Battle of the Beans: Illy Set to Square Off Against Nespresso on Prince Street

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Photo: Daniel Maurer

We’re told that when Bay Ridge’s Little Cupcake Bakeshop opens its first Manhattan location at 30 Prince Street in mid-September, it’ll have a full Illy espresso bar. It won’t be the only European coffee brand on Prince — shortly after opening its 200th boutique, Switzerland’s Nespresso has finally opened its Soho store and café about a year after it first put up signage.

Step past the hostess (yes, there is one), and your barista will give you a spiel about Nespresso’s 16 “crus” (those little flavor pods) and coffee machines, both of which line the walls and are available for purchase upstairs. Choose a cru, and she’ll use a cocktail shaker (also available for purchase) to make you a $6.50 iced cappuccino. Other drinks include the Liégeois (iced coffee over a scoop of vanilla ice cream) and the Iced Vanilla Caffe (coffee blended with vanilla ice cream and poured over crushed ice). The café also serves $9 plates, such as a grilled chicken salad, a smoked salmon Napoleon, garden pea velouté, mini cheese burgers, prosciutto panino, and a smoked turkey club, plus $7 desserts like a tiramisu, chocolate soufflé, Grom sorbet, and gluten-free macaroons.

Nespresso, 92 Prince St., nr. Mercer St.; 212-966-1825