The Best Coffee Shops Around Boston Right Now
From classic coffeehouses to modern roasters, here's where (else) to go in Dunkin' country.
Devoted foodies and restaurant newbies love The Feed. Sign-up now for our twice weekly newsletter.
Need an eye-opening fix of caffeine before your first Zoom call of the workday? We get it. Rise, shine, and saunter over to one of these exceptional neighborhood coffee joints to get just the jolt you need. [Updated: October 15, 2021]
1369 Coffee House
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
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.
This spacious Mid-Cambridge café—originally branded (and beloved) as Dwelltime—showcases Barismo’s Woburn-roasted coffees through meticulously executed methods like syphon-brewing and draft cold brew. The full bakery on-site makes the treats for Barismo’s other location in East Arlington.
364 Broadway, Cambridge, 617-714-5536; 171 Massachusetts Ave., Arlington, 339-368-7300, barismo.com.
Broadsheet Coffee Roasters
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.
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.
There’s no shortage of spots to snag a swig of espresso in the North End—one of the newest, though, is this spin-off operation from the folks behind the popular North End pizzeria Ducali. The neighboring caffè is now a place to find hot espresso and cold brew coffee—including the signature “Pellicano” drink, a combo of cold brew and house made lemonade. You’ll also find a handful of sandwiches, plus Roman-style squares of pizza from its papa operation next door.
289 Causeway St., Boston, 617-742-4144, instagram.com/caffeducali.
Curio Coffee & Wine
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.
For 22 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 the first shop 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
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 its roots of sourcing the best single-origin beans, now roasted in Acton, for a bar-setting selection of espressos and pour-overs at a flagship café inside the Godfrey Hotel, as well as a food-hall outpost inside the Boston Public Market. Oh, and Frappuccino fans? Allow us to direct you to the Godfrey location’s creamy, sweet frozen drink–aptly named the Original.
505 Washington St., Boston, 857-957-0217; Boston Public Market, 100 Hanover St.; georgehowellcoffee.com.
Glasser Coffee Co.
Real flower petals adorn the rose matcha latte at this charming newcomer to Brighton’s Oak Square, where house made syrups and other precious potions flavor all manner of drinks, including the London Haze (bergamot green tea with roasted rice and vanilla syrup) and Vietnamese cold brew with condensed milk. There are simpler, straight-up java cups, too, plus a slew of breakfast tacos filled with eggs, potato, black bean and corn salsa, spicy mayo, and more. The adorable interior, meanwhile, is filled with leafy hanging plants, patterned tiles, and tasteful bric-a-brac in the spirit of a 1970s greenhouse.
589 Washington St., Brighton, 617-987-8877, glassercoffee.co.
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; gracenotecoffee.com.
Jaho Coffee Roaster and Wine Bar
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 has 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.
The sleek and chic Brighton outpost provides the Boston Landing area with Tandem Coffee options ranging from Chemex-brewed pour-overs to growlers of batched brew for sharing with your 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, 617-903-4721; 125 Summer St., Boston; 199 Commercial St., Provincetown, 774-538-6467; kohicoffee.com.
Our reigning Best of Boston winner isn’t just a place to find locally roasted beans (from Javier Amador-Peña’s El Colombiano Coffee) or delicious pastries like gourmet pop-tarts in flavors like pumpkin cheesecake or blueberry basil (courtesy of baker Kelsey Munger). Light of Day Records also keeps the shop stocked with crates of vinyl records, so you’ll have just the right vibe-setting music for settling in with a hot-cuppa at home.
Night Shift Roasters
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. on the weekends.
1 Lovejoy Wharf, Suite 101, Boston, 617-456-7687; 87 Santilli Hwy., Everett, 617-294-4233; nightshiftbrewing.com.
Nine Bar Espresso
A sister cafe to nearby Simon’s Coffee Shop in Porter Square, Nine Bar is 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 Coffee Roasters, loose-leaf teas by Camellia Sinensis, and pastries from Salem’s A&J King.
11 Holland St., Davis Square, Somerville, 617-764-1915, ninebarespresso.net.
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.
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
A roasting company first, founders Miriam and Hector Morales set up this West Roxbury shop in 2015 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, 617-553-2379; 1 City Hall Square, Third Floor Mezzanine, Boston, elrecreoestatecoffee.com.
Reign Drink Lab
The signature drink at Reign, where the perfectly calibrated coffee and tea drinks are fit for royalty, is the Dark and Stormy, a complex combo of Vietnamese nitro cold brew and traditional Vietnamese coffee sweetened with Reign’s sea salt cream. It’s the perfect pick-me-up before heading out for pho at one of the many standout Vietnamese restaurants that abound in Dorchester’s Fields Corner neighborhood, or wash down funky doughnuts from Lionheart Confections, a playful-try pop-up operation that appears here most weekends.
1370 Dorchester Ave., Dorchester, 617-863-7353, reigndrinklab.com.
The ultimate Render experience is taking the time to enjoy a hand-poured cup of the company’s own coffee, roasted right in downtown Boston, at a table in the gloriously light-filled atrium—or best yet, on the secluded back patio. But even a quick stop here (or at the original South End location) for a frothy latte or the sweet, signature malted cold brew is always a welcome respite for any coffee lover. Take note: A third location, in the lobby of the upcoming Two DryDock office building in the Seaport, will open in early 2022.
563 Columbus Ave., Boston, 617-262-4142; 121 Devonshire St., Financial District, Boston, 617-401-2421, rendercoffeebar.com.
Revival Cafe + Kitchen
Revival is a trio of spots he founded by chef Steve “Nookie” Postal (Cambridge’s Commonwealth restaurant) and 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.
Third Cliff Bakery & Cafe
This barely year-old addition to Jamaica Plain serves some of the best coffee in town—the coconut cold brew, in particular, is to die for. But make a point to help yourself to whatever has been baked up behind the glass-front counter, because the kimchi- and cheddar-filled croissants, strips of savory focaccia, sweet brown butter Rice Krispie treats, grapefruit olive oil cake and more make every morning better. (If you really want to improve your experience, place a pre-order; the lines at this justifiably popular place can get pretty long.)
3351 Washington St., Jamaica Plain, thirdcliffbakery.com.
Tiny lil’ Tokava in Jamaica Plain (a neighborhood that really seems to know its coffee) is the perfect place to stop en route to, say, a housewarming or a birthday lunch. Not only will you be able to help yourself to seasonal coffee, such as the butternut squash or rosemary maple lattes, but the pint-sized space—formerly 7 Pond Coffee House, before the team behind the mobile Coffee Trike took it over earlier this year—stocks some shelves with adorable gifts: scented candles, ceramic bowls, hand-carved kitchen cutting boards, and more.
7 Pond St., Jamaica Plain, 617-524-7663, tokava.coffee.
Winter Hill Brewing Company
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 daily at 8 a.m., and at 9 a.m. on weekends). Cheers!
328 Broadway, Somerville, 617-684-5451, winterhillbrewing.com.