Cawfee tawk
October 4, 2009 7:33 PM   Subscribe

Good coffee hangout, Somerville/Medford/Malden or thereabouts?

Looking for recommendations for a comfortable place to sit and catch up with a friend on a Saturday afternoon, in a geographic area neither one of us is familar with (we're meeting in the middle). Good coffee and baked goods would be a plus, of course.

Also, both of us will be driving, so it'd be great to find a place with parking (or at least not totally hellacious local parking).

Previous discussions on MeFi say good things about Diesel in Somerville--is it possible to park in the vicinity?

Thanks for your help!
posted by Sublimity to Travel & Transportation (15 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Diesel is okay. Honestly, I like the Starbucks across the street better (it is a really excellent Starbucks), but Diesel is cool because when the weather is nice, they'll open up all the windows, and basically the store extends right out on to the busy sidewalk. Also it's got pool tables, and more 'interesting' people, which you may or may not prefer.

There's plenty of meter parking around that area, but if you're not familiar with the area, it can be a bit tricky driving around.
posted by where u at dawg at 7:39 PM on October 4, 2009

there's definitely a decent amount of parking in and around Davis Square, though I find that Diesel can sometimes be crowded and noisy, especially on a Saturday afternoon.

if you want some place a little quieter, you could also consider True Grounds in Ball Square. Your parking choices are limited to on-street, but generally traffic on that street are low enough that you won't have a problem finding a spot.
posted by bl1nk at 7:43 PM on October 4, 2009

There is parking around Davis Sq. (where Diesel is) but it can take some circiing to find it. There is a lot if you turn on the corner where Diva is (right by Diesel) and then take the 1st right. That's probably your best bet. There is a Brazilian Bakery in a strip mall near the BJs in Malden, which has very tasty snacks, but I'm not sure what its called. There's also a starbucks in Davis Sq. if you are up for that. Someday Cafe may be in Davis Sq. again, I can't quite remember if it left again after it came back. But if it's in Davis again it's pretty good.
posted by katers890 at 7:44 PM on October 4, 2009

A really nice quiet place is behind Tufts, the Danish Pastry House. Quiet, nice, not overly hip. Diesel can wear on you after a while. I heard that they finally changed the bathrooms, which were always disgusting. After years of going there, I got annoyed with the jackasses behind the counter who were generally unfriendly, and the uber hipness boredom of the whole scene. Oh and the insanely crappy loud music that they played.

The Danish Pastry house is just lovely. Nothing much going on inside, nice open space, big windows, quiet. Plenty of parking.
posted by sully75 at 7:55 PM on October 4, 2009

You're describing a huge area, which I think has many excellent coffee shops. Let me give you my favorite, which is at about the southwest edge of Somerville: The Biscuit. It's a bakery / patisserie as well as a coffee shop, and the baked goods are excellent (have a savory scone!). The soups are great too. The space is airy and open, and if it's warm you can sit outside on the back porch. God I miss that place.

Parking's a little tough, but there are meters on the street and you may be able to use the Wine and Cheese Cask lot across the street.

I am not really a fan of the Diesel. It's a big space with a lot of seating, but it's laid out too densely and is not very comfortable. Also, most of the shop is kinda dark.
posted by grobstein at 7:58 PM on October 4, 2009

Seconding Danish Pastry House.
posted by danb at 8:10 PM on October 4, 2009

Danish and True Grounds are both great. If you're willing to venture over the border into Cambridge, I'd recommend Petsi Pies (I think they have a Somerville branch as well), Andala Coffee House, or Atomic Bean. All three are laid back enough that you won't feel crowded or rushed, and there's plenty of parking in Central Square.
posted by oinopaponton at 8:27 PM on October 4, 2009

I was also going to recommend the Biscuit, but the entire Inman Square area can be a little tough for parking on a weekend, but you should be able to find something. I wouldn't park in the Wine & Cheese lot if you want to have a relaxed get-together without worrying about getting towed.

The Someday Cafe is still defunct.
posted by bl1nk at 8:27 PM on October 4, 2009

I'd recommend Petsi Pies (I think they have a Somerville branch as well)

The Somerville location is on Beacon St. There's essentially no seating, though, so I wouldn't recommend it.
posted by grobstein at 9:08 PM on October 4, 2009

If you're interested in Cambridge, Crema is a Harvard Square curiosity. Very nice space, good espresso, nice hot foods. Young, attractive crowd. It's very busy, though, and it's a little bit too stylish for me. It feels to me like the version of a European coffeehouse that you might get in Tokyo.
posted by grobstein at 9:19 PM on October 4, 2009

As a (relatively) long-term resident, I would strongly suggest Bloc 11 in Union Square over Diesel. Same coffee, same owner, none of the holier-than-thou hipster bullshit.

Park on Walnut St, which is the first right after Bloc 11. It's not permit-restricted, and it's easy to find a spot.
posted by ellF at 10:03 PM on October 4, 2009

Between The Biscuit and Bloc 11, on Washington Street right on the corner of Union Square, is Sherman Cafe, and there is meter parking right outside.
posted by galaksit at 5:37 AM on October 5, 2009

Almost across the street from Petsi Pies, right near Porter Square, is Cafe Rustica. There should be street parking out front. If the weather is even slightly warm, you can sit out back in their cute backyard. The guys that run the place are awesome, and the customers are loyal, as evidenced by the huge number of postcards they receive when folks travel. (Full disclosure: at least two of those postcards are from my husband and I!)

The coffee is good. The Rustica sandwich is divine. Highly recommended.
posted by wyzewoman at 7:35 AM on October 5, 2009

Thanks all--so many appealing suggestions. I appreciate them all (and will make excuses to visit all of them. Mmmm!)

Grobstein, you're right, it is a big area...I can't tell from the map what the urban densities and parking patterns are, though. Thanks to all the helpful locals.

And, um, Boston-area meetup anytime soon??
posted by Sublimity at 5:05 PM on October 5, 2009

Sublimity: if you haven't seen the thread yet, there's a meetup in the works for this coming weekend!
posted by danb at 8:26 PM on October 10, 2009

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