Need a Pick-Me-Up Before School? Here Are Some Ideas

Media provided by Alejandro Izurieta ’25

As staff writer Su Ongoren wrote about two months ago, Starbucks and Mud seem to be the most popular coffee shops among Grace Church students, which is likely due to their close proximity to the school. Both hotspots are within a one-block radius from Grace’s high school. However, if those cafes don’t satisfy your caffeine cravings, there are plenty of other alternatives—also within a less than five minute walk from school. 

Reviewing coffee shops near Grace poses the question: are Grace students biased due to the convenience of these local cafes or is the coffee truly worth the hype? 

To uncover the truth about the various compelling cafes, Sydney R., a Spence student who does not live nor go to school in the area, set out to try the deliciously brewed beverages from the less acclaimed cafes in the Grace Church area. 

The first one is Bluestone Lane, located at 51 Astor Place. Their 16 oz. iced vanilla latte came out to $6.40, the most expensive out of the three alternatives but also the tastiest. 

“It was very iced, and the vanilla was not too strong,” Sydney said. “It tasted super fresh and yummy.” 

She also remarked that the shop’s atmosphere, with its light wooden tables and natural light, was very modern and clean, which is the kind of place she would recommend to anyone and everyone. Overall she gave the coffee a rating of  9/10. 

Next, she tried The Bean, located at 31 Third Ave. Their small coffee was a 12 ounce cup, which equated to $6. 

Being another good alternative, Sydney described her latte: “It was a bit more bitter than the one from Bluestone and almost gave off a chocolate flavor, but still super good.” 

The atmosphere was much more hectic, and the colors on the walls were gaudy yet inviting. It was a fun place to go to with friends and it makes for a perfect after-school spot. Overall, she gave her coffee a rating of a 7/10. 

Last but not least, she visited Pret a Manger, located at 1 Astor Place. This shop turned out to be the cheapest out of the three, with a vanilla iced latte coming out to $5.75. 

Sydney’s review: “The vanilla tasted a bit too artificial, but, other than that, it was really good.” 

The space was very open, and there were a bunch of free tables, making it an ideal spot to get some homework done or spend time with friends. She gave Pret an overall rating of  8/10. 

Grace Church School is located in a perfect area for coffee lovers. Numerous different coffee shops continuously brewing freshly ground coffee are all extremely close, so it all comes down to personal preference. 

However, after gaining the perspective of a coffee-crazed highschool student who was unaware of the praise surrounding Starbucks and Mud, it seems the surrounding cafes have proved themselves to be excellent candidates for a morning pick-me-up.

Clara Propp ‘25, the author, is a staff writer for The Grace Gazette.