10 New Boston Cafés and Bakeries We Loved in 2022
For lingering over a sweet treat in a welcoming space, grabbing a strong cup of something caffeinated on the run, or breaking bread with friends, here are the new cafés and bakeries we adored in 2022. (Plus, four notable expansions and revamps.)
This year’s new cafés and bakeries are a stunning bunch, drawing influences from around the globe—from Haiti to Lebanon, from Korea to Italy. Whether you’re hoping to cozy up in an attractive storefront or snag a quick coffee on your commute, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
This is part four of our year-end reminiscing about our favorite new openings of 2022; here, we focus on the cafés and bakeries.
Beacon Hill Books & Cafe
This place is just magical: five impeccably designed levels of nooks and crannies housing a highly curated selection of books. And the café? Nestled on the ground floor, it’s a lovely spot for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, or snacks from chef Colleen Suhanosky (who is behind Brookline’s Rifrullo Cafe). The café space extends into an outdoor courtyard straight out of a fairytale. (You may remember this space from its former tenant, the long-tenured Hungry I restaurant.) Note: Takeout service hasn’t begun yet, so for now, this is a reservations-recommended, sit-down meal or snack, not an order-a-coffee-at-the-counter spot.
71 Charles St., Beacon Hill, Boston, bhbooks.com.
Grêp Kafé & Sweets Bakery
Right by the little Target in Medford’s Haines Square, this takeout Haitian-American bakery is the place to go for hot, flaky Haitian patés (puff pastry stuffed with fillings like beef or herring); weekend soup specials; a variety of cupcakes, cakes, and other treats; and house-made juices and other drinks. We’re partial to the foskao—a chocolate drink amped up with salt, lime, and cinnamon—and the corossol (soursop) passionfruit juice.
466 Salem St., Medford, 781-327-6526, grepkafebakery.com.
Kicco Italian Coffee
Steps from North Station, this commuter-friendly newcomer brings a taste of Naples to the city; owner Vittorio Wurzburger deems it “the first real Neapolitan coffee shop in Boston.” To that end, the café includes plenty of imported packaged goods from Italy—cookies, candies, coffee, and more—plus a pastry case packed with babà Napoletano (little rum cakes), pistachio cake slices, and other sweets. The hot chocolate, not too sweet, is a perfect addition to a winter commute.
1 Nashua St., West End, Boston, 617-982-6102, kiccoboston.com.
Get your antique motorcycle restored—or watch work being done on someone else’s—while you sip a sweet tahini latte and eat baklava and Lebanese sfeeha at this beautiful new addition to Roxbury. The plant-filled café is connected to sibling motorcycle repair shop Madhouse Motors, with a big window connecting the two.
24 Blue Hill Ave., Roxbury, Boston, 617-620-1501, madhousecafe.com.
More Than Coffee
This spacious, well-lit Malden café is a relaxing spot for a hangout or some remote work. For coffee and tea, there are a variety of lattes, bubble teas, and such, plus fruity slushes—but as the name suggests, there’s more than coffee, too. The concise food menu mostly centers around a few sandwiches and pastas, but our pick is the malatang, a customizable spicy soup that you can fill with fish balls, rice cakes, noodles, tofu skins, vegetables, and lots more.
7 Pleasant St., Malden, 781-605-3734, morethancoffeema.com.
Popping up at Somerville’s Bow Market until October 2023, Marissa Ferola’s Korean-American bakery features an incredible selection of cookies in flavors like chocolate with chocolate chips and honey infused with gochujang and gochugaru (Korean chile paste and chili powder); mugwort and turmeric sugar; and the “bold, intense, tingly” triple pepper gingersnap. Plus, there are cake slices like chocolate with Korean rice wine makgeolli and other treats like a sticky bun made with doenjang, a fermented soybean paste.
1 Bow Market Way, Somerville, ninewinters.com.
Eat “sunshine in the form of food” by ordering sandwiches, baked goods, and “fun drinks” from Shirley, a little takeout-only Davis Square storefront where founder Kat Bayle highlights ingredients that make people feel good—typically some combination of local, seasonal, sustainable, and/or organic. Think: small producers, artisanal goodies, the farmer down the road. The menu changes all the time; if banh mi is available, get it. But every sandwich and treat is a winner here.
22A College Ave., Somerville, shirleyeatmoresunshine.square.site.
This sister-owned Ukrainian bakery and pastry shop, named for the Ukrainian word for “sweet,” opened in Brighton this year, specializing in gorgeously decorated cakes. But there are also smaller treats available, like filled croissants (think chocolate cherry or raspberry pistachio), macarons, challah and babka loaves, and cake slices. You’ll find a broader selection of goods on weekends, but don’t be afraid to stop by on a weekday—there’s always something sweet to enjoy onsite or to go.
38 Brooks St., Brighton, Boston, 617-300-0368, solodkoboston.com.
From North End chef and restaurateur Jen Royle (Table, Table Mercato) comes a fun third spot: Table Caffé, a little storefront brimming with cannoli, gelato, coffee, and imported Italian goodies. Note that there’s no seating, but a stroll through the North End, gelato in hand, sounds pretty lovely, whatever the season.
396 Hanover St., North End, Boston, tableboston.com/table-caffe.
Yafa Bakery & Café
It’s easy to fall in love with Yafa Bakery & Café, which opened this spring in Somerville: The staff will immediately make you feel at home with top-notch hospitality (and maybe a taste of whatever just came out of the oven). Under the motto of “artfully delicious,” you’ll find flavors of the Mediterranean, from chocolate-covered dates to a honey-soaked, delicately shaped pastry called qairawan. Don’t miss the Jerusalem bread or butter bread, whichever is warm when you visit; the former is best with a side of za’atar, while the latter goes great with honey, cream cheese, or both. To drink, the lemonada recalls summer days, enhancing freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice with ginger, mint, and orange blossom.
594 Somerville Ave., Somerville, 617-616-5310, yafabakerycafe.com.
Notable Expansions and Revamps
These aren’t new, but they’re newly expanded or changed this year, and you’ll absolutely want to (re)visit them.
- Colette Bakery: This Medford favorite for French baked goods and pastries expanded to Melrose this year, bringing baguettes, pain de mie, Paris-Brest, kouign-amann, and more to a broader audience.
- Levain Bakery: This New York import came to Newbury Street in 2022, bringing with it absolutely enormous cookies.
- True Grounds: This Ball Square classic came under new ownership this year—and extraordinarily talented baker Rae Murphy (aka Rae the Baker) joined the team, bringing her popular pretzel croissants, miso morning buns, and lots more.
- Zaruma Gold Coffee: The Ecuadorian coffee brand has operated a Somerville café for a few years and expanded to Downtown Boston late this year, complementing its coffees and other beverages with food like sweet and savory empanadas.