Café basics: decent coffee, wifi, ambience, (some) character(s) and regulars, restrooms (hey, coffee’s a diuretic), reading material, and location, location, location. Westport has some new—and old—spots, so let’s check out their pros and some cons.
The Starbuck’s inside is nice: Sit down, peer upon the world (it’s raised on a kind of dais). Bonus: magazines and books. A lot of students come here to “do work”; the adults come to sit, read, caffeinate.
Best For: One-on-one chats/friendly catchups, work (though wifi can drop), bookish surroundings.
Post Plaza Shopping Center
1076 Post Road East, 203-221-7955
Trendy, especially with ladies—a plus for men—though clique-ish. Solid bathrooms and wifi, generic reading (newspapers), but good food and staff who know how to pour.
Best For: Ogling, dates (first, and otherwise), post-workout sitdown, pre-lunch cupful.
275 Post Rd East, (203) 349-5202
Sometimes noisy, behipstered, young, and teeny-bopperish, Java features loads of treats, eats and specials. I tried the Keith Richards—a quad shot with hot chocolate. Striking. Solid wifi (password is the store motto, “wake up and live”—love that). Also, a lot of tattoos.
Best For: People-watching, brisk caffeine jolt, scenery, food and diverse adult (read: alcoholic) drinks.
44 Church Lane, (203) 557-8989
An odd stopover—no joke—off Route 1, one I’ve never loved. Ask for a “Cappuccino, thank you, please,” and it will usually arrive paper cup. Hmmm…
Best For: Baked goods, fast road caffeine—in a pinch. Exterior-situated bathrooms require a key(!?!).
1680 Post Rd East, (203) 955-1111
This is my fave standalone Starbuck’s—forget the crazy place on the Saugatuck. This one doesn’t seem like a Starbuck’s at all (stained-glass, wood paneling). The fitness crowd comes here; so do young folk, and singles. Plus: It’s near the Sherwood Diner, where you can optimize with blintzes on Sundays. Perfect two-fer.
Best For: Décor, wifi, cruising possibilities, work, dates, hitting Barnes & Noble/the Sherwood after.
925 Post Road East, (203) 226-8017
I hit the Green’s Farm Train Station spot (on the northbound side), and it’s a fave among the vegan/organically bookish set. I like it, although it’s off-the-beaten path, and trains roll by.
Best For: Sitdowns, confrontations in a dramatic setting (not really, but…maybe!), coffee on the commute.
2 Post Office Lane, (203)-349-5164
A good place with nice sidelines (loads of books—all free!). Tutorials sometimes held here, so you need to be quiet—not always desirable in a café. Excellent cappuccino, though.
Best For: Quality coffee, reading material, good wifi, increased sense of civic virtue.
20 Jesup Road, (203) 291-4800