perfect appetizer, as is the basket of plantain chips with black bean dip and corn salsa. I caution, however, that the plantain chips aren’t totally gluten free, as they are subject to cross contamination in the fryer. The best part of the menu at The Coffee Shop is the salad section! The grilled shrimp over chopped salad of romaine, avocado, tomato, corn, and black beans is amazing, as is the lump crab with arugula salad with mango, avocado, and tomato. Is it embarassing that on my last visit to the restaurant I ordered both salads and finished both? The kale salad also looks incredible, and the farro in the salad can be replaced with quinoa to make the dish gluten free! Lastly, I recommend checking out the Brazilian specialties section of the menu. The Moqueca stew featuring catch of the day, shrimp, clams and scallops in a caruru sauce and served with white rice is GF and sounds heavenly. The herbed french fries are awesome, too, BUT like the plantain chips be careful! The fries are also subject to cross contamination in the fryer.
If you are looking for a cool, convenient restaurant with delicious, healthy food and a great atmosphere, The Coffee Shop is your spot. Breakfast, brunch, lunch, afternoon coffee or tea, dinner, drinks, or late night; I’ve been to The Coffee Shop for them all and have yet to be disappointed. I HIGHLY recommend The Coffee Shop for your next Union Square meal, especially if convenience and quality are two of your necessary dining requirements. I’ll be back soon!