Murphy’s Door Cafe, a dim-lit, brick-laid coffee shop on East 9th Street off of Avenue A, is most definitely a vibe — the kind of place where you can chill and feel like an Alphabet-City cool kid before enjoying a cheugy autumn afternoon walking around Tompkins Square Park.
The cafe’s mascot — featured on their website — looks like the third trench-coated member of Spy vs. Spy, and is shared by the shop’s neighboring lifestyle boutique, Sneak.ez. Vinyl rap album covers hang from the walls, as does a candid photo of a blood-covered Jon Bernthal, wearing a Punisher t-shirt and pointing severely at the camera. Several sneaker-culture books are propped up opposite the service counter, manned by a wonderfully gregarious barista who is quick with sage advice for what to select from the cafe’s specialty coffee and food menu.
The food and drink I’ve tried at Murphy’s Door are universally excellent. Of particular interest to me are the pastries, which the cafe sources from the Bethlehem, PA-based bakery Vegan Treats — whose beautiful Instagram feed is also a vibe.
Vegan Treats’ Speculoos cookie, half-dipped in a chocolate robe, is one of those wonderful cookies you have once and spend the rest of your life thinking about. The cookie is big, soft, and appropriately crumbly on the outside, with a subtle ginger-spice flavor and moist core.
Amish-country treats, as the kids say, hit different.
I accompanied this afternoon's Speculoos cookie with a rich, gently-sweet Oat Honey Cinnamon Latte. Had I swung by Murphy’s Door earlier this month, I apparently would have caught the legendary DJ Large Professor, who spun a set to accompany a pop-up menu from Queens-based teenage ramen-chef Josh Reisner.
Old-school hip-hop meets de rigeur ramen fusion — yeah, most definitely a vibe.
I give a 9.2 for Murphy’s Door; probably the coolest coffee shop in Alphabet City, and overflowing with vibes.
Until next time.