Five of Boston’s Best Coffeehouse–Art Gallery Hybrids
The best coffee shops don’t just serve up that exactly-how-you-like-it soy, extra-foam, extra-extra-hot latte. They also provide a daily dose of inspiration with art, music, and overall creative vibes to brighten up your ritual morning trip.
The following Boston-area java huts double as inspiring art galleries, with some exclusively showing the work of local artists.
Voltage Coffee & Art (Now Barisma)
The self-proclaimed “unofficial living room of Kendall Square” showcases the work of artists at the very beginnings of their careers. The vibe is distinctly fresh and hip, with cool lighting installations and interior design worthy of being called ‘art’ itself. A young, creative crowd flocks to Voltage for edgy shows like the shop’s current exhibit, “EveryEverything” from New England-raised brothers Nick and Matt Zaremba. Not to be overlooked: Voltage’s mega-watt “exotic flavored” lattes.
Haley House Bakery Cafe
Boston nonprofit organization Haley House’s Dudley Square cafe is a bastion of positive energy and art. The cafe, which prides itself on being welcoming to people of all walks, provides jobs for people struggling with barriers to employment. Haley House Bakery Cafe is currently showing the work of the late Haitian artist Victor Jean-Claude, and has showings scheduled through the month of October. Paintings are available for purchase, and a portion of the proceeds are donated to Haley House.
12 Dade Street, Dudley Square, Roxbury, haleyhouse.org
Zume’s Coffee House
This Charlestown shop has a gallery which rotates exhibits every three months. Locally owned and managed Zume’s is a family friendly spot, too; it has a kid’s menu and a small library of children’s books. The coffeehouse’s current exhibit is the mixed media work of local married couple Nanda and Marc Rust. Snatch up one of the spot’s delicious egg sandwiches and enjoy breakfast with a view.
221 Main Street, Charlestown, zumescoffeehouse.com
Athan’s Brighton location is a European bakery and coffee shop with all the Greek, Italian, and Parisian treats your heart desires, and an accompanying art gallery to make you feel all the more cultured. Athan’s is currently showcasing the work of Christine Winship’s “Inseparable Companions.” The Allston artist specializes in portraits of animals, and this body of paintings in particular celebrates pets. The paintings will be on display until August 31.
407 Washington Street, Brighton Center, athansbakery.com
Dwelltime is the “amount of time that water is in contact with ground coffee before entering the cup.” It’s also yet another uber-hip Cambridge coffee spot. This one has both a rotating pastry menu and a rotating art exhibit. Dwelltime doesn’t stick strictly local when sourcing artists; the cafe’s last exhibit came by way of artists from the Tokyo University of the Arts. The current work on display is a bit closer to home—it’s from Cambridge’s Myles Lynch, whose bright and bold patterned prints are sure to mesmerize.
364 Broadway, Cambridge, dwelltimecambridge.com