Coffee Shops in Massachusetts

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“We’re trying to create a place where people can hang out all day, no matter what their need or no matter what time,” Kingston Station owner Ky Nguyen told Boston Business Journal in 2011. When that need is a bit of unique food and some cold drinks, the bistro certainly delivers. The menu takes diners on a culinary tour of the world through chef Dana Love’s contemporary American interpretations of the classics, from roasted duck leg to steak frites. But the original creations here get most of the attention, especially sandwiches that include the salmon banh mi burger and the signature Station Burger with a sunny-side-up egg on top. The fact that about a dozen items are gluten-free only gives diners even more options. Just as he’d intended, Nguyen has made his restaurant comfortable enough to sit back and forget what time it is. Low lighting ensures that shadows play a role in the bar’s nighttime scenery. Subway-tiled walls and thick crown moulding seem to give the room the feel of a business from an earlier period in Boston’s history. It only helps that the bar stays open until 2 a.m. Wednesday though Sunday, making it a no-brainer stop for signature cocktails after a show in the nearby Theater District.

25 Kingston Street
Somerville,
MA
US

The flat-screen televisions and long wooden bar at Freeport Tavern might mark it as just another pub, but the wood-fired grill in the kitchen tells a different story. With it, chefs bake Italian-style thin-crust pizzas or sear smoky flavor into marinated choice-certified Angus beef steak tips. They also grill burger patties, fish filets, and chunks of New England lobster, then stuff them into sandwiches served with hand-cut fries. They pair their pastiche of New England eats with a constant stream of entertainment, whether it’s the latest local NBA and NHL action on the TVs, trivia on Tuesday nights, or performances by DJs and live musicians held Wednesday through Saturday nights. As soon as the DJ packs up on Sundays, the tireless chefs begin whipping up the brunch buffet, complete with a salad and dessert bar and omelette station.

780 William T Morrissey Blvd
Dorchester,
MA
US

You might say Nu Cafe is leading a double life. During the day, it's a classic neighborhood hangout, serving up simple, fresh wraps and sandwiches alongside a variety of smoothies and juices and espresso and coffee drinks. By night, it transforms into a hipper, slightly more sophisticated version of itself, a place where guests can come to mingle, not over their laptops, but around shared tapas plates, cured meat and cheese boards, and a selection of wine and craft beers. But regardless of the time of day, a few things remain the same: the vibe is always laid-back and friendly, the food is always crafted using fresh, wholesome ingredients, and the Wi-Fi is always free. And, adding to the community-oriented vibe, the cafes also host regular recurring events, including live piano players, painting parties, and chess groups.

335 Chandler St
Worcester,
MA
US

At Nadim?s Downtown Mediterranean Grill couples and groups of friends crowd the softly-lit dining room, conversing over traditional Mediterranean appetizers or sharing hookahs on the outdoor patio. The lively scene reflects restaurateur Nadim Kashouh?s passion for celebrating Mediterranean culture and cuisine. Though Nadim spotlights Lebanese standbys such as charbroiled kebabs and heaping bowls of hummus, he also incorporates Western flourishes such as demi-glaze sauces, mashed potatoes, and deep-fried footballs. A selection of Lebanese wines and beers whets palates.

1390 Main St
Springfield,
MA
US

Life Alive

If you stumble over a few of the ingredients in Life Alive’s signature Goddess bowl, don’t worry—you’re not the only one. That’s why the restaurant’s website keeps a glossary of its menu’s potentially baffling ingredients and their health benefits. The Ginger Nama Shoyu sauce, for example, may seem outlandish to Americans but “the Champagne of Soy Sauce” shouldn’t be. It’s 100% organic and non-GMO, ages for four years in cedar kegs with less salt than traditional soy sauce, and is completely raw. Ginger adds an extra dose of healing, since it naturally eases digestive issues and nausea, as well as ulcers and inflammation. In this particular dish, the potent sauce flavors a medley of carrots, beets, broccoli, dark greens, tofu, and short-grain brown rice—a nutritional powerhouse all on its own. The Goddess bowl epitomizes Life Alive’s approach to vegan food: it should be organic, whole, and therapeutic, and use ingredients that come from local farms. And, it should meet these requirements without sacrificing flavor or convenience. In addition to nourishing the body, Life Alive believes that cuisine should also benefit the environment and the community. That’s why the restaurant sources its ingredients sustainably, recycles and composts scraps, and uses biodegradable packaging and cleaning materials formulated without chemicals or bacon.

194 Middle St
Lowell,
MA
US

Husband-and-wife team and Prana Power Yoga cofounders Philippe and Taylor Wells foster an environment in which clients can explore holistic wellness through yoga, intensive workshops, and events. Instructors at each heated studio locations roll out the welcome yoga mats, encouraging students of all interests and skill levels, from mothers-to-be to veteran sun saluters, to build strong bodies and peaceful minds in a judgment-free environment. During athletic Vinyasa-style yoga classes, certified instructors crank up temperatures as high as 99 degrees before taking mat mavens through a sequence of sweaty postures linked with mindful breathing exercises designed to boost lung capacity to Sting-like levels. Meanwhile, visitors in search of a transformative experience can attend one of the studio's workshops or events, which range from juice cleanses to destination yoga retreats in Nayarit, Mexico.

585 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge,
MA
US