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18 Essential Boston-Area Coffee Shops

Start your caffeine adventure here

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For Bostonians in search of a great way to start the day, an afternoon pick-me-up, or a light snack, coffee shops are always ready to accommodate. There is no one characteristic that defines the perfect coffee shop — it may be the place within throwing distance of home, the one right by work, or the convenient chain that takes online orders. For some, serious coffee is the priority; others care about the right balance of ambiance, free wifi, and exceptional pastries.

This map focuses specifically on some of the Boston area's best locally owned coffee shops. To learn more about several out-of-state chains with popular Boston-area locations, visit this guide.

If you're looking for a quick caffeine fix, a place to work, or a pleasant spot to catch up with friends over a cup of coffee and a snack, start your caffeine adventure at one of these excellent spots.

See also: Where to Have a Drink While Working Remotely in and Around Boston

This map was initially published on September 7, 2016; it is updated periodically, and the date of the most recent update appears above.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Tamper

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340 Boston Ave
Medford, MA 02155
(617) 651-2425
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North of the city, Tamper in Medford offers some delightful coffee and cookie combos. There are brewed coffees and espresso-based beverages, along with tea, lemonade, and even a small selection of beer and wine. For food, there are breakfast sandwiches, omelets, French toast, and lunchtime sandwiches.

Wide shot of a coffee bar with a dark wood base, white counter, and a view of the kitchen in the rear, which has black walls and a dark overhanging menu board
Tamper in Medford
Tamper/Official Site

2. Nine Bar Espresso

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11 Holland St
Somerville, MA 02144
(617) 764-1915
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Sure, Nine Bar offers pastries (from A&J King Bakery in Salem), bagels, muffins, and even avocado toast, but the real beauty of the cafe lies in its coffee and tea. Nine Bar serves frothy cappuccinos and deep green matcha drinks with beautiful designs, along with simple espresso drinks. It also has hot and iced beverages, tea lattes made with Mem Tea, and more, and it is conveniently located across from the Davis Square MBTA stop. There’s also a tiny bit of outdoor seating in warmer months (or walk around the corner to hang around Statue Park). Nine Bar also has a second location in Boston, near Downtown Crossing.

Overhead shot of a bright green matcha latte with fern foam art. It’s in a white mug, sitting on a wooden counter top.
Matcha latte at Nine Bar Espresso in Davis Square
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

3. Revival Cafe & Kitchen

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125 Cambridgepark Dr
Cambridge, MA 02140
(617) 665-5899
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Revival, which has two locations in Alewife and Davis Square, carries on some traditions from its now-defunct sibling, Crema Cafe, which closed in Harvard Square at the end of 2018. Revival’s menu features house-made bread and pastries, sandwiches, and more, and it serves assorted coffee and espresso beverages and more. A new Revival location is headed for 103 Newbury St., Boston, soon.

A small white cup with a dark rim is half-filled with espresso
Espresso from Revival Cafe & Kitchen
Revival Cafe & Kitchen/Official Site

4. 3 Little Figs

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278 Highland Ave
Somerville, MA 02143
(617) 623-3447
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Located in Somerville's Spring Hill area, this coffee shop is perfect for a weekend morning outing. It has everything from espresso to pour-over coffee, macchiatos, lattes, French press, and cold brew, plus a selection of baked goods, teas, and sandwiches. Get the spinach pie and a chai latte. In the mood for a chia pitaya bowl or avocado shake instead? Hit up 3 Little Figs’s sibling spot, Health Club, right next door.

A sandwich with thick bread, banana, and peanut butter is slice diagonally and stacked on a white plate with a dark rim. There’s a small slice of grapefruit on the plate, and a wooden floor is visible in the background.
Lil Figgy sandwich at 3 Little Figs
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

5. Darwin's Ltd.

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1629 Cambridge St
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 491-2999
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Darwin's has been around for over a quarter of a century and operates four locations around Cambridge, including this one on Cambridge Street. It offers soups, sandwiches, and pastries, in addition to its coffees, which are made with the coffee shop's own conical brewing system that mimics pour-over brews in less time. Note: The Massachusetts Avenue location serves coffee cocktails, wine, and beer.

6. 1369 Coffee House

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1369 Cambridge St
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 576-1369
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Named for its address in Inman Square, 1369 Coffee House also has a location on Massachusetts Avenue in Central Square. This neighborhood coffee shop covers all the bases: hot espresso beverages, cold brew (available in growlers), seasonal tea lattes (usually with accompanying chalkboard art), bagels, breakfast sandwiches, pastries, and more.

