Location: 864 10th Ave, New York, NY 10019
Unlike what some maps resembling NYC’s subway system would have you believe, Rex Coffee sits about half a mile away from Columbus Circle, just south of John Jay College. I still think that Rex Coffee has been one of the most worth-the-out-of-the-way-trip places I’ve found so far, and it’s definitely deserving of a slight detour just to give it a try.
By far, the most awesome thing about this place is the smell that hits you when you enter – freshly baking muffins right up in your face. There are a couple of small ovens just behind the counter, that appear to be pumping out all sorts of fresh pastries. Judging by the size of the equipment, it’s pretty clear that everything’s made in small batches, so by the time you get to the morning rush hour, like when I arrived, they’re pretty much handing you stuff right off of their cooling racks just to keep up with the demand. Combined with the usual wonders of espresso beverages being whipped up in front of you, it’s just a glorious experience.
By far, the most awesome thing about this place is the smell that hits you when you enter – freshly baking muffins right up in your face.
Given the small size of the place on a whole, it’s somewhat good that Rex Coffee is a little remote compared to other places in the area, because the floorspace in there can fill up pretty quickly with waiting customers. There are only three tables (seating twelve) inside, so one has to be lucky when vying for a little bit of sit-down time with his or her drink. I’ve noticed an abundance of elderly men reading newspapers and stereotypically-trendy-hotshot-graphic-designer types pounding away on their computers with their drinks.
The blueberry muffins at Rex have been the main reason that I’ve returned there again and again, even if I don’t really have any particular reason for being around the area otherwise. Between the lightly sugared top that makes a lovely cracking noise when you bite into them, their soft and pillowy interior, and the surprisingly high ratio of blueberries inside of them, it’s clear that the people making these things aren’t messing around. I’m a sucker for outrageously fresh baked goods, though, so maybe that’s the reason they have such an impact on me; even so, though, it’s not too often you run into an espresso place that is not only baking their goods in-house (and well!) so it’s still very impressive nonetheless.