To My Coffee-Loving Friends…
Some mark their vacations by the number of magnets they add to the family fridge. Others do so by the variety of Instagrammable photographs they capture, or by whether they cross off every single attraction from their bucket list. Me? I mark success with each sweet sip of
victory joe that I have the pleasure of finding. When I moved to Cambridge three years ago, one of the first things that I did was research coffee shops and jot down the names of cafes to visit before I graduated. I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorites, perfect for anything from a niche study spot to a reunion with long-lost friends to a respite from sightseeing and shopping for any weary traveler.
70 Charles St.; M-F 7am-8pm, Sa 8am-8pm, Su 8am-7pm
“Tatte is so bougie.” “Tatte is overpriced,” they say. Nonsense. While it may not be a budget traveler’s first choice, it is arguably the most chic and Instagrammable option on this list. Personally, I am a fan of the Beacon Hill location, whose large patio is often crowded with young families and professionals from the surrounding neighborhoods. From the moment you approach, dining (or relaxing, studying, chatting, reading, working…think of this as your one-stop-shop) is an experience. Each location greets you with the smell of fresh bread, which is blasted through the air vents in what I swear is an attempt to entice hungry passerby to try one of the artfully-displayed pastries or fresh brunch dishes. For just $3.50, I can succumb to the crisp aesthetic and pull out a book while sipping on a large cafe-au-lait.
Trident Booksellers and Cafe
338 Newbury St.; open daily 8am-midnight; free wifi
Call me sappy, but my idea of a perfect day is walking into a bookstore and plucking an eye-catching title from the shelves, before curling up in a plush leather chair with a cup of coffee in hand. All that is missing from my fantasy at this Back Bay treasure is the leather chair – in its place is a full cafe, which serves up your traditional American fares, including egg dishes, breakfast bowls, soups, salads, sandwiches, burgers, and, of course, coffee. Popular with Northeastern students and shoppers who finish their own version of the Boston Marathon by making it to the end of Newbury Street, Trident Booksellers and Cafe takes advantage of the iconic local bookstore vibe in a way that makes me wish it was a four-minute, rather than a forty-five minute, commute to get there.
250 Newbury St.; M-Sa 7am-7pm, Su 9am-6pm; free wifi
The only thing that would make this coffee shop better is actual puppies. If Japan can have cat cafes, then why can’t we have cafes that feature man’s best friend? Regardless, I love Wired Puppy for its quiet corners and exposed brick walls, which makes it ideal for any student looking to kill two birds with one stone by cranking out that latest paper, while getting off campus and exploring the greater Boston area. I’ve heard that a pastry and cold brew from this place can get you back on your feet and ready to tackle any challenge that is thrown your way – or at least ready enough to tackle the sale racks and bargain bins on your next shopping trip.
424 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge; M-F 7am-6pm, Sa-Su 8am-6pm
You thought you could get through this list without venturing across the Charles River into Cambridge, didn’t you? I would be remiss if I did not include my favorite coffee shop, whose name itself (mariposa = butterfly in Spanish) conjures up an image of color, light, and beauty. The floor-to-ceiling windows on the front façade allow natural light to stream in, making this the perfect place to pull out work after enjoying Sunday brunch or a fresh bakery treat. The coffee has a slight acidity that makes it my favorite on the list because it is one of those cups that you can still taste hours later, and whose aroma feels like home as you lift the mug to your lips.
Healthy base tan, courtesy of the unyielding sun in Megan’s hometown in southwest Florida? Check. An insistence that gallivanting through Germany and Austria all summer does, in fact, count as exercise – after all, those cathedral steps aren’t going to climb themselves! Definitely. A command of the native languages and the confidence that one mere backpack will get her through two months abroad? Now slow down there, she didn’t say she was Wonder Woman. While neuroscience and chemistry may be this coffee-loving, beach-bumming, fashion-adoring springboard diver’s forte, Megan is hoping to expand her appreciation for the finer things in life (beer, currywurst, schnitzel, melange…) before returning to the reality that all good things must come to an end, as evidenced by her impending senior year.