We New Yorkers get constant out-of-town guests. What I like to do is take folks to the awesome places where regular New Yorkers go. An essential is taking my guests to the COFFEED outlet at Long Island City Landing. I’ll head over there to grab beer, brew, or food anytime.
First, the clear view of the Midtown skyline rivals the views in Brooklyn with far less crowds. The COFFEED Long Island City Landing location is next Hunter’s Point South Park, recently re-done area of parkland and recreational space, and Gantry Plaza, an oft-Instagramed location surrounded by newish high-rise condos.
It’s a pleasant slice-of-life to go past joggers, kids playing soccer, and a dog run to COFFEED’s well-designed outdoor cafe where you can lounge on chairs in a shaded patio as part of one of the better modern re-developments I’ve seen. It lacks the sterility that a lot of newly transformed areas can have. The creative design and the diversity of Queens, known as the most international borough, give the space energy. It’s great for people watching and feels oddly bucolic.
Long Island City Landing also has fantastic events. Recently, I went to a screening of Seinfeld episodes in the evening with the city lights as the backdrop and danced with Silent Disco along the water.
I also enjoy the beverage selection, with a wide choice of beer, coffee, and wine. They do not skimp on the pours here. While I wouldn’t come out just for the food, I definitely enjoy it when I’m there. The burgers, hot dogs, and salads are step-up from usual fast food found in such places and reasonably priced. Much of the greens are sourced from Brooklyn Grange’s rooftop farms, which definitely have the fresh taste to reflect that. Coffee and bakery items are delicious and produced locally.
COFFEED has a locally-oriented social good mission. A portion of proceeds of this LIC location goes to the Hunter Parks Conservatory. Full disclosure, I recently went to a talk by the owner, Frank Raffaele, where he spoke about how he tries to run his business with quality products and a philosophy that is both for-profit and for-good.
This location is still a hidden gem. It’s remarkably tourist-free despite yummy food and other amenities in the area just one subway stop away from Grand Central. Pro-tip, complete the day by either taking the East River ferry to Manhattan or to Brooklyn. For something truly epic to please visitors, take it all the way downtown to Wall Street at sunset. It’s especially nice to go on a weekday where the Ferry is $4 rather than $6 weekend price, and you won’t need to elbow for a better views. You can also have the satisfaction you took your visitors to destinations that support our City.