Cafe Grumpy – Chelsea

224 West 20th Street

Direct from the "film district" of Greenpoint, Brooklyn comes Chelsea's hipster cafe located near the 10th police precinct. Enjoy the fine art of joe here, from a top-end cappuccino to a diverse selection of teas. Café Grumpy's bean selections change... more

Direct from the "film district" of Greenpoint, Brooklyn comes Chelsea's hipster cafe located near the 10th police precinct. Enjoy the fine art of joe here, from a top-end cappuccino to a diverse selection of teas. Café Grumpy's bean selections change weekly and focus on fresh, high-quality beans sourced by the most experienced people in the industry. The business emphasizes supporting sustainable and fair practices and our importers and roasters have direct, and enjoys good relationships with the growers coupled with a respect for the environment.

Café Grumpy is the proud owner of the first Synesso Cyncra espresso machine in New York City, ensuring consistently delicious espresso shots. All of the baristas are trained in the art of specialty coffee preparation and continue to develop their skills.

Café Grumpy also offers a wide selection of custom hand-blended organic loose leaf teas from the Art of Tea. The menu includes Litchee, French Lemon Ginger, Egyption Chamomile, Jasmine Pearls, Wuyi Oolong and many other unique choices.

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Chelsea Description

Cafe Grumpy – Chelsea is located in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. Once a mixed, low-income neighborhood on the West Side, Chelsea has become a focal point for artists and galleries. It has a wide reputation as Manhattan's gay mecca, and while that has historically been true, rising acceptance of the gay lifestyle—and soaring rents—has led to a dissipation of the community in the neighborhood. These days, Chelsea is, very simply, a bastion of affluence more than any other social status, with the conversion of many apartment buildings to condos and co-ops and the on-rush of multimillion-dollar brownstones and lofts. In the ever-northward shift of Manhattan's masses, the high prices of Greenwich Village and Christopher Street area (which has boasted a large LGBT community since the 1960s) led many to head north to Chelsea in the late 1980s. In that migration, many have already moved on from Chelsea to the northern climes of Hell's Kitchen and Washington Heights, or east to Brooklyn. While Eighth Avenue between 14th and 23rd Streets formerly had one of New York’s highest concentrations of gay-operated restaurants, stores, cafes, the population transfer changed the demographics once again—you'll find much higher concentrations in Hell's Kitchen nowadays.

The Chelsea art scene blossomed thanks to the conversion of garages and warehouses between Tenth and Twelfth Avenues, and likely will become a victim of its own success. What SoHo and the 57th Street area lost in stature has been Chelsea’s gain, and almost all the well-established flagship galleries make Chelsea their base. How did it all begin? In 1987, the Dia Center for the Arts—later known as Dia: Chelsea—became one of the pioneers in the area, establishing its main exhibition facility on West 22nd Street. Ironically, after opening its flagship museum Dia: Beacon upstate, it was left without a Manhattan presence. Plans to move down to Greenwich Village and abut the new High Line elevated park were scuttled, and the Whitney instead grabbed the valuable tract that once appealed to Dia. Of course, the High Line further increased property values, thus begetting additional high-rises between Tenth Avenue and West Street, which in turn brought in starchitects like Frank Gehry and Jean Nouvel, whose creations can be seen soaring from the earth along West Street. You can learn more about these in our new architecture of Manhattan walking tour.

While the ethnic diversity of Chelsea was once truly enviable, the neighborhood still remains one of only a few places where housing ranges from high-rise public housing projects to single-family brownstones to new glass condominiums—even on the same block! Some of Manhattan’s most affordable rent-stabilized apartments can be found between Seventh and Ninth Avenues. The historic district has some fine examples of nineteenth-century city dwellings, and small gardens and flowering trees abound. If you think the grounds of General Theological Seminary (440 West 21st Street) look familiar, that's because it is frequently functions as a set for the TV show Law & Order! Even seminaries have to make money, and thus G.T.S. (as it's known) demolished its former entrance on Ninth Avenue to make way for (what else?) luxury condominiums. At its Tenth Avenue entrance, G.T.S. created one of Manhattan's most charming niche hotels, the Desmond Tutu Center, named after the great South African archbishop.

Speaking of hotels, Chelsea has no shortage of great places to stay and to eat. On Tenth Avenue you'll find the renowned tapas of Tia Pol and its offshoot El Quinto Pino just two blocks away. There's the upscale Cookshop nearby, and further south on Tenth Avenue you'll find the Iron Chef's Morimoto at the great Chelsea Market, also home to Buddakan on the Ninth Avenue side.


224 West 20th Street
New York, NY 10011
(212) 255-5511

Editorial Rating


Coffee & Tea Shops






Cash Only

This Week's Hours

Mon-Thu: 7:00am-8:00pm
Friday: 7:00am-9:00pm
Saturday: 8:00am-9:00pm
Sunday: 8:00am-8:00pm

Featured On


RT @GrandCentralNYC: Come in to @cafegrumpy in the Lexington Passage *tomorrow* from 6–8pm for the solo show opening of “Sculpture Emoji P… January 14

Another good reason to come have coffee with us in Greenpoint! 😉☕ January 10

Learn how to brew a better cup of coffee at home in our Home Brewing Class 1/28 @TheMarketLine January 09

RT @coffeetographer: #lookingback in February of 2013, I did a barista series focused on black baristas, those who served me and educated… December 28, 2019

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