Best Coffee Shops in Boston

Tired of the same old Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts?

Since I've moved back to Boston for the summer, there's been a shortage of good coffee shops, especially since I'm outside of the city. In New York, you can turn basically anywhere and there'll be a quality coffee shop with various cold brews and local artwork. Most are open late too which is super helpful on heavy workload nights.

From my countless years in Boston, I've compiled a list of my favorite coffee shops and cafes based off of their coffee and various food items. Here are five — plus one bonus — of my favorite shops around the Boston area.

Diesel Cafe

Davis Square is a highlight of the Boston area harboring the revered Diesel Cafe. Inside is a very retro coffee shop complete with pool tables and photo booths. I recommend either their mocha or their hot chocolate if you're decaf, but their breakfast burrito is super good. There's a tofu option for vegans too!

Diesel is open until 11pm so if you like to work late — like me — you're in luck.

Thinking Cup

Whenever I'm feeling rich, I like to go to Newbury Street and stare into the designer stores. Maybe have lunch at Met? Thinking Cup is always a staple of that trip along with Georgetown Cupcakes.

I highly recommend their apple cider if you catch it in season. It's perfectly spiced and the right amount of both sweet and sour. The macarons and tiramisu are also very delicious, albeit pricey.

Boston Common Coffee Co.

This shop has three locations all around Boston Common all furnished with comfy couches and numerous chairs. Their coffee and espresso are to die for, but their pastry menu is equally as amazing if not better. I used to cuddle up there with my boyfriend as we took breaks from various winter excursions.

Watch out for their hot chocolate, though — it tastes a bit watered down and lacking flavor, which was a huge disappointment when I ordered two large cups. I mean, at least the whipped cream was good?

Pavement Coffeehouse

I used to take summer art classes at the MFA and Pavement was a staple of mine. The coffee shop has comfy lounge chairs, local artists' works and stylish brick walls that'll make you feel like you're in millennial paradise.

My favorites are the iced tea and turkey BLT, but I heard from a friend that the avocado is extra now which is a total bummer since it kind of made the sandwich

Render Coffee

Render Coffee probably had the prettiest coffee I've had in Boston, but don't let the aesthetics fool you — it's pretty strong stuff. I like the cappuccino myself, but the pour overs are very aromatic and tasty.

I've only been to the Columbus Ave location, which gets pretty busy during the afternoon, so you should try the Financial District shop, too, if there's a chance that's any better.

Bonus! — Cafe Algiers/Algiers Coffee House

Although it is named as a coffeehouse, I don't consider Algiers as a mainly coffee-serving establishment. They have amazing Middle Eastern food — try Lamb Kebabs and Baklava — along with their pots of coffee.

The coffee is very strong as the grinds are still in the pot when they serve it. I like to drink it black because you can get all the intended flavor out of it, but I'm sure if you ask for milk or cream, they'll have that too.

Use this guide and explore a different coffee shop each day! Some honorable mentions include 1369 Coffee House, Tatte and Area Four — which also has restaurant locations.

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10 Endangered Animals to Weep Over

Celebrate Endangered Species Day.

An endangered species is not a tragedy, because if a species is endangered, then they aren't yet extinct.

Sadly, there are millions of endangered species across the world, all facing threats that mostly stem from human activities. Still, it's not too late. Take a gander at these majestic animals, and then donate to a wildlife fund or environmental activism group of your choice.


Of course, nature doesn't need saving—humans do—and climate change and environmental destruction are threats to humans as well as animals, but if you need a reminder of the beauty and fragility of the natural world, check out these extraordinary species.



SPONSORED

Do Non-Melatonin Sleep Aids Really Work?

Objective makes a chocolate square.

I Can't Sleep.

I truly cannot remember the last time I had a good night's rest. Even before the stay-at-home orders, I was just a little ball of nerves.

But lately, it's been awful. I toss and turn, it's always too hot or even too cold, sometimes I make myself tea and read for a bit, but when I'm still up at 1 a.m., I reach for my phone and then I'm up until 3. My sister and I have a weekly call, and our small talk about our exhaustion turned into an hour long conversation about sleep.

I Thought I'd Tried Everything. Even Melatonin.

My sister asked why I hadn't gone for the old staple, melatonin and I reminded her about the time we traveled abroad, and it gave me the weirdest nightmares (the horrible kind where you wake up in your dream and you're still in a dream). Chamomile tea didn't work, nothing worked.

She said she had a friend who swore by something I definitely hadn't heard of.

