The Best Coffee Shops Around Boston Right Now
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Need an eye-opening fix of caffeine before your first Zoom call of the workday? We get it. Which is why we’ve updated our list of the best coffee shops in Boston for the COVID-19 era, noting availability of seating and delivery, while adding a few other options that happened to catch our attention lately. [Updated: September 29, 2020]
Soon enough, the popular North End pizzeria Ducali will spin off a neighboring espresso bar. While you’re waiting for that brick-and-mortar cafe to open, though, you can already find Ducali’s powder-blue coffee truck stationed outside the team’s East Boston restaurant, Cunard Tavern. The mobile operation, based out of a vintage, three-wheeled Piaggio Ape, is there daily to pour out hot espresso and cold brew coffee—including the signature “Pellicano” drink, a combo of cold brew and house made lemonade. During Cunard’s brunch hours you can also add boozy shots, like maple cream liqueur from Boston Harbor Distillery, and snag snacks such as cranberry-orange biscotti.
24 Orleans St., East Boston; instagram.com/caffeducali.
Billed as Israel’s first coffee roasting business, Café Landwer chose Boston to open its first American location in 2018 at Audubon Circle; there’s now a Cleveland Circle site, too. The java is the main draw, of course, but you’ll also find fresh-squeezed juices and smoothies, plus a smorgasbord of Middle Eastern and Eastern Mediterranean-inspired eats. A new array of picnic packages, in particular, are handy for enjoying outdoors when the weather’s warm enough.
900 Beacon St., Boston, 857-753-4035; 383 Chestnut Hill Ave., Brighton, 617-383-5786, landwercafe.com.
Would you prefer your coffee black, with cream, or served alongside the purchase of a new condo? Have it your way at Fiore’s, an adorable Jamaica Plain cafe that recently partnered with Sazama Real Estate, which now keeps its office in Fiore’s former customer-seating area. It’s an unusual setup, sure—but with COVID-19 causing more folks to rethink their living arrangements, maybe now is the right time to browse listings when you pick up your cup of joe, breakfast sandwich (there’s lots of vegan options), or fresh-baked treats.
55 South St., Jamaica Plain, 617-524-9200, fioresbakeryjp.com.
Revival Cafe + Kitchen
In order to survive the COVID-economy, chef Steve “Nookie” Postal has decided to put his Cambridge restaurant Commonwealth into “hibernation” mode, suspending operations until 2021. But there’s still plenty of life at Revival, the trio of spots he founded with Crema Cafe’s Liza Shirazi. All three locations offer curbside pickup, too, making it easy to pick up a pumpkin spice latte (you know you want one), flat white, or golden crema (a double shot of espresso with honey and cinnamon). The pastries and sandwiches, meanwhile, include faves like the Jimmy Pesto, an egg sandwich with feta, pickled onions, and sunflower seed pesto.
103 Newbury St., Boston, 617-665-5899; 197 Elm St., Somerville, 617-665-5899; 125 Cambridge Park Drive, Cambridge, 617-665-5899, revivalcafeandkitchen.com.
The Best Coffee Shops Around Boston Right Now
You know ’em, you love ’em—and they’re back in action. Here’s our recap of the best coffee shops around Boston, with details on the availability of takeout, delivery, and seating. Watch this space for more updates!
1369 Coffee House
Status: Both locations are open for takeout and outdoor seating. Delivery of cold brew growlers and whole-bean coffee is also available.
A Cambridge community linchpin, this classic coffee shop has been serving up French roast, cold brew, and more at two art-filled locations for nearly 30 years. Besides the fresh roasts, 1369 is just as reliable for efficient service and specialty drinks like the frozen mocha slide, house-made chai, and a destination hot chocolate.
1369 Cambridge St., Inman Square, 617-576-1369; 757 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square, Cambridge, 617-576-4600, 1369coffeehouse.com.
3 Little Figs
Status: Open daily for takeout and outdoor seating.
Cofounder Katie Rooney is a baker by trade, so this café is well-known for delicious scones, muffins, breads, and specialties like a family recipe for spinach pie. But the coffee program is quietly one of the region’s best, with baristas brewing Tandem Coffee out of Portland, Maine, alongside ever-changing guest roasters from all around the country. We love the outdoor seating options, too.
278 Highland Ave., Somerville, 617-623-3447, 3littlefigs.com.
Status: Open Tuesday through Sunday for takeout.
At this bright and cheery coffee shop, co-owner Alan Draper will likely pull your espresso order himself. Draper opened this Coolidge Corner café with his wife, Erke, after successfully launching 4A Coffee Roasters in Kazakhstan. He is a meticulous coffee expert, taking the same care to top off your cortado with a velvety layer of foam as he does roasting 4A’s signature Silk Route blend to nutty, fruity perfection.
419 Harvard St., Coolidge Corner, Brookline, 617-738-4444, 4acoffee.com.
Status: Both locations are open for takeout and outdoor seating.
