Best Coffee Shops in Boston

It’s time to talk about one of my favorite things: coffee! I’ve lived in Boston for 4 years now and buy coffee … way too often. I have also spent a lot of time over the years working in coffee shops. Whether it’s blogging or grad school, working from home or writing fiction, I’ve done a lot of work in coffee shops. So I’m sharing my favorite coffee shops as well as those that have great reviews from a respectable source that I just haven’t been to yet. I’ve also left out the big chains like Starbucks. Happy coffee drinking!

Whether you live in Boston or you're visiting, you're probably going to stop for coffee somewhere. But where? Here Boston resident and blogger Kate the (Almost) Great shares the best coffee shops in Boston in her opinion, as well as those rated as the best by Boston Magazine.

Best Coffee Shops in Boston – According to Me

As an FYI, I can’t consume dairy or soy, so my opinions are based on their coffee drinks with almond or coconut milk. As I also can’t eat gluten, corn, or egg, I can’t eat food that most of these places make. The excepts are oatmeal, and that’s about it.

Jaho (South End & Downtown)- This is easily my favorite coffee shop. They have multiple locations in Boston, as well as in Salem and even Tokyo. I go to their South End location a lot (because I live in the South End), and I’ve done a lot of work there over the years. It’s so cute, and I adore their vanilla almond milk lattes.

Thinking Cup (Boston Common, North End, & Back Bay) – The only bad thing about the Thinking Cup locations is that they’re so popular that it can be hard to find a table! Their vibe is so fun – the tables have old Boston newspapers under the glass – and they make delicious coffee.

Trident (Back Bay) – Me, using a blog post to bring attention to one of my favorite places in Boston? Trident is a bookstore that I adore, and they also have a café. You can check out their full menu here. I’ve whittled away many an hour in Trident, so make sure you stop by if you visit Boston.

Tatte (Beacon Hill, Back Bay, Fenway, Northeastern, Seaport, Summer Street, 4 locations in Cambridge, & Brookline) – Tatte is a Boston-area chain that is adorable at every single location. It’s so beautiful, and their coffee is so good. For what it’s worth, I prefer their lattes to their coffee. But check out their Instagram! Here’s a shot I took from their Beacon Hill location back in May:


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Crema (Harvard Square) – This place is so cute and busy! It’s sort of tucked into Harvard Square, but it’s super popular for a good reason. They aimed to make a place where “you can meet, chat, sip, read, write, watch, think, taste and enjoy in an atmosphere that you simultaneously create and absorb,” and they hit the nail on the head! (x)

Coffee aficionado @kmitchellauthor shares her favorite coffee shops in Boston and the Boston area. Click To Tweet

Render (South End) – Render is another place that can be really hard to find a seat. Their coffee is good, but I prefer their lattes. I hear they have good breakfast sandwiches! (I can’t eat lots of foods, including gluten, so those are out for me.)

Boston Common Coffee Company (Downtown, between West End and North End, & more) – I really enjoy this place. Their coffee and lattes are delicious, there’s lot of space, and they have lots of food (but again, I can’t eat most of it).

Pavement Coffeehouse (Allston, Berklee, BU, Fenway, Symphony, Brighton, Harvard Square, & Back Bay) – This is a place with good coffee but (at least the last time I was at the Newbury location) little seating space. This is another place where I prefer their lattes to their coffee.

Wired Puppy (Back Bay and Provincetown) – This cute little spot it tucked into Newbury St. I spent a lot of time in 2014 and got a lot of writing done here! The Newbury St. location has a little bit of seating right where the coffee bar is, etc., and then you walk further into the building and there’s basically a little room with a fair amount of space, but because it’s separated a bit from the front room, it’s quieter.

Appleton Café (South End) – I’m very partial to this spot because I spent many a day working here when I lived closer to it. Delicious coffee and lattes! Many a blog post in 2014-2015 were written here. (Every gift guide from 2014 was written here.)

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Best Coffee Shops in Boston – According to Boston Magazine

These are places that I haven’t been to yet, but they get good reviews, like from Boston Magazine. Most of these are on my list of places I want to try, but since I haven’t been there yet, I didn’t want to have them in the list above.

Gracenote Coffee (Financial District) – “Gracenote Boston is a standing espresso bar in Boston’s Leather District. Tucked in between Chinatown, South Station, and the Financial District, the shop’s location and flow makes for a convenient and consistent coffee service. We have sought to make a space and culture that people can trust as their daily coffee shop by placing equal priority on hospitality and quality coffee preparation” (x).

barisimo 364 (Cambridge, Arlington, Kendall Square, & Woburn) – “Our goal will continue to be transparent sourcing, roasting & brewing with attention to detail so that we can present consistently exceptional coffees. In order to fulfill that goal, we work to improve & master every step of the production chain: building long-term relationships with innovative coffee producers, bringing a deep understanding of our coffees to the roasting process, and pioneering the future of coffee brewing” (x).

1369 Coffee House (Inman Square & Central Square) – “From the beginning, we envisioned 1369 as more than just a place to get coffee. We offer the very best coffees and teas available. We strive to create a comfortable, inviting atmosphere and to be an integral part of the community. Many friendships, including several marriages, have developed at 1369. Several books and many theses have been written at our tables. We take pride in being a good neighbor and local gathering place. We are dedicated to maintaining this feeling” (x).

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Second Cup Coffee Co. (between the West End and North End) – “Second Cup Coffee Co.TM is the largest Canadian specialty coffee retailer, proudly serving premium coffee and great opportunities since 1975. Our expertly handcrafted beverages are made using the highest grade of specialty Arabica coffees that come from some of the most socially and environmentally conscious farms around the globe” (x).

Diesel Cafe (Davis Square) – “In late 2014, we opened Forge Baking Company, just down the road on Somerville Avenue. All of Diesel’s pastries and breads are now made fresh daily at Forge Baking Co., using the best locally-sourced and organic ingredients, whenever we can. Breads are naturally leavened and all-organic!” (x).

Athan’s (Brookline & Brighton) – “Athan’s European Bakery is an authentic cafe and artisan pastry shop. We believe we have brought a little bit of Europe to Boston. Our sweet offerings are handmade in our European style kitchen according to classic and traditional techniques” (x).

Coffeeshops that are included on Boston Magazine’s list that I’ve already mentioned: Render, Pavement, and Thinking Cup.

What are your favorite coffeeshops in Boston?

Like this post? Check out:

Cheap Things To Do in Boston, Best Places To Go in Boston, What To Do in Boston This Fall, A Weekend in Boston

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