Mud Coffee – New York
307 East 9th Street #GRDN
New York, NY 10003
It was 9:30pm on a Saturday night in the East Village and all of the spots we had heard so much hype about were already closed — (i.e. Abraço and Ninth Street Espresso).
After a quick Yelp search we found ourselves at the steps of Mud Coffeehouse. Immediately upon arrival in this hipster neighborhood of the East Village we knew had found a special place with a very unique ambiance. The first thing to catch our eye was the nicely packaged Rainforest Alliance coffee sitting at the front counter of the store. One particular part of their motto that stuck out was “Take a Hit and Pass it On” — referring to their coffee, of course.
The front has a nice window seat that is comfortable for two people to lounge around in with the plush pillows and street view. There is bar seating as you walk back into the restaurant. The lighting is dim and the decor is about as vintage hipster as you can get. The music selection matches the decor with reggae, Beatles and blues all finding their way onto the track list. The servers are very attentive and welcoming. In spite of their branding as a coffee place that is “anti-establishment”, their cappuccino wasn’t what really put this place on the map for us.
The garden room in the deep back of the establishment had ceiling fans, industrial/vintage decor and simple lighting. Furthermore, the crowd was young — probably partially NYU students — and attractive. Besides the fact that we encountered people tipping back beers at the bar, cramming out papers in the indoor lounge, and having wine & cheese in the ‘garden area’ reflects how effectively Mud has created a community within a community. The food menu seemed simple but elegant and the more common drink on a Saturday night around 10 was Cab Sav… not coffee.
All in all, this is the type of place that is 100% worth stopping through. You may not find that they know everything there is to know about brewing and/or roasting coffee but, they know how to carve out a slice of genuine identity in a part of NY that often tries too hard to rage against the machine.