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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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