Fast Company had an article recently titled, “Starbucking: Why Your Next Neighborhood Coffee Shop Could Come From Korea.” Caffe Bene is one of the franchises mentioned.
Is this a Starbucks killer? Let’s find out.
Décor and ambience
For a Koreanovela fanatic going into a Caffe Bene coffee shop is like going into one of the soap opera scenes. Their Sunnyside location has wooden bookshelves along the walls and a long table that sits about eight people. It is a cozy corner for work and reading.
Besides the long table, there are six groups of seats for two to four people each. And six bar stools three on each side facing the front of the shop. The café is filled with natural light from the glass walls and door. Near the front door is a middle island filled with baked goods and sandwiches. It seems to cater to non-coffee drinkers as well. There was one missing piece in the cafe – no strong aroma of coffee!
Free WiFi is available here.
Coffee: Type, price and taste
Besides coffee, Caffe Bene’s specialty is their freshly made waffles and Italian gelato. Obviously for a summer afternoon the best selection would be something cold like the affogato.
Affogato is a scoop of ice cream of your choice drenched in a shot of hot espresso. You can try the gelato before making your final gelato selection. In our opinion espresso goes well with vanilla bean gelato.
Disappointedly, the affogato did not come in separate cups as shown in the picture on the wall with the menu and price list. Instead it came in a plastic cup.
The half filled cup of affogato was $5.99 -$5.50 plus tax of $0.49. Affogato could satisfy two cravings, all in one cup – the cravings for dessert and coffee.
How to get there
Take the 7 train. Get off at 40th or 46th Street station.
Nearest tourist/fascinating attractions
Sunnyside Queens New York is a diverse neighborhood. It is one of the best places in New York City to try Romanian food. Here you will find immigrants from around the world like Romania, Turkey, Korea and South America.
Ambience, concept and décor 3/5
The question was “Is this a Starbucks killer?”
Our answer: Not quite! Didn’t smell the aroma of coffee in the shop.
Location: 41-31 Queens Blvd. Sunnyside NY 11104
For a location near you: Caffe Bene