Food, The Muse

Boston Bites

With a Starbucks at every T stop from Kenmore to Boston University West, it’s hard not to get caught up in the corporate coffee craze. But when you’re tired of the norm, Espresso Royale on Commonwealth Avenue across from the BU Central T stop is waiting and ready to spice things up.

Offering strong coffee, unique teas, specialty espresso drinks, a variety of pastries, delicious bagels, wraps and soups, Espresso is so much more than Starbucks.

Espresso’s rebellious ambiance sets itself apart from other coffee shops. Local artwork hangs on the walls, framing collages, decoupage and painted tables with various odd sayings and images. The tables in front are for two and three ‘-‘- perfect for quick lunch dates or study sessions fueled by constant coffee. There are larger tables in back, plus a few couches for lounging and staying longer.

Flirtatious, flustered baristas add to the mood and help ease the pain of waiting in line for what can seem like forever when you need your caffeine fix. But don’t mess up their system! Espresso workers are known to get sassy when you don’t wait in line correctly ‘-‘- bagels and drinks are two separate lines that eventually merge into one. Amateurs can be quickly spotted by their confusion.

But once you get the lines right, place your order and sit down to eat, you’ll realize why you waited so long for a bagel and a coffee. Maybe you’re eating just a simple bagel and cream cheese ‘-‘- which can become pretty complex when you realize the array of bagel flavors and unique cream cheese options, including tofu spread substitutes. Or maybe you’re having one of the signature sandwiches, like the ‘Ike,’ which includes chicken salad, lettuce, tomato, bacon and honey mustard. Or perhaps you chose a ‘Schnookit,’ more commonly known as a cinnamon bun.’ ‘ ‘

To accompany its food, Espresso Royale makes luscious coffee, deep espresso drinks and distinctive tea. There are the obvious regular coffees, espressos, cappuccinos, Earl Grey and English Breakfast teas. But customers can also get unique espresso drinks like mochas and different lattes, and special teas like rooibos and oolong. And the drinks are always topped with some love ‘-‘- the baristas make beautiful leaf-like designs in the foam at the top of your espresso drinks.

Whether you’re in between classes or revving up for a study session, Espresso Royale is the perfect stop. Don’t be intimidated by its hipster vibe, because when it comes down to it, Espresso is about delicious, filling food washed down by quality coffee. And we can all understand that.

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