The proliferation of independent coffee shops continues with new Midtown cafe and eatery Ground-Central, a collaboration between French coffee fanatic Etienne Wiik and pedigreed chef Jason Wood (Savoy, Marlow & Sons). The fastidious owners are sourcing their products carefully, from La Colombe coffees to pastries from some of the bigger names on the scene (sorry, no Cronuts). They're also cultivating a kind of "rock and roll" vibe, which they're doing quite literally with vintage records and some pretty dope murals.

Mille-Feuille supplies their ethereal croissant, with bakeries like Blue Sky and Colson supplying other baked goods including apple turnovers, caramel cake and gluten-free scones. Chef Wood created a menu of savory sandwiches for the lunch set, including a Tea Sandwich with lox, cream cheese, cucumber and watercress; the PBA with prosciutto, apple, and brie on baguette; and a breakfasty Farm Egg Frittata sammie with kale, carrot and gruyere on brioche. Liquid dieters can snap up bottles of fresh juice from Liquiteria or avail themselves of the full coffee menu, including pour over single origin cups.

It's a little less crunchy inside than some independent coffee shops and skews more towards the well-heeled residents of Midtown East in both aesthetic and price point. Still, the chalk murals by Australian street artist Heesco give it some indie flair, as does the large record collection, which serves as an accent piece while also supplying tunes through a vintage sound system. There's also a huge, colorful collection of hardback crime, thriller and novellas lining the back "library space," so if you need a break from writing up that legal brief, there's some escapism just a bookshelf away.

155 East 52nd Street, (646) 964-4438; Open Monday through Friday 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Ground Central Menu