This spacious Mid-Cambridge café—originally branded (and beloved) as Dwelltime—showcases Barismo’s Woburn-roasted coffees through meticulously executed methods like siphon-brewing and draft cold brew. The full bakery on-site makes the treats for Barismo’s other locations in Kendall Square and East Arlington.
364 Broadway, Cambridge, 617-714-5536; 171 Massachusetts Ave., Arlington, 339-368-7300, barismo.com.
Broadsheet Coffee Roasters
Status: Open daily for takeout (including curbside pickup with advance ordering).
When Cambridge’s first roasting company debuted in 2017, its coffees already had a pedigree: Then-hobbyist roaster Aaron MacDougall had earned a couple “best in show” nods at competitions like Genuine Origin Coffee Project’s Roast and Go. Now, Broadsheet offers a rotating selection of sweet and complex coffees every day (roasted on-site twice weekly), plus a robust café menu and a sunny spot to relax on an underserved stretch between Union and Harvard squares.
100 Kirkland St., Cambridge, 617-945-2867, broadsheetcoffee.com.
Curio Coffee & Wine
Status: Open daily for sidewalk pickup with advance online ordering.
This atmospheric shop is just a few steps from Lechmere Station, making it a convenient commuter stop for Counter Culture espresso drinks and grab-and-go Liège waffles in the morning. Later, it transforms into a natural wine bar—so it’s an all-day option for anybody who appreciates a well-crafted beverage.
Status: Open daily for curbside takeout (online advance ordering is available) and outdoor seating.
For 20 years, this surprisingly large location has fueled the Davis Square community with strong renditions of Black Cat espresso and other Intelligentsia Coffee Roasters blends. It’s one of the best places in Somerville for people-watching, and it was first for the locally grown café company that’s also given us Union Square’s Bloc, Forge Baking Co., and its next-door ice cream shop.
257 Elm St, Somerville, 617-629-8717, diesel-cafe.com.
George Howell Coffee
Status: Open daily for takeout (advance online ordering is available) and outdoor seating.
The eponymous owner kickstarted the country’s third-wave coffee obsession by selling his original Massachusetts company, Coffee Connection, to Starbucks in the 1990s. Since then, George Howell has returned to his roots of sourcing the best single-origin beans, now roasted in Acton, for a bar-setting selection of espressos and pour-overs at his flagship café at the Godfrey Hotel, and food-hall outposts inside the Boston Public and Time Out markets. Oh, and Frappuccino fans? Allow us to direct you to the Godfrey location’s seasonally available creamy, sweet frozen drink–aptly named the Original.
505 Washington St., Boston, 857-957-0217; Boston Public Market, 100 Hanover St.; Time Out Market, 401 Park Dr., Fenway, Boston, georgehowellcoffee.com.
Status: Boston location open daily for takeout; Cambridge location open for takeout Monday through Thursday, as well as Saturday.
The coffee bar for Central Mass. specialty roasting company Gracenote is a standing-room-only space spanning just more than 200 square feet. But thanks to its baristas’ genuinely friendly hospitality and knowledge of the exquisite roasts constituting the drip coffee of the day—not to mention the gorgeous live-edge olive bar, and the sleek state-of-the-art brewing equipment—Gracenote looms large on Boston’s coffee scene.
108 Lincoln St., Boston; 150 First St., Cambridge; gracenotecoffee.com.
Jaho Coffee Roaster and Wine Bar
Status: All locations are open for takeout and delivery, as well as indoor and outdoor seating.
Whether it’s espresso or an espresso martini, the spacious, vaguely steampunk Chinatown-adjacent location has your fuel. The large bar (which boasts free Wifi, by the way) is our favorite outpost of this Salem-based roasting company, though it also branches on the North Shore, in the Back Bay, in the South End, and in Tokyo. (Yes, Tokyo.)
665 Washington St., Boston (Downtown), 857-233-4094; 1651 Washington St., Boston (South End), 617-236-1680; 116 Huntington Ave., Boston (Back Bay), 857-233-2704; 197 Derby St., Salem, 978-744-4300; jaho.com.
Kōhi Coffee Co.
Status: All locations open daily for takeout (advance online ordering available).
The sleek and chic Brighton outpost provides the Boston Landing area with Tandem Coffee options ranging from Chemex-brewed pour-overs to boxes of batched brew for up to 10 officemates. It’s a citified version of the artisan coffee shop that got its start in Provincetown, and Kōhi also has a smaller location (with a walk-up window!) on Summer Street in downtown Boston.
130 Guest St., Brighton, 617-378-5738; 125 Summer St., Boston; 199 Commercial St., Provincetown, 774-538-6467; kohicoffee.com.
