Finding a cute coffee shop around campus has become an essential and cherished part of my college experience. I’m the type of person who needs to leave the house to reach that level of productivity and focus. While libraries and campus buildings can provide a quiet space for studying, sometimes you need a change of scenery to kickstart your creativity and concentration. Living off campus during my senior year has allowed me the freedom to explore the delightful coffee shops around Tufts Campus.
In this blog post, I’m excited to introduce you to three off-campus coffee shop gems that could become your new study havens. These cozy and vibrant spots will help you power through the assignments, essays, midterm prep, or internship/ grad school applications.
1. Zaruma Gold Coffee in Magoun Square
My personal favorite, Zaruma Gold Coffee, takes the top spot on this list. Located in Magoun Square, Zaruma is an independently operated, family-run coffee shop that specializes in brewing high-altitude Ecuadorian coffee. Additionally, they offer a variety of baked goods to sweeten your study sessions. I must recommend their ham and cheese, as well as spinach and ricotta empanadas – both are utterly delicious! An added bonus of visiting Zaruma is the chance to run into adorable local dogs while you sip your coffee. With the Green Line extension to Medford/Tufts station, the cafe is just a 5-minute T ride away and a 3 minute walk from the Magoun Square station.
2. True Grounds in Ball Square
Next up is True Grounds in Ball Square. This cafe is within walking distance from Tufts campus, but if you prefer, you can catch the 80 bus, which will get you there in approximately 10 minutes, depending on your starting point. True Grounds is a community-centered, local coffee shop that prides itself on serving specialty coffee and delicious food. Their bagel sandwiches are a personal favorite of mine. One minor drawback is the absence of WiFi in the cafe, but I've found a silver lining in this limitation. I tend to visit True Grounds when I know my biggest tasks of the day involve reading. The lack of internet distraction actually helps me focus better and write essays without the temptation to mindlessly scroll through social media. True Grounds appears to be a beloved spot among Somerville locals, which means it can get quite crowded during the weekends. So plan your visit accordingly!
3. Caffè Nero in Porter Square
Last but not least is Caffè Nero in Porter Square. Despite the fact that it’s a franchised coffee shop, I particularly like the Porter location because of its cozy ambience and the collective productivity at the site. Perhaps due to its unique location between Tufts and the neighbor universities, I always find myself being the most productive here, surrounded by others who also are hyper focused on their work with their laptops in front of them. You also get a 25% student discount for all your purchases at Caffè Nero with your student ID, which comes handy dandy to save money yet enjoying your coffee and desserts. I am in fact sipping through my vanilla latte as I am writing this article at the Porter Caffè Nero!
Last but not least, Caffè Nero in Porter Square offers a unique twist. Despite being a franchised coffee shop, the Porter location stands out for its cozy ambiance and the collective productivity that permeates the space. Perhaps due to its strategic location between Tufts and neighboring universities, I constantly find myself at my most productive here. Surrounded by fellow students diligently working on their laptops, the atmosphere is both motivating and serene. You can also enjoy a 25% student discount on all your purchases at Caffè Nero with your student ID. This convenient perk allows you to save money while indulging in your favorite coffee and desserts. In fact, I am sipping through my vanilla latte as I am writing this article at the Porter Caffè Nero!
I hope these recommendations help you create your own list of coffee shops around the Tufts campus. I've also been broadening my list by exploring additional options in Cambridge and Boston, and I'm looking forward to the possibility of sharing my findings in a future blog post!