Ugly Mug Cafe
(9/10 on my bangin' scale)
The first time I noticed the Ugly Mug Cafe (in the U on 43rd, right off the Ave), it was because of the ugly, wincing, gargoyle-y face on the side of the adjacent apartment building. Then, walking a few steps further and summoning up all my girly, I was like, "OMGzZzZ! That coffeeshop is, like, SO CUUUUTE!" Too bad I don't drink coffee. But please, hear me out.
Upon returning to the establishment (... four, five times now?), I was able to confirm that the Mug is, in fact, as cute as I had made it out to be. In addition to puppy dog eyes cute, it turns out the food ain't nothin' to f*%^ with, either. Try the Gobbler sandwich: Turkey, lettuce, some lip-smackingly delicious sauce, and cranberry-ness on generous slices of Italian bread. And that's all in the "half" sandwich at only $4. While you're munchin', read some French poetry written especially for The Ugly. Love notes and rhymes abound for this place, as you'll find by sitting at several of the decorated tables along the walls. For dessert, since I'm not much of a coffee drinker, I usually get a sensationally sweet chai tea. Mmm. Mmm. Mmm. Mmm.
Other plusses: Real people frequent this coffeeshop (aka not just students), there's always an agreeable music selection playing, BAKED GOODS!!!, and the people who work there are super nice.
Possibly bad: They don't have weefee (aka interwebz)... but I usually get more work done if I don't play around on the 'net all the time, anyway.
The Ugly Mug is da bomb.