165 Tremont St
A cozy place to socialize on Boston Common, Thinking Cup serves teas and Stumptown-roasted coffee. Knowledgeable baristas offer assistance with your choice of espresso drinks or pour-overs. The menu also includes tempting pastries and sandwiches.
250 Newbury St
This coffee shop in the middle of Newbury Street is popular with the local office crowd. Try their artisan espresso, gourmet coffee drinks, and fresh pastries. There’s also free use of their computer and Wi-Fi.
296 Hanover St
The jukebox at the largest of North End’s Italian cafés is heavily loaded with songs recorded by Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, and Al Martino. The menu is long on short coffees and short drinks, including at least seven varieties of grappa, as well as a fair selection of Italian ices.
Mike’s is legendary for its 20 or so flavors of fresh cannolis. There is a café where all the baked goodies are available – cupcakes, biscotti, brownies, cakes, pies, cookies, and specialty items – along with gourmet brews. The lines can be long, especially on weekends, but they do tend to move quickly (see Mike’s Pastry).
327 Newbury St
Although continental breakfast is served, Sonsie doesn’t really get going until lunchtime. By dusk, it is full of folks who just stopped in for a post-work drink and ended up making an evening of it. The food – pizza, pasta, and fusion-tinged entrées – deserves more attention than most café-goers give it.
346 Congress St, Fort Point
This western Massachusetts coffee roaster brought its acclaimed selection of single-origin coffees to this artistic neighborhood at Fort Point Channel. There is a second outlet now at Newbury Street. Espresso and drip coffee get equal billing, as many of the lighter roasts are best brewed one drip cup at a time. Regular tasting events are a popular feature.
A community-based café, 1369 has a definite neighborly atmosphere. The original Inman Square branch (see 1369 Coffee House) has a more interesting cross section of ages and ethnicities but Central Square has sidewalk seating. Both branches serve mostly caffeine drinks and sweets – with sandwiches at lunch.
However you like your tea – white, black, or green – this eco-friendly shop serves a choice of blends, alongside organic wraps, sandwiches and salads. Dado offers a selection of gluten-free and vegan options too. Coffee-lovers are accommodated, but tea rules here (see Dado Tea).
155 Seaport Blvd
This community-oriented coffee shop serves a variety of freshly roasted fair trade coffee. The menu features salads, sandwiches, and granola, all made with locally sourced produce. The café also sells savory and sweet scones, muffins and cakes, including vegan and gluten-free options. Blue State donates a percentage of their sales to local non-profit organizations.
745 Boylston St
Chocoholics will demand a trip to this celebration of all things cocoa. Savor a chocolate martini, or try the Illegal Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate Pancakes, made with 70 percent dark chocolate cream, milk chocolate shavings, spiced pecans and caramelized bananas. There are non-chocolate dishes too, such as smoked mozzarella and mushroom mac and cheese.
52D Brattle St, Cambridge
Boston’s best hot chocolate accompanied by sinful bonbons.
168 Western Ave, Allston
Family-run company producing delicious European pastries.
20 Bow St, Somerville
Small batches of donuts in sweet and savory flavors.
240 Maverick Sq, East Boston
French and Columbian delicacies.
1595 Washington St • 12 Farnsworth St
Delicious cakes, cookies, and cups of excellent coffee.
28 Parmenter St
Lulu’s specializes in gourmet cupcakes and retro candies.
36 Harrison Ave
Tucked away in Chinatown, Eldo has Western-style iced cakes and Chinese treats.
29 Church St, Cambridge
Chopped candy bars and sundae toppings in super-rich ice cream.
250 Franklin St • Open Sep–Jun: Sat
A delicious range of French chocolate pastry and sweets.
1255 Cambridge St, Cambridge
Exotic spices and flavors add punch.