Jul 12, 2022 - Food and Drink

Revival Cafe offers upscale option in Dunkin' town

Tables and chairs inside Revival Cafe

Funky dinosaurs in an airy, relaxed upscale cafe setting at Revival. Photo: Mike Deehan/Axios

Last week, I did something most of us used to do all the time, but probably haven't gotten to very much the last few years: I popped into a bustling cafe to meet with someone.

The setup: Revival Cafe on Newbury St. is the quintessential spot for a quick bite or fancy coffee. I got an Americano and sat at a sidewalk table.

Why it matters: In a town where mid-tier coffee consumption is dominated by Dunkin' and Starbucks, and Tatte and Cafe Nero seem to pop up everywhere to cover the higher end, it's impressive that a smaller chain of three cafes can establish itself and then expand during a pandemic.

There's breakfast served all day, so try the Jimmy Pesto sandwich (egg, feta, spinach and sunflower seed pesto on a homemade muffin) or the Salt-N-Pepa Sando (egg, bacon, cheese and maple mustard butter on a salt and pepper biscuit).

  • For lunch there's the Green Goblin (grilled chicken, garlic roasted carrots, pickled jalapeños and cheese on a sweet potato roll) or the Down with LPC (lemon pepper chicken salad with golden raisins on rye).
  • The extensive drink menu features matcha, house-made elderflower and thyme syrup, and cafe classics.

Details: Crema Cafe veteran Liza Shirazi and Steve "Nookie" Postal of Commonwealth Market in Cambridge founded Revival in 2016 to provide top-notch coffee and beverage service alongside pastries and savory snacks.

  • Their Newbury St. location opened in July 2021, joining locations in Alewife and Davis Square.

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