They Were NOT Pills, Teas or Anything I'd Seen Before.

A company called Objective makes Fast Asleep, a sleep solution delivered as chocolatey treats. They're created with saffron and GABA. If going to sleep was as easy as eating a piece of these chocolatey, minty delights every night, I'd be sold.

What Exactly Was In It?

Cocoa contains caffeine, so I didn't know how this would help me sleep. After talking with my sister, I went online and saw that the calming, sleep-supporting ingredients cancel out any of the very little caffeine content.

Saffron, the spice, is apparently known to help with staying asleep, and their GABA is a fermented version of the neurotransmitter that's known to help you relax and fall asleep faster. In a study, 100% of customers saw improvement in their sleep quality thanks to saffron. One hundred percent!

Do I Try It?

A bag of 30 pieces was only $40, and they had a money-back guarantee.

They're keto-friendly and only 30 calories a piece, so not too decadent before bedtime.

They were chocolatey-minty, which is my favorite flavor, so I was sold. I ordered a bag to try.

The First Night, I Wasn't Impressed.

I took one piece (super yummy!) - 30-60 minutes before bedtime is recommended - but when I climbed in, I didn't notice a difference. I was worried I'd wasted my money.

However, once I fell asleep, I stayed asleep until my alarm went off, which hasn't always been the case for me.

I checked the site again, and noticed that many people didn't notice a real difference until the third or fourth night - it builds up in your system over time, so I decided to keep an open mind the rest of the week.

The Second Night Was Completely Different

Without doing anything differently from the first night, my second night was amazing. I felt calm and sleepy as I was getting ready for bed, and once I hit the pillow, I was out the whole night.

It had to be these sweet treats. The next day, I even felt more balanced and relaxed - Fast Asleep helps boost serotonin levels and reduce cortisol (the stress hormone), and I definitely noticed a difference in my overall mood and alertness.

I Already Ordered More.

Just In Case! There's nothing habit-forming about this product, so it's completely safe to take every night, and I honestly always want to keep it in the house. I'd also love to offer it to anyone staying over in the guest room, whenever we have guests again.

Now that I'm getting a healthy 8 hours of sleep every night, I feel more equipped during the day to tackle the things I need to do and deal with some of my daytime stressors. I finally had the energy to clean the kitchen, which had been bothering me so much for the past few weeks.

With Objective's Fast Asleep, I get real sleep and balance my levels, so I don't have to feel tired during my waking hours. Sleep in the form of chocolate squares sounds so weird, but oh my goodness, do they work.

Our partners at Objective Wellness are currently offering a 25% discount if you use the coupon code STAYHOME. Check them out here!

Food & Drink

The Best Apps for Craft Beer Delivery

Try beers from all over the world–from your phone.

With breweries and distilleries out of business for the foreseeable future, your favorite beer may feel particularly out of reach this time of year, especially with the weather changing. But don't let quarantine suck all the fun out of summer. Luckily, thanks to technology, a lot of craft beer is now deliverable straight to your door step. Here are a few of the best apps to help make sure you stay up to date on the latest trendy brews.

Tavour

Tavour

Simplistic and elegant, Tavour allows users to easily fill up a box of beer over a period of time before shipping. The app offers more than 650 different breweries both local and national and is perfect for those who like to experiment. It's easy to use, and their menu rotates regularly so you and your beer never grow stale.

TapRM

TapRM

TapRM offers a wide range of both craft beers and hard seltzers. While based almost exclusively in New York City, the app offers fast, same day delivery from some of the best beer brands in the world. They also provide a unique selection of beers to help you find your new favorite. All you need to do is download the app and place your order!

Drizly

Offering a stark variety of craft beer, Drizly allows its users to mix and match 12-packs, sixers or by the bottle. Their guarantee is that they can have whatever you order delivered to your house in less than an hour. You can even schedule your delivery for a specific time, with each delivery taking around 20-40 minutes.

Saucey

Saucey takes delivery very seriously. When you order with them they guarantee that they'll deliver in 30-minutes or less, or they guarantee two day shipping. Also, beer aside, their entire liquor cabinet is also up for grabs. From tequila and whiksey, to vodka and wine, nothing is off the table for Saucey.

Beer Menus

BeerMenus

For those who enjoy strictly local beers, BeerMenus features a tap list from local bars and a broader stock list from your neighborhood beer store. With that, you can make sure to create a list of your favorite beers in your neighborhood, so that when they're in stock you can be ready to go.