NYC Guide: Weekend Ritual, Books and Beans

My friends would categorically classify me as a morning person. One of my best girlfriends likes to joke that by the time she’s out of bed on a Saturday morning, I have gotten up, read a book, run a marathon, and baked a pie. While I am not that much of an overachiever, I do savor the calm and quiet of an early weekend morning, before the rest of the city is on their feet. My weekend morning ritual is working out, and then sitting in a quiet cafe corner and savoring a good book.

Here are a few of my favorite spots and favorite reads:

A Little Taste Cafe NYC

A Little Taste Cafe

This teeny-tiny coffee shop is located in the heart of the Flower District in Chelsea, so walking there is a treat in and of itself. Order a latte, sit at the counter, and dive into Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates. It’s a modern treatise on racism, and should be required reading for all. Read this if you enjoyed The Color of Water by James McBride.


Matcha Bar

Matcha Bar’s second outpost in Chelsea is the perfect spot if you’re looking to branch out from coffee (but not willing to sacrifice caffeine just yet). It’s a bit quieter than some of the city’s other matcha spots (Chalait is a zoo on the weekends). Grab a matcha macciato and dive into It’s Kind of a Funny Story, by Ned Vizzini. It’s an incredible look into the mind of a NYC teenager afflicted with mental illness, and is both poignant and laugh-out-loud funny. Read this if you enjoyed The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon.


Cafe Grumpy

I love the quintessential NYC coffee shop vibe of this Chelsea cafe. This location is surprisingly spacious, and has an outdoor garden that is perfect as the weather warms up. Grab a cappuccino and dive into Go Set a Watchman, by Harper Lee. It revisits the adult life of one of literature’s most beloved characters, Scout Finch (now a 26-year old woman). Read this if you enjoyed To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. (Honestly who didn’t?)

Happy Bones NYC

Happy Bones

This NoLiTa gem has three little tables but a whole lot of style. It gets quite crowded on a pretty regular basis (my theory is that people swing by for coffee while waiting for acai bowls at the neighborhood spot Two Hands), which makes the early morning prime-time for grabbing a seat. Order a flat white and dive into Big Magic, by Elizabeth Gilbert (of Eat Pray Love fame). She tackles tapping into our own unique, creative energy in order to live a more fulfilled and inspired life. Read this if you enjoyed The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin.



Not only is Pushcart next to one of the best new ramen spots in Chelsea (in my humble opinion), but it has a sunny wraparound counter that is the perfect spot to stake out in the morning. Grab a chai tea latte and dive into It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War, by Lynsey Addario. It’s an often-haunting memoir about Addario’s lifetime as a wartime photographer, which took her from Afghanistan to Somalia to Mexico City and back again. Read this if you enjoyed The Job by Steve Osborne.

Aren’t books and beans the best combination?

By Carolyn Stine: Carolyn is the Commerce Experience Manager at Club Monaco, but her heart (and stomach) lies firmly in the food and travel universe. Despite working on the digital side of the fashion industry by day, you can most frequently find her in search of the best new restaurant, knee-deep in planning a trip to a far-reaching locale, or at her local branch of the New York Public Library. Follow Carolyn’s adventures on Instagram at @carobaker1.

28 Responses to NYC Guide: Weekend Ritual, Books and Beans

  1. I love sitting at cafés and reading while I sip my coffee. These all sound like great spots, and Big Magic is already on my reading list.

    • Carolyn says:

      Hi Vanessa!

      I couldn’t agree more! Hope you get to read Big Magic soon, I thoroughly enjoyed it.


  2. Annaliese says:

    Oh my gosh- so many great coffee shops to choose from in NYC!

    xoxo A

    • Carolyn says:

      Hi Annaliese!

      So glad you like the list! I love that there’s an unlimited supply of cute coffee shops in NYC.


  3. Rachel says:

    I loved “It’s Kind of a Funny Story” (the book and the movie!)

    • Carolyn says:

      Hi Rachel!

      I loved this book as well! I haven’t seen the movie yet, but it’s on my list.


  4. Oliver S says:

    Any good morning spots for Booze and BECs???

    • Carolyn says:

      Hi Oliver,

      Absolutely! I like BEC in Chelsea, which only serves variations on the BEC. They have beer and wine. Egg Shop in NoLiTa also does some pretty unreal egg sandos, and they have a full drink menu (and good bloodies too).


    • Carolyn says:

      Chip is this you?!?

  5. Kayleigh says:

    This is such a great post! I’ve heard so many great things about Happy Bones!

  6. Audrey Stowe says:

    OMG!! loved this post. I’m headed to NYC in 4 weeks and I’m adding that Matcha Bar to the list of things to do!!

    • Carolyn says:

      Hi Audrey!

      So excited that you are visiting NYC soon, you will definitely love Matcha Bar 🙂


  7. So many places in NYC that I could be adding to my “go there” list. How will I ever decide?

  8. Morgan says:

    A woman after my own heart! I love getting up early and getting things done on the weekends! Plus, it keeps your REM cycle on track for the week

    How 2 Wear It []

    • Carolyn says:

      Hi Morgan!

      Looks like we are on the same schedule 🙂 Maybe I’ll see you out and about early one weekend morning!


  9. arin says:

    coffee+books — is there anything better!? BLISS!

  10. Lindsey says:

    Found some new books. I definitely want to read Big Magic!

  11. Jennifer says:

    Your mornings seriously sound wonderful! Also, all that latte art is seriously on point!

    Jennifer Ashley

    • Carolyn says:

      Hi Jennifer!

      You can tell I’m a serious morning person! I’m convinced that latte art makes them taste better 😉


  12. Lauren says:

    This is such a great post and I love how you wake up before the rest of the city does. I can’t wait to be in the city for the summer!

    The Fashionista’s Diary

    • Carolyn says:

      Hi Lauren!

      Thank you so much! Early mornings in the city on the weekends, make me fall in love with NYC all over again. Exciting that you will be here this summer!


  13. I already have Matchabar on my list of places to visit when I move to the city! I love matcha, so I can’t wait

    • Carolyn says:

      Hi Alexandra!

      So exciting that you are moving to the city! Hope you love NYC, and Matcha Bar.


  14. Pingback: Weekend Ritual – Coffee Shop Corners – Caro's City

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