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I Take My Latte With a Side of Renaissance Art- Caffe Reggio

In a city of Starbucks and chain stores, it is truly a privilege to be able to experience a cappuccino from the original café who introduced espresso to New York back in 1927. But historic coffee aside, Caffe Reggio in Greenwich Village is also an art mecca, where customers have nonchalantly sipped lattes amongst Italian masterworks since it opened almost 100 years ago.



Caffe Reggio is a truly a gem, a time capsule to a bygone era. Opened in 1927 by barber Dominick Parisi to offer up free cups of coffee to his waiting customers, the shop was soon outfitted with art works, and a glorious espresso machine, from Parisi’s native Italy. The artworks are not typical of a coffee shop- there are no local emerging artists hawking their wares here. Instead, the walls are adorned with a collection of historic artworks akin to a small museum or gallery, some hundreds of years old. Throughout the café are over 80 original artworks, including a large painting by a student of Michelangelo Caravaggio, painted in the 16th Century and restored by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the early 1980s. Visitors can even sit on a relic, a Renaissance-era wooden bench owned by the de Medeci family in the 1400s is sidled up to a table along with the vintage wrought iron chairs that fill the dining room. Even the ornate espresso machine itself is a piece of art, adorned with gilded angels and horses, was made in 1900 for the world’s fair and bought by the Parisis for a small fortune of $1,000. It still glimmers on display, but hasn’t been used since the early 1990s.

Not to mention a lot of other cool historical stuff happened there, like Kennedy gave a speech in the front of the cafe, the Godfather II (and a lot of other movies) was filmed there, and Kerouac and his cronies hung out (when not drinking of course).


What: School of Caravaggio Painting, deMedici bench

Where: Caffe Reggio, 119 MacDougal Street, 10012


Caffe Reggio
Hand sprayed Multiple by Logan Hicks

3 Responses to “I Take My Latte With a Side of Renaissance Art- Caffe Reggio”
  1. Where else in NYC can you put your butt where a deMedici once put their butt? Only @caffereggionyc! @artnerdnewyork

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