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How to Still Grind During COVID-19 Times

by Lillian R. Parrotta

Attending college in a city is never a bad idea, especially when you’re lucky enough to be in Boston. However, with so many restaurants, museums and activities, it may take a while to feel like one truly “knows” Beantown. A common way for college students to engage with the Boston community (on and off campus) is through coffee shops; students can get their work done with their next cup of joe only steps away. Coffee shops are a little more social and lively than libraries, but still harness the focused vibe needed to get work done.

Because of the pandemic, social activities have been limited and tough to do safely. Attempting to go out to dinner requires a level of planning, and finding a coffee shop is ever harder. Even if one is open, the likelihood they offer seating is rare. Below is a compiled list of all the best study spots in and around Boston University, pandemic approved.

Starbucks, 874 Commonwealth Avenue: There are a few tables outside and a couple more inside for chillier days. The limited seating inside has quieted down the usual Starbucks buzz, making studying easier if you prefer a more mellow environment.

Life Alive, 888 Commonwealth Avenue: The perfect place if you want coffee, a place to spread out and a healthy meal. Try their Lavender Lemonade once you’ve reached your caffeine limit. You can easily spend hours here without needing to leave for anything. Note: Only outdoor seating.

Caffè Nero, 1047 Commonwealth Avenue: Caffè Nero is probably the closest to pre-pandemic coffee shops. There are numerous tables and yummy food items. This is a reliable option.

Cafe Landwer, 900 Beacon Street: Cafe Landwer is a hidden gem that comes highly recommended. They offer indoor and outdoor seating, as well as a full menu and coffee bar. The interior is so cute and comfortable. Adelina Keshishian, Landwer management, said “We love our students at BU, [and] we definitely felt the difference when BU campus closed early last year.” Come with your BU ID and you’ll get a free coffee!

Jaho Coffee Roaster and Wine Bar: This place features an extensive menu, including bubble tea and one-of-a-kind desserts. You can get your usual coffee order, too. Come here if you’re a foodie and want to try something new.

....Picnic Tables, BU Beach: While this is not a coffee shop, it is a great study place to bring your coffee. The view is amazing and serves as a wonderful reminder as to why you chose to attend school in Boston. Along with outdoor seating, there are a few tables on a patio snuggled between the BU College of General Studies at 871 Comm. Ave. and 881 Comm. Ave.

“Especially in a time like this, where I am in my room more than usual, discovering coffee shops is an opportunity to venture out and get a change of scenery,” said Alexandra Fiore (Wheelock ’23).

Even though the adjustment to this new normal has been discouraging, it is still possible to enjoy Boston. It may take a little more effort, but this is a city that is worth it. Remember to bring your mask!


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