In a city where matcha has blown up and become just about the only thing trendy New Yorkers drink, I'm going back to the basics. I'm reverting back to chai.

Chai lattes are calming yet spicy, but it can be hard to get them just right. So, I tried chai lattes from a bunch of non-chain coffee shops downtown in an attempt to find the best one. 

The Elk

The Elk is located in the West Village and is a quaint, specialty coffee shop with an open and airy vibe. Try their avocado toast—basic, I know, but worth it. Back to chai, their latte is more on the subtle side and has a super smooth finish. 

Official Rating: 4 stars. 

Gasoline Alley Coffee 

This downtown spot has the coolest vibe (looking @ the bike hanging above the coffee bar). If you go, you have to get one of their coconut donuts with your latte. Their chai is foamy and not too strong, but The Elk did still beat them out by just a smidge.

Official Rating: 3.5 stars. 

#SpoonTip: This chai is fabulous with almond milk.

Harney & Sons

The wall covered in boxes of tea is only a part of the amazing ambience at this totally 'grammable cafe. Their chai latte is stronger than I was expecting and has a definite kick to it, so it's not for those that like a mellow, sweeter chai. If you're a fan of something a little spicy, though, I'd highly recommend.

Official Rating: 4.5 stars. 

The Winner: 11th Street Cafe 

Let me just say, I crave their vanilla chai lattes and now order their chai mix directly to my door. It's so good. So. Good. They may be seem to be just a teeny-tiny coffeeshop, but hey, don't good things come in small packages?

Official Rating: 5++++ stars. 

So to all my New York chai enthusiasts, be sure these places make it on to your list. You won't be disappointed when you go to chai some of these awesome creations. 

For more about chai, click here