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.
Jenn and Donny have long accepted their elitist take on coffee. As college students and self-professed coffee snobs who both worked in the food industry, they bemoaned a lack of sophisticated brews and attentive service, finally deciding that innovation would be the best form of protest. They dreamt up their own café where the beans would be freshly micro-roasted, the cocoa would incorporate three types of chocolate, and every drink would be handmade by the same person who took your order. The resulting venue, Coffee Break Cafe, lined its menu with libations of all temperatures and caffeinated creeds.
The café's house blend hails from locales such as Sumatra, Colombia, Africa, and South America and is shipped from specialty roasters who prep the beans in small batches. Jenn and Donny's commitment to coffee quality is matched by their enthusiasm for the natural world—they stock organic and fair-trade options, as well as dairy products from a hormone-free farm. Though they stand by meticulous barista techniques, they are hardly sugar-shunning purists. They readily infuse hot and frozen drinks with dessert flavors, ranging from red velvet cupcake to cinnamon bun, crafting a far superior breakfast sweet than grapefruit pie. Bagels and pastries, delivered daily by neighborhood bakeries, balance out refreshing sips. The morning hotspot's communal spirit is reflected in hanging pictures by local artists, live music, and complimentary story readings for kids.
Commended by Boston magazine in 2008 for wedding-gown preservation, Dependable Cleaners offers a basketful of laundering and dry-cleaning services. Turn last night's unfortunate ketchup incident into tonight's food-free canvas with same-day service. Items dropped off before 8 a.m. Monday through Saturday can typically be picked up by 5 p.m. that same day, depending on the location. Though prices vary by location, all stores offer the same reliable de-staining services for dusty dresses ($14.04–$15.34), slovenly shirts ($2.54–$2.88), and pigpennish pants ($7.08–$7.98). Hide a fading summer tan with a freshly depurated jacket ($7.65–$8.52) or sweater ($7.23–$8.73). Dependable Cleaners locations can also handle unconventional vestments such as ballroom gowns, Ugg boots, and antique tri-cornered hats.
Inside a historical downtown Quincy home that dates back to the 1850s, chef and baker Lisa Tavakoli crafts signature dishes and scones for guests to savor in a Victorian tearoom. Lisa gathers 8–15 students around her countertop to demonstrate how to top plates with multiple courses and drinks. She emphasizes the gustatory roles that all senses play, creating visually appealing dishes and steeping teas that appeal to the drinker's sixth sense. Curricula include Persian cuisine, Italian cuisine, and courses on raw cooking and seasonal ingredients.
Fowler House Cafe serves casual pub food amidst rustic tavern elegance, surrounding diners in high-backed hardwood booths, exposed brick walls, and high wood paneling. Staffers work to maintain its neighborhood sports-bar atmosphere, whether pouring pints at a central wood-topped bar or balancing plates of pub grub crafted in house from scratch. In the kitchen, chefs dress platters of buffalo tenders and wings in varying degrees of hot sauce, marinate black-Angus steak tips, and fry native scrod. Creative types can unleash their free will onto pizzas, which readily receive customization with more than 20 toppings such as pineapple, eggplant, and sausage. Diners can bite into a cheesy slice and view the vigorous clapping of proud coaches on high-definition TVs perched throughout the space.