Your Guide to Hipster Coffee Shops in Boston

coffee shops in Boston - Boston Moms Blog
Photo courtesy Tatte Bakery.

We’re at an all-time low in the mainstream coffee world. Unicorn frappuccino, anyone? What is the world coming to? And who had the misfortune of having to write that press release?

coffee shops in Boston - Boston Moms Blog
Photo courtesy Starbucks.

When we moved into our first house, we had no furniture save our new coffee machine. Furniture came eventually, but coffee came first. Upon becoming parents we realized coffee was liquid gold, and the machine was pounding out latte after latte, especially in those early days of no sleep. Coffee equaled survival. Over time, coffee has slowly taken over from beer and wine as my “glamorous” drink of choice (ahem, during the day, that is). When I go “out,” I want it to be special. I want my barista to have a mustache. And I want latte art. And crema. Delicious crema. In fact, for the 1.5 hours I am kid-free every week, I choose to spend it in a coffee shop, enjoying a latte and catching up on some reading. But it can’t be just any coffee shop. No, the coffee shop needs to have the following items:

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  • Pendant lamps
  • Barista with tattoos or facial hair (mustache preferred)
  • White subway tile
  • Delicious foreign-sounding treats
  • 1980s Peugeot 10-speed bike parked outside


But, above all, the coffee has to be delicious. Quality is the key word here. I’ve compiled a list of cool independent coffee shops in Boston and beyond for your perusal (plus a handy map at the bottom of the post!). As parents, coffee shops are our night clubs. We meet friends there, we go to escape, to rejuvenate, and to feel less alone. Don’t forget to order a babyccino for your little one!


Tatte (also located in Cambridge and Boston)

Tatte offers so many locations, and it’s just so nice. Despite the fact that Panera bought shares to enable expansion, this is still local and the food is amazing — the sandwiches in particular. 

Cafe Fixe

The coffee is yum. Just walking in wakes me up. They do however, have a $10 minimum for credit/debit, which I find annoying. Bring cash.

4A Coffee

Turns out this place opens very early — I found this out about a year ago when my daughter started waking up at 6 a.m. 

Jamaica Plain

7 Pond Coffee Bar

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.



Look forward to good coffee, yoga classes, and cool music.

Flat Black (also located in downtown Boston)

Flat Black boasts six locations around our city, two of them in Dorchester. The coffee is goooood.


Barrington Coffee

This place is legit good, with two locations downtown (Back Bay and Fort Point). You can hit this spot post-children’s museum but BEFORE you stock up on Trillium beer, which is just down the road.


Located in the South End and the financial district, the word on the street is that not only is the coffee good, but the food is quite nice as well. Also, patio. See: Perfect for kids.


George Howell (also located in Boston)

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.


Diesel CafeForge, and Bloc 11

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

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

Owned by parents! Lovely baked goods AND nice coffee!



These people live and breath local. Amongst others, they serve Barrington coffee, Stone & Skillet, Union Square Donuts, and the list goes on. Coincidentally, they have a bike mechanic who will tune up your ride on-site. Hipster heaven.

Crema Cafe

The name is promising, for obvious reasons, but also they serve George Howell coffee.

This list is by no means exhaustive — please share your favorites!



  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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