Our First Trip to Rock Center’s Blue Bottle Coffee

Blue Bottle Rock Center
Yesterday San Francisco’s Blue Bottle Coffee in Rock Center opened it’s doors. And I had a chance to hit up the cafe mid-morning to see how it was going.

Given all of the anticipation, I was surprised that there wasn’t any line. But then again, I didn’t get down there until closer to 10am, so the coffee crowd may have come and gone. And I suspect it will take awhile for people to catch on that it’s there. Because of the way the pillars in the concourse are position the shop is basically hidden until you’re right on top of it.

Blue Bottle Rock Center
The space itself is bright and modern. There are two espresso bars for efficiency’s sake. I was tempted by their much lauded cold brew coffee, especially with the warm weather, but when I saw it came in a fairly small cup for $4, I opted for a latte instead for $4.25.

Blue Bottle Rock Center
While I love coffee, I’m not a coffee snob, but I will say their latte is smooth and bold. It goes down easy.

Blue Bottle Rock Center
As I was about to check out I was tempted by the really cute little yogurt parfait jars ($5). I hadn’t had any breakfast and my defenses were down. Filled with whole milk yogurt and an apple, beet, ginger compote, it was actually really good–and I say this as a person who doesn’t love yogurt (or beets for that matter). There were plenty of apple pieces that were sweet but not saccharine-sweet and beet-haters will be pleased to know that the beets seemed to mainly lend color.

There are counters for drinking your espresso or coffee while standing up (like in Italy), but for some the lack of seating inside will be a drawback especially at the price tag (yes, there are tables just outside, but unless you get a table near the Rink the inner concourse is rather dismal).

I’m planning on going back for the Iced Coffee soon. Any Blue Bottle vets have recommendations? Let us know in the comments.

Blue Bottle Coffee, Rockefeller Center Concourse


  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    What has happened to Midtown Lunch?

    Why are we reviewing another overpriced foo-foo coffee shop?

    Why not another generic deli review?

    This site has gone WAY downhill since Zach left.

    • “We” are not reviewing
      “They” are

      Look, I understand what you are getting at. Coffee ain’t lunch. But some of us, well, like to get coffee with our lunch. This is a food and drink establishment that opened in midtown and it should be covered.

      I for one was excited to read the news of this particular shop opening. I am sure others are too. I also think $4 is steep. I am pretty cheap, and don’t do the $4 venti everyday. I drink the office shit most days. But sometimes I like the good shit.
      And this is the good shit.

      There are plenty of other reviews you can read. If you don’t want to read about a coffeeshop, then don’t. Read something else.

      And if you feel you can do any better, then why don’t you contribute some exciting reviews for us to read? Easy to critique others quietly behind anoymity.

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    This isn’t just another overpriced foo-foo coffee shop. It’s supposed to be amazing coffee and it is news that they just opened in Rock Center. OF COURSE midtown lunch is going to cover it. I would think it weird if they didn’t. Quit being such a curmudgeon.

  • The New Orleans iced coffee will be the death of me. $4 a pop is a tad on the pricey side, but DAMNYUM it’s tasty. When I went this morning, there were a lot of confused people because of the pour-over method and lack of venti, grande, tall sizes. Too bad they couldn’t fit in the siphon coffee.

  • Are you kidding me? The New Orleans style iced coffee is to die for.

    I travel to all far off parts of NYC to get that stuff. It is amazing and nothing is frou frou about it except for perhaps the price.

    Blue Bottle deserves all the coverage they can get and pity me, I will now be a true addict since I work a block away.

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    Why must you west-siders get everythinggggggggggg T__________T


  • Well, first things first: Blue Bottle was born and bred in Oakland, not San Francisco. It’s where they roasted (for the Bay Area stores) when they began, and it’s where they roast (for the Bay Area stores) now.

    And, no it’s not the same thing. Just ask anyone who lives in either city.

    Secondly, for everyone who says that $XX dollars is too much for a cup of coffee, let’s all please remember that everyone said the same thing about Starbucks not that long ago and now there is a shop that basically caters to the Peet’s/Starbucks crowd of yore on every corner. And this is a few cuts above (at least) from that.

    This isn’t commodity coffee. You can still get that. It’s everywhere. And if you’d like to take a (small) step up from there, you can find that too — at Starbucks and its ilk. It’s all there. Don’t hate on people’s preferences. I gladly pay these prices if it’s good coffee. If it’s not I won’t pay again. I like it and now if I ever make it Rock Center, I have a place to go for coffee.

    I’d wager, by the very mention of the word “Venti” in relation to this shop. that it’s not easy for people like me to find what we consider to be a good cup of coffee in this area. So, cool.


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