While waiting for our tour of the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, we stumbled across 88 Orchard, a little cafe on the corner of Orchard and Broome Streets in the Lower East Side. Once one of the most miserable areas in New York, its tenements crowded with recently arrived migrants, this little pocket is now gentrified, with cafes and expensive clothing stores occupying the ground floors of renovated tenement buildings with beautifully artistic and decorative wrought-iron balconies and fire stairs. It's difficult to reconcile this pretty area, its streets crowded with expensively dressed locals and tourists, with the misery experienced by some of the migrants who moved here in the 1800s. (If you are visiting New York, I highly recommend a visit to the Lower East Side Tenement Museum - one of the highlights of our trip).
88 Orchard is a two-storey cafe, with the serving area and counter on the ground floor and more tables available downstairs, which was fully occupied by people tapping away on laptops on our visit.
The coffee is served in coloured mugs that are more like tea-cups than coffee cups. Our cafe lattes had a chocolatey aroma and the milk was creamy. The sandwiches and salads looked enticing but we didn't have time to eat before our tour. This is a good little cafe to pass the time while waiting to visit the museum.
88 Orchard Cafe
88 Orchard St (at Broome St)
Lower East Side