How to Pick Someone Up at a Coffee Shop

10 strategies for starting a conversation with someone over lattes

Coffee shops can be great, unassuming places to meet people, and it can be much less intimidating to approach someone there than at a bar.

People in coffee shops are usually there to read, get some work done, catch up with a friend, or sit quietly and people watch. Unlike at bars, where there is sexual tension in the air and the constant pressure of trying to find someone, people at coffee shops are generally more approachable and relaxed, and it's easy to start a conversation with someone without feeling like you're playing some elaborate pick-up game.

But how to break the ice? Below are ten suggestions on how to start a conversation with someone over lattes.


1. "Can I borrow your plug?"

Competition for outlets can get pretty fierce at coffee shops. Such an easy way to start a conversation! Also a good excuse for sitting right next to someone — extension cords can only extend so far.


2. "Accidentally" steal their drink

"Oh sorry — I didn't realize this said 'Marcia' on the side, let me buy you another one..."


3. "Can you watch my stuff for a minute?"

Sure they will! And then you can start a conversation when you get back from the bathroom or getting some napkins you didn't really need. (Possible backfire: they actually steal your stuff.)


4. Either get really into the music or really visibly hate it

"I love this song," or a horrified " this Pure Moods Volume 3?" are equally good ice-breakers.


5. Get a really huge brownie or cookie

And then say you can't finish the whole thing, and offer to share (even if, who are we kidding, of course you could finish the whole thing).

6. Comment on the book they're reading

Which you know all about (because you've secretly looked it up on Wikipedia before making your move).


7. Use the newspaper

Don't walk into a coffee shop on a Sunday morning without the paper. Sit next to someone who looks like they're there by themselves, and just sip your coffee and read your paper. (Trust me, they'll notice you.) Then casually offer them a section (or the whole thing) when you're done.


8. "Do you need a refill?"

Simple and elegant. On your way to the counter for your second cup, just stop by the person's table and, casually, as if it's nothing, ask them if they need a refill.


9. Compliment their work ethic

If there's someone who has clearly been there all day, try this: "Sorry to bother you, I just couldn't help but notice you've been working really hard all day. I don't know what you're working on but man you're making me feel like a slacker. Next cup is on me, OK?"


10. "Do you think they're on a first date?"

Look around the coffee shop and find the couple. (They're there.) Lean over to the person you want to pick up and, in a conspiring manner, ask them: "Do you think that's a first date?"


— Chiara Atik, How About We


Related Links:

Guys, Girls! Can We Just Get One Thing Straight About Buying Someone a Drink

What to Drink Before a Date: 5 Drinks to Try

What Your Food Says About You on a Date

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