The Great Neighborhood Coffee Debate

February 9, 2012
By

Charlestown is a coffee crazy place for residents who take their cup of Joe seriously. Shown in the photographs accompanying this story is Sorelle’s near to the Navy Yard, Zume’s, top right on Main Street and the Grasshopper on Bunker Hill Street, lower right. It isn’t so much a coffee war in Charlestown as a coffee lover’s delight. There’s a variety to choose from and that makes for great coffee experiences

Breakfast is said to be the most important meal of the day. But for those who have to wake up for an 8 a.m. start to the workday, swinging by the local coffee shop is much easier than preparing freshly squeezed orange juice and an egg-white omelette. And every Charlestown resident knows that no muffin tastes as good without a piping hot cup of coffee. But when you’re on your way to work which locale do you go to for your java boost?

The place to be seen: Sorelle Bakery & Café

Along the Freedom Trail, tourists and locals alike stop by this chic café to purchase coffee, tea, and delicious homemade granola. As a self-proclaimed upscale coffee shop, Sorelle has changed to meet the needs of the changing neighborhood, which includes some well-known actors and Boston sports players who frequent the shop.

(1 Monument Avenue; open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays from 8 a.m. through 4 p.m.)

If you want a shot of hipness in your coffee: Zumes Coffee House

Zume’s is definitely Charlestown’s most vibrant coffee shop, with its colorful interior and welcoming staff. The independent vibe adds an edge over the competition. And if that’s not enough, there are always the fast-selling donuts from Verna’s in North Cambridge which each ring up for a buck. (223 Main Street; open Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. through 6 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m.)

For a quick pick-me-up:  American Bakers’ Café

A hidden gem in the Navy Yard, American Bakers’ Café is tucked underneath an arch, enticing those in need of caffeine with a sign outside. While waiting for your espresso-based drink, you can check out a copy of the daily Italian newspaper and pretend to understand what you’re reading. But there is nothing foreign about the prices, with a large latte costing just over three dollars. (39 1st Avenue; open Monday through Sunday from 7 a.m. through 7 p.m.)

A brew with a view: Style Café

A cozy coffee shop located in the heart of the Navy Yard, Style Café offers patrons good coffee with an even better view.  And while you’re waiting for your made-to-order breakfast sandwich, you can capture a snapshot of the picturesque scene of still waters and quiet ships. (197 8th Street; open Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. through 5 p.m. and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

The townie spot: Grasshopper Café

Stepping into Grasshopper Café for the first time, an overwhelming sense of calm takes over, and you just know you’re going to come back. It’s as close to a love affair one can get with their local coffee shop. The family-owned café makes it a point to know their customers, and it shows in their tasty breakfast treats and coffee made to go with love. (229 Bunker Hill Street; open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.)