When I walked into Happy Bones, there were no free seats and two people ahead were ahead of me in line. I figured I had some time to decide what I wanted to order. But I couldn't get my mind off the thing I really wanted.
When it was my turn to order, I gave the barista a cheery "hi!" Then, I placed my order. "First, I'm going to take two spoons."
Now, let's pause right there. ANYWHERE else in the world, the barista would be looking at me as I were a hysterical lunatic. Who goes to a cafe and orders spoons? But here, it's different. Happy Bones has some of the most beautiful tortoise demitasse spoons. Light, almost translucent, and a perfect accompaniment to espresso. I wouldn't even begin to know where to look for anything like them (I've tried). Unless you're a coffee diarist like myself, perhaps you'd not even think about tracing spoons back to a cafe.
The quest began when I first spotted the most beautifully styled coffee photos on Instagram and Pinterest. Without much difficulty I found out about Happy Bones, a cafe located right in the heart of Nolita in NYC. I love it all: cobblestone streets, quirky and eclectic stores, and lots of sleek and chic NYU students living the dream. Happy Bones is quite a little microcosm for all of that. So let's resume where we left off.
"Okay, 2 spoons," the barista noted. It was no big deal. No sweat. People must order spoons all the time. I didn't feel weird at all. No crazy eyes.
"I'll also have a regular coffee, and a latte," I went on.
"For here or to go?"
"Do you want takeaway cups, or glasses?" the barista asked. "Or do you want to take pictures? You know what, I'll just get you glasses so you can take pictures."
This girl was reading every thought in my brain, every word etched on my coffee loving heart. Happy Bones was a smashing hit.
Just as my coffee appeared on the counter (with the spoons!), a table for two opened up. Kismet. My mom, my coffee date for the day, and I pulled up to the round marble table and ogled our spoons (or maybe it was just me). But I wasn't alone with all the heart-eyes; so many people were snapping pictures, surely for their instagrams. You know why? Happy Bones has been recognized as one of New York's most instagrammable cafes (according to here, here and impressively, here). So of course I was welcomed as a photographer and fellow coffee lover.
With our schedules packed, I unfortanely had time for only one cafe in New York. I am so glad I chose to visit Happy Bones. The coffees were both top-notch. My mom, who ordered the small pour over coffee, was also impressed - she gave it her stamp of approval. Smoky undertones, just a touch of bitterness, and full bodied. Both of our coffees were on the strong side.
Another thing I noted as a frequent observer of cafe culture: Happy Bones was not a haven for know-it-all coffee snobs. Happy Bones has all the reason to be snobby. But it truly was a friendly place. I found it to be more of a neighborhood cafe, with people saying hello to each other and baristas engaging in conversation with customers. Coffee snobbery, be damned. My mom and I had a nice chat with another customer who was happy to give us directions and tips for navigating the subway. The noticeable flow of friendliness in Happy Bones was refreshing. You certainly don't find that a lot, and to be honest, I did not expect it in New York.
Happy Bones is an absolute must. It is a cheerful place. Fantastic coffee, an amazing interior space, friendly staff and clientele with the best of New York all around. I cannot wait to come back (and grow my spoon collection!).