Night Shift Roasters
Status: The Lovejoy Wharf coffee bar is temporarily closed. The Everett location offers daily curbside pickup of bagged coffee (with advance online ordering). A new “mobile coffee pop-up” is also open Wednesday through Sunday at the Boston Harbor Islands Welcome Center on the Rose Kennedy Greenway.
When Night Shift got into the coffee business as part of its expansion into downtown Boston, it did so with the same quality control with which it approaches beer-making. Seasonally sourced beans are roasted in small batches at Night Shift’s Chelsea headquarters, then prepared under the supervision of former George Howell Coffee barista and 2018 U.S. Brewers Cup champion Rose Woodard. Bonus for night owls who don’t drink alcohol: The unpretentious, neon-lit coffee bar—conveniently colocated at the taproom next to North Station—is open until 10 p.m.
1 Lovejoy Wharf, Suite 101, Boston, 617-456-7687; 87 Santilli Hwy., Everett, 617-294-4233; nightshiftfamily.com.
Nine Bar Espresso
Status: Open daily for takeout.
Situated right across from the Davis Square MBTA station, this grab-and-go shop is super convenient—and with a range of roasts sourced from the likes of Gracenote, Broadsheet, and Flight Coffee Co. of Bedford, N.H., there are always a ton of great choices (not to mention, pastries from Salem’s A&J King). A sister café to Simon’s Coffee Shop in Porter Square, Nine Bar also has a location in Downtown Crossing.
11 Holland St., Davis Square, Somerville, 617-764-1915, ninebarespresso.net.
Status: Open daily for takeout and indoor seating.
The only international location for this beloved Japanese roasting company serves up excellent coffee, matcha, and more inside a cool space. The stadium-style seating overlooking the espresso bar is the perfect perch to watch the baristas play with foam—pro tip: Ask for a custom latte art design with your order.
10 Milk St., Downtown Crossing, Boston, 617-780-7139, ogawacoffeeusa.com.
Status: Harvard Square location is temporarily closed, but all other locations are open for takeout (advance online ordering is available). Fenway, Berklee, Boston University, and Newbury Street locations also have limited outdoor seating.
As one of the first Boston-area cafés to offer pour-over and cold-brew coffee, Pavement has always been serious about the beans—but in 2018, the local chain started roasting their own. Single-origin styles are featured as pour-over options at the Brighton headquarters, and the house Rathskeller Espresso blend and other seasonal roasts are available at all eight local outposts. Each coffeehouse serves Pavement’s homemade bagels and other food, and most are great places to get work done, too.
415 Western Ave., Brighton; 286 Newbury St., Boston, 617-859-9515; 736 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, 617-766-6048; and other locations, pavementcoffeehouse.com.
Recreo Coffee & Roasterie
Status: West Roxbury cafe is open daily for takeout and outdoor seating. City Hall location is also open daily.
A roasting company first, founders Miriam and Hector Morales set up this West Roxbury shop in 2014 to showcase coffees from Miriam’s 40-plus-year-old family farm in Nicaragua. Now Recreo has an outpost inside Boston City Hall, too. The original café is the coziest, with exposed-brick walls and warm service, but both locations deal in deliciously fresh, flavorful coffee that directly supports the people who harvested it.
1876 Centre St., West Roxbury, 617-755-7018; 1 City Hall Square, Third Floor Mezzanine, Boston, elrecreoestatecoffee.com.
Status: South End location is open daily for takeout and delivery (advance online ordering available). Downtown location is temporarily closed.
The ultimate Render experience is taking the time to enjoy a hand-poured cup of Tandem or Gracenote Coffee at a table in the gloriously light-filled atrium—or best yet, on the secluded back patio. But a quick stop in for a frothy latte or the sweet, signature malted cold brew—at the South End original or the newer location in downtown Boston—is a welcome respite for any coffee lover.
563 Columbus Ave., Boston, 617-262-4142; 121 Devonshire St., Financial District, Boston, 617-401-2421, rendercoffeebar.com.
Solid Ground Cafe
Status: Open daily for takeout (advance online ordering is available).
Newly opened by Mission Hill residents Keith and Lucia A. Patrick in early 2019, this cute café is just what their neighbors ordered: A community spot with all-day breakfast and lunch, and mismatched mugs of coffee roasted locally by Plymouth’s Speedwell Coffee.
742 Huntington Ave., Boston, 617-487-5557, solidgroundcafe.com.
Winter Hill Brewing
Status: Café is open Tuesday through Saturday for takeout and outdoor seating.
The founders of this café-by-day, brewery-by-night were developing a beer business plan when they learned the landlord chose their proposal over a Starbucks. They realized the neighborhood did lack a community-focused coffee house, so they built out their five-barrel brewhouse to include one. It features a full espresso bar (with Wifi), ample seating (and outlets), and a Counter Culture Coffee program (open weekdays at 7 a.m., and at 8 a.m. on weekends). Cheers!
328 Broadway, Somerville, 617-718-2337, winterhillbrewing.com.