Where to get coffee in Boston


Two patrons walk into Tatte Bakery & Cafe on Summer Street in Boston, Mass.

Katrina Sanville, Arts Editor

For college students, finding a good cup of coffee or tea to give them enough energy to last the day can be difficult. While Starbucks and Dunkin’ are fast and easy chains, some students may want to support small local businesses instead. Luckily, there are plenty of coffee shops and chains just a short drive or train ride from campus, perfect for catering to all types of caffeine addicts.
For those looking to stick with chain restaurants, Marylou’s and Tatte may be the way to go. Marylou’s is a South East Massachusetts and Rhode Island-based coffee chain specializing in flavored coffees. Their menu features flavors such as Strawberry Shortcake, Gone Bananas, Butterfinger and Creamy Chocolate Coconut. While normal flavors like Hazelnut and Vanilla are also sold at Marylou’s, those in search of extravagant flavors may want to venture a bit outside of Boston to try their beverages.
Tatte is much more of a bakery than a cafe, so for those looking for their focus to be on food rather than coffee, this may be the place to head to. Tatte is a Boston staple, with just around 20 chains around the city. Their coffee is much more traditional than Marylou’s, with menu items like macchiatos, lattes, drip coffee and cold brew, as well as a selection of teas. All of the locations have a picturesque white interior perfect for taking pictures of a cup of coffee or a pastry.
For those looking for a coffee shop a bit closer to campus, check out Deja Brew in Southie. The coffee shop is a forty minute walk along the water from campus. However, it does close at 2 p.m. every day, as well as being closed Mondays and Tuesdays, so it is definitely for the early birds and those looking to get a bite for breakfast or brunch. However, their menu features a variety of smoothies, pastries and caffeinated beverages in hot or iced variations. If any students have a bit of time to waste between classes, this cafe is perfect and an easy walk along the Harbor Walk.
If students are willing to venture to the opposite end of Boston than campus, head to 1369 Coffee House in Cambridge. Their menu is nothing out of the ordinary—tea, including a homemade chai, coffee and hot chocolate, as well as Italian sodas for those who don’t want any caffeine at all—however, the cafe has a rich history in Boston. It originally began as an inn before evolving into a music venue and now into a cafe. 1639 Coffee House’s drinks and pastries are perfect for walking around Cambridge and doing some shopping or having a picnic by the Charles River.
For those looking for specialty coffee and other beverages, try Ogawa Coffee on Milk Street. Ogawa Coffee is originally a Japanese coffee company, but expanded into Boston as their first United States location. Their coffee is specialty blended in order to make delicious flavors, while the shop also features an extensive collection of teas and tea lattes for those who prefer the drink to coffee. Ogawa Coffee also has a select menu of food, such as pastries and sandwiches, which is perfect for walking around Boston and checking out the Old State House and Old City Hall! There is also a park just a two minute walk away for anyone who may want to sit and enjoy their coffee and snack under some lush greenery.
Lastly, for those looking to travel a bit outside of Boston, try 3littlefigs cafe in Somerville. Their menu has the standard espresso drinks and coffees, as well as teas and a variety of smoothies with fun names and even more interesting flavors. They also offer a fairly expansive food menu, ranging from an egg and feta sandwich to a chia pudding for customers to enjoy. While 3littlefigs does close at 2 p.m., they are open every day, making them a perfect spot for brunch.
Whether the caffeine craving gets fulfilled from tea or coffee, chains or independent shops, Boston has a plethora of coffee shops and cafes to check out. With pleasant spring weather on the horizon, this is the perfect time to try a new cafe and get a cup of coffee or tea or stick with reliable chains like Dunkin’ or Starbucks. No matter how the caffeine gets to college students, hopefully it’ll be good!