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.
The upscale shops and restaurants of the Back Bay provide a picturesque backdrop for afternoon tea at London Cafe, nestled inside the brownstone façade of Royalton Suites. The lobby's hanging chandelier beckons visitors inside the boutique hotel, where they can assemble in the tearoom to sample classic English teas, sandwiches, and pastries shaped like their favorite Beatle.
Lots of restaurants afford their diners stunning views, but Charles River Bistro truly makes the most of its location. The eatery boasts Parisian-style outdoor seating with views of the Charles River lagoon. Here, passersby sit with their pooches and enjoy lobster rolls and hot paninis?plus vegetarian and vegan eats?and get a side of complimentary doggie treats.
After their meals, guests can grab the caf?'s frisbees, whiffle balls, soccer balls, and chessboards and head to the surrounding park grounds. Charles River Bistro also sells staple outdoor supplies, including sunscreen, beach blankets, and insect repellant. It encourages people to stock up on snacks and supplies and head to the adjacent DCR Hatch Shell to watch a flick or stare unblinking into the eyes of a musician until they become so uncomfortable that they hand over a guitar pick.
The smell of sizzling Turkish and Mediterranean fare fills your senses as soon as you walk into Cafe Hemshin. Aromas of roasting lamb mingle with splashes of Greek dressing being tossed into salads and sweet scents emanating from an oven baking rice pudding. The meze bar entices both eyes and tastebuds with its lineup of traditional Mediterranean appetizers such as babaganoush and stir-fried eggplant, which guests can mix and match into a tapas dinner or a diorama of a bean’s life cycle. The recently opened eatery also boasts an extensive create-your-own salad bar with plenty of healthy options such as grilled chicken, egg whites, avocado, and organic lettuces.
As a candy shop, ice cream parlor, bakery, and coffee destination, Maplewood Coffee Shop & Ice Cream has a little something sweet for everyone. In glass jars above the coolers, brightly-colored candy wrappers make a rainbow of options. Meanwhile, the pastry case shelves are lined with a wide variety fresh-baked muffins that pair perfectly with a hot cup of coffee?ground and brewed behind the counter?while scoops of ice cream are offered year-round, even during national gazpacho week.
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.