Hi-Collar — 71.6 decibels

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

We had been meaning to visit Hi-Collar for years but never quite made it there.   That ended on a very hot July afternoon when we found ourselves nearby and went in to cool down with a coffee and, we hoped, strong air conditioning.

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

On its website, Hi-Collar explains that the name is a “Fashion-alluding term popularized during the Japanese Jazz Age” that symbolized “Japan’s flirtation with the West.”   By day, Hi-Collar is “a Western-inspired Japanese cafe -popularly known as kissaten – specializing in siphon coffee & Kissaten menu,” but at night it becomes a sake bar.

We were in luck that hot day.  What an interesting place, and comfortable too (the air conditioning was more than sufficient for the heat wave that we had been experiencing).  Hi-Collar was full of Japanese expats enjoying a coffee and a nosh, and everyone was talking softly.

The space is small, just one long counter offering coffee many ways–pour over, aero press, and siphon–and a selection of snacks, including spongy Japanese pancakes that we will definitely try next time as the smell was lovely.  When we entered Hi-Collar, we thought the background music was Sinatra singing his classics.  Well, no.   As we listened carefully it became apparent that what we were hearing was a cut-rate Sinatra–we didn’t know who–and somehow that added to Hi-Collar’s charm.  It just seemed right that they went with fake Sinatra instead of the real thing.

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

After wandering around the hot New York City streets, Hi-Collar’s cold brew coffee with a scoop of dense vanilla gelato hit the spot–it was just perfect.  Refreshed, we were ready to brave the sweltering city streets.

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

Hi-Collar is absolutely delightful– we thoroughly enjoyed our visit.  Yes, it could have been quieter if the music were lowered or turned off, but, frankly, the music added to its charm.  Food is available all day and night, but the kitchen closes one hour before the place does.   And don’t miss a visit to the bathroom at the end of the room.  It’s pretty and offers a dazzling (if obsessive) array of toilet options.

 

 

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

 

HOURS

Sunday through Thursday: 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. to  1:00 a.m.

Friday and Saturday: 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m.

Note: Kitchen last call at is an hour before the closing time.

LOCATION

Street (betw. 1st and 2nd Avenues), New York, NY 10003

WEBSITE

Hi-Collar

 

Filicori Zecchini (7th Avenue) — 72.4 decibels CLOSED

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

What a lucky find!  We were wandering around the upper reaches of Chelsea, jonesing for a coffee, and there it was–Filicori Zecchini, one of three New York locations of an Italian coffee chain of the same name.  As you enter you will see a long counter where you can order your coffee and drool over the beautiful treats on display below.  We showed restraint and only purchased coffee, but it required a heroic exercise of will power.

Armed with our choice of caffeine, we looked for an empty spot.  There were plenty of places to sit and linger, but most were taken.  We found a spot and settled in.  The coffee was very good and was accompanied by a little wrapped rectangle of chocolate.  Most importantly, we were able to collect our thoughts as we enjoyed a perfectly made cortado because the space was fairly quiet despite being mostly full.

It should come as no surprise that the laptop brigade present in spades–their presence is almost always an excellent sign, as they seek silence and respect it.  We did find the background music to be just a hair louder than we would prefer, but the space was still comfortable because the music, which featured jazz and bossa nova, was calming.  It was, in fact, perfect coffee house music that, volume aside, added to the atmosphere and comfortability of the place.  And unlike some coffee shops in Manhattan, a restroom is available for customers.  Filicori Zecchini is definitely worth checking out.

HOURS

Monday through Saturday: 5:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Sunday: 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.

LOCATION

(at the corner of 21st Street), New York, NY 11011

WEBSITE

Filicori Zecchini NY