Over the last couple of months of living in Boston, I’ve been searching for a perfect spot to get away from campus and have some time to myself. Even though I love being at BU, the days get monotonous at times — going to the same classrooms, dining halls, and study spaces can get old after some time. That changed when I visited Trident Booksellers and Cafe for the first time, just as the leaves were changing colors.
Located at 338 Newbury Street, about a fifteen-minute walk from central campus, the joint bookstore-cafe was opened in 1984 by Bernie and Gail Flynn. As described on their website, “the idea took shape because at that time in Boston there were very few places to sit down with a fine cup of coffee and linger over a conversation or a book.” The store began with a rocky start, but it is now well-established and a community favorite 36 years later.
When you open the door into Trident, you will be immediately greeted with shelves of books and a warm atmosphere. Go further into the shop, and you will find more than just books: puzzles, funny socks, board games, and more line the shelves. Trident has anything and everything! One of its most notable features, though, is its staircase. Not only does it have an upstairs with more books and a cafe area, but the stairs themselves have painted book spines of many classic works.
The cafe portion of the store is very cozy and relaxing. I like to go there to study every now and then, but it’s also a great place to have a conversation with friends. There’s an area on the main floor and, as previously stated, on the second floor for dining. Snagging a seat close to the windows will really make your visit, especially now that fall is in full swing. If you’re going to get anything on the menu, I’d recommend their grilled cheese sandwiches and either their blue flower Earl Grey tea or the white hot chocolate.
Trident also hosts many events throughout the week. Some of these include trivia nights, poetry open-mics, queer board game nights, and book clubs. There’s something happening almost every day, and the community includes a wide variety of interests for almost everyone. These events make the shop so much more fun and inclusive, and it’s a great way to get out of the dorm for a couple of hours.
All in all, Trident Booksellers and Cafe is a one-of-a-kind place that everyone should visit at least once. It’s charming and fun, and is a great place to go off-campus.