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Three local, quirky alternatives to Davis Square’s Starbucks

By the end of fall semester, the average Tufts student has probably logged upward of 200 hours of study in dead silence in the Tisch stacks. Many seek well-deserved breaks in Tower Café, and others beat a worn trail to Starbucks in Davis Square to enjoy a change of scenery and a latte over a book and never far from a laptop. These much-anticipated breaks are often met with disappointment, as this much-favored gathering hole is full more often than not. We tried to find a solution to this first world problem, and we stumbled open three local cafés that serve good coffee and are a welcome change of pace. Here are must-visit options before the semester begins to heat up.

Zinneken’s

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Source: The Phoenix

Only a short walk from the Harvard Square T stop, chances are you might have passed this inconspicuous café more than once. Once inside, you find yourself warm in the chic interior filled with sweet aromas. Zinneken’s is most proud of its Belgian Waffle specials that can be topped with anything from traditional syrup to chocolate to fresh fruit. The menu also boasts sinfully sweet hot chocolates and European style coffee. The Wifi is gratis for all paying customers, and there is ample seating for those wishing to linger. However, get ready to pay a pretty penny for anything you order. Zinneken’s, 1154 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138. (617) 876-0836.

3 Little Figs

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Source: Boston Globe

This little café (some might call it “hipster”) is small, uses all natural and locally sourced ingredients, and has a friendly staff. Along with coffee and few baked goods, 3 Little Figs offers a delicious array of sandwiches, savory pies, and even toast. Of course, fig jam is an essential ingredient that is masterfully combined with salty add-ins like prosciutto or goat cheese. This café is quite small, and seating can be a challenge at peak hours. The sandwiches, however, make this short walk from Davis Square worth the trip. 3 Little Figs, 278 Highland Ave. Somerville, MA 02143. (617) 623-3447. www.3littlefigs.com

Simon’s Coffee Shop 

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Source: Boston.com

Simon’s is a great example of a traditional coffee house. The staff is extremely friendly and the coffee is excellent. The atmosphere is good for studying; yet it is easy to get lost in conversation with the lull of the background music and comfortable surroundings. This is definitely a hang out place and is often packed with coffee enthusiasts. Simon’s is best on a weekday, when the crowds are thinner. The shot of espresso is enough to add this to your Porter Square favorites. Simon’s Coffee Shop. 1736 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138. (617) 497-7766. 

-Camille Bergsrud 

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