One day, you might get an unexpected email from someone who’s “just reaching out.” It could be a friend of a friend, a roommate’s sibling, or someone you once mistakenly smiled at while walking into a lecture in college. The email itself will probably be very polite and slightly too formal, and the unstated gist of it will be: “I want a job.” If you need a place to grab a drink or some coffee with this person, here are 13 good ideas. These spots are quiet enough for conversations, they’re all at least a little bit cool, and you should be able to find a seat at every one of them.
The Workweek Guide is presented in partnership with Cole Haan. All restaurants and bars featured on The Infatuation are selected by our editorial team.
The other day, a friend’s younger brother emailed you about an “informational interview.” Now you need a spot that’s quiet enough for a conversation, has both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, and serves some decent food. Plus, it should be cool, because you’re pretty sure this person looks up to you more than your own younger siblings ever have. Try Cafe Standard at the Standard East Village. It’s in the bottom of the hotel, and you can have a cocktail in the little space while you dispense career advice.
Jadis is a wine bar in a basement on the Lower East Side, and it’s perfect when you don’t want anything that feels too stiff or formal. Just get a glass of wine - there are plenty of options around $10 - then find a few seats on a couch in the back where you can dole out nuggets of wisdom you rehearsed at your desk three hours ago.
You may think Soho is all just clothing stores and boutiques that sell things like designer bathrobes and candles that match your aura, but there are some good places to eat and drink, too. Maman’s Centre Street location is a nice little spot where you can order a cup of coffee and sit on some vintage-looking chairs in a back room that could plausibly exist in a farmhouse. If it’s nice out, get a table in the backyard, and no matter the weather, order at least one cookie.
Meet someone at Banter, and you’ll have options. You can eat a full breakfast, lunch, or dinner, or you can just sit and drink something - like a cup of coffee or multiple cocktails. And if the person you’re meeting up with happens to be an NYU student, this restaurant/coffee shop is conveniently located just down the street.
Much like Banter, Citizens of Gramercy is an Australian coffee shop with both food and alcohol, and it’s another place where you can hang out for 30 minutes, talk to someone about his or her career path, then say, “Oh shoot, I have to meet the cable guy,” and leave. Although if you’re enjoying the conversation, there’s no need to rush, and you have food options ranging from avocado toast to a short rib sandwich.
Eastwood is the kind of bar where you can sit and read a book, and that’s exactly the type of spot you should be looking for when it comes to planning this meeting. It’s just one small room on the Lower East Side that doesn’t get too dark or noisy, and in addition to beer and wine, there’s a menu of solid Mediterranean food. So you can have some schnitzel while you go over the professional qualifications of this person who emailed you with a subject line of “Introduction/Coffee.”
If you need to get a casual drink on the Upper West Side, and you don’t want to wind up in the middle of someone else’s beer pong game, try The Owl’s Tail. It’s a very small cocktail bar that feels a little like a living room, and it’s great for when you need to say audible words to a person in your general vicinity.
This is a place where you drink beer - but it’s not the kind of spot where you order a pitcher of something cheap, then see how fast you can finish it. It’s nicer than your average neighborhood bar, with brick walls, potted plants, and goblets designed for the maximum enjoyment of your beverage. Plus, there are always good, somewhat obscure beers on tap, and you can also get a cocktail or a glass of natural wine that isn’t especially expensive.
If you want to feel like an adult person who reads the news and remembers to take a multivitamin every morning, tell this person to meet you at The Elk. This is a coffee shop in the part of the West Village where real estate costs more than most science fiction writers would probably have predicted, and it’s the ideal spot to feel like a professional who regularly takes daytime meetings and always offers invaluable advice.
Earl’s Beer & Cheese feels a little like a dorm room, but not the kind where you go to a party and spill your drink on someone’s duvet. It’s more of a place where you meet up, play Jenga, and talk about your classes. Or, in your case, drink a good beer and discuss why you like your job so much. It’s a little bar on the Upper East Side filled with taxidermy and Christmas lights, and you can have a drink or two here without spending a ridiculous amount of money.
You might know Freehold as that place where you once attended a birthday party at 1am and wound up dancing to Usher near a DJ booth. Or you might know it as your friend’s favorite post-brunch drinking spot. But on weekdays, it’s more of a coffee shop that turns into a low-key bar at night, and it’s one of the best places to have meeting in Williamsburg. It feels like a big, modern hotel lobby, and you can play skee-ball after your meeting as a reward.
Milk & Hops looks sort of like a cross between a coffee shop and a really nice bodega. But it’s actually a bar where you can reach into a fridge, pick out a beer you’ve probably never tried before, then sit down and drink that beer while you snack on some cheese. It’s not a very big place, but it works well when you’re in Chelsea and need a spot to listen to someone else say things like, “I really admire what your company is doing,” and, “What’s the name of your HR person?”
Cafe Select is sort of like a keychain bottle opener or the calculator on your phone: easy to forget about, but there when you need it. So the next time you promise to meet up with someone in Soho, keep this French restaurant in mind. It’s open all day, which means it even works for breakfast if you’re extremely important and that’s the only time you can squeeze this meeting in.