my five blocks…morning coffee at magnolia on the upper west side

I have lived on west 67th st for the past six years, and whether you want to go five blocks north, south, east or west, it would be very easy to live your life within my five blocks. No matter where I’ve lived, I’ve always become friendly with the local proprietors and very passionate about my favorite neighborhood places.  So much to tell, it is hard to know where to begin, so let me start with morning coffee (and will follow quickly with morning exercise and breakfast).

The good news is there are so many choices for coffee/tea to start the day…the neighborhood is sure to please all tastes.   The most obvious would be Starbucks which can be found at the southwest corner of 67th st and Columbus Ave. (one of the two busiest in Manhattan) or at 65th st and Broadway.   Personally, I recommend in iced green tea, unsweetened.   For a more home-baked feel, try Magnolia Bakery on the northwest corner of 69th and Columbus.   This is the second location for Magnolia (the original being at 401 Bleeker st. and new locations include Rockefeller Center and Grand Central Station, with more on the way around the world).  You may think of Magnolia only for cupcakes, banana pudding or other sweet delicacies, but it is also a wonderful way to start the day with the organic coffee or espresso.  The informal, low-key atmosphere is inviting.   The staff is wonderfully friendly and happy, enjoying the wide variety of music playing.  If you don’t have to run off to work, take a moment to sit at one of the small tables in the window, great for people watching or reading the morning newspaper.  And, if you need more room to spread out, check out the back room with larger tables, that is also used for kids’ parties.  For those who don’t want to start their day with a cupcake, there are many muffins to choose from.  My favorite is the Apple, Cranberry, Walnut muffin, which tends to sell out by 9 or 10am. It contains huge pieces of cooked apples and a delicious hint of cinnamon.  Magnolia is one of the best and brightest places to read the paper and feel like you’re in a small town, despite being in the middle of Manhattan.

more to come…

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3 Responses to my five blocks…morning coffee at magnolia on the upper west side

  1. Mr WordPress says:

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  2. Carrie says:

    If you walk by Magnolia at about 6AM, they’re not open but at least 3 people are there getting ready to open…and they are blasting heavy metal! Nice juxtaposition with the farmhouse kitchen + cutesy curtains motif.

  3. sebadet says:

    yes! that’s what’s so great, and the music lives on when they open. a happy place! Jess is especially happy and personable, having learned most of the regulars’ orders. The cutsey, low-key atmosphere is also a nice juxtaposition with the tightly run operation. Being there almost every morning, I find it interesting to watch the manager run the place (she is awesome, a sweetheart, btw) – everyone has a very specific role, with very specific guidelines. Plus, she always jumps in to help wherever needed. I’ve also on occasion overheard candidates being interviewed for jobs…fabulous process – they know what they are looking for and are very clear on the expectations. If you go in there now, there is quite a bit of training in progress to get staff ready for future new location openings (Dubai and Los Angeles among them!).

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