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Sometimes you just need a break from the hubub in midtown-including the Ace Hotel. It’s almost impossible to believe, but there are time when I actually want to take a break from hanging out with my books, notepad, and laptop in the lobby of the Ace Hotel and park myself in a quiet little nook to do work.  When I do, I walk south on 5th Avenue a handful of blocks (to 27th Street) to a little spot called Birch coffee inside the Girshwin Hotel just north of Madison Sq. Park (and Shake Shack!).

It’s about now when I order myself a steaming cup of coffee-black, of course and maybe an organic blueberry muffin, depending on whether a stop at Shake Shack will occur in the future. Once you order your food/beverage, you can retreat around the windy staircase upstairs in the ‘library.’ Here, you can rest, relax, and enjoy some peace and peace of mind.

Tip: want wi-fi? Ask the barista’s downstairs for the password. If you’re feeling brave try the ristretto shot.

Order? Hungry for breakfast? Their egg and cheese bagels are delightful, so are their muffins and pastries. The food choices are pretty predictable, but they’re still tasty! Hungry for something else? There is a menu with some delicious

Price: Average. Expect to spend between $3-5 on a drink and $3-$10 on the food.

Hours: Mon-Fri 7 am – 9 pm; Sat 8 am – 9 pm; Sun 8 am – 8 pm

Adonde? 5 E 27th St (between 5th Ave & Madison Ave). To get there, subway it over to 28 St (N, R), 28 St (4, 6), or 23 St (N, R).

Oh! By the way, there is a $5 or so limit on your credit card, so if you just want to buy a coffee, it’s best to bring some cash with ya.