Whether you’re a resident, frequent visitor, or just someone who catches the occasional Red Sox home game, the Fenway neighborhood has some truly excellent coffee shops and cafes. From international chains to local gems, there’s something for every palette here.
While it was difficult to whittle down the list to 5, we managed in the end. So without further ado, here’s our top 5 best coffee shops in Fenway.
We’re starting off our list with a bit of an asterisk: Blackbird Doughnuts is not going to knock your socks off with its artisanally curated selection of caffeinated beverages. You’ve got brewed coffee and cold brew, hot and iced tea. Frozen cider too, which is worth checking out, but the point is: Blackbird is a bakery, first, second, and third, and its coffee selection is limited, to put it charitably.
But what’s here is surprisingly good.
If you’re looking for a simple, strong cup of coffee, you won’t be disappointed. But let’s be clear: the reason to head here instead of the other entries on this list is to feed your sweet tooth. And beyond the impressive array of doughnuts, that sweetness extends to the drinks, with the cold brew float — or affogato, if you will — proving that you don’t always need tons of options if what you do serve is really, really good.
In stark contrast to Blackbird, Caffè Nero is more or less its opposite. Not to knock their food menu, but Caffè Nero is all about that sweet, sweet java, and it shows. Nero’s Classico blend is the stuff that espresso dreams are made of. Rich, bold, and complex: it’s the foundation for some truly flavorful drinks. Working alongside the Rainforest Alliance, Nero cultivates relationships with the farmers who grow their coffee beans. And whether you’re invested in the idea of sustainable agriculture, or simply enjoy the taste of coffee, the results are something you can feel good about.
Fenway’s Caffè Nero is a classic spot to pull out your laptop and get some work done. High ceilings, gentle classical tunes, and plenty of seating for a Fenway coffee shop give Nero a rustic, spacious feel: perfect for relaxing. When it comes to the drinks themselves, definitely consider the banana & caramel frappe cremè, any of the lattes, or a smooth flat white.
Maybe you don’t love crepes as much as we do. Or maybe you just haven’t met the right crepes yet. Worry not: Neighborhoods Coffee & Crepes will be more than happy to play matchmaker. A sterling example of truth in advertising, Neighborhoods is exactly what it says it is: a cozy, locally owned artisan cafe, serving up sweet, rich, and savory flavors of all sorts. Vegan and gluten free options abound, so groups with mixed dietary restrictions can attend with no worries.
Using ingredients from local farms, ethically-sourced fair trade coffee, and baking homemade muffins, cookies, and other pastries daily, we’ve really only got two criticisms. First, Neighborhoods is a small cozy place. While that’s a definitie pro for the atmosphere, it’s a bit less so if you can’t find a seat, though traffic congestion never lasts long. The other would be that they stop serving breakfast crepes at 10 am, Friday through Sunday, missing out on that weekend brunch goodness. But the rest of the week, it’s breakfast all day. They serve a great selection of drip and pour-over coffees, but the stars of the show are the London Fog (an Earl Grey Tea latte with milk and vanilla), and the Beestinger (a honey latte with nutmeg and cinnamon).
Highly recommended, and not just by us.
A Brookline Avenue institution, the Fenway Cafe is a treasured pre-game ritual for many Bostonians, and a big part of that is the owner, George. Friendly and knowledgeable, he’s got a way of making people feel at home: by your second or third trip in, you’ll already start to feel like a regular. Whether you’re heading to the park for a Red Sox game, or just happen to be stopping by, you’ll rarely leave the Fenway Cafe without a smile on your face.
If the weather permits — or you’re just feeling particularly adventurous — try a vanilla shake with espresso. You’ll be glad you did.
With its classy Paris-by-way-of-a-film-set aesthetic, always reliable wi-fi, and excellent selection of espresso drinks, Tzurit Or’s labor of love has come a long way from its roots. Tzurit’s no longer slinging baked goods at local farmers’ markets, but Tatte Fenway hangs its hat on delivering the same artisanal qualities in its baked goods. Suffice it to say, that metaphorical hat is nice and secure. If you’re looking for tantalizing desserts, pastries, and other baked goods in your coffee shop, you’ve come to the right place: though don’t sleep on their hearty shakshuka.
Their array of Stumptown coffee, tea, and espresso drinks rise to meet the challenge, but it’s when stepping a bit left of center that they really start to shine. Oat latte? Coming right up. A genuinely balanced matcha green tea latte? They’ll draw a little heart in the foam. But if you’re only going to try one drink here, go for the honey halva latte: you’ll be glad you did.
Coffee for Everybody
As we’ve said before, it’s tricky to whittle these lists down to just five entries. And just because your favorite isn’t listed here, that doesn’t mean it’s not spectacular: even the big international chains have brought their A game to Fenway.
Didn’t see your favorite here? Want to sing the praises of one of our selections? Sound off in the comments, and let us know!