Top 10 Best Coffee Shops In Chinatown, New York

Chinatown in New York City is a vibrant and bustling neighborhood known for its rich cultural heritage, bustling streets, and delectable cuisine. Amidst the colorful tapestry of this iconic district lies a treasure trove of coffee shops, where locals and tourists alike gather to savor the aroma of freshly brewed coffee and indulge in a moment of relaxation. In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the vibrant coffee culture of Chinatown, exploring its historical significance, diversity, and the top 10 coffee shops that capture the essence of this dynamic neighborhood.

Top 10 Coffee Shops In Chinatown, New York

1. Kopitiam

Located on Canal Street, Kopitiam is a cozy Malaysian-style coffee shop that offers a unique blend of traditional and contemporary flavors. From their signature kopi to the fragrant kaya toast, every item on the menu is crafted with care and precision, reflecting the rich culinary heritage of Malaysia. The warm and inviting ambiance makes it the perfect spot to start your day or unwind after exploring the bustling streets of Chinatown.

2. Cha Cha Matcha

Nestled in the heart of Chinatown, Cha Cha Matcha is a trendy cafe renowned for its vibrant decor and innovative matcha-infused creations. Whether you’re craving a refreshing matcha latte or indulgent matcha soft serve, this stylish coffee shop has something for everyone. With its Instagram-worthy aesthetics and flavorful beverages, Cha Cha Matcha has become a favorite among locals and tourists alike.

3. Cafe Grumpy

With its sleek and minimalist design, Cafe Grumpy offers a contemporary take on the traditional coffeehouse experience. Situated on Essex Street, this popular cafe is known for its meticulously sourced beans and expertly crafted brews. Whether you prefer a classic espresso or specialty pour-over, Cafe Grumpy delivers exceptional quality with every cup.

4. Fong On

For a taste of old-world charm, look no further than Fong On. This iconic Chinatown institution has been serving up classic Cantonese snacks and beverages since 1933. From their famous egg custard tarts to refreshing iced coffee, every item on the menu is a testament to Fong On’s enduring legacy. Step inside and immerse yourself in the nostalgia of yesteryear while enjoying a cup of authentic Hong Kong-style coffee.

5. Round K

Hidden away on East Broadway, Round K is a hidden gem that combines Korean-inspired decor with innovative coffee creations. From their signature "Mattcha" latte to the decadent "Dirty Coconut," each beverage is carefully crafted to delight the senses. With its laid-back ambiance and friendly staff, Round K offers a welcoming retreat from the hustle and bustle of Chinatown.

6. Happy Bones

Tucked away on Forsyth Street, Happy Bones is a charming coffee shop that exudes understated elegance. Known for its sleek design and expertly brewed coffee, this stylish cafe has become a favorite among discerning caffeine connoisseurs. Whether you’re in the mood for a classic cappuccino or a specialty espresso, Happy Bones delivers a consistently excellent experience.

7. 12 Corners

Named after the bustling intersection where it resides, 12 Corners is a beloved neighborhood cafe that embodies the spirit of Chinatown. With its eclectic decor and laid-back vibe, this cozy coffee shop offers a welcoming respite from the chaos of city life. Sip on a velvety latte or savor a flaky pastry as you soak in the sights and sounds of Chinatown’s vibrant streets.

8. Good Good

True to its name, Good Good offers a delightful array of coffee and pastries that are sure to brighten your day. Located on East Broadway, this charming cafe is known for its friendly service and cozy atmosphere. Whether you’re craving a creamy cortado or a buttery croissant, Good Good has something to satisfy every palate. Sit back, relax, and enjoy a moment of pure indulgence at this beloved neighborhood gem.

9. Gong Cha

Specializing in Taiwanese bubble tea, Gong Cha is a popular destination for bubble tea enthusiasts in Chinatown. With its extensive menu of customizable drinks and toppings, this vibrant cafe offers endless possibilities for flavor combinations. Whether you prefer classic milk tea or fruity bubble tea, Gong Cha delivers a refreshing and satisfying beverage experience that keeps customers coming back for more.

10. Puerh Brooklyn

Situated on Division Street, Puerh Brooklyn is a haven for tea lovers seeking a tranquil escape from the chaos of city life. Specializing in premium Chinese teas, this serene cafe offers an extensive selection of Puerh teas sourced from renowned tea estates across China. Whether you’re a seasoned tea aficionado or a curious beginner, Puerh Brooklyn provides a welcoming space to explore the complex and nuanced world of Chinese tea culture.

Historical Overview

The history of coffee in Chinatown is as diverse and multifaceted as the neighborhood itself. From its humble beginnings as a bustling hub for immigrant communities to its current status as a cultural and culinary destination, Chinatown has undergone numerous transformations over the years.

