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Aug 30, 2007 04:29 PM

Coffee Shop near NEMC/Chinatown

I just started medical school at Tufts (in Chinatown) and prefer to study in coffee shops or cafes as opposed to the library. Any suggestions for good coffee shops nearby? It doesn't have to be right in Chinatown...downtown crossing, the South End, or the Ladder District would be good too. I'm desperately hoping to avoid Starbucks, Dunkin' Donnuts, and ABP.

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  1. There are a few coffee shops in the South End, but most are small, and really busy, so probably not good study spots: Flour (Washington Street) The Buttery (Union Park & Shawmut) Francesca's (Tremont St) is larger and probably a bit more what you are looking for. There is a Starbucks on Tremont, too, a few blocks away from Francesca's I see people studying in there all the time. These are all about a 20 minute walk from Tufts, or you can take the Silver Line down Washington St, and either get off at Union Park or the next stop for Flour. You may want to check Flour out just for the food, it is great. Enjoy!

    1. Welcome to TUSM. This is one of my pet peeves. there isn;t much around. On Harrison, there is a Coffee Shop/ lunch place that if it's not busy would probably let you sit there. Also there is a greek breakfast/lunch nook at 75 Kneeland that again might let you sit if you ordered something. Food at both is meh..., but you could nurse a coffee and muffin and survive. Ladder district on Lincoln near Beach has a new place called Cafe Anna and which used to be called Alberto's that might also work. Most of these places won;t be open at night and you could try South street diner (Kneeland at South) which is open late on weekends.

      1. If Qingping tea house in the South End has re-opened, it would be a really nice choice.

        It's a combination art gallery and serious tea house, with a cool, laid-back communist vibe (their website's mail tube is The proprietors personally import all the tea from China, including quite a bit of exotic, hard-to-find stuff like fermented pu-erh.

        The atmosphere is quiet, and very relaxing. Not sure if I'd want to break out a laptop or not, but it's certainly a great place to read.

        Again, I'm just not sure they've re-opened. Anyone have info?

        2 Replies
        1. re: finlero

          As far as I know, they have not reopened. It looks to me like they are closed for good (and have been for a while)...was there a reason why you thought they might reopen?

          1. re: twentyoystahs

            Nothing specific...the website is still up, the phone isn't disconnected (although no one picks up), and I hadn't read any definitive posts about its demise on this board. If true, it's too bad; it was one of Boston's truly unique spots.

        2. I just graduated from New England School of Law around the corner, and one of my favorite places to study was the Boston Public Library, either upstairs in the reading room or in the snug Sebastians cafe on the first floor.

          1 Reply
          1. re: resipsaloquitor

            But the BPL in Copley is a bit of a hike from Tufts Medical in Chinatown...

          2. This isn't a sit-down place (there are 2 indoor tables and one outdoor "table"), but if you're looking for coffee in the area, Rachael's Kitchen on the corner of Church St and Fayette St has good coffee and the breakfast options look solid (just moved to the neighborhood, haven't eaten there yet but man does it smell good in the morning!). It's just super-tiny which might make things difficult.

            1 Reply
            1. re: heWho

              I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Rachel's Kitchen. Although almost certainly not big enough to sit comfortably for long periods of time, you should become a regular there: it is such a warm and inviting place. (BTW, they do have free wifi, so if you want to sit there, you can get on line.)