The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News

The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News

The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News

6 Boston coffee shops to try out this semester

Elizabeth Scholl
Customers enjoy drinks and food in Phinista. The French Vietnamese cafe has created a comfortable sit-down environment where many people choose to catch up with friends and family.

There’s nothing quite like sitting in a cute coffee shop and romanticizing life. Suddenly, the idea of studying is appealing, responding to emails is no longer a source of dread and spending $8 on an iced latte doesn’t seem so bad. As the fall semester begins, Northeastern students will be on the hunt for a new coffee shop to call their own. Here are six great cafes near campus to help fuel caffeine cravings and get the semester started on a good note!

The best cafes for a study date

While the upper floors of Snell are the perfect spot to frantically cram for exams, coffee shops are the ideal place for a more relaxed homework session — buy a drink, put on some headphones and write that essay.

Caffé Nero — Coffee: 4/10, Atmosphere: 9/10, Study Environment: 10/10

Located on the corner of Edgerly Road and Westland Avenue, Caffé Nero’s cozy seating and ambiance make for the perfect study session. There are bookshelves lining the walls, and the whole place feels rustic and homey. The drinks themselves are underwhelming — the coffee is weak and leaves much to be desired, but the atmosphere makes up for it. Regardless of its mediocre brew, Nero is the perfect place to catch up on required reading, respond to discussion posts, write papers and polish up slides for an upcoming presentation.

Caffé Bene — Coffee: 7/10, Atmosphere: 8/10, Study Environment: 8/10

On the corner of Huntington and Massachusetts avenues, Caffé Bene offers a wide range of food and beverage options — coffee, boba, shaved ice and more. The jazzy instrumentals are perfect to get into the studying zone, making studiers feel like a movie’s main character on the verge of some crucial breakthrough. My only grievances are that the wooden chairs are a bit uncomfortable, and the tables are ever-so-slightly too small. Snagging a window seat or a chair at the big table in the back are the best options for optimal studying.

The best cafes for a morning debrief

These are the places to go to share little life updates with friends. Maybe you finally got that co-op, failed a big midterm or almost hit a pedestrian while biking home and it turned out to be your ex-boyfriend from 10th grade. These coffee shops are for celebrating the biggest wins, and making the worst days better. 

Farmer’s Horse — Coffee: 9/10, Atmosphere: 10/10, Study Environment: 4/10

Farmer’s Horse is an artsy, snug haven for stressful or rainy days. Their menu features delicious Ethiopian coffee, and offers a variety of breakfast and lunch options as well. Every inch of the walls are filled with writing from customers and the decor and seating have a very comfortable feel. Located on Massachusetts Avenue, the small cafe is often bustling with customers, so seating is sometimes hard to come by. Bring a friend to sit at the bay window, eat a breakfast burrito, sip on an iced banana bread latte and talk to your heart’s content. 

Phinista — Coffee: 9/10, Atmosphere: 9/10, Study Environment: 3/10

This French Vietnamese cafe is a bit further from campus, located on Peterborough Street in the Fenway. The pretty, floral wallpaper and clean aesthetic bring an elegant feel to the place. Phinista is a wonderful brunch spot, with Vietnamese bowls and bánh mì sandwiches, sweet crepes and plenty of drinks — including Vietnamese coffee. This is more of a sit-down cafe, rather than a grab-and-go spot, so come on a sunny morning and spend a few hours drinking great coffee and catching up with friends. 

The best cafes to bring parents to on family weekend

A bit on the pricier side, these coffee shops are the best ones to go to when someone else is paying! With sophisticated and charming atmospheres, these places are great to stop at at the beginning of a busy day. 

Blue Bottle Coffee — Coffee: 9/10, Atmosphere: 7/10, Study: Environment 5/10

There are two Blue Bottle locations near campus — one in the Prudential Center, and one on Newbury Street. Both locations are perfect to start a day out and about in the city. Blue Bottle is more of a grab-and-go place, and their drinks are delicious, albeit expensive. When parents are in town, grab a coffee here before going shopping or walking around Boston.

Tatte — Coffee: 9/10, Atmosphere: 7/10, Study Environment: 4/10

A classic spot right under Marino Recreation Center, Tatte is a great place to go if other shops feel too far. The cafe is brightly lit with natural lighting from the windows, and is always busy with students grabbing drinks on their way to class. With delicious pastries and coffee, students can enjoy a sweet breakfast and still make it on time for their next lecture. Bring the whole family on a crisp autumn day and sit outside at the picnic tables to people watch and give them a glimpse of the true Northeastern student experience — jaywalking with hordes of students across Huntington Avenue. Tatte is the classic, definitive Northeastern coffee shop, and all students should try it at least once. 

About the Contributor
Jessica Xing, Deputy Photo Editor
Jessica Xing is a second-year graphic design major with a minor in journalism and one of the deputy photo editors for The News. She previously served as design editor and deputy design editor for The News. She's also the focus section editor for Woof Magazine and social media chair for DIY Craft Club. This semester she is excited to showcase more news through photo essays.
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