Life & Work Balance - Destinations

Spotlight: Caffè Reggio, New York City

By Stefano Nappa
2 min read

Caffè Reggio is a New York City café that first opened in 1927 at 119 Macdougal Street, in the heart of Manhattan’s Greenwich Village. What more than coffee can unite Italians and Americans? But be careful because the conversation usually gets heated and always goes on forever.

If you are a digital nomad in New York and would like to start the (working or free) day right, you should to have breakfast here. Cappuccino or coffee accompanied by any type of food this magnificent place untouched by time can offer.

Untouched by time because every square meter has not undergone a single change since 1927. Starting from the outside in wrought iron, to the inside which boasts an pristine atmosphere like the vision of Caravaggesque-style paintings on some walls and a bench that is said to have belonged to the Medici family.

Looking at what happens outside, in one of New York’s most artistic neighborhoods, from your table through one of the room’s windows, is exciting and inspiring. If you were a writer, the plot of your best book could easily start from here.

It is said that the Italian cappuccino was introduced in America by the founder of Caffè Reggio, Domenico Parisi, in the early 20s. We believe that because inside the cafe you can find this splendid coffee machine dated 1902 which certainly emanated the most good scent in neighborhood.

Jackson Pollock, Al Pacino, John Kerouac, Gregory Corso, Allen Ginsberg, the first lady Eleanor Roosevelt and many others… But above all the legendary Bob Dylan have sat more than once at these tables.

Caffè Reggio

In this corner of New York and within these four walls there is also a lot of Hollywood, starting from The Godfather II to Shaft, from Serpico and Next Stop to the last work by the Cohen brothers entitled Inside Llewyn Davis. Another little curiosity, told us at our first coffee, was that the ceiling fan comes from the Casablanca set.

Isaac Hayes, who wrote a song about Caffè Reggio for Shaft, and Peter Stackpole who photographed Sophia Loren, passed by too. So on the spot, doesn’t it seem like a magical place to start the day?

“The goofy foolish / human parade / Passing on Sunday / art streets / of Greenwich Village”.

Notice to the readers

Even today if a New Yorker told you: see you in the city! He/her means exactly this area of the city, not in general. On the same road a step further you will also find Cafe Wha?, which serves no coffee. It goes without saying, being a nightclub, this place opens at night… But a few years ago you could meet Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix (who was discovered here), Bruce Springsteen, Kool and the Gang, Bill Cosby, Richard Pryor and many others there… the most “Damn!” of NYC! As they say.

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