The 5 Best Coffee Shops in Boston

Growing up with a coffee snob for a sister (it’s both a blessing and a curse), I have been to many, many third-wave coffee shops in the Boston area. I have been exposed to so many cool, unique spaces and have gained a great appreciation for a high-quality latte. On the other hand, I can no longer enjoy a Starbucks or Dunkin’ coffee, which is what our dining plan includes. I myself have become a sort of a snob— a critic of coffee. I have ventured out to find new places with not only good coffee but positive energy in the environment where I enjoy my latte. Having been to all these places I have definitely discovered my favorites, listed below.

  1. 1.  Simon's Coffee Shop (Porter Square)

    Simon’s is hands down my favorite coffee shop in Boston and possibly the world. I truly believe they have the best lattes (and iced lattes) and the best scones in the universe. Every time I go there I get the exact same thing: a medium latte with a chocolate chip scone. It is something I genuinely look forward to anytime I go and it’s often motivation to get me through a week of hard work. The place itself is not anything too modern or fancy. It is a space with a bunch of tables, usually full of people, who are always relaxed. You can always find people in there on their laptops, but you can also find people reading a book or engaged in interesting conversations. There are even regulars at Simon’s who simply know each other from just going there every day. I hope to one day become one of them! It is also a very easy walk from the Porter Square T-stop, which is a perk!

  2. 2. Nine Bar Espresso (Davis Square)

    Nine Bar is another favorite of mine. It is also conveniently located directly across the street from the Davis T-stop. It is a small spot, but during the summer it is very nice to sit outside and people watch. It has more of a modern vibe with a lot of white walls and succulents. They also make a mean latte and have really good sweets. I find it is a good place to grab a coffee and stay for a little, but there is not enough room to really socialize or do work in there. After grabbing a magnificent coffee, it is nice to walk around the square which has so many other amazing food options. 

  3. 3. Revival Cafe & Kitchen (Davis Square)

    Revival has become a new favorite of mine. It is new to Davis Square and I discovered it this summer. It is a beautifully colorful and vibrant building, which I personally love! During the summer they have the windows open, so it is basically like you are sitting outside when you're actually inside. Not only is their coffee good quality, but they have amazing sandwiches, particularly their breakfast sandwiches. I cannot describe how good they are with words. Also, relatively speaking, it is cheap. These third-wave coffee shops can be kind of pricey, but Revival is very well-priced, which is much appreciated by the average college student. The atmosphere is so happy and positive, it’s infectious. 

  4. Tatte is of course on this list too! They are all over Boston. Tatte gets a bad reputation, in the sense that people find it to be too basic. Maybe it is basic and maybe a lot of people take basic Insta stories there, but the quality of their coffee and pastries is far from basic. Tatte’s coffee is often overshadowed by their pastry selection; however, I still think that the quality of Tatte coffee is one that cannot be ignored. Having said that, what truly makes Tatte unique is that it is a coffee shop that actually makes food. There are legitimate meals and breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus. For me, there is nothing more satisfying than going to a place and grabbing lunch, like a salad or sandwich, or even their mac n’ cheese, and knowing that I can get a delicious pastry and coffee after. 

  5. Intelligentsia probably has the best latte, besides Simon’s, in Boston. There are a few in the Boston area; the one I tend to go to is on the Cambridge-Watertown line. Not only do they have a great latte, but during the holiday season, they make the best peppermint mocha latte. I am not one who likes to sweeten or add anything to their coffee, but I cannot deny that I am a huge fan of their seasonal drinks. It is also a nice space to meet with people. While there is a good mix of people doing work there, I would say it is one of the more social coffee shops that I have been to. 

There are so many more coffee shops I could talk about, but I will let you go off exploring for yourself. I highly recommend trying the places I listed above not only for their coffee but to explore Boston and Cambridge. I hope you enjoy these places and find your favorite or favorites to keep going back to!


Want to keep up with HCBU? Make sure to like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram, check out our Pinterest board, and read our latest Tweets!