A plastic cup of ice coffee. Part of the cafe’s branding is visible on the cup — large numbers 1, 3, and 6 and the word coffee smaller below.
1369 Coffee House coffee
1369 Coffee House/Official Site

7. Curio Coffee

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441 Cambridge St
Cambridge, MA 02141
(857) 242-3018
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Passing through the Lechmere area and craving a waffle and caffeine? Curio’s got you. Keep an eye out for the ever-changing waffle specials. And come by after dark, too: This tiny coffee shop transforms into a natural wine bar with a simple menu (mostly hot dogs) several nights a week.

A Liege-style waffle sits next to a frothy hot chocolate in a white cup and saucer
Waffle and hot chocolate at Curio
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

8. Barismo

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364 Broadway
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 714-5536
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Formerly known as Dwelltime, this mid-Cambridge cafe is a cozy neighborhood spot with fine coffees, pastries, weekend brunch, and lunch options. Give the lavender scone a try, or settle in at a table with a cup of cold brew or nitro coffee from the shop's tap. There is no wifi, so this is a good place to unplug. There are also locations in Cambridge’s Kendall Square and in East Arlington, as well as a roasting facility in Woburn.

9. Pepita Coffee

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284 Broadway
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 945-0450
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After saying farewell to its in-house but independently owned coffee shop Longfellows, the Lamplighter Brewing Co. team installed a coffee operation of its own: Pepita leans into an Austin, Texas-inspired menu of breakfast tacos, avocado tostada, and assorted pastries (like jalapeno cornbread and pumpkin rum coffee cake). Pepita has a full menu of espresso beverages as well as drip coffee, cold brew coffee flights, iced spicy chocolate, and a coquito slushie with coconut and cinnamon. Time your visit right, and you can have Pepita coffee and Lamplighter beer at the same time.

White bar stools line a concrete bar with white tiling that opens to brewing space with silver tanks
The front bar at Lamplighter Brewing Co.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

10. George Howell Coffee

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505 Washington St
Boston, MA 02111

Coffee at George Howell is roasted in small batches every day. Its location in the Godfrey Hotel is a European-style espresso bar with quick-serve coffee, a range of espresso beverages, coffee tasting flights, classes, and much more (including beer and wine); be sure to check out the creative seasonal specials that are almost cocktail-like in their intricacy. There are also cafes in Newtonville, at the Boston Public Market, and at Fenway’s Time Out Market Boston, and the main roastery is in Acton. George Howell also provides beans for several cafes and restaurants in the area, so if you can’t make it to the shop, you can still find the beans scattered around town.

A sleek coffee bar inside a cafe lined with white subway tiles
Goerge Howell at the Godfrey Hotel
George Howell/Official Site

11. Thinking Cup

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165 Tremont St
Boston, MA 02111
(617) 482-5555
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Thinking Cup serves Stumptown Coffee in a range of beautiful forms, from pour over to iced. It also has a selection of teas, as well as light breakfast and lunch fare. Note: The place can get crowded, and there is no wifi available. There are two other locations in Boston, on Hanover Street in the North End and on Newbury Street in Back Bay.

12. Gracenote Coffee

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108 Lincoln St
Boston, MA 02111

This Leather District standing espresso bar takes coffee seriously and offers a beverage selection that includes nitro cold brew, filter coffee, lattes, mocha, hot chocolate, tea, and espresso, of course, for which there are two options: Alpha, Gracenote’s presentation of a classic profile espresso, and a single-origin variety that rotates each day. Gracenote Coffee has a roastery in Berlin, Massachusetts, and distributes its beans to other local coffee shops.

Exterior shot of a cafe, with coffee apparatus, cafe employees, and white vases holding green plants visible through floor-to-ceiling windows.
Gracenote Coffee in Boston
Gracenote Coffee/Official Site

13. Pavement Coffeehouse

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286 Newbury St
Boston, MA 02115
(617) 859-9515
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With eight locations around the Boston area, Pavement is a fixture in each of its neighborhoods. Brighton’s location also accommodates Pavement’s roastery and headquarters. Known for its bagels and strong coffee, Pavement serves a simple menu in each of its cafes, with sandwiches, pastries, salads, and more. It's a good place to settle in and do work, but be aware that the free wifi is limited to two hours.

