As a Portland native, I have high expectations for my coffee. I'm talking artisanal roasters on every corner, that's what I have grown accustomed to. It is also what I look for out of my surroundings. Thankfully, Simmons is located in the up and coming and constantly expanding Fenway neighborhood, and since Fall 2017 two new coffee haunts have opened. So, as a self-proclaimed coffee shop connoisseur here is my take on the best coffee shops near Simmons for when you just have to get off campus to study. In no particular order, my favorites:

1. Pavement Coffeehouse; 0.3 mi from Res

So here's the skinny, Pavement is not my favorite coffee. They recently switched from Counter Culture coffee to their own brew, and they are opening up a roastery in Brighton. By transitioning to using company-specific roasts I'm excited to see how their roast evolves. But here's why I come to Pavement more weekends than not: Bagels. Their housemade bagels and bagel sandwiches are some of my favorite things in this neighborhood. And, because I just order iced tea and a bagel I usually spend only $5 for a meal + a couple hours of studying.

Plus, getting to study in the shadow of Fenway Park is a pretty cool thing to brag to all your sports nerds friends about, AND they have some of the best music playing here. Just last week Aly & AJ and "If We Were a Movie", the duet version with Corbin Blue, were playing and I was living. Pavement is the coffee shop near Simmons that most reliably has seating, which is one of the best parts. If you're also feeling like switching it up, there's a Pavement at Berklee that's within walking distance if you're looking to pick-up an artsy music type - which I sometimes am.

2. Tatte Bakery and Cafe; 0.2 mi from Res

Jordan Ziese

Now this place. Tatte, pronounced like latte... I think. I even have a friend who interviewed for a job here and she's not 100% sure. But that's part of the elusive charm, right? A Boston chain and legend, it has that perfect breezy European charm. They've perfected their aesthetic with white marble countertops, unfinished wood tables (I literally got a splinter trying to take Econ notes here), and stacks of pastry.

Tatte is the perfect Sunday brunch spot and has my favorite coffee on the list. They serve Stumptown which disclaimer: it's a company from Portland so that automatically makes it the best coffee in the States IMHO. All I need is a few shots over ice and a pastry (legend has it that if you go right before closing pastries are only $1 or $2!). However, Tatte notoriously has zero seating, and you will have to break out your New York face to fight for a table. Not saying it's not worth it, but it is certainly not the most tranquil coffee shop near Simmons. It's fun to take people watching breaks though, and whatever you do please order the short rib grilled cheese at some point in your life. It is not a meal conducive to studying, but it's my absolute favorite thing on the menu.

3. Neighborhoods; 0.3 mi from Res

If you didn't go to Neighborhoods your first week at Simmons, do you even go here? The spot is legendary for the insta-worthy and totally delicious crepes, and has some legendary wallpaper that you have to snap a pic in front of to prove that you're there.

However, there's only enough inside seating for about 12 people, so it's not the best spot for studying once they pull the outside tables in for the winter. But the minute the sun comes back out again catch me sipping on some George Howell espresso and savoring an apple pie crepe. Word to the wise- bring some paper homework because the WiFi connection does exist, it's just not the best and when you can only find seating outside laptops are trickier to use. And please, if you're going on an evenly remotely sunny day, poke your head into Ramler Park on Peterborough St. You should walk past it on your way to Neighborhoods, and it is the most beautiful garden that no one has ever heard of, complete with roses, a fountain, and a sheltered book exchange tucked away in the corner so you can grab a book if you forgot your reading on campus!

4. Caffe Nero; it's complicated

So. We live in a cool big city near a bustling medical center, and I really want the world's best medical professionals to be properly caffeinated. In this same vein, Caffe Nero has two locations within 0.5 mi from campus. If you live at the front of Res Campus near Simmons Hall, the Nero on Boylston is your best bet, and if you towards the back in North or South then the Longwood Nero is a literal block away. However, for aesthetic and comfort reasons, I prefer the Nero on Brookline because it has a lot more seating and a lot fewer people in scrubs making me feel bad about the lack of things I've done with my life thus far. 

Nero is new to the US, and rapidly expanding into Boston as evidenced by the proximity of locations. The new Boylston St location has plenty of seating, lots of delicious baked goods, and is right next door to Target so you can do errands and coffee in one trip. Their coffee is good, but their sandwich selection is better, and their cake displays will make you forget any New Years resolutions you've ever made. The new Fenway location also has a cute game room with a shuffleboard if you really need a study break. 

5. The Boston Public Library; 1.5 mi from Res 

While not technically a coffee shop, Newsfeed Cafe inside the BPL serves a good glass of cold brew and has fun little snacks on hand for when you've forgotten how long you've been in the library. Newsfeed is also the host space for WGBH's radio broadcasts, and you'll often run into performers or a live show being recorded.  

The walk seems daunting, but it only takes a half hour and you get to wander past the Fenway Victory Gardens, the Massachusetts Historical Society, Berklee's main campus, Hynes Convention Center, the Pru, and most importantly the Lindt Truffle store. But if the weather's not working for you it's also just a few stops on the Green Line away. The Library is obviously a prime study spot, but also boasts historic architecture and a travel book section to get yourself distracted when you just can't look at your computer anymore.

Boston is an exciting place for college kids, and coffee is its lifeblood. So next time you need a pick me up or a break from library monotony, don't settle for the nearest Starbucks, instead give one of these Boston haunts a try. I will guarantee no matter where you go you will leave happy, caffeinated, and feeling like you've found a shop to call yours.