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10 of the Best Coffeehouses in and around Boston

Don’t miss these places for National Coffee Day

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Americans have a love affair with coffee. We consume an estimated 400 million cups a day, 146 billion cups a year, making the United States the world’s leading consumer of coffee. Tomorrow, Saturday, September 29, is National Coffee Day and in homage to our favorite beverage, we’ve put together a list of 10 great coffee spots in and around Boston. Check it out.

Jaho Coffee Roaster & Wine Bar
665 Washington St., Boston

This trendy coffeehouse and wine bar at the corner of Downtown Crossing and Chinatown boasts a state-of-the-art Loring Kestrel roaster. Sit back and enjoy a delicious cappuccino or espresso in one of the luxurious leather chairs. The menu has an international selection of beverages, ranging from a Spanish latte to a Boozy Bubble Tea. As its name implies, Jaho also offers craft beers, wines, and spirits at night, some of them made with coffee, like the award-winning Scarlet Espresso martini. Quick-bite breakfast fare, lunch sandwiches, and baked goods are available.

The Red Velvet Frosticcino at Jaho Coffee Roaster & Wine Bar

Photo by Chynna Benson (CGS’18, COM’20)

Must try: The Red Velvet Frosticcino, a delicious concoction of espresso, red velvet powder, milk, and ice

Explorateur
186 Tremont St., Boston

This French-Californian fusion cafe and restaurant serves only La Colombe coffee, known for its full-bodied, chocolatey dark roasts, sweet and nutty medium roasts, and citrusy light roasts. The free Wi-Fi and inviting interior (long rectangular tables adorned with brass lamps) make this the place to bring your laptop.

iced coffee from Explorateur

Must try: The iced coffee—enjoy it while the weather is still warm

Thinking Cup
85 Newbury St., Boston

Situated on Boston’s fashionable Newbury Street (there’s also one in the North End and near Boston Common), Thinking Cup is a favorite destination for coffee aficionados. It serves coffee from Portland, Ore.–based Stumptown Coffee Roasters, voted “best coffee in the world” by numerous media outlets, like National Public Radio and the New York Times. The baristas are knowledgeable and the place has a cozy, lively atmosphere. Thinking Cup specializes in cappuccinos and lattes made with homemade syrups: adventurous coffee drinkers should try the honey cinnamon latte. It also offers delicious pastries and breakfast and lunch sandwiches. A customizable grilled cheese menu lets customers choose among 4 breads, 6 cheeses, and 11 fillings.

Cappuccino at the Thinking Cup

Must try: The delicious, artistically presented cappuccino is worthy of any Instagram feed

Trident Booksellers and Café
338 Newbury St., Boston

Trident, on the west end of Newbury Street, is an ideal place to shop, study, and relax. This combination bookstore and café is a popular destination for students, and it can be hard to find a seat during peak hours. Trident’s coffee products are from Rao’s Coffee Roasting Company. Besides coffees and teas, the café offers a selection of breakfast dishes, soups, salads, bowls, burgers, and sandwiches.

The Viennese Espresso is topped with whipped cream

Photo by Chynna Benson (CGS’18, COM’20)

Must try: The Viennese Espresso—espresso and coffee topped with whipped cream and cocoa

Tatte Bakery & Café
1003 Beacon St., Brookline

With nearly a dozen locations in Boston, Cambridge, and Brookline, Tatte has become one of the area’s most popular places for sipping a coffee and enjoying a pastry. You can order an espresso, cortado, macchiato, mocha, or house or season latte. It has a popular weekend brunch too (Friday through Sunday).

Mocha from Tatte

Photo by Chynna Benson (CGS’18, COM’20)

Must try: The Mocha—it’s Tatte’s best seller: take a sip and find out why

Pavement Coffeehouse
736 Commonwealth Ave., Boston

Pavement Coffeehouse has eight spots, on both sides of the Charles River. Happily, one of them is right on campus and it’s nearly always packed with BU students, faculty, and staff. It’s deceptively roomy; the narrow entrance leads to plenty of space in the back. Pavement claims to be “crazy about coffee” and it delivers on that. It imports green beans from the Collaborative Coffee Source and roasts them here in Boston. You’ll find coffee from Guatemala, Ethiopia, Colombia, Kenya, and elsewhere that offer a balanced, delicate flavor profile. The handcrafted bagels, made from scratch daily, are also worth a try and come with a healthy dollop of cream cheese and a wide choice of additional toppings.

Vanilla latte from Pavement

Photo by Chynna Benson (CGS’18, COM’20)

Must try: Vanilla Latte

Paris Creperie
278 Harvard St., Brookline

It’s easy to miss this tiny café in the heart of Coolidge Corner: it’s hardly wider than a hallway. Best known for savory and sweet crepes, Paris Creperie is also popular for its Nutella lattes, which can be topped with whipped cream and marshmallows to create the ultimate sweet coffee drink.

Strawberry Nutella Latte

Must try: Strawberry Nutella Latte

Temptations Cafe
1350 Beacon St., Brookline

This Coolidge Corner cafe has a more laid-back vibe than many of the city’s other bustling coffeehouses. There is plenty of space to unwind, the lighting is dim, and slow, soulful music plays in the background. The coffee selection is basic, but for an extra 50 cents, you can choose from an array of flavored shots to add some extra zing. Try the pumpkin spice or the lavender.

Macchiato

Photo by Chynna Benson (CGS’18, COM’20)

Must try: Macchiato

Caffè Nero
1047 Commonwealth Ave., Boston

On the edge of West Campus, this Caffè Nero (there are nearly two dozen around Boston) is a hub for students, both for socializing and for working. Begun as a chain of Italian cafes across Europe, it has taken the United States by storm. You can order a latte, cappuccino, mocha, or cortado. The Comm Ave cafe sports a mixture of long communal tables, sofas, and comfy armchairs and has a gas fireplace, just the thing for taking the chill out of a cold autumn morning.
Flat white from cafe nero
Must try: The Flat White, a rich, intense ristretto-based drink made with whole milk

LimeRed Teahouse
1092 Commonwealth Ave., Boston

LimeRed Teahouse claims to be “daringly bold…catering to the adventurous.” There’s no disputing that it’s different from the average Boston coffeehouse. LimeRed is notable for its Instagram-friendly decor: one whole wall is covered in verdant leaves. Best known for its craft bubble teas, it also has a great espresso bar where servers create original coffee flavors, starting with full, nutty beans with a hint of caramel.

coconut latte

Must try: Coconut Latte

Do you have a recommendation for a favorite coffeehouse that’s not on our list? Add it to the Comment section below.

Harry Jones (COM’19) can be reached at joneshj@bu.edu.

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