14. 4A Coffee

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419 Harvard St
Brookline, MA 02446
(617) 738-4444
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Coffee beans are roasted in-house at 4A in Brookline’s Coolidge Corner, and this small shop has a loyal following. 4A's espresso comes highly recommended, and beans are available for purchase to make coffee at home. It’s closed Sunday and Monday.

Bags of coffee and coffee-making tools
4A Coffee
4A Coffee/Official Site

15. Allium Market & Cafe

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1330 Beacon St #105
Brookline, MA 02446
(617) 278-1486
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A charming spot in Coolidge Corner, Allium Market’s cozy cafe is the perfect spot to settle into a seat and people watch with a tasty cup of George Howell coffee or MEM tea. Get a grilled cheese with house-made chile jam if you need a snack, or try the signature Allium scone. For a sweet treat, the chocolate chip cookies are a rare sighting but definitely worth ordering.

Overhead view of a piece of bread topped with avocado, sliced soft egg, and sliced radishes, on a white plate
Avocado toast
Allium Market & Cafe/Official Site

16. Render Coffee

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563 Columbus Ave
Boston, MA 02118
(617) 262-4142
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Render sources Tandem Coffee from Maine and Gracenote Coffee from Boston, offering pour-over cups of strong coffee, espresso drinks, and pots of tea. The cafe also has a second location in Downtown Boston that can accommodate commuters looking for a quick cup of coffee or those with time to sit and sip.

17. Cafe Fixe

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1642 Beacon St
Brookline, MA 02445
(617) 879-2500
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This place has plenty of coffee to go around, from brewed batches to pour over and espresso, as well as tea. Cafe Fixe serves Barrington coffee and has a lineup of pastries and other treats to accompany its coffee offerings. Note that Cafe Fixe has a $10 minimum for credit card purchases and does not offer wifi.

A small cafe with wooden tables and chairs, a large espresso machine in the foreground and a view out the front window
Cafe Fixe
Cafe Fixe/Official Site

18. Flat Black Coffee Company

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1170 Washington St
Dorchester Center, MA 02124
(617) 298-1800
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With cafes in Dorchester’s Lower Mills and downtown Boston, this local roaster and wholesaler has been caffeinating Boston since 2003. Flat Black focuses on sustainable, single-origin coffees and also serves a strong selection of teas. Each cafe has a bit of seating and some baked goods available as well.

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1. Tamper

340 Boston Ave, Medford, MA 02155
Wide shot of a coffee bar with a dark wood base, white counter, and a view of the kitchen in the rear, which has black walls and a dark overhanging menu board
Tamper in Medford
Tamper/Official Site

North of the city, Tamper in Medford offers some delightful coffee and cookie combos. There are brewed coffees and espresso-based beverages, along with tea, lemonade, and even a small selection of beer and wine. For food, there are breakfast sandwiches, omelets, French toast, and lunchtime sandwiches.

340 Boston Ave
Medford, MA 02155

2. Nine Bar Espresso

11 Holland St, Somerville, MA 02144
Overhead shot of a bright green matcha latte with fern foam art. It’s in a white mug, sitting on a wooden counter top.
Matcha latte at Nine Bar Espresso in Davis Square
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Sure, Nine Bar offers pastries (from A&J King Bakery in Salem), bagels, muffins, and even avocado toast, but the real beauty of the cafe lies in its coffee and tea. Nine Bar serves frothy cappuccinos and deep green matcha drinks with beautiful designs, along with simple espresso drinks. It also has hot and iced beverages, tea lattes made with Mem Tea, and more, and it is conveniently located across from the Davis Square MBTA stop. There’s also a tiny bit of outdoor seating in warmer months (or walk around the corner to hang around Statue Park). Nine Bar also has a second location in Boston, near Downtown Crossing.

11 Holland St
Somerville, MA 02144

3. Revival Cafe & Kitchen

125 Cambridgepark Dr, Cambridge, MA 02140
A small white cup with a dark rim is half-filled with espresso
Espresso from Revival Cafe & Kitchen
Revival Cafe & Kitchen/Official Site

Revival, which has two locations in Alewife and Davis Square, carries on some traditions from its now-defunct sibling, Crema Cafe, which closed in Harvard Square at the end of 2018. Revival’s menu features house-made bread and pastries, sandwiches, and more, and it serves assorted coffee and espresso beverages and more. A new Revival location is headed for 103 Newbury St., Boston, soon.

