Whether you’re grabbing a morning latte on your way to work, sipping tea with friends, or settling in with coffee and a snack for a while, there really is no substitute for a good coffee shop. From national chains to local cafes, if you’re looking for the best place to get coffee in Somerville, MA, we’ve gathered some of our favorites for you, ranked in no particular order. We narrowed the list down to five, but snuck a bonus entry in at the end. While not a coffee shop first and foremost, it’s one of the best places in Somerville to get coffee and pastries, so we included it all the same.
So grab your beverage of choice, snag a scone, and snuggle in to that corner booth: here are some of the best coffee shops in Somerville, MA.
3 Little Figs
A self-described “cozy little 18-seat cafe,” this family affair is run by married couple Katie & Andy, who traded in their careers in broadcast production and touring in the music industry, respectively, bringing a hip, trendy outlook to their cafe (as well as the neighboring smoothie shop, Health Club). With a tasty, creative menu, a rotating selection of artisinally roasted coffees, and a friendly, fun atmosphere, 3 Little Figs almost feels like something out of a fairy tale, or if the Etsy community started selling coffee and muffins. So if you’re looking for a fun, funky, and personal touch in your cafes, 3 Little Figs just might be your dream come true.
Nine Bar Espresso
This Davis Square favorite serves up locally roasted coffee courtesy of Gracenote Coffee Roasters, as well as curated selection of premium grade loose-leaf teas, courtesy of Camellia Sinesis. Top it off with fresh pastries delivered every morning from Salem’s A&J King Bakery, and you have the makings of a perfect little coffee spot. Popular with the in-and-out crowd, don’t forget to swing by before noon to grab tasty snacks like Ricotta Jam toast while they’re available. Nine Bar serves up classic espresso drinks like cappuccinos and mocha lattes, but be sure to try their flat white and nitro cold brew when you’re in the mood. All told, if you’re in the mood for upscale, artisinal hot drinks on the go, swing by Davis Square and stop in at Nine Bar Espresso.
Arts at the Armory Café
Located on the first floor of the Center for Arts at the Armory between Davis and Union Squares, the café is a great spot if you’re looking for something a little different. While their selection of espresso and coffee drinks, Mighty Leaf teas, or the soup, sandwich, and salad-focused food menu more than satisfies, the remarkable thing about this café is its atmosphere. Local poetry, singer-songwriters, and touring acoustic musicians all perform at the café. Generally peaceful and laid-back during its normal hours of 10-6, its also open during events. So whether you’re sipping a latte, or something a bit stronger from their beer and wine list, it’s a great place to kick back and catch some great entertainment.
Whether you’re into carefully curated roasts, or hand-selected imported teas, True Grounds goes the extra mile to choose their ingredients. This makes choosing what to order tricky, but in a good way. From the Daterra Farm north Italian-style espresso that comes in smooth with an almond-floral aroma, and a velvety honey, vanilla, and marzipan aftertaste. Bold and complex, it enhances the character of espresso drinks, but also makes a fine shot by itself. The food menu offers similarly thoughtful fare. Favorites include the curry tofu wrap, any Panini on fresh-baked sourdough, and the rotating selection of zucchini, pumpkin, and banana breads, but you can’t really go wrong with these.
If you like nuanced coffee and tea served with hearty food, you’ll find True Grounds to be among the best places to eat in Somerville, MA.
Forge Baking Company
“Cookies and bread make everything better,” proclaims Somerville, MA’s Forge Baking Company, and it’s hard to disagree with the logic. Tucked away in a strip mall on Somerville Avenue, this hidden gem hides one of the best bakeries and coffee shops in Somerville, MA. The coffee here is excellent, make no mistake – the cardamom latte and beet ginger lemonade are must-tries – but the main draw here is the magnificent bakery.
From sweet potato brioche and hearty avocado toast, to oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and maple oat scones, the fresh-baked goodies are everything you could want from a local bakery, and they pair wonderfully with the drinks. A hidden gem it may be, but Forge Baking Company is hardly a well-kept secret. The cafe is frequently bustling with customers, regulars remark on the consistently excellent service regardless of how busy they get. If the idea of excellent fresh bread, sandwiches, arguably the best cakes in Somerville, and some truly unique coffee drinks appeal to you, then Forge Baking Company might well be the best coffee shop in Somerville, MA for you.
Bonus: PAUL Bakery & Cafe at Assembly Square
While it’s more cafe than coffee shop, PAUL is just too good to not mention. A French chain, PAUL cafes are much more prominent in Europe than the United States. The coffee is excellent and expertly prepared, the pastries are fantastic, and the setting downright cozy. If you’re looking for an authentic French cafe experience, PAUL Bakery & Cafe is the closest you can get without heading to Paris. Head in before 3 to catch breakfast, and savor the eggs Benedict, a smoked salmon & hard-boiled egg croissant, or a Paris ham, egg, and cheese baguette. Or come in any time for a caramelized apple tart, chocolate almond croissant, or mini cream & chocolate danish. If you’re looking for a place to enjoy good coffee and great pastries, PAUL Bakery & Cafe is arguably the best place in Somerville, and definitely worth checking out.
Pull up a Chair
Who serves the best coffee in Somerville, MA? Ultimately, taste is a subjective thing. There will never be a single, correct answer. It really comes down to which spot is your favorite. And any of the above establishments is a fantastic place to start looking. The best coffee shop in Somerville might well change depending on the day: what really matters is finding a place that does it for you.
To that end, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the best coffee shops in Somerville, MA. Did we miss your favorite? Have something to add to the entries above? Let us know in the comments!