Café Days — Boston 2022

Dear Reader,

For most of us, pandemic-era meeting restrictions are behind us, which means more freedom to get out and about! One of the biggest changes for me has been the return to working in public places, or more specifically, in coffee shops. Right at the start of the pandemic (you know, when we thought it would last like two weeks tops!), I made a short list of coffee spots that I enjoy in the Boston area (more here). Today, I would like to expand on this list as I have visited a handful of new and old favorites over the past few weeks.

Bloc Cafe

Somerville (near Inman Sq.)

What makes Bloc Cafe special? It’s housed in a former bank with the vault still intact! Altogether this is a cool-looking joint that serves a selection of coffee, pastries, breakfast/ lunch dishes, and also ice cream! One big downside (and by big, I mean YUGE) — this location does not (may I repeat — NOT) offer wifi.

Caffé Bene

Boston (near Northeastern University/ Berklee College of Music)

See all that beautiful food?^^ Well, you don’t, cuz it’s fake. It’s just a heap of mouthwatering plastic.

This coffeeshop serves oh-so much more than just coffee and sandwiches. There are waffles (topped with fruit and crème), ice cream parfaits, bubble tea, and other rotating treats. Also, they display their food offerings with plastic replicas (which look waaay more appetizing than the Starbucks real-food displays).

Caffé Nero

Caffé Nero is a large chain, I know, which is a turn off to many, but I’m a fan of the Commonwealth Ave (Allston), Downtown Crossing (Boston), and Porter Square (Cambridge) locations to name a few. Unlike most Starbucks locations, Caffé Nero has a uniformly cozy atmosphere with couches, arm chairs, and small tables in addition to a menu filled with coffee, pastries, sandwiches, and other treats. Another reason, I enjoy Caffé Nero in particular is for its long hours with closing times in the evening (while many other cafes on this list close midday).

Farmer’s Horse Coffee

Boston (near Northeastern University)

What a curious little find! Farmer’s Horse Coffee lies on Massachusetts Avenue and is easily accessible from the Orange line stop of the same name and from the Green Line Symphony stop. The café offers the usual coffee, sandwiches, pastries, but also one of the best cold brews that I have ordered in Boston. In addition to indoor and outdoor seating, there is also a small selection of board games on hand. I was pleasantly surprised 🙂 .

Life Alive

(Cambridge, near Central Square)

Lavender lemonade, cashew cauliflower soup; Life Alive

Why get tea or coffee, when this place offers an array of juices, smoothies, lemonades, and other carbonated beverages? I’m a big fan of Life Alive for its healthy offerings, fresh ingredients, and flavorful dishes. Also, the Central Square location has a spacious basement with additional seating (including couches).

Mariposa Bakery

(Cambridge, near MIT)

Mariposa Bakery serves the donuts and the holes together — that was the first thing that caught my eye while browsing their selection of baked goods. In addition to coffee and pastries, the bakery also serves sandwiches, fresh juices, and salads. This location also offers free wifi (which is the case for all the locations on this list except for Bloc Cafe). One large downside, in my opinion, is that the bakery runs on limited hours (being closed on some weekdays and having closing times as early as 2pm).

Tatte

Tatte, Northeastern University
Tatte, Harvard Square

There are so many good things to say about Tatte — the white, light, and airy interior; the high quality of ALL the food; the wide selection of breakfast/ lunch/ snack options; the muesli bowls (more here). They have locations all over the greater Boston area and now also in the D.C. area (My! How they’ve grown 🙂 ). Tatte offers an eclectic Israeli-French-style of cuisine. Come to try the bourekas, shakshuka, pralines, Jerusalem bagels, and many other dishes!

What Boston cafes are you a fan of?

Love,

Raven

P.S. Yes, the quality of my iPhone photos is poor. The quality is so poor that every morning I wake up and ask myself if this is the day that I will spend, like, a month’s rent on a new iPhone… the answer to this question is always — it just may be…. 

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