Books and coffee go together like—well, books and coffee. And you can get the best of both without ever leaving Astoria. Astoria Bookshop and Gossip Coffee are two local staples that should definitely be a part of any Astorian’s day.
Start your day—be it a lazy Sunday, a fun Saturday, or even a Ferris Bueller-style day off—at Astoria Bookshop, a three-year-old independent bookstore that’s close to the Broadway stop on the N/Q line, so visiting from Manhattan is quick and easy.
Astoria Bookshop has a great selection of contemporary books, classics, and everything in between. They sell fiction, nonfiction, graphic novels, YA, and middle grade/children’s literature, as well as quirky greeting cards, notebooks, book-themed candles, book-themed tea, book-themed baby clothes, and many other book-themed novelties.
Posted among the shelves are handwritten reading recommendations from the staff, so you’ll never be at a loss for ideas when browsing. The staff also runs a number of book clubs, author readings, and other literary events. Check out their event calendar at astoriabookshop.com/event. (*Note to aspiring writers: Every other week, the bookshop hosts a creative writing workshop.)
Once you’ve bought a book and helped support this local independent bookstore, it’s time to go cozy up and read over at Gossip Coffee.
Just two avenues and a few blocks down from Astoria Bookshop is Gossip Coffee, which opened last year and has been attracting a steady stream of Astorians ever since. The space is clean and relaxing, with a retro-modern feel and warm wooden hues throughout, and is often packed with people hanging out or working on their laptops. There are comfy chairs, lots of leather-lined barstool seating, a community table, free wi-fi, and outlets to charge your electronic devices. There’s even a beautiful outdoor patio for when the weather is nice.
The most important thing, though, is the coffee. Gossip’s signature espresso blend can only be described as medium-bodied heaven with a milk chocolate aftertaste. If espresso’s not your thing, they also brew regular coffee, though decaf drinkers take note they only offer decaf espresso, not decaf coffee. They also offer a selection of hot teas, and have at least five unique flavors of iced tea on tap. That’s right. ICED TEA ON TAP.
And don’t miss the doughnuts, which are artisan creations made fresh each morning by Chef Scottish Francis (a “fan favorite” contestant from season five of Masterchef). Flavors change frequently, but include Proscuitto Guinness, Key Lime Pie, Orange Creamsicle, Banana Coconut, Chocolate Stout, and more. (He’s even created a star-shaped “Ziggy Stardust” doughnut in memory of David Bowie, and a white “Holy Donut” for when the Pope was in town.) Another popular dessert is Gossip’s rice pudding; choose from Oreo, French Toast, Cheesecake, Rocky Road, Tiramisu, and more.
So go ahead and geek out with a day full of good books and good coffee, and experience for yourself what an amazing combination they can be.