Calm and Cozy Cafes
BY N. RAZBAN '23
You stare out the window as rain patters on the sidewalk. The cozy scent of coffee and fresh pastries drifts over as you sip your Earl Grey tea. Suddenly, inspiration strikes for your essay, and you start typing, creating a pleasant click-clack that compliments the smooth jazz playing over the speakers. It's a perfectly rainy spring day, the ideal kind for visiting a coffee shop. You could make a hot chocolate at home, but it's so much more fun to have someone else make it for you--and to eavesdrop on strangers’ conversations while sipping it. Not to mention the infinite picture opportunities coffee shops offer! Driftwood coffee tables, latte foam art—is this heaven? Or just a white woman’s Instagram? Help Bo Burnham figure it out by visiting my selection of the ~vibiest~ cafes around.
Nashoba Brook Bakery in West Concord. This place has embraced a vintage and cozy atmosphere, harboring an assortment of colorful seats that are reminiscent of a 16th century merchant’s living room. You can peek into the kitchen and smell the fresh bread. Once you have your food, you can enjoy it while overlooking a bubbling brook and lush forest. Ah yes, this is the life. Chai latte in hand, head out the back door to an old bridge framing the river and admire the beauties this quaint New England town has to offer. There is no doubt about it; you are the main character. Although I’ve included this location for its vibe, we cannot overlook the glory that is Nashoba’s rugelach. A dessert that originated in the Jewish community in Poland, this filled puff pastry is worth the ten minute drive to Concord.
Cafe Nero in Concord. Two words for you: dark academia. Have you ever wanted to be a student at a university in London? Perhaps you’ve dreamt of reading Sherlock Holmes under glowing lights while mist cocoons your cozy haven of a coffee shop? Cafe Nero is the place for you! Large armchairs and leather sofas surround the perimeter of the coffee shop and at its center lies a long table where a meet-cute is just begging to happen. If you find yourself hungry after sharing your life story with a complete stranger, you can wander over to the display case full of appetizing cakes and pastries. Immediately order one of the cheesecakes. No, you don’t have free will. Yes, you will order the cheesecake because I told you so, but I promise you won’t regret it!
Harvard General Store in (you guessed it) Harvard. Probably the most picturesque coffee shop around, Harvard General Store is located in the historic town of Harvard. In fact, it is so picturesque that the 2019 remake of Little Women was filmed down the road at Fruitland Museum! That's right fellas, you can enjoy a delicious snack while walking the same earth as both Emma Watson and Timothée Chalamet. What more could you want? And across the street is a pretty little winding road called “Lover’s Lane”; it’s lined with classic New England-style houses, giving it a very fairy tale feel. In terms of food, I would HIGHLY recommend the TBLT (turkey bacon lettuce tomato) as it is by far the best sandwich I’ve ever had.
Acton Coffee House. Right up the road from ABRHS, the Acton Coffee House provides some of the most creative drinks I’ve seen in a hot minute. From loose-leaf teas to every smoothie flavor you can imagine, the coffee house has it all. They also have a bajillion milk options so you’ll never have to drink your latte with plain ol’ whole milk again. They offer some incredible seasonal drinks, with my favorite being the Mexican hot chocolate; it;s a thick mixture of chocolate, whatever milk tickles your fancy, and some pretty invigorating spices. You can get the warm gooey feel of drinking hot cocoa while still getting that coffee kick from the sheer amount of spice.
Concord Tea Cakes. This bakery at the heart of west Concord has the best deserts around. One specific one has my heart: the mint brownie. When I wake up in the morning, I think of the mint brownie. When I fall asleep at night, I dream of the mint brownie. What is love? Baby don’t hurt me. A mint brownie in each hand. They also have majorly upgraded grocery store style cookies, as in they are actually good and don't suffocate you after every bite. With beautiful decorations for any occasion, these make for great gifts. However, if you aren't too keen on sweets, Concord Tea Cakes also have a wide selection of what I like to call “things you can put cream cheese on,” including bagels, braided breads, muffins and so much more! Essentially, this cafe has every flavor for every palette, so indulge yourself, my friend!
Folks, we’ve come to the end of our coffee shop stroll. You must now fulfill your main character dreams of writing a screenplay in an aesthetic cafe! Pinterest relies on you~