By Michelle Gillan Larkin
I don’t need caffeine to get me going in the morning – I was born jittery. That said, I love my joe, and the stronger, the richer, the better. That’s why I’m jumping up and down about three coffee shops that opened recently in Northern Westchester. Perfect for your morning eye-opener if you live nearby and worth the trip for a pick-me-up any time of day. Plus, each has something for my kid, too. Which is great because I love company – who wants to drink alone?
Market North, Armonk
The Buzz: Perhaps the real draw at this upscale farm-to-table café is the food, but the coffee really shouldn’t be missed. While the eats here are local, the beans hail from far-flung farms in Burundi, Colombia and Guatemala, but they’re roasted in Port Chester and organic. If you’re in a hurry, java is hot and ready to go. But if you have a moment, try a Pour Over. It’s the freshest cup around, and a kick to watch brew. Beans are ground on the spot and placed in a contraption straight out of a high school science lab. Steaming hot water is very slowly poured over the grinds, and voila! My little guy was entranced, but I suggested he go for a hot chocolate made with melted local ice cream instead. Now who’s buzzing?
The Bottom Line: $2.75 for a large cup, standard or Pour Over. In addition to the homemade sweets (many vegan and gluten-free), there’s a full menu of fresh and farmy breakfast, lunch and dinner items. Oh, and apple cider donuts sizzle on Saturdays.
387 Main Street, Armonk; 914-273-3773
G.E. Brown, Bedford
The Buzz: The concept here is fast and convenient, but this is the most sophisticated grab ‘n’ go I’ve ever tipped my mug in. The vibe, though, is coffee-house laid back, and the baristas couldn’t be smoother. Here, too, the food is likely the main event: It’s made in-house by a husband-and-wife team who previously manned the stoves at Per Se (enough said), and the coffee is award-winning. It’s grown all over the world, but roasted locally in Tarrytown. And while those little nuggets of awake may be foreign, the swill they yield speaks my language – the regular, the decaf, and the espresso are rich and smooth, and all have hints of chocolate.
The Bottom Line: $3 for a large cup that goes down nicely with a ham, egg and cheese Danish or a peanut butter and jelly French toast rollup (wow and WOW!). The shelves are stocked with homemade, prepared meals, but it’s BYOBD for the chicken pot pie: bring your own baking dish!
652 Old Post Road, Bedford; 914-234-3185
Hayfields Market, North Salem
The Buzz: With a slogan like “petals, produce, provisions,” you wouldn’t expect to find a fantastic brew bubbling on the burners here. But at this quaint cross between a roadside café and an indoor farmers’ market – that sells Christmas trees during the winter and peaches in the summertime – you’re in for an unexpected treat. Whether your poison is an espresso or a straight up cup o’ joe, the one and only beans ground here are by Italy’s Illy. It’s safe to say we’ve all enjoyed an Illy latte, but a regular coffee made with said beans – now that’s an eye-opening experience. So deep and rich, it’s one I’d like to savor every day. Twice on Sunday.
The Bottom Line: $2 for a large cup that just feels more complete with a chocolate chip cookie that’s baked in-house but mixed up by Ginger, a local gal who turned her basement into a bakery.
1 Bloomer Road, North Salem; 914-669-8275