Looking to get a buzz on? No problem. Yankees love lounging over a cup of coffee and lunching on light fare. Here's where we stop in Beantown:
The place: Thinking Cup
The buzz: Overlooking Boston Common, the original Thinking Cup brews Stumptown Coffee and a hipster vibe largely generated by its Emerson College student clientele. Order the hazelnut latte—it’s got real, roasted hazelnut paste, and it is the best. thing. ever.
The place: Flat Black Coffee
The buzz: Coffee connoisseurs love the 20 different options of fine-grade, single-origin beans, micro-roasted to make one heck of an Americano. It's a hard choice between styles from Sumatra, Yemen, Burundi and Ethiopia, but we say, try them all.
The place: Nespresso
The buzz: Adjacent to the Taj hotel on the first block of Newbury Street, Nespresso is a lesson in how the priveleged set kicks back. The fancy boutique-cafe features frothy Grand Cru espresso drinks and snacks like black truffle and leek quiche or a plate of macarons.
The bean scene: 7 Newbury St., Boston
The place: Cafe Vanille
The buzz: Dessert pastry, tartes and quiches are the things to order at this patisserie, offerings that are about as authentically French as you're going to find in the States. Sit awhile with the Beacon Hill Brahmins on the darling open-air patio at the corner of Charles and Pickney streets.
The bean scene: 70 Charles St., Boston, 617.523.9200
The place: Render
The buzz: Now, you'll just have to wait a minute, or two, for a coffee here, because all drinks are brewed as "pour-overs" (read: no coffeemaker), but grounds are premium direct-trade Colombian and the process precise. Render also takes care with its tasty food items made with local and sustainable ingredients.
The bean scene: 563 Columbus Ave., Boston, 617.262.4142
The place: Caffè Nero
The buzz: This European coffee house is opening its first U.S. location in downtown’s swanky new residential digs Millennium Place. Old-school Italian roasts, espresso and European-style sandwiches are on the menu at this charming, cozy rendezvous.
The bean scene: 580 Washington St., Boston
The place: Pavement Coffeehouse
The buzz: Special harvest, shade-grown and other styles of beans from Counter Culture Coffee is what's brewed at outposts for this small local coffee bar chain that's got a hip, arty vibe and where students often hang out doing work. Locals order the bagel breakfast sandwiches, like the Tequila Sunrise stuffed with jalapeno cream cheese, tomato, red onion, bacon and egg, and another must-try is the Spanish latte, hot or iced.
The place: L.A. Burdick
The buzz: It's beverages only at this place, where the drink du jour is premium hot chocolate rather than coffee—but you're still in for a jolt. Sitting thisclose to your neighbor and spending a fiver on one tiny cup is easy to swallow, literally, once the lava-like liquid hits your tastebuds; choose from white, milk or dark varieties, or splurge on single source.
The place: Boston Common Coffee
The buzz: Equal parts roast house and bakery, this place does small-batch very well and its array of comfy couches and bar stools is where young professionals escape the office for a few minutes or meet for a lunch date. It feels more like a neighborhood bar than a grab-and-go coffee shop, but do grab a muffin right out of the oven.