This is where I go when I want to get a great 'chino or latte, and then sit with it in a quiet corner reading a book or writing. No it's not the middle of the intersection silly but the corner of 11th and 1st Ave. Also known as the corner of DeRobertis and Veniero's Cafe and Pastry shops. At this hour of the day its quiet, but let the sun go down and there's lines everywhere.
If your beverage taste runs somewhat on the spirits side, then there's plenty of bars in this area. Just down the block from DeRobertis, towards 11th on 1st Ave is a great Tapas bar.
I love DeRobertis because they know me (I practically lived there) and they let me hang out nursing a cup of java and letting me chat with the staff about jazz and/or cooking trends and tips. It's better than watching Martha Stewart.
I've had many a group dates here. All were fun and interesting.