Black Cat LES is another nearly perfect coffee shop in the Lower East Side. We really liked the feel of this space. Yes, there was background music, but it was playing at the best possible volume. If a restaurant, bar, or coffee shop insists on playing background music, Black Cat should be used as the example of how to play music comfortably. We guess that on a range of one to ten the volume was set around two or three–high enough to be heard but not so high as to interfere with conversation. It was perfect.
The design of the space feels organic, as if the owners added bits and pieces that they acquired over time. It’s dotted with padded chairs and upholstered armchairs and sofas, which no doubt help to absorb sound. Most of our fellow customers were glued to their laptops, but a few fellow patrons sat together and chatted, including a family of five with two young children. One nearby customer was talking urgently to an unseen friend, but otherwise the room was fairly quiet.
Black Cat LES is what a bohemian coffee shop should be: a casually quirky space where conversation is easy. Add in very good coffee–a latte with a double shot of espresso was fairly priced and delicious–and there is no reason not to visit. If you live in this neighborhood, we just found your new neighborhood coffee shop. You’re welcome. The only black mark we could find was the jarringly loud electric hand dryer in the restroom, which appeared to be a used Xlerator slathered with red paint. While not ideal, it did not mar an otherwise delightful visit. Black Cat LES is definitely worth a visit.
Monday through Friday: 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Street (betw. Clifton and Attorney Streets), New York, NY 10002