Cafe Questing: Boston
August 24th, 2014

Something I love about living in Boston is going to cute coffee shops, bakeries, and cafes, and just catching up with a friend, or doing some work. I love good coffee and creative drinks, but let’s be honest, you pay for atmosphere, which I, fortunately or unfortunately, am willing to pay for. However, I appreciate changes in scenery, and rather than just going home right after work, or studying in my kitchen, I like to spend hours at cafes. But when you’re going to settle yourself down in a place for several hours, you have to go in prepared. So here is a breakdown of the cafes I frequent in the Boston area. Here’s to $5 coffees [or more, because I'm a sucker for cleverly-named drinks!]

Kendal Square, Cambridge

  1. Flour Bakery
    • + Delicious [delicious] food and pastries
    • + Refreshing atmosphere; usually very busy, but it’s bright
    • + Breakfast is pretty awesome here
    • + They have two cookbooks!
    • - Not really a place to sit and do work…it’s already too crowded just for people to eat, so no sitting here for the whole day.
  2. 2nd Street Cafe
    • + Tiny hole-in-the-wall type of place
    • + Staff is very nice
    • - More for food than coffee…they just have regular coffee in a thermos
  3. Tatte
    • + Probably my favorite cafe for pastries…almond croissants and their coffee cake…
    • + Vintage atmosphere, with an awesome hand-made chandelier
    • + Decent amount of seating; sometimes it’s very crowded, but other times it’s empty, so depends when you go
    • + Friendly staff is always a plus!
    • + There are…a couple of outlets…
    • + Free internet
    • - It’s usually pretty noisy…this is a very social cafe
  4. Voltage Coffee
    • + Coffee and art, and the art changes periodically
    • + Lots of seating and table space
    • - Although their coffee sounds pretty interesting [quirky names and interesting flavors], I didn’t think they were that special for how much they cost…notably pricy coffee :/
    • - Weird hours! I can never figure out when they’re open…seems to be they open very early but aren’t open in the evenings a lot of days…

Central Square, Cambridge

  1. Atomic Bean
    • + Lots of seating
    • + Outlets
    • + Free Wifi
    • + Pretty good food
    • - Staff wasn’t that friendly…
    • - Atmosphere was strange…it’s just a big awkward empty space…
  2. 1369 Coffeehouse
    • + Good coffee! Vietnamese coffee is great here.
    • + Outlets
    • Nice atmosphere
    • Decent amount of seating
  3. Paris Baguette
    • + Added perk to H-Mart
    • + Super yummy pastries
    • + Lots of seating
    • - Noisy

Harvard Square, Cambridge

  1. Algier’s Coffee House
    • + Interesting atmosphere
    • + Real food
    • - More of a “restaurant” type of cafe, this isn’t really a place to settle down for several hours
  2. Clover
    • + The Harvard Square location is by far the biggest [and best in my opinion]
    • + Plenty of outlets
    • + Internet access [the Harvard network reaches... :P]
    • + Yummy vegetarian-friendly food
    • - Not really a place for coffee and fun drinks
  3. Crema
    • + Fun atmosphere
    • + Awesome sandwiches [the one with sweet potatoes and green apples! So fresh :P]
    • + Outlets
    • - No internet
    • - Almost always crowded
  4. Dado Tea
    • + Internet
    • + Some outlets is better than none
    • + Quieter than other cafes in Harvard Square
  5. Darwin’s Ltd
    • + Awesome sandwiches
    • + Lots of sweets to choose from as well
    • + Quirky atmosphere
    • - Usually a bit crowded
  6. Peet’s Coffee
    • + Awesome coffee [raspberry mocha! They can make it still even though it’s no longer listed on their menu]
    • + Some outlets
    • - Always crowded
  7. Starbucks
    • + Plenty of seating
    • + Free wifi
    • + Decent number of outlets
    • + Live entertainment occasionally
    • + Big and small tables
    • + Best view of Harvard Square
    • - Need to get a code to use the bathroom…usually from buying something, but maybe you can just ask and that would work too, I’ve never tried…
  8. Tealuxe
    • + Awesome tea selection
    • - No outlets
    • - No bathroom [!]

