the best coffeeshops to get work done in Boston

Hi, I’m Nancy, and I’m weirdly obsessed with coffee shops.

Even long before I was a full-time remote worker, I spent most of my free time in coffee shops studying and working on passion projects. There’s something about the buzz of people around you, the background chatter, the strong smell of espresso, that invigorates me.

Also, being outside my house is immensely helpful for my productivity.

Having lived in Boston for the past 5+ years, I’ve explored many of the coffee shops in the city. Here are my absolute favorites, depending on what area I’m in — think of it as your map to coffee shops in the city (with some non-coffeeshop places to study at the bottom…).

Back Bay

Barrington Coffee Roasting Company

Pros: Matcha (unsweetened), great cold brew, has nitro cold brew, strong wifi

Cons: Don’t have much food that’s gf/df

Loyalty program? Yes — enter your phone number

**EDIT: 4/7/19 They have now been closed to focus on coffee distribution.

North End/West End

Equal Exchange


Pros: Friendly staff, plenty of snacks (and chocolate!) including gf/df/vegan options from Jennifer Lee’s Bakery, plenty of outlets, has oat milk

Cons: Can get very crowded sometimes

Loyalty program? Yes — enter in your phone number or use LevelUp

Chinatown/South End

Jaho Coffee Roaster & Wine Bar

Jaho Coffee Roaster & Wine Bar

Pros: Good coffee with food options too, has macadamia nut milk and oat milk, serves wine/beer/spirits (for you night owls), lots of seating and outlets

Cons: It’s quite pricey and they’ll frown upon you if you bring outside food, not super friendly

Loyalty program? No

Farmer Horse Coffee

Photo courtesy of @hanmcduffie on Instagram

Photo courtesy of @hanmcduffie on Instagram

Pros: Breakfast sandwiches, decent wifi, nice staff, near Northeastern campus

Cons: Very small space, not many outlets

Loyalty program? Not sure

Render Coffee

Render Coffee

Pros: Good coffee

Cons: Not many spaces with outlets

Loyalty program? Yes — enter your phone number to earn stars

Union Square

Bloc Somerville

Photo courtesy of @blocsomerville on Instagram

Photo courtesy of @blocsomerville on Instagram

Pros: Large seating space, has food with gf/df options, has oat milk

Cons: No almond milk

Loyalty program? No

Multiple Locations

Pavement Coffee (Newbury St., Fenway, Back Bay, Allston/Brighton)


Pros: Has bagels, salads/sammies with gf/df/vegan options

Cons: Cold brew is really pricey

Loyalty program? Yes — you collect stars by entering in your phone number

Caffe Nero (Central Square, Downtown Crossing, Seaport, Government Center, Newbury St.)

Pros: Strong wifi, strong coffee

Cons: Uses sweetened almond milk (Almond Breeze) rather than Califia Farms or New Barn barista blend

Loyalty program? Yes. Get a punch card, use LevelUp, or download the app

Peet’s Coffee: Assembly Row, Harvard Square (2), Ink Block, Boylston

Peet's Coffee

(some of them are in a Capital One)

Pros: Strong wifi, the ones in Capital One cafes usually have rooms you can call or work by yourself in, has food/snacks

Cons: Not super “cutesy” (more of a corporate environment), homeless people like to hang out in some of them

Loyalty program? Yes — download the Peet’s app (you also get a discount if you have a Capital One card and pay with it — at Capital One Cafes only)

Honorable Mentions

Tatte Bakery (Back Bay, Fenway, Seaport, Harvard Square, Downtown Crossing, Northeastern)


Pros: Great food and coffee with a lot of options

Cons: Slow wifi, very crowded, not often a lot of outlets, gets randomly very cold in the winter

Loyalty program? Yes — get a punchcard. Only works on espresso drinks (i.e. anything except tea)

Life Alive (Central Square, Brighton/Allston)

Life Alive

Pros: Amazing vegan food and CBD teas

Cons: Can get quite busy

Loyalty program? Yes — get a punchcard

Fomu (South End)

Photo courtesy of @tmfoodies on Instagram

Photo courtesy of @tmfoodies on Instagram

Pros: Vegan ice cream!

Cons: You’ll probably be on a sugar high while you’re studying (they do have coffee and tea you can get too/instead of ice cream though)

Loyalty program? No

Thinking Cup (North End, Back Bay/Newbury St.)

Photo courtesy of @jeffs_table on Instagram

Photo courtesy of @jeffs_table on Instagram

Pros: No wifi (if you’re studying/writing and don’t want to get distracted)

Cons: No wifi (if your work involves being on the internet), it’s quite dark and cramped

Loyalty program? No

ByCHLOE. (Back Bay, Seaport, Fenway)


Pros: You can get vegan food, matcha, dessert, coffee while you study/work, decent wifi speed

Cons: You’ll end up smelling like fries (not necessarily a con), can be distracting with the decor, is pricey

Loyalty program? No

Loyal Nine (Cambridge)

Photo courtesy of @loyalninecafe on Instagram

Photo courtesy of @loyalninecafe on Instagram

Pros: Brunch. Also beer apparently. Good wifi speed. Outdoor patio space is nice in the summer.

Cons: Not very many seats or outlets, not many gf/df options for food (but then you get hungry smelling everyone’s non gf/df food)

Loyalty program? No