Cafes in Ashland

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Steeped in centuries of rich tradition, Italian cuisine relies on quality ingredients and simple preparations to yield beautifully bold flavors. Since 1983, the chefs of Nello’s Cafe have drawn on such traditions to fill their extensive menu with Old-World staples such as lasagna and seafood diavolo, which they serve alongside burgers and other American fare.

300 Eliot St
Ashland,
MA
US

The dining room at Pantry Restaurant feels like a home kitchen; that is, if home kitchens typically had walls made of rolling pins and muffin tins. The decor takes quaint Americana and puts it through a spin cycle, ending up with silverware dangling like chandeliers. The same approach to Americana can be said of the cuisine. There's a traditional bacon cheeseburger, but also a bacon burger with a patty made of scallops. There's a 10 oz. aged striploin, but also grilled salmon with risotto verde and preserve lemon crema. If you can't decide what to order, maybe the dining room's TVs will provide serendipitous direction. They run episodes of cooking shows such as Julia Child's The French Chef, Rachael Ray's 30 Minute Meals, and Graham Kerr's The Galloping Gourmet, all of which might inspire a craving for a particular dish or a desire to remodel your kitchen into a TV set.

1360 Worcester St.
Natick,
MA
US

Bistro Bakery & Deli's artisanal flour specialists whip up batches of freshly baked goods to stock its hearty breakfast, lunch, bakery, and catering menus. Dive face-first into the gravitational pull of the more than 20 bagel varieties, including asiago cheese, spinach-garlic, and pumpernickel ($0.79 each; $7/dozen). Crying stomachs are serenaded with the savory tunes of the Bistro B.L.T. ($5.59) and the Tuscany salad ($5.99), and lonely hands can temporarily embrace the raspberry-chipotle-chicken wrap ($6.99) or the veggie delight ($5.79), which complements marinated artichoke hearts with roasted red peppers and provolone. The culinary artists at Bistro Bakery & Deli also proffer a selection of custom-designed cakes ($18.99+) crowned in a cappuccino mousse, pistachio buttercream, chocolate ganache, or Vanilla Ice sound bites.

57 East Main Street
Westborough,
MA
US

Even if you don't know your light roast from your French roast, you will after a visit to Sudbury Coffee Works. That's because the staff, led by owner Daniel Kenn, is on hand to educate customers about all things coffee, from the properties in different beans to the role that acidity plays in the finished product. Customers also have a chance to see part of the coffee-making process in action thanks to the roaster, a computer-controlled machine imported from France that warms up beans to the ideal temperature, readying them for coffee making or coffee-bean swimsuit season.

After learning about their favorite caffeinated beverage, customers can select a drink from a variety of flavors, pairing it with coffee cake, Tuscan grilled-cheese sandwiches, and salads from the menu.

15 Union Ave
Sudbury,
MA
US

Dorset Café caters to tea-lovers and coffee connoisseurs alike with a plethora of warm, caffeine-laced beverages, as well as flaky pastries and gourmet sandwiches. Replenish the energy zapped by rapid eye movement and sleepwaltzing with a hearty choice from the breakfast menu, such as whole-wheat waffles ($8.95) or a hot pizzette with chevre goat cheese, bartlett pear, and maple ($8.95). Sippers can soothe their mouths from the stress of early-morning chewing with a steamy beverage, such as a large cup of special-reserve, single-origin coffee ($2.35) or a personal pot of loose-leaf black tea ($3.50). The stomach’s midday grumblings turn into afternoon applause thanks to selections from Dorset's lunch menu, which includes vegetarian quiche ($8.95) and gourmet sandwiches (starting at $6.95) that allow diners to choose their bread, fillings, and toppings, creating a lunch as unique as the snowflake fingerprints snowmen leave at their icy crime scenes.

352 Washington St
Wellesley Hills,
MA
US

The Cake Bar can fulfill all your sweet needs, whether it's a custom cake for a birthday party or a frosting shot for a quick burst of sugar. This bakery creates artistic cakes decorated into any shape desirable. These 2D and 3D creations include a gown on a dress form, Elmo in a wagon, and a realistic leather purse. For an everyday treat, cupcakes come in 13 flavors including coconut cream pie and sticky toffee. Patrons can sit at one of the cafe tables and sip on espresso or calming herbal tea while tackling a plate of triple chocolate cake truffles or contemplating the nature of icing.

17 E Central St.
Franklin,
MA
US