It's a Good One: The Bed-Stuy Coffee Conundrum

Two avenues over from my new apartment is Common Grounds, a shiny new coffee shop complete with free wifi, chess, and last month, the sight of a Brooklyn for Barack event. But so far, the coffee is not great. When I have no internet requirements, I prefer the much weirder Doctor's Cave Cafe, which is just one avenue over, on Marcy and Putnam, and has been around for eight years now. The seats don't match, the walls seem to have been painted with a sponge (remember that?), and it's closed on Sundays and Mondays. Basically, it's like going to visit your artsy camp counselor who has settled down in Northampton and wants to make you a sandwich with sprouts on it and then read the paper together. The coffee is good, the banana bread is homemade, and the tuna salad has purple basil in it. To top it all off, it's cheap and not swarming with fancy toddlers, yet.

Common Grounds 376 Tompkins Ave Bed-Stuy (718) 484-4368

Doctor's Cave Cafe 856 Marcy Ave Bed-Stuy (718) 398-4776

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