125 Cambridgepark Dr
Cambridge, MA 02140

4. 3 Little Figs

278 Highland Ave, Somerville, MA 02143
A sandwich with thick bread, banana, and peanut butter is slice diagonally and stacked on a white plate with a dark rim. There’s a small slice of grapefruit on the plate, and a wooden floor is visible in the background.
Lil Figgy sandwich at 3 Little Figs
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Located in Somerville's Spring Hill area, this coffee shop is perfect for a weekend morning outing. It has everything from espresso to pour-over coffee, macchiatos, lattes, French press, and cold brew, plus a selection of baked goods, teas, and sandwiches. Get the spinach pie and a chai latte. In the mood for a chia pitaya bowl or avocado shake instead? Hit up 3 Little Figs’s sibling spot, Health Club, right next door.

278 Highland Ave
Somerville, MA 02143

5. Darwin's Ltd.

1629 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02138

Darwin's has been around for over a quarter of a century and operates four locations around Cambridge, including this one on Cambridge Street. It offers soups, sandwiches, and pastries, in addition to its coffees, which are made with the coffee shop's own conical brewing system that mimics pour-over brews in less time. Note: The Massachusetts Avenue location serves coffee cocktails, wine, and beer.

1629 Cambridge St
Cambridge, MA 02138

6. 1369 Coffee House

1369 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139
A plastic cup of ice coffee. Part of the cafe’s branding is visible on the cup — large numbers 1, 3, and 6 and the word coffee smaller below.
1369 Coffee House coffee
1369 Coffee House/Official Site

Named for its address in Inman Square, 1369 Coffee House also has a location on Massachusetts Avenue in Central Square. This neighborhood coffee shop covers all the bases: hot espresso beverages, cold brew (available in growlers), seasonal tea lattes (usually with accompanying chalkboard art), bagels, breakfast sandwiches, pastries, and more.

1369 Cambridge St
Cambridge, MA 02139

7. Curio Coffee

441 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02141
A Liege-style waffle sits next to a frothy hot chocolate in a white cup and saucer
Waffle and hot chocolate at Curio
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Passing through the Lechmere area and craving a waffle and caffeine? Curio’s got you. Keep an eye out for the ever-changing waffle specials. And come by after dark, too: This tiny coffee shop transforms into a natural wine bar with a simple menu (mostly hot dogs) several nights a week.

441 Cambridge St
Cambridge, MA 02141

8. Barismo

364 Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02139

Formerly known as Dwelltime, this mid-Cambridge cafe is a cozy neighborhood spot with fine coffees, pastries, weekend brunch, and lunch options. Give the lavender scone a try, or settle in at a table with a cup of cold brew or nitro coffee from the shop's tap. There is no wifi, so this is a good place to unplug. There are also locations in Cambridge’s Kendall Square and in East Arlington, as well as a roasting facility in Woburn.

364 Broadway
Cambridge, MA 02139

9. Pepita Coffee

284 Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02139
White bar stools line a concrete bar with white tiling that opens to brewing space with silver tanks
The front bar at Lamplighter Brewing Co.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

After saying farewell to its in-house but independently owned coffee shop Longfellows, the Lamplighter Brewing Co. team installed a coffee operation of its own: Pepita leans into an Austin, Texas-inspired menu of breakfast tacos, avocado tostada, and assorted pastries (like jalapeno cornbread and pumpkin rum coffee cake). Pepita has a full menu of espresso beverages as well as drip coffee, cold brew coffee flights, iced spicy chocolate, and a coquito slushie with coconut and cinnamon. Time your visit right, and you can have Pepita coffee and Lamplighter beer at the same time.

284 Broadway
Cambridge, MA 02139

10. George Howell Coffee

505 Washington St, Boston, MA 02111
A sleek coffee bar inside a cafe lined with white subway tiles
Goerge Howell at the Godfrey Hotel
George Howell/Official Site

Coffee at George Howell is roasted in small batches every day. Its location in the Godfrey Hotel is a European-style espresso bar with quick-serve coffee, a range of espresso beverages, coffee tasting flights, classes, and much more (including beer and wine); be sure to check out the creative seasonal specials that are almost cocktail-like in their intricacy. There are also cafes in Newtonville, at the Boston Public Market, and at Fenway’s Time Out Market Boston, and the main roastery is in Acton. George Howell also provides beans for several cafes and restaurants in the area, so if you can’t make it to the shop, you can still find the beans scattered around town.

