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.
Tatte Bakery and Café has surged to the forefront of the Boston café scene since opening its first shop in Brookline in 2007. Now, with over a dozen locations in the greater Boston area and plans to expand to Washington D.C. and New York, Tatte shows no signs of slowing down.
With a unique combination of delicious baked goods, savory lunch options and Instagram-worthy décor, Tatte is sure to please anyone who steps through their doors. One of the most pleasing aspects of Tatte is its aesthetics. A clean, black and white color pallet spreads across each one of their uniquely designed spaces, complete with chalkboard menus and antique scales.
Each one of their locations occupies a unique space, but there is a distinct Tatte design language that marries them all together perfectly. This is exactly the kind of unique branding and aesthetics that would perform well in a national expansion.
Boston’s now-famous café chain was founded by Tzurit Or, who grew up in Israel and worked in the film industry, before moving to Boston and pursuing her passion for baking. Some of Or’s Israeli background finds its way onto the menu in the form of some of Tatte’s most beloved dishes, including its famous shakshuka and challah bread.
Despite this, overall Tatte has a decidedly French influence. Mainstays such as baguettes, croissants, pan au chocolate, brioche, tartines, tarts and galettes litter the menu. The truth is, whether you reach for any of the Israeli-influenced baked goods, French, Italian or otherwise, it’s sure to be made from high-quality ingredients and taste absolutely delicious.
A personal favorite of mine that sometimes doesn’t receive much attention is the croque madame, a delicious rendition of a French classic, except here it’s served on a croissant.
One often overlooked portion of Tatte’s well-loved menu is their coffee options. Brewing with craft coffee stalwart Stumptown beans, out of Portland, Oregon, Tatte crafts coffees, espressos and lattes on par with most any specialty coffee house in the city.
Alongside its excellent, very strong cold brew, Tatte is home to one of Boston’s best cortados. A pleasing mix of strong espresso and an equal volume of steamed milk, the cortado is an excellent caffeine boost any time of day. Think of it as a more concentrated, stronger flavored latte. Thanks to a well trained staff and excellent beans, Tatte’s espresso is always delicious, well balanced, and consistent. Their standard drip coffee may also surprise you, and I usually find it to be a welcome departure from the standard cup of Dunkin’ or Starbucks.
Tatte has grown quickly and shows no signs of losing foot traffic. The cafe has a clear recipe for success and an expansion to other cities across the country seems like a natural fit. We’re lucky to have a Tatte in almost every neighborhood here in Boston.