The Best Coffee Shops in Boston

Coffee | ©Matt Biddulph / Flickr

Freelance Writer

There’s a certain kind of coffee shop that makes you want to sit down, enjoy a cup of joe, and hang out for an hour or two. Sometimes it’s the caliber of the coffee or the café’s atmosphere, or maybe the food that makes you want to stay. These top Boston coffeehouses meet all the criteria – you’ll likely stop by more than once.

1. Thinking Cup

Coffee Shop, Tea , American, Pastries

The Thinking Cup
© Todd Van Hoosear / Flickr

The Thinking Cup now has three locations in Boston – Newbury Street, Tremont Street, and Hanover Street. With delicious Stumptown coffee, it’s no wonder that all three are bustling cafés. Order up an egg and cheese sandwich, or try their yummy honey cinnamon latte. Regardless of what you order, these baristas know their craft. Go at odd times during the day if you’re looking to snag a coveted table.

2. Caffè Nero

Cafe, Coffee Shop, American, Italian

Caffè Nero
© Laurent Dussimon / Flickr
Caffè Nero, the London-based coffee chain, now has eight locations around Boston brewing Italian espresso and drip coffee. Stop by one of their atmospheric cafés for a cup of strong coffee or loose leaf tea and relax. Each location has a unique design—lots of wood, comfy couches, and art. Some even have a fireplace—a perfect place to spend an hour reading a book or catching up with friends.

3. Barrington Coffee Roasting Company

Coffee Shop, American, Pastries

Barrington Coffee Co. has two locations in Boston featuring espresso drinks, teas, and pastries in a modern setting. Though their cafés aren’t as large as Caffè Nero’s, you can still grab a table or window seat to sip your origin, farm- direct coffee, and study, or people watch. While Barrington Co. has grown since 1993 and sells a lot of their roasted coffees in bags in stores or online, these Boston cafés are the company’s only two locations outside of their roastery in Western Massachusetts.

4. Boston Common Coffee Company

Bakery, Cafe, Coffee Shop, American, Vegetarian, Soup, Pastries

Boston Common Coffee Co. has three locations around Boston that feature locally roasted coffees. The café also has a delicious breakfast and lunch menu. Order a panini with a cup of soup, and take a seat on the comfy couches as you look out into downtown Boston. They have a variety of single-origin coffees, including beans from El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, and Nicaragua. Be sure to try their cold brew coffee—some of the best around town.

5. Flat Black Coffee Co.

Cafe, Coffee Shop, American, Pastries

Flat Black Coffee Company started off in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston and now has four locations in the city. They also sell their coffee at local stores and are committed to sustainable practices. The company is Boston’s largest independently owned roaster, retailer, and wholesaler of international specialty coffees. Try their Yemeni espresso—once named one of America’s best espressos.

6. Gracenote Coffee

Cafe, Coffee Shop, American, Pastries

Gracenote Coffee is a small, stylish espresso bar tucked in between Boston’s Chinatown and Financial District. The bar serves each of their two types of strong espresso—their classic Alpha and a rotating single-origin style—in beautiful ceramic mugs. They also offer drip coffee and pastries. If you have any questions, ask the knowledgeable baristas, and if you’re into cold brew coffee—this is the place to get it.

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