Wide-eyed locals and tourists alike are buzzing about Ulster County’s amazing coffee scene. Today’s coffee drinkers care more about what’s in their cup than ever before, and good-to-great coffee has arguably never been more ubiquitous.
A lot goes into a quality cup of coffee. Beans are carefully sourced, acquired, and roasted in batches to exacting specifications. The coffee is ground specifically to fit whatever method one is using to prepare it — and there are a dizzying array of methods. The atmosphere matters too. Us coffee drinkers often frequent our favorite joint as much for the delicious brews as the people who work and meet there, and the culture our shared love of caffeine creates.
Whether you like it black or with cream and sugar, over half of Americans reach for a cup of coffee to brighten their day. With so many ways to enjoy the long embrace of this black gold, everyone has their favorite spot to obtain their daily caffeine fix. Enjoy the mental awakening and social well-being coffee has to offer with this sampling of the best coffee houses our area has to offer.
1 Main Street, Kingston
This uptown staple recently moved to a spacious new location. This is where many Uptown locals go for their daily fix, and is the unofficial coffee shop of the nearby courthouse. You’ll get a down-to-earth space featuring chalkboard menus with espresso drinks and clever light fare. Uptown Coffee has a long-standing reputation for supporting the local community and bringing people together to start their day.
Monkey Joe Roasting Company
478 Broadway, Kingston
Monkey Joe is a true Kingston original. The business has been offering their freshly roasted coffee beans locally for decades. The quirky decor includes an illustration signed by the creator of Curious George himself, so you know the owners aren’t monkeying around with their passion for primates. This coffee house fuels numerous locals working in the area, but the coffee is so good, plenty of customers travel across town to get it. Everything is roasted in-house for the ultimate in freshness and taste.
Half Moon Rondout Cafe
36 Broadway, Kingston
Not only does Half Moon Rondout Cafe fry up hot made-to-order doughnuts, but they also serve locally-roasted coffee from Heavy Feather Roasting Company. Half Moon recently won “Best Cup of Coffee” in Ulster County on Ulster Eateries Unfiltered Facebook group. When you meet owners Kaira Tiegen and J.T. Pinna and order your first cup, you’ll quickly realize why they’ve exploded in popularity in a relatively short time. The coffee is prepared with as much love as its owners and staff shower on customers. They’re simply some of the friendliest, coolest people in the whole city, and that attracts other friendly, cool people. The atmosphere is as magical as the coffee and donuts. Don’t miss the nitro cold brew on tap from Long Islands Sail Away coffee, and the mouthwatering house-made babka.
Josie’s Coffee Shoppe
174 Partition Street, Saugerties
Josie’s brews up beans from Philadelphia’s premier roaster La Colombe. This is one of Saugerties’s newest spots, and locals are already bragging about how great the coffee is. Josie’s has a nice selection of pastries and hand-made local crafts offering laid-back vibes. It’s a great place to relax on a caffeine break, whether you are catching up on some work or hanging with friends.
Mudd Puddle Coffee Roasters
10 Main Street #312, New Paltz
Located in the super-cute Water Street Market, Mudd Puddle is a great place to catch some weekend brunch and do a little window shopping. With lots of locally-owned shops and outdoor seating, grabbing a latte never sounded so good. Coffee is roasted in-house daily, and don’t forget loose tea sold by the ounce.
83 Mill Hill Road, Suite D, Woodstock
Supplying Woodstock with a hot cup of joe comes with some tough competition. Caffe opened its doors during the pandemic and has been offering a steady stream of Italian espresso and bomboloni (Italian doughnuts) ever since. With a sleek modern look and a gorgeous display case of brioche sandwiches, you will be sure to leave satisfied. Once you start sipping, you won’t be able to say no to the bomboloni.
Jason Bover runs the Ulster Eateries Unfilitered group on Facebook for thousands of local foodies, and works with local restaurants to attract more customers.