The best coffee shops in Boston by S. Ferreira of Where the BlueBoots Go.

There’s something about a cup of coffee – don’t you agree? All the adjectives that go with coffee are full of personality too; coffee is warm, deep, rich, cool, or bright. It can be the answer to reset after a hard meeting, or a pleasant, familiar way to wake up.

I’ve lived in Boston on and off, -but mostly on -now for about a decade and it is home. As you might expect, my own home includes many varieties of coffee, including ones from travels. We are always trying new types of beans – they’re a little daily adventure. Selecting a mug for coffee is as much a ritual as picking the type of coffee. Coffee comes with ambiance for me, and partaking is not a harried activity – I want to sit, sip, and savor. For different reasons, the coffee shops on this list are at the top in my opinion. Each has a story, so enjoy these Best Boston Coffee Shops – 10 You Must Try.


#1 Tatte Bakery & Café


Boston Coffee Shops - Tatte

Photo By: Tatte Bakery & Café

I’m there almost weekly for a morning stop by to have a Stumptown cappuccino or latte and read or plan my week. The original location of this Israeli-European cafe is just across from the St. Mary’s T stop on the Green line (C) and they recently expanded that location to serve pastries and a full menu. They also added seating to include about seven small tables, a long family-style banquet table, as well as three window bars to sit at. It is often crowded around popular meal times because the food and pastries are just.that.good. Don’t miss the shakshuka, yogurt and fruit parfaits, mint lemonade, or halva roses (rose-shaped pastry with a sweet sesame thread baked into it). They have 6 locations, and recently opened in Harvard Square with two floors – of course, beautifully designed inside.

Best for: Beautiful ambiance – white marble tops, fresh flowers, tiled floors, and neat light fixtures. They have mugs and totes, too.

Locations:
Brookline – 1003 Beacon St. Brookline | Broadway – 205 Broadway, Cambridge | Charles St – 70 Charles St, Boston | Third Street – 318 Third St. Cambridge | Main St – 101 Main St. Cambridge | Harvard Square – 1288 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge


#2 George Howell Coffee


Photo By: Boston Magazine

Photo By: Boston Magazine

Right in the heart of Downtown Crossing, the espresso drinks are tasty and they offer pastries from other well-loved Boston-area establishments. Including Union Square Donuts (such as cranberry spice and brown butter hazelnut) and Praliné Artisanal Confections’ opera cakes and tarts. They also have breakfast sandwiches and a delicious, seasoned avocado toast on a thin slice of sourdough that might change how you make it at home – the flavors are excellent. They also have a class and tasting schedule if the finer points of coffee intrigue you. George Howell is right next door to a trendy new hotel, The Godfrey Hotel, and is steps from some of Boston’s best theatres.

Locations:
The Godfrey Hotel – 505 Washington St, Boston MA | The Roastery – 312 School Street, Acton, MA, 01720
Boston Public Market – 100 Hanover St at Haymarket Station, Boston | Newtonville Café – 311 Walnut St, Newtonville MA 02460 | (Also in Brooklyn, NY)


#3 Thinking Cup – Newbury St


Photo By: The Thinking Cup

Like Tatte, there are a number of locations, and each has a different feel. I prefer the Newbury St. location, although every time I’m waiting before a show, I’ll grab a delicious havarti+gruyere+bacon+French mustard grilled cheese and perhaps a coffee at the original location, over by the Boston Commons and the theatres. The historical décor is at once perfect for a place like Boston, steeped in American history, and intriguing in its own right – old newspapers with newsworthy events, instruments, trinkets – all of these are immortalized on the tables for you to peruse as you wait. Even the bathrooms are decorated with taste. They also have a great selection of Mem teas. They have gluten free options, and a generous selection of macarons and gear. If I move out of Boston, this scholar is definitely coming for a mug that says “Thinking Cup.” Perfect, right?

Best for: décor, ambiance, history, coffee.

Locations: Back Bay – 85 Newbury St. Boston | Boston Common -165 Tremont St Boston | North End – 236 Hanover St Boston

 


#4 4A Coffee


Photo By: Adam DeTour

In warm weather, we stroll over to pick up one Americano and one cappuccino, to go. 4A is a family-run business with a bright, small corner storefront. They’re open early for the morning rush, and close early, but the beans that they roast themselves are worth it. When I travel, I like to pick up a bag of beans to bring along as a hostess gift, wherever we are going. It is one of the gems of the Brookline neighborhood. After we have our hot drinks (or iced lattes – they have the perfect ratio of milk to espresso down) we walk through the neighborhoods to Clear Flour bakery and grab a baguette, German pretzel and mustard (when they’re there!) or a pastry and sit at the park to eat, drink, and enjoy.

