By Ryan LaRosa
Boston is home to a wide variety of specialty coffee shops and roasters. In recent years, the scene has grown across the city, with some older shops expanding to multiple locations and new shops popping up quickly. Here at Boston University, Starbucks is a mainstay, with many locations across campus. While convenient, there’s so much more to coffee than Starbucks. Whenever you have a second, take the opportunity to venture away from campus and enjoy one of Boston’s many great coffee shops.
With seven locations around Boston, Flour Bakery + Café has become something of an empire. Started by Joanne Chang in 2000, Flour has been spreading slowly but surely across the city for nearly 20 years. Chang, a graduate of Harvard University, left a career in management consulting to join the culinary world and Boston is a better, sweeter place because of her.
With locations carefully placed in almost all parts of the city, you’re never too far from a Flour. Whatever your needs or time of day, Flour definitely has you covered, with one of the most versatile menus of any bakery-slash-coffee shop out there.
Originally known for their sticky buns and cookies, Flour offers a wide range of baked goods and sweets. Think scones, donuts, Danishes, muffins, croissants, coffee cakes,and much more. Everything is baked in-house daily and sure to be crafted with only the highest quality ingredients.
I spent this past summer working in Boston and I was fortunate enough to eat and drink quite a bit at Flour. A personal favorite of mine is their Chunky Lola cookie. Said to be inspired by the batches of cookies Chang would bake during her time at Harvard, a naming contest was held to name these delicious oatmeal, chocolate chunk, nut cookies. To this day no one seems to know who exactly Lola is, but the contest winner named the cookies accordingly.
Aside from exceptionally good and fresh baked goods, Flour offers a full range of sandwiches, salads and savory options if sugar isn’t what you’re looking for. The roast beef sandwich is particularly good. It’s simple, delicious and has a nice bite from the included horseradish. The breakfast sandwich has to be one of the best you can get anywhere in Boston, loaded with fluffy eggs and bacon on a freshly baked roll. It’s so good, it’s definitely not just for breakfast.
The house-made mozzarella sandwich also stands out and is vegetarian friendly. Needless to say, I could go on. Try any sandwich and I doubt you’ll be disappointed. Flour also offers a range of salads and grain bowls that only add to the deliciousness and versatility of the menu.
Although baked goods and food may come to mind first, every Flour is also a full blown coffee house. Each location has a full espresso bar with all the fixings, a wide range of hot and iced teas and even freshly prepared juices and homemade sodas.
Flour is certainly a worthy option if you’ve grown a bit tired of the Seattle-based coffee giants that dominate the city. Flour usually features a single origin roast each month from well known local roaster Fazenda, as well as weekly and monthly coffee specials that are sure to be interesting. This month the feature is a hazelnut cold brew fizz that is exceptionally refreshing.
No matter what, Flour Bakery + Café definitely has something on tap, ready to give you what you need to get through your day. The spaces they occupy are all a little different, but they are often great places to meet up with friends or study. Be warned, some locations can get extremely busy and often sell out of more popular items, especially during the lunch rush, so arrive early if you want to be sure to get your favorite item.