A Definitive Ranking of Local Coffee Shops Near Campus

There are a lot of options for coffee lovers at BU. We all love Dunkin' and the GSU Starbucks, but there are so many more local businesses that you can support. So now comes the question of which café should you go to? I created this list based on my personal faves. For the sake of transparency, I’ll let you guys know that I spend most of my time off-campus in Back Bay and Allston, so my picks are all from there. Also, I genuinely love all these places, but some of them are better for me personally. Without further ado, here is my ranking.


5. The Thinking Cup.

Photo credit: theshot.cofferatings.com

This café is a hidden gem on Newbury Street and Berkeley Street. It’s really close to where I work, so I go there a lot. Their apple cider is amazing and their baguettes make the perfect breakfast. Also, it’s really well decorated and nice to sit inside. But, there are two reasons it’s so low on the list. One is that it’s really small, so it’s hard to get a spot to sit at during peak times. Another is that there is no wifi, so it’s not a great option if you need to study using the internet. Personally, I love working here on papers because there are no distractions. 


4. Barrington Coffee Roasters.

Photo credit: bonappetit.com

This is another great place on Newbury Street, right across from the Boston Architectural College. If you live in Danielsen, Barrington is really close to you. This café has the best chai latte in Boston, in my opinion, and the bright and open environment is very soothing. The drawbacks for me are, again, it’s pretty small. But, if you can get a spot, I recommend sitting by the window so you can look at the Prudential Center and people-watch. The other drawback is that it’s pretty pricey. This place is definitely a treat for me, not a regular thing. 


3. Pavement.

Photo credit: buquad.com

Pavement is the coffee shop we all know and love. In terms of convenience, you really can’t beat their location across from Marsh Plaza. On days when I need a pick-me-up, I go to Pavement and get a matcha latte. It’s the perfect place to meet up and chill with friends (if you can get a seat), study, or just take a moment of self-care in the midst of a hectic day.


2. Caffe Nero.

Photo credit: boston.eater.com 

With locations all over Boston, Caffe Nero will be there for you everywhere you go. I have really good memories of this place, including having an amazing conversation with one of my high school best friends in Seaport and finishing my final paper of my first semester at the Fenway location. The coffee is incredibly high quality for a surprisingly inexpensive price. Also, I cannot recommend their banana bread and palmiers enough.


1.  Blue State Coffee.

Photo credit: Happycow.net

I adore Blue State Coffee. Aside from this being another case of me associating good memories with it (I used go there whenever I visited my older sister in Providence), the coffee here is amazing. This is the place that makes walking to CGS for a 9 AM class three days a week worth it for me. Their muffins are also unbeatable, and it’s my favorite place to sit and study. On top of all that, they donate a portion of their profits every 6 months to a local nonprofit voted on by the patrons. Its friendly staff, amazing and sustainably sourced coffee, and great vibe makes Blue State Coffee my favorite café near campus. 


These are just my picks for the best coffee shops in Boston, but there is a whole world of caffeine in the city for you to uncover. So get out there and start sipping!


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