latte art (coffee shops in Boston)When we moved into our first house, we had no furniture and owned none of our own appliances — other than our new coffee machine. Furniture came eventually, but coffee came first. When you’re a parent, coffee is liquid gold — especially in those early days of no sleep. And when I go out for coffee, I want it to be special. The coffee has to be delicious. I want quality. And I want latte art. So I’ve compiled a list of cool independent coffee shops in Boston. Don’t forget to order a babyccino for your little one!

Tokava Coffee :: Jamaica Plain

The perfect Saturday for me includes stopping here first and then wandering down the street with the kids to the tot lot and sitting on the bench as they play. Note, the space is small, so it’s best to take your coffee to go if you’re with the kids.

Home.stead :: Dorchester

Look forward to good coffee, cool music, and great sandwiches and salads.

Tatte :: Arlington, Belmont, Boston, Cambridge, Newton, Somerville, Wellesley

Tatte now offers more than a dozen locations in and around Boston, but it still feels like your cozy local coffee shop. Plus, the food is amazing — breakfast all day! 

Cafe Fixe :: Brookline

The coffee here is yum. Just walking in wakes me up.

Capitol Coffee House :: Beacon Hill

Located right next to the State House, this aptly titled business offers breakfast items and sandwiches in addition to assorted coffees and teas. This place has been a staple in the Beacon Hill area with its friendly staff and awesome window seating.

Flat Black Coffee :: Dorchester

Over the last 20 years, Flat Black Coffee has become Boston’s largest independently owned roaster, retailer, and wholesaler of specialty coffees. The coffee is goooood.

Render :: South End

This family-owned and -operated café and roastery takes pride in supporting local resources, welcoming all communities, and sourcing high-quality ingredients and products. Because coffee is for everyone!

Revival Cafe + Kitchen :: Milk Street, Davis Square, Alewife

The speciality drinks here are delightful, and the seasonal and classic pastries won’t disappoint. Plus, the breakfast and lunch menu are on hand if you need something a little more substantial for yourself or the kiddos while you get your coffee fix!

George Howell :: Downtown Crossing, Boston Public Market, Newtonville

Solid coffee and locations around the city make for a win-win. And yes, they offer coffee “flights” for one of those mornings you have all to yourself and you can go crazy.

P.S. Gourmet Coffee :: South Boston, Roslindale, Braintree, Dorchester

This is the place to go if you’re a fan of flavored or iced coffee. Offering over 100 different flavors of coffee in both hot, iced, and mocha varieties, this business is committed to making fresh-brewed coffee. There’s a good chance you have seen their yellow cups around town! They also serve breakfast sandwiches, pastries, and Rickeys.

1369 Coffee House :: Cambridge (Inman and Central)

Want the best cold brew in the Boston area? Go to 1369! The specialty drinks menu, which rotates frequently, is also worth paying attention to.

Diesel CafeForge, and Bloc 11 :: Somerville

This trio of Somerville shops is owned by two best friends, and they specialize in everything from sandwiches to coffee to breakfast. I’m just going to take a brief detour here from coffee and ask you to click on the Forge link and please view that ice cream sundae. Yes, this is an ice cream detour. Coffee, baking, ICE CREAM. It’s truly something for everyone, and even just writing this makes me want to move to Somerville. These spots are extremely kid friendly by the way.

Winter Hill Brewing :: Somerville

Winter Hill offers coffee and beer — small batch beer made in-house for the house (and I quote). Sorry, off-topic again — coffee, too! I don’t know about you, but this sounds kinda perfect to me.

3 Little Figs :: Somerville

Owned by parents, this spot offers lovely baked goods AND nice coffee!

This post was published in 2019 and has been updated for 2023.


  1. The Equal Exchange Cafe next to North Station/TD Garden (West End/North End) has incredibly delicious coffee, great music and pastries and soups, and regularly-rotated art by local artists. Plus, they’re a worker-owned co-op and all of their coffee is fair trade!

    Also fun is Cafe Zing! inside Porter Square books (Porter Square/Cambridge). They serve Equal Exchange coffee and you can peruse the book store with your order. Books + good coffee is where it’s at.

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