10 Cozy Writing Nooks in New York City

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10 Cozy Writing Nooks in New York City - She's So Bright, Finds, Coffee, Hotels, New York City, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Writers Places, Nooks, Study Spots.
Rays of golden light hit Birch Coffee’s Flatiron location. (Image copyright Birch Coffee)

I live for cozy places. Especially when cooler weather blows through the cracks of my windows and adds a chill to my office – like it is doing today. As a writer and an avid reader, I like nothing better than finding a little quiet hide-a-way that’s warm, well-styled, and peaceful. It’s these kinds of places that induce focus and make me ridiculously happy. So when we’re traveling, and I have a bit of work to catch up on, I do my best to hone in on a peaceful spot to hang out, preferably with a fireplace and a big armchair. And I’m usually very good at finding them!

A little over a week ago, when we were camping in Maine, it was pouring rain, and I was desperate to find a little reading nook in Acadia to get away from the chill. Our tent was small and damp, Jon was soaked through, and we were putting around the area looking for an ideal tea shop or hotel lobby to sit in. After two hours of searching, I found the Southwest Harbor Library, a mariner-esque library that was a haven in the storm. I hid in a corner, in a well-worn chair, and was blissfully happy and warm.

But after that experience, I realized that there needed to be more resources for people like me who are always looking for the coziest, unique places to read and write. So I’m starting my research of cozy nooks with the city closest to me: New York!

Here are my requirements:
  • Must feel “cozy,” whether that means there is literally a roaring fire in front of you, or it just feels homey and comfortable.
  • Good coffee is preferred but not #1. I’m usually a stickler about only drinking great lattes, but I’ll be honest, sometimes good coffee and cozy spots don’t go together (scenic Parisian cafes I’m looking at you). So, in that case, I’ll settle for a hot tea (which is rather hard to mess up) and prioritize the coziness.
  • Has to have a “good vibe,” meaning it needs to be decorated in a way that I’ll want to stay there. If it’s sterile or just too commercial, it will feel like an airport.
  • Fireplaces always win.
  • Good, comfy seats, not just stools or hard chairs.

1. The Bowery Hotel

Usually, the coziest place in any city is a hotel lobby, and when I think of one I’d like to work from every day, it would easily be The Bowery’s. With a fireplace, comfortable seats, and an old atmosphere, this New York staple would have to smoke me out to get me to leave. Perfect spot for re-reading Rebecca or writing your own gothic novel!

Located at: 335 Bowery, New York, NY 10003. Check out more pictures or book a room here!

2. Caffe Reggio

For this spot, I’ve overlooked the rather spindly chairs and given in to the awesome atmosphere of Caffe Reggio. Paintings, motifs and sculpture details cover the wall, along with vast history. Via Instagrammer @grazina_mi: “Caffe Reggio has been a favorite coffee place of Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, Jack Kerouac, and Joseph Brodsky. It was featured in Godfather II, Next Stop Greenwich Village, The Next Man and the original Shaft. Caffe Reggio has been serving up since 1927 & the book lovers still spend their afternoons here. Everything as in old days.” Pick up a collection of beat poetry and call it an afternoon at Caffe Reggio!

Located at: 119 Macdougal St, New York, NY 10012. Visit their website here!

3. Ground Central

I love the look of this popular shop’s Hell’s Kitchen location. It’s decorated with dark colors, mounds of books, and feels intimate. No one would notice you writing the next 50 Shades of Grey!

Located at: 888 8th Ave, New York, NY 10019. Find out about all their locations here!

4. The Nomad Hotel


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New York is always a good idea.

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Library love at first sight. If I could live in this hotel, I probably would. Spindly staircase, book covered walls, buttoned leather furniture, and perfect cozy lighting come together to make this an ideal writer’s retreat!

Located at:1170 Broadway, New York, NY 10001. Book a room or find out more about the hotel here!

5. The New York Public Library


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I fell in love with what had been just a silly dream of moving to NYC when I saw this room. I realized I could write and maybe one day study and do research for my PhD in this room. Every. Damn. Day. It was so cool to see so many walks of life all studying, working, and relaxing quietly in one big, gorgeous room.⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #nyc #newyorkcity #blogger #blog #iblog #blogcommunity #blogging #blogs #writers #writing #iwrite #blogpromotion #ontheblog #blogpost #bookbloggers #bloggerlife #lifeofablogger #bloggerlove #dontquityourdaydream #bloggersgetsocial #phillybloggers #travelblogger #travelblog #writersofinstagram #writersofig #instawriters #creativewriting #phillyblogger #wineblogger

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You won’t exactly be the only person there, but if you thrive with a studious vibe, this classical location will feel just the right level of cozy. With old New York aesthetic, gorgeous tables and low lamps, it’s the perfect place to take in all the grandeur that the city has to offer readers and writers. I’m sure you’ll finish that graduate-level essay in the hallowed walls of this institution!

Located at: 476 5th Ave, New York, NY 10018. For hours and other branches, visit their website here!

6. Sweatshop


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Sunday #CoffeeIsTheCure

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This little Williamsburg gem is a cute hideaway on a quiet street. While it doesn’t have the comfiest seats, the below-ground location makes it feel safe from the city. We stumbled upon this place during a rainy day in Brooklyn, and it turned out to be a cozy haven. Definitely, a hip spot that will keep you motivated to write all 120,000 words of your first novel!

Located at: 262 Meserole St, Brooklyn, NY 11206. Check out reviews and their location here!

7. The Harvard Club Library


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An exclusive New York City gem which is members only. Make friends with a Harvard alum, and maybe you could tag along too! What, like it’s hard?

Located at: 35 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036. Find out more about The Harvard Club, here!

8. Birch Coffee


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Hi. We’re here to turn your gloomy Sunday around. #birchlovesyou #coffeeshopcorners #moodygrams Thank you @aileenchua

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Good coffee, excellent atmosphere. Birch Coffee’s Flatiron location ticks all my cozy boxes.

Located at:21 E 27th St, New York, NY 10016. Find out more on their Yelp page, here!

9. The Maritime Hotel

I’ve passed this Chelsea hotel countless times, and it has always peaked my interest. And now that I’ve seen what it looks like inside, they’re going to have a hard time keeping me out! Order a tea and enjoy their outstanding decor while you read 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

Located at:363 W 16th St, New York, NY 10011. See more photos or book a visit here!

10. Spreadhouse Cafe


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Getting in a bit of work

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Taking it back to my California life, Spreadhouse has a wonderful Scandinavian/Cali vibe to its coffee shop. Colorful textiles, wood details, and plants make this place a Boho kind of cozy.

Located at:116 Suffolk St, New York, NY 10002. Check out their Yelp page, here!

Hope there are a few places on this list that you can visit! Which one is your perfect reading spot?

Do you like cozy places? Share your favorites with me in the comments below so I can discover them too! Top image courtesy of Birch Coffee via foodandwine.com. All other images courtesy of Instagram.

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