Being that I work for myself, it is safe to say that I have spent many moons working in coffee shops. All too often I find them painfully dimly lit and devout of any culinary sustenance. You can imagine my joy when I found the antithesis of this at El Rey Coffee Bar & Luncheonette
For a shoebox sized shop, the space feels open and airy. Wall-to-wall windows lining the front provide tons of natural sunlight. The design is clean, hip, and minimalistic. By day El Rey is a barista-manned coffee bar but in the evening the lights dim and it takes on the feeling of a fully fledged cafe.
You can certain get a decent beverage at El Rey ranging from Parlor coffee, to beer & wine. However what makes this place special is the wildly creative, frequently changing food menu. They have a surprisingly large number of sweet and savory offerings and said offerings are packed with nuts, grains and vegetables. I'm talking chia seed pudding heaped with pomegranate seeds and coconut flakes. They easily have the best kale salad in New York and that's coming from someone who hates kale (gasp, I know I'm a monster). Have you ever seen avocado gazpacho, squid poké, or ceviche at a coffee bar? Me either. It easy to see why they have received countless accolades from press like NY Times, Food & Wine, and Bon Appetite. Here's what we had:
KALE SALAD - almond vinaigrette