For ages, Manhattan’s Midtown East was a wasteland as far as great coffee was concerned, with options limited to drips from delis, Starbucks, or Dunkin’ Donuts. Then Pennylane opened on an unassuming side street about a block from the United Nations, and the upscale coffee shop became a hotspot for diplomats and UN employees, upping the ante for coffee in this neighborhood. You won’t see the cafe’s name outside; only a sign with philosophical sayings that change daily will signal you to the artfully pulled espresso drinks waiting inside. A limited selection of Bien Cuit pastries is available, as are only a few seats and decent WiFi.

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