505 Washington St
Boston, MA 02111

11. Thinking Cup

165 Tremont St, Boston, MA 02111

Thinking Cup serves Stumptown Coffee in a range of beautiful forms, from pour over to iced. It also has a selection of teas, as well as light breakfast and lunch fare. Note: The place can get crowded, and there is no wifi available. There are two other locations in Boston, on Hanover Street in the North End and on Newbury Street in Back Bay.

165 Tremont St
Boston, MA 02111

12. Gracenote Coffee

108 Lincoln St, Boston, MA 02111
Exterior shot of a cafe, with coffee apparatus, cafe employees, and white vases holding green plants visible through floor-to-ceiling windows.
Gracenote Coffee in Boston
Gracenote Coffee/Official Site

This Leather District standing espresso bar takes coffee seriously and offers a beverage selection that includes nitro cold brew, filter coffee, lattes, mocha, hot chocolate, tea, and espresso, of course, for which there are two options: Alpha, Gracenote’s presentation of a classic profile espresso, and a single-origin variety that rotates each day. Gracenote Coffee has a roastery in Berlin, Massachusetts, and distributes its beans to other local coffee shops.

108 Lincoln St
Boston, MA 02111

13. Pavement Coffeehouse

286 Newbury St, Boston, MA 02115

With eight locations around the Boston area, Pavement is a fixture in each of its neighborhoods. Brighton’s location also accommodates Pavement’s roastery and headquarters. Known for its bagels and strong coffee, Pavement serves a simple menu in each of its cafes, with sandwiches, pastries, salads, and more. It's a good place to settle in and do work, but be aware that the free wifi is limited to two hours.

286 Newbury St
Boston, MA 02115

14. 4A Coffee

419 Harvard St, Brookline, MA 02446
Bags of coffee and coffee-making tools
4A Coffee
4A Coffee/Official Site

Coffee beans are roasted in-house at 4A in Brookline’s Coolidge Corner, and this small shop has a loyal following. 4A's espresso comes highly recommended, and beans are available for purchase to make coffee at home. It’s closed Sunday and Monday.

419 Harvard St
Brookline, MA 02446

15. Allium Market & Cafe

1330 Beacon St #105, Brookline, MA 02446
Overhead view of a piece of bread topped with avocado, sliced soft egg, and sliced radishes, on a white plate
Avocado toast
Allium Market & Cafe/Official Site

A charming spot in Coolidge Corner, Allium Market’s cozy cafe is the perfect spot to settle into a seat and people watch with a tasty cup of George Howell coffee or MEM tea. Get a grilled cheese with house-made chile jam if you need a snack, or try the signature Allium scone. For a sweet treat, the chocolate chip cookies are a rare sighting but definitely worth ordering.

1330 Beacon St #105
Brookline, MA 02446

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16. Render Coffee

563 Columbus Ave, Boston, MA 02118

Render sources Tandem Coffee from Maine and Gracenote Coffee from Boston, offering pour-over cups of strong coffee, espresso drinks, and pots of tea. The cafe also has a second location in Downtown Boston that can accommodate commuters looking for a quick cup of coffee or those with time to sit and sip.

563 Columbus Ave
Boston, MA 02118

17. Cafe Fixe

1642 Beacon St, Brookline, MA 02445
A small cafe with wooden tables and chairs, a large espresso machine in the foreground and a view out the front window
Cafe Fixe
Cafe Fixe/Official Site

This place has plenty of coffee to go around, from brewed batches to pour over and espresso, as well as tea. Cafe Fixe serves Barrington coffee and has a lineup of pastries and other treats to accompany its coffee offerings. Note that Cafe Fixe has a $10 minimum for credit card purchases and does not offer wifi.

1642 Beacon St
Brookline, MA 02445

18. Flat Black Coffee Company

1170 Washington St, Dorchester Center, MA 02124

With cafes in Dorchester’s Lower Mills and downtown Boston, this local roaster and wholesaler has been caffeinating Boston since 2003. Flat Black focuses on sustainable, single-origin coffees and also serves a strong selection of teas. Each cafe has a bit of seating and some baked goods available as well.

1170 Washington St
Dorchester Center, MA 02124

Related Maps