Porter Square, Cambridge

  1. Bourbon Coffee
    • + Awesome coffee! [Amaretto Dream is my favorite]
    • + Plenty of seating
    • + Outlets!
    • + Small tables and big tables, so good for just chatting with friends as well as getting work done. They even have couches!
    • + Very friendly staff
    • + On the quieter side
    • - A tad on the darker side…
  2. Zing Cafe
    • + A wide assortment of delicious pastries
    • + Cafes with local bookstores are awesome; the bookstore itself is great too
    • + All the seats line the window so it’s nice and bright
    • + There are a few outlets if you need ‘em
    • + Very friendly staff
    • - A little crowded at times

Davis Square, Cambridge

  1. Diesel Cafe
    • + Good drinks
    • + Interesting atmosphere
    • - No outlets
    • - No free internet; the service is available for a charge
    • - It’s almost always very crowded
  2. iYo Cafe
    • + Great atmosphere – high ceilings and local artwork; and even a giant chalkboard in the back seating area
    • + Yummy drinks – Milky Way Lattes are good :]
    • + Two outlets for every tables, so great!
    • + Frozen yogurt or coffee, and yummy pastries!
    • + Decent rewards program [I frequent this place enough that I figured I should sign up]

Beacon Hill, Boston

  1. Cafe Vanille
    • + Yummy pastries [though I can only vouch for the almond croissant, it was legit :D]
    • - Lots of seating
    • - Kind of dark D:
    • - Staff…could be more upbeat…I think I went at an off time though
    • - THEY’RE CLOSING SEPTEMBER 2014 – so get ‘em baked goods while you can!

North End, Boston

  1. Boston Coffee Company
    • + Lots of seating; this is a quieter place
    • + Nice staff is always a plus!
    • + Good coffee
  2. Bread and Butter
    • + Best view of the Greenway Park at North End! The place is set on a corner and overlooks the greenery, it’s great on a nice afternoon
    • + Bright :D
    • + Friendly staff
    • + Good pastries – flour less chocolate cake!
    • - Closes on the earlier side
  3. Thinking Cup
    • + Another Thinking Cup!
    • + Plenty of outlets
    • + Pretty good pastries; I’ll say Thinking Cup’s almond croissants is one of my favorites in Boston
    • + Quite a bit of seating; the place is very narrow, but very deep
    • - Kind of dark…

Boylston, Boston

  1. Thinking Cup
    • + The more well known location lives up to the hype
    • + Awesome almond croissants :D
    • - This place is always packed…
    • - Packed and super loud…people go here to actually talk and socialize, not study; it’s possible, just not typical.
    • - Not a place for outlets
  2. Boston Coffee Company
    • + Pretty big space
    • + More lively location
    • + Good coffee!

South End, Boston

  1. Jaho
    • + Nice atmosphere
    • + I enjoyed the drink I had and recall they had a lot on their menu!
  2. Kung Fu Tea
    • + Bubble tea!
    • + Lots of seating
    • + Lots of outlets :D
    • + Big bright space, so you’re not on top of people
  3. Render Coffeehouse
    • + Unique gazebo-patio thing in the back
    • + Good coffee
    • + Quieter than other places
    • - Closes pretty early

Commonwealth Avenue, Boston

  1. Pavement Coffehouse
    • + Brighter than the previous Espresso Royale [though I am bias and will always prefer the darker ERC]
    • + Lots of tables, though it is almost always crowded…it is in the heart of BU’s campus
    • + Decent number of outlets
    • - Coffee is…alright
  2. Blue State Coffee
    • + Good coffee – with a voice! They donate to different groups and causes
    • + Friendly staff
    • + Lots of seating

Newbury Street, Boston

  1. Pavement Coffeehouse
    • + Local coffeehouse atmosphere-feel
    • + Real food! Yummy sandwiches
    • - Pretty small…
  2. Trident Bookstore
    • + Great atmosphere; cafes + books = perfect combo
    • + You can sit down and just eat real food in the cafe, or you can sip coffee and do work
    • + Seating upstairs and down; also interesting books and gifts
    • + Mad good food; their avocado and harvati cheese sandwich is by far my favorite
    • - Unfortunately, I’m not a fan of their drinks at all. I’ve been disappointed more than once, so I just don’t bother anymore…It sounds good, but it’s just kind of disappointing when you get it D:
  3. Wired Puppy
    • + Good coffee!
    • + More and less social seating – the back is pretty quiet for just doing your own thing
    • - A bit dark…

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This is my personal site to post some stuff – stuff that is so random I can’t really be any more specific. But if you care for photos of food, panoramas, my day, or just the thoughts that go on in my head, please stay!

I love to travel, bake, burn time on tumblr, read, cafe questing, and run around pretending to be a photographer. I also have a thing for Japanese, classical music, and food. Wherever I am and whatever I’m doing, I hope to do it with a smile, see new things, do everything, and just experience and take it all in.