Jan 29, 2024 - News

The best Boston-area cafes to work from

A round table with two wooden chairs shaped like hands inside Life Alive restaurant in Cambridge.

Life Alive in Harvard Square. Photo: David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Sometimes a change of scenery helps boost productivity, so here are the best Boston-area coffee shops to work from.

Why it matters: Remote and hybrid work enables us to be in community with our neighbors and friends when we need a break from the work-from-home office.

Be smart: A few tips if you're going to hang around a local cafe or eatery for a few hours.

  • Support local businesses! Buy their food, and tip well.
  • Don't hog all the table space.
  • Don't overstay your welcome. If they're closing or facing a rush of customers, it might be time to head out.

Of note: We rated these spots based on their amenities and affordability.

  • Every spot has WiFi and is open until 4pm or later.
  • We're also skipping the following chains (they're too crowded anyway): Caffe Nero, Tatte, Pavement, Jaho and Blank Street Coffee.

The obvious

Life Alive

It's one of the only local chains that offers nutritious meals, comfortable seats and reliable WiFi.

  • Hours: 7am-9pm daily at most locations (8am-10pm at Central Square)

George Howell Coffee

George Howell's coffee is pricy, but the WiFi is reliable.

  • Hours: 7am-6:30pm daily
  • Closest T stop: Downtown Crossing (Orange/Red Lines), Park Street (Red Line).

Flour Bakery + Cafe

Sometimes Flour gets crowded, but it's rare to see a cafe that offers meals all hours of the day and stable WiFi.

  • Hours: 6:30am-7pm daily.

Temptations Cafe

The locally owned Brookline cafe has pastries, coffee and WiFi.

  • Hours: 7am-7pm on weekdays. It opens a little later on weekends.
  • Closest T stop: Coolidge Corner (Green Line, C Branch).

Sleeper hits

Abigail's Tea Room

If you don't mind the windy walk on the bridge, Abigail's Tea Room is one of the most affordable spots with WiFi. For $3.99 you can get unlimited tea (albeit from a limited selection).

  • Hours: 9:30am-5:30pm off season; 9:30am-6pm in season.
  • Closest T stop: South Station (Red/Silver Lines).

Madhouse Cafe

Madhouse Cafe in Dorchester has baklava, a direct view of the namesake motorcycle restoration shop and WiFi.

  • Hours: 8am-4pm daily.
  • Closest T stop: JFK/UMass. (Nubian Square bus station is closer).

Remnant Brewing

The Bow Market brewery not only sells beer, but also hot coffee for folks at all hours.

  • Plus: WiFi
  • Hours: 9am-10pm weekdays; hours vary on weekends.
  • Closest T stop: Union Square (Green Line, E Branch).

Caffe Bene

This Seoul-based coffeehouse chain is filled with sweet treats and sandwiches at affordable prices.

  • Plus: WiFi
  • Hours: 8am-10pm Sunday-Thursday; 8am-11pm on Friday and Saturday.
  • Closest T stop: Mass. Ave (Orange Line).

Phinista Cafe

Phinista sells French-Vietnamese inspired coffee dishes and has WiFi.

  • Hours: 9:30am-6pm daily
  • Closest T stop: Fenway Station (Green Line, D Branch).
  • Protip: Take a break with a walk through the Fens between tasks.

Cafe Beatrice

Cafe Beatrice at Cambridge Crossing is another semi-pricey, but tasty cafe with WiFi.

  • Hours: 7am-9pm Tuesday-Friday; hours vary Saturday-Monday.
  • Closest T stop: Lechmere (Green Line, D and E Branches).

Bloc Cafe

The historic bank building-turned coffee shop has smoothies, sandwiches, coffee and, most importantly, WiFi.

  • Hours: 7am-5pm daily
  • Closest T stop: Union Square (Green Line, E Branch).

Cafe Iterum

Cafe Iterum is probably one of the only spots you can work while munching in Eastie at night.

  • Plus: WiFi
  • Hours: 6am-8pm weekdays; 7am-8pm weekends.
  • Closest T stop: Maverick Station (Blue Line).

Coco Leaf — AKoKo Cafe

Coco Leaf in Fields Corner has bubble tea, smoothies and coffee for relatively little. And WiFi.

  • Hours: 9am-8pm Sunday-Thursday; 9am-9pm Friday-Saturday
  • Closest T stop: Fields Corner (Red Line).

Evergreen Cafe

Jamaica Plain has lots of cafes to choose from, but Evergreen is open later than most and has WiFi.

  • Hours: 8am-8:30pm Tuesday-Saturday; limited hours on Sunday and closed Monday.
  • Closest T stop: Green Street (Orange Line).
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