Every New Yorker has two coffee shops. One near home, one near work. You walk in and get that simple smile of recognition by the staff that knows your name and order, which hardly ever changes. The friendly banter continues from the day before, as other patrons wonder if you do anything else with your day. But let me rewind.
Both of my sisters lived in Israel for a few months during high school. A staple of Israeli daily life is Aroma, their better version of Starbucks. My sisters would talk about the superb coffee, especially the blended ones (think frappaccino with less calories). In addition, the menu is lined with Israeli favorite dishes; light, fresh and delicious.
When I moved to the Upper West Side, I discovered Israel had found its way to 72nd Street. I had my own Aroma. My sister was red with envy in California, dreaming of her days back in Israel. The coffee shop has an upbeat vibe, with bright walls and long, wooden communal tables. It seems like a place to be with friends and maybe even meet some new ones. Plus free wifi is always an added bonus.
Every morning, I walk in, say hi to Devin and pay for my large Ice Coffee. Each coffee comes with a little piece of milk chocolate. The perfect after bite. I have a stash permanently in my purse for the moments when my friends declare, “I could really use something sweet.” Aroma to the rescue.
On certain days, I order lunch with my coffee. The Middle Eastern Salad is my favorite, and the only dish besides breakfast that I have tried. It’s a dish I am now known for at work. The salad consists of bright diced tomatoes, cucumber, red onion and parsley with a lemon vinaigrette. So simple, yet hits the spot every time. I could live on this dish for days. And tend to order it at least once a week with my coffee.
The next time you find yourself on the Upper West Side, be sure to stop by Aroma. If it’s 12:40 on a weekday, you’ll probably catch me, waiting for my coffee, talking to the staff, while reading the paper.
For great coffee, delicious food and a wonderful environment, Aroma is for you.
Aroma Espresso Bar – 161 W. 72nd Street – New York, NY
Location: Upper West Side, NY
Perfect For: Dining Solo, Take Out, Quick Bite
Reservations: Not Necessary or Accepted
Favorite Dishes: Middle Eastern Salad, Aroma Salad, Blended Cofffee