Hailed as 1 of 11 coffee shops that “put Boston on the map,” according to the Boston Globe, Simon's Coffee Shop decided the only way to top itself was to literally put itself on the map again. Despite just opening, Simon’s Too looks a little more grown-up than its predecessor. Instead of playful orange walls, the coffee shop has exposed brick; instead of scrawling the menu items in multicolored chalk, the baristas print them carefully with white block letters. But Simon’s Too still has the same energy as the flagship location. And it still uses only local coffee, which is brewed from beans roasted in Arlington and Acton. Like a cartoon pie cooling on a windowsill, the coffee bean grinder entices guests with its deep aromas, luring patrons to the wooden counter to order one of the day’s available soups or a signature drink concocted by a La Marzocco espresso machine.
Although it offers drinks and café fare to go, Fortissimo Coffeehouse is no drive-thru pit stop. Instead, the coffeehouse cultivates a welcoming charm with record players spinning classic vinyl and small, intimate tables perfect for a lunch date or an afternoon of getting work done. The team behind the counter helps further either of these pursuits by mixing up steaming cups of coffee, lattes flavored with Monin syrups, and smoothies filled with more fruit than the Chiquita Banana lady’s headshots. Alongside the drinks, baristas make and serve a select menu of breakfast dishes, veggie-filled wraps, and a range of paninis that can be converted into salads. The menu incorporates a variety of flavors, creating unique options like the popular Uncle Toni, which combines jerk turkey with chipotle-smoked gouda, colorful peppers, and guava spread on a choice of panini or atop a bed of salad.
Cafe Burrito's crew stuffs tortillas with ingredients such as chili-lime chicken, cotija cheese, and zesty pickled veggies to craft its hefty Mission-style burritos, which epitomize the handheld meal. The menu also features other creative fare, such as Mexican-style grilled-cheese sandwiches, which showcase cheese melted over pork carnitas or pulled barbecue chicken, and pickled veggies. Diners can also top their food with special-made salsas crafted from fruits such as peach or apple, which rotate monthly to keep palates surprised.
Once they open the shop in the early morning, Jitters Cafe's sandwich makers stop looking at the clock. They prepare their slate of breakfast paninis any time of the day, giving patrons the ability to bite into hot ham-and-egg sandwiches or scarf down grilled-cheese sandwiches whenever the mood strikes. The lunch hour unlocks another list of paninis and salads that join in the hunger-fighting mission throughout the rest of the day. Each sandwich is made with bread freshly delivered that morning from local sources and pairs well with the shop’s brewed coffee.
Do you ever sit down at a restaurant and wonder why you aren’t eating in a train station? Well, stop. From the group that brought you The Maki Express, a bus stop-themed sushi place, comes Kingston Station—the most true-to-life train station dining experience in the Greater Boston area. Step in and you’re immediately whisked away to an evening commute. You might feel the need to fight through the horde, yelling, “Back away. I’m tired and hungry.” But it won’t be necessary. Allow the nice conductor to seat you. Can’t find a seat? Better grab a handrail—the restaurant’s foundation has been altered with a $4 million machine designed to simulate abrupt stops. So if you’re the type of person who loves eating in train stations but has yet to find the prime skirt steak button on the train station’s vending machine, keep reading. A new era in train station cuisine has arrived.
Gregg and Barth, the owners of Barrington Coffee Roasting Company, stand in the large, industrial roasting area, pouring green coffee beans into mammoth roasters. They sniff the beans, which they’ve recently sourced from socially responsible, family-owned farms situated all over the world. Prior to this moment, they and their staff have thoroughly analyzed the beans, making sure that each batch enhances the bean’s body rather than overshadowing its natural flavor. The coffees are then packed up and shipped out, or sent to the company’s own Boston--based coffee shop, which has won shout-outs from a variety of media sources such as Martha Stewart Living and Forbes Magazine.
The rich aromas of coffee flood their coffee shop, a minimal, concrete-floored space. Baristas bustle, artfully crafting perfect cups of single-origin coffee or lattes crowned with foam leaves. The shop also hosts a variety of events, including traditional coffee ceremonies from Ethiopia and tastings of traditionally prepared Turkish coffee.