Steeping each of its locations in colonial Boston-style interior design, Boston Coffeehouse serves a modern slew of specialty drinks, deli-fresh fare, and all-day breakfast items. For starters, munch on mango salsa salad, a leafy medley of mango salsa, dried cranberries, almonds, onions, and cucumbers slathered with mandarin ginger dressing ($5.89). Tender rotisserie chicken—served with baby arugula greens, red onions, and sun-dried tomato mayo on a pretzel bun—mollycoddles midday masticators ($6.50), and a french toast breakfast panini eases groggy taste buds awake after a long night or an afternoon nap with fresh egg, cheese, and ham sandwiched between slices of french toast ($3.50). Pair your choice of various Danish pastries, muffins, or croissants ($1.75) with a 12-ounce espresso ($1) or a specialty drink such as the Yankeedoodle, a mocha-based coffee concoction that features caramel, hazelnut, and macaroni feathers ($2.75/12-ounce), or the Nutty Irish Lady, which starts with espresso and expands into a whipped cream-topped comfort drink with flavors of cherry, Irish crème, and hazelnut ($2.75/12-ounce).
Upon walking into Purple Orchid Cafe & World Grocery, it’s not uncommon to witness Nisa Fanou or her daughter, Sonia, warmly greeting regulars, introducing themselves to newcomers, or snapping photographs of grinning guests. They do more than just offer salutations, though. When the friendly mother and daughter aren’t fraternizing with customers, they’re folding fresh ingredients into authentic Thai curries, noodles, and rice dishes. They adorn plates with the likes of steamed dumplings, red curry with bamboo shoots, and pad Thai noodles with tamarind sauce.
To quell the kick of some of the spicier dishes, Nisa and Sonia offer sweet Thai iced tea and fruits topped with shaved ice, flavored syrup, and milk. They also peddle a variety of groceries and pastries that hail from all over, from fruity soda from Mexico to hovering cupcakes from the future.
The vibe at Sleeping Moon Cafe suits many personalities as it transitions from a quiet, low-key café to a venue where local musicians can share their tunes. During the sunshiny hours of the day, the dining room serves as the perfect spot to get work done. Guests can sip on Italian sodas or Americanos as they study, or balance typing with eating vegan burgers or ham-and-apple paninis. As the day goes on, guests begin to socialize more. Friends talk as they share appetizers such as the stuffed grape leaves or slices of gala apples served with Nutella. But as the first band of the evening begins to play, the mood shifts to a more mellow tone. Musicians strumming guitars, artwork hanging on the walls, and dim lighting create the ideal backdrop for dates, or hiding the fact that you're wearing the same fruit hat as someone else.
One of the largest locally owned gourmet coffee and tea shops in the U.S., Barnie's offers more than 50 different gourmet coffees with 15 delectable flavors. Barnie's typically brews four different fresh coffees each day, and a ballroom of smoothies and lattes waltzes alongside mochas, espressos, and cappuccinos. Sit and sip a freshly brewed cup ($1.59+) or begin hoarding bags of pre-ground or whole-bean specialties such as Santa's White Christmas ($9.49/12 oz.)—a combination of Barnie's blended coffee with hints of coconut, sweet caramel, and vanilla guaranteed to keep you alert during the season when homes are most vulnerable to invasion by diabolically generous bearded elves. Recently unfrozen British cavemen can warm up with signature teas such as organic raspberry truffle and white-ginger peach, while all others can hose down tongue gardens with summer specials such as the Barnie Palmer ($2.29–$2.59), a blend of strawberry iced tea and mango lemonade.
Pearlescent orbs of tapioca settle to the bottom of freshly poured bubble, or boba, tea at Chibi's Inc. These chewy bubbles float around mango, orange, lychee, and green apple flavored tea, which shares space on Chibi's menu with hot coffee, specialty espresso drinks, and indulgent desserts. Customers order at a bright orange and teal counter, whose color scheme traverses the Asian-themed café outfitted with indoor and outdoor seating as well as free WiFi. Under a wall-mounted TV, glittering glass cases display Japanese figurines and a newly captured Pikachu.