BweeklyRoast provides weekly off-campus coffee shop reviews for students who can’t spend another waking moment at Butler. This week: Niko Coffee on Amsterdam & 113th. 

This week’s reason to leave campus for coffee is to recoup from Halloweekend without being reminded of the time you spent wandering aimlessly around frat row (just to end up paying for entry). Was it really better than staying in your dorm and watching Hocus Pocus

Niko Coffee + More 

Last week, a dear Bwogger told me a tragic tale of their experience trying a new cafe. Upon ordering a small latte with oat milk, they were misunderstood and charged a whopping $8. Afraid to say anything, they received their latte as well as an additional shot of espresso in a separate cup. If you’re a BweeklyRoast regular, you may know that I have felt this exact pain before, but regardless of my past and the risk, I knew I had to try this new spot. I’m so glad I did, because despite my expectations of disappointment, Niko was almost perfect. 

Niko Coffee just opened, and it’s so new it’s a mystery (thanks for the lead, Bwog!). There is no trace of this shop on Google, Instagram, or even Apple Maps. I thoroughly searched and have come to the conclusion that Niko Coffee used to be called “The New York Basics.” I don’t know if it’s the same company, but it’s in the same spot. Regardless, you can find the shop on Amsterdam Ave between 113th and 114th. It’s only a five-minute walk from campus, making it the closest cafe I’ve been to yet! 

Upon walking in, there’s a massive display case filled with sandwiches, cookies, and even French macarons. This is the first cafe I’ve seen with so many food options. It was around 3:30 pm, so I didn’t get any real food, but it all looked very appetizing. I decided it was my duty to try at least something, so I got two mini cookies (red velvet and Oreo)! I also ordered a small, single-shot pumpkin spice latte. I honestly somewhat regret not getting more, but there was so much to choose from I was overwhelmed.

As far as studying goes, the cafe was decent. There was ample seating, and most tables were empty. I settled on a corner booth (my favorite spot), but after five minutes of writing, I realized I needed to charge my laptop. To my dismay, there was not a single visible outlet. There was also no WiFi, but maybe it’s not set up yet? I tried connecting to Mt. Sinai’s free network, but it didn’t work well. I ultimately just connected to my hotspot, which was good enough. I didn’t see a bathroom, but I’m unsure since I didn’t ask. The same goes for the hours; since this shop isn’t anywhere online, I couldn’t find when it closed and only stayed until about 4:30 pm. The noise levels and music were generally typical. I thought the vibes were good, though, and the space was undoubtedly a highlight, considering how tiny most shops around campus are. Overall, despite my laptop dying mid-latte, I would definitely study here again, just maybe not for too long. 

Taste-wise, I was impressed! My latte was perfectly pumpkin-flavored, and I could even taste the cinnamon-y spices. It wasn’t too strong, but just sweet enough. The cookies were good as well, but unfortunately weren’t warmed. Overall, I liked the Oreo one better, and for the price, it was a lovely sweet-treat. There was no latte art despite me dining in, and because of my recent beautiful lattes, I found that slightly disappointing. That said, I’m not too upset at the lackluster aesthetic because, look at that color! I felt very autumn drinking this latte. The coffee was much better than anything you can get on campus, so it’s a good thing I can’t use my dining dollars here because they’d probably be gone by now.

Everything was also well priced. My latte was $4.45, and the mini cookies I got were only $1 each. I’m also fairly sure the milk alternatives were free. When I asked if there was an upcharge, the barista didn’t understand, so I just went for it and got almond. Surprisingly, my bill was only $7.08 for the latte and two cookies. As far as the stuff I didn’t order goes, the regular-sized (but giant) cookies were around $4, and the sandwiches stayed around the $10 range. All in all, everything seemed very average compared to other near-campus lunch options. Plus, since you don’t have to pay for transportation, you technically get more bang for your buck. 

Pros: plenty of seating, good prices, yummy, a million options, really close to campus, vibes

Cons: kind of a mystery, no outlets or WiFi makes it maybe not the best for long-term studying, no latte art

Overall: 9/10. Despite my fellow Bwogger’s bad first impression, there aren’t really enough cons to turn me away from Niko Coffee! I truly enjoyed it, and even though the outlet/WiFi issue is a bummer, it was affordable, accessible, and pretty yummy. For a few short assignments, I’d study here again, but maybe grab it to-go and take your five-hour problem set to Milstein. 

Niko Coffee via Author