Harvard Square Coop
1400 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02238
Founded in 1882, the Harvard Cooperative Society (The Coop) was created by Harvard University students as a spot to buy books and other supplies. For decades, The Coop has been the place to go to when you need a free, public bathroom in Harvard Square. After a 1997 renovation, the Coop got a beautiful restoration that came with a lovely café. Follow the winding staircase from the first floor and you will find the café, where a variety of drinks and snacks are served. Adjacent to the café is its impressive selection of domestic and international magazines.
24 High St.
Medford, MA 02155
In the heart of Medford Square, the Bestsellers Café serves up delicious baked goods, sandwiches and books. Marianne and Rob Dilman opened Bestsellers in 1997 and reopened in a brand new location in 2012. They actively support Project Have Hope, Medford Family Network and offer a full slate of community programs from a Job Search Networking Group to the Bestsellers Café Music Coffeehouse performances. The café serves Equal Exchange and New England’s Jessica’s Brick Oven products.
Porter Square Books – Café Zing
25 White St.
Cambridge, MA 02140
Porter Square Books has book clubs, events and the yummy Café Zing. Customers can engage with both local and national authors at this MBTA accessible store. It is located right by the Porter Square T station. Café Zing has a fantastic menu that includes Equal Exchange coffee, Irie Tea and local goods from Petsi Pies, Danish Pastry House, The Biscuit and Glutenus Minimus.
Trident Booksellers & Cafe
338 Newbury St.
Boston, MA 02115
Many shops have come and gone on the trendy and hip Newbury Street, but Trident Booksellers & Cafe remains. Since 1984, book lovers have visited and dined at this independent bookshop. The best thing about Trident is its “perpetual breakfast” offerings, as breakfast really is the best meal of the day. Trident’s menu is far more extensive than any bookstore around. Trivia nights and author talks are also held at the Trident.
More Than Words Bookstore & Cafe
376 Moody St.
Waltham, MA 02453
Located just outside of Boston on Waltham’s eclectic Moody Street is More Than Words, a bookstore and café that also doubles as a training program for youths. In 2004, the non-profit organization More Than Words began as an online book sales program to provide employment experience and entrepreneurship prospects for teens in the foster care system. Its first brick-and-mortar store opened in 2005. The café serves coffee, tea and snacks. Comfy chairs can be found in the children’s section and bar-style seating is located at the front of the shop. Used books, DVDs, CDs and even comic books can be bought at low prices. Displays are fun and quirky, such as “Birthday Picks” that highlight works by folks born in the current month.
Related: Boston’s Best Independent Bookstores
Amy Galante is a lifelong Massachusetts resident. By day, she works at a university library. By night, she is a freelance writer for Examiner.com, covering film, music, and geek culture.