Best for: Grab + Go. Excellent Coffee. Meter street parking available.
Location: 419 Harvard St. Brookline

 


#5 Fuel America


Photo By: Fuel America

A spacious and slightly retro-feel place with a great cup of coffee, food options (if you need to sit and work on your computer for a while) as well as a handful of parking spaces. They play upbeat music, have an industrial vibe, and the staff is friendly. They’re loved, and now you can also catch them at the airport for a quick fuel up before you launch into the sky.

Best for: staying a while, with good variety for food options in case you get the munchies.

Location: 152 Chestnut Hill Ave, Brighton MA


#6 Ogawa


Boston Coffee Shops

Photo By: S. Ferreira

This shop is near the Downtown Crossing and Financial District neighborhoods. They’re known for their fancy coffee art, and they also have matcha green tea lattes – in keeping with the clean Japanese feel – that are dressed up as well. They have a unique seating arrangement with a few medium tables to share, as well as wooden bleachers that overlook the kitchen.

Best for: an in-the-city meet up

Location: 10 Milk St. Boston


#7 7 Pond Coffee Bar


Boston Coffee Shops

Photo By: S. Ferreira

It is the only one, with an address you can’t forget. 7 Pond makes Barrington Coffee (also a small chain around the Boston area) and is tucked into the Jamaica Plain neighborhood. We enjoyed a scone and a muffin with our very tasty drinks, tucked into a sunny, well-lit corner. They have bar stools set up in the perimeter and it is a cheerful and tranquil place to read, contemplate, or catch up with a friend. They’re a few doors down from When Pigs Fly, a bakery that sells loaves sweet and savory loaves studded and spiced with delicious combinations, as well as muffins, scones, pretzels, olive oil, sauces, syrups, and pizza dough.

Best for: relaxing, thinking, enjoying with a friend.

Location: 7 Pond Coffee Bar 7 Pond St. Boston


#8 Curio Coffee


Curio Coffee Boston Coffee Shops

Photo By: Curio Coffee

While not technically in Boston, I would still say it is a place to try. It is in Cambridge and makes good espresso drinks to go with your….waffle! Those are tasty! They’re a classic example of the success of doing a few things, but doing a few things well. The décor is bright and airy as well. I parked myself there to read a rather heavy-themed book and I was glad for the happy, green space. They have window bar seating and a handful of tables and you will often see folks working or reading.

Best for: chatting, meeting, working.

Location: Curio Coffee 441 Cambridge St. Cambridge


#9 Caffé Vittoria


Caffé Vittoria Boston Coffee Shop

Photo By: Caffé Vittoria

You just can’t miss this on a trip to Boston. Filled with history, in cold and warm seasons you will want to stop in for an espresso and a slice of a cake, tiramisu, or a cannoli. It has a bit of old-world charm that you really can’t get anywhere else, and also will cause you to be sure to visit the North End – Boston’s Little Italy – and experience it for yourself.

Best for: espresso & the Boston experience.

Location: Caffé Vittoria 296 Hanover St. Boston


#10 Flour Bakery + Cafe


Boston Coffee Shops The Best

Photo By: V-Ryan

Ever hear the phrase, “make life sweeter…eat dessert first”? Oh, it was you who said it? I credit Joanne Chang who is the master behind flour bakery, a loved cookbook and myers+chang as one of Boston’s most acclaimed chefs and foodie entrepreneurs. Her cookbook and concept encourage eating dessert first. They serve Fazenda coffee and I often enjoy the dark roast coffee with just a taste of sugar or honey.

For the first few years of graduate school, I was a regular at the Back Bay location to read. I love the food as well – if you’re there for breakfast, the oatmeal is filling and tasty as well as their breakfast sandwich. Their sticky buns are a fan favorite. The chocolate cupcakes are rumored to satisfy pregnancy cravings. Anything is good for lunch. I am partial to the triple chocolate mousse cake (a solution for any bad day, along with the coffee), any of the cookies, the apple snacking cake with walnuts (my favorite) and the brioche topped with sugar for a light snack. They have a daily specials menu, holiday menus for catering, and will share an inspiring quote and the daily weather report, all on a chalkboard.

Best for: meetings, food, coffee at any time of day.

Locations: Cambridgeport – 40 Erie St. Cambridge | Central Square – 190 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge | Back Bay – 131 Clarendon St, Boston | South End – 1595 Washington St. Boston | Fort Point – 12 Farnsworth St. Boston | Harvard Square – 114 Mt. Auburn St.

About The Author

Sanae Ferreira

Sanae Ferreira is an adventure blogger and creative content developer of the Where the BlueBoots Go blog. Visit this lovely destination for colorful and thoughtfully curated inspiration from surprisingly beautiful places in the fashion, home decor, food, and wellness spaces. She believes food can be medicine, for the body and soul, and part of her life’s work is to share in the culture of eating, enjoying, and nourishing one another with quality food. Catch her latest adventures @bluebootsgo.

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