In honor of National Coffee Day, what better way is there to celebrate it than to combine two of my great loves: coffee and Boston? I have lived in Boston for a little over a year, and I have to say that this city offers some of the best coffee I have ever had (and if you know me even a little bit, it’s not a shocker that I’m picky with my joe). During my time here, I’ve been to an extensive list of coffee shops, but five stood out to me due to their quality and selection quantity.
I may be slightly biased, because one of my roommates works there and I live across the street, but Fuel has some of the best coffee around. The selection ranges from lattes to pour overs to an assortment of tea. Plus, if you’re looking for coffee with a kick, this is your place. Every time I’ve gone into Fuel for a java fix, I become more and more of a caffeinated delight with every jittery sip. I recommend one of their specialty lattes (you can’t go wrong with the honey latte or the ginger spice) or the mocha variations (get the peppermint mocha if you want a taste of the holidays in your mouth early).
Fuel also has an exemplary selection of food. I recommend the caprese or the chicken pesto.
When I first visited Boston two years ago (well before I made the decision to attend graduate school at Emerson College and become even more of the broody writer you all know and at least mildly like), I didn’t really know anything about the city other than what Trip Advisor told me.
There are three locations in the city for your convenience: on Newbury Street (I definitely don’t recommend this location if you’re looking for a cafe to settle down in and order your food to eat there. This location is insanely chaotic due to the shopping district frenzy), Hanover Street, and near the Boston Common (which has become like a second home to me given the fact that it’s right next to one of the main buildings where most of my classes are). Thinking Cup serves Stumptown Roast (a coffee brand originally based in Portland, known for the quality of their beans) and ensures a taste bud tango. I recommend the macchiatos, vanilla ginger latte, and any of their pastries (the chocolate mouse and Boston cream pie are to die for).
If coffee isn’t your thing (or your cup of tea, ba dum ch), I suggest trying the chai latte. It is the ideal blend of sweet and spicy that a lot of chai lattes lack.
Upon first entering the shop, it doesn’t look like much other than a menu and maybe a few scattered chairs. However, when you stroll towards the back of the cafe, you’re greeted with a sun nook and views of a cobblestone street, charming brick townhouses, and an assortment of flowers.
I completely understand why Boston Magazine voted Render as the best coffee shop in Boston. Every drink there is the perfect blend of espresso and desired flavor. Their hazelnut lattes and mochas are exceptional, and their malted cold brew is intriguing.
Because I’m Polish-American and a lot of my summers were filled with wandering around cukiernias (pastry shops/bakeries), Tatte grew on me immediately and I was pleasantly reminded of my time spent galavanting around Warsaw and sampling a plethora of napoleons and espresso. I’m a sucker for bakeries that also offer exemplary coffee, and this delightful Greater Boston chain did not disappoint me. If you arrive early and/or lurk for a while, you’re bound to get a table (and if you’re lucky, you’ll get a table outside during the warmer months!).
They have a wide selection of food and baked goods and their coffee is to die for. Try their house latte, made with halva and honey paired with an apple croissant or a sweet potato tart tatin.
Ziggy’s is a special place to me, because the first time I went to this cafe, I took my best friends who had visited from out of town. We were in search of a coffee shop (really anything would have sufficed at that point, as it was in the middle of winter and the sea breeze was getting a bit too breezy). Conveniently located near Park Street Station, Ziggy’s is an awesome place to order coffee (and/or get one of their breakfast food items if you’re into that) and to hang out with your friends in a low key setting. The vibe is mildly gritty and it’s very much a “come as you are” type of atmosphere.
Their hot and cold coffee are both well done, but also make sure to try one of their smoothies. The wicked cold coffee smoothie is particularly tasty.