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Chinatown experienced a massive influx of immigrants from China seeking economic opportunities in the United States. As these immigrants settled into their new surroundings, they brought with them their rich cultural traditions, including the art of tea drinking.

While tea has long been a staple beverage in Chinese culture, the introduction of coffee to Chinatown heralded a new era of culinary diversity. As coffee gained popularity among immigrants and locals alike, a thriving coffee culture began to emerge in the neighborhood.

Over the decades, Chinatown’s coffee shops have evolved to reflect the changing tastes and preferences of its diverse residents. Today, visitors to Chinatown can sample a wide range of coffee beverages, from traditional Chinese teas to innovative espresso creations, reflecting the neighborhood’s vibrant culinary landscape.


One of the defining characteristics of Chinatown’s coffee scene is its remarkable diversity. From traditional Chinese tea houses to trendy cafes serving specialty espresso drinks, the neighborhood offers something for everyone.

At traditional tea houses like Fong On and Puerh Brooklyn, visitors can experience the timeless art of Chinese tea culture. These serene cafes provide a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, allowing patrons to savor the delicate flavors of premium teas sourced from across China.

For those seeking a modern twist on classic beverages, cafes like Cha Cha Matcha and Round K offer innovative creations that blend traditional flavors with contemporary flair. Whether it’s a matcha-infused latte or a Korean-inspired espresso drink, these trendy cafes push the boundaries of conventional coffee culture, enticing visitors with their bold flavors and stylish aesthetics.

In addition to traditional tea houses and trendy cafes, Chinatown is also home to a diverse array of bubble tea shops like Gong Cha. These vibrant cafes specialize in Taiwanese bubble tea, offering a dizzying array of flavors and toppings that cater to every taste preference. From classic milk tea to fruity blends, bubble tea shops in Chinatown provide a refreshing and fun-filled beverage experience that appeals to customers of all ages.


Coffee shops play a vital role in the fabric of Chinatown, serving as gathering places where residents and visitors alike can come together to socialize, relax, and recharge. Beyond simply providing a caffeine fix, these cafes serve as community hubs where friendships are forged, ideas are exchanged, and cultural traditions are celebrated.

For many residents of Chinatown, coffee shops serve as a familiar and comforting refuge in the midst of a bustling urban landscape. Whether it’s catching up with friends over a cup of coffee or finding solace in a quiet corner with a book, these cafes offer a sense of familiarity and belonging in a rapidly changing neighborhood.

In addition to their social significance, coffee shops also play an important economic role in Chinatown, providing employment opportunities for local residents and contributing to the vibrancy of the neighborhood’s commercial landscape. As small businesses owned and operated by members of the community, these cafes help to sustain the cultural vitality of Chinatown, ensuring that its unique heritage and traditions endure for generations to come.

Coffee Shop Etiquette

While visiting coffee shops in Chinatown, it’s important to observe certain etiquette guidelines to ensure a pleasant and respectful experience for everyone. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  1. Respect Personal Space: Chinatown coffee shops can get crowded, especially during peak hours. Be mindful of other patrons and avoid taking up more space than necessary.

  2. Clean Up After Yourself: Whether you’re enjoying a beverage or a snack, be sure to clean up after yourself and dispose of any trash properly. Keeping the space tidy helps maintain a pleasant environment for everyone.

  3. Be Patient: Chinatown coffee shops can get busy, especially during weekends and holidays. Practice patience and wait your turn when ordering, and be understanding if there’s a wait for your drink.

  4. Tip Appropriately: If you receive good service, consider leaving a tip for your barista. Tipping is a common practice in the United States and is greatly appreciated by cafe staff.

  5. Be Respectful: Chinatown is a diverse and multicultural neighborhood, and it’s important to be respectful of different cultures and customs. Avoid making loud or disruptive noises, and be mindful of cultural sensitivities when interacting with others.

By following these simple guidelines, you can help ensure that everyone has an enjoyable experience when visiting coffee shops in Chinatown.


In conclusion, the coffee shops of Chinatown offer a delightful blend of tradition, innovation, and community spirit. From traditional tea houses steeped in centuries-old traditions to trendy cafes pushing the boundaries of conventional coffee culture, Chinatown’s coffee scene is as diverse and dynamic as the neighborhood itself.

Whether you’re sipping on a fragrant cup of Chinese tea, indulging in a decadent matcha latte, or savoring a refreshing bubble tea, the coffee shops of Chinatown provide a tantalizing array of flavors and experiences to suit every palate.

As you explore the bustling streets and vibrant alleyways of Chinatown, be sure to take a moment to step inside one of its many charming coffee shops. Whether you’re seeking a quiet moment of reflection or a lively gathering with friends, these cafes offer a warm welcome and a taste of the rich cultural tapestry that defines this iconic neighborhood.