Food, The Muse, Weeklies

Farewell, Mugar: Best Boston cafés to get work done, Part I

When a paper is looming overhead and a midterm is hovering just around the bend, many students think they have just one choice— the library. More often than not, that option is decidedly dreary. Boston University’s main library, Mugar, has been referred to as a dungeon, the Pardee Library in the School of Management can be so silent that it nearly makes you go insane, and of course, the Science & Engineering Library is infamously exclusive, with its rule of Engineering majors only. Fortunately, a BU student has many other options besides libraries and study rooms. There are numerous cafés, both on- and off-campus, that can be the ideal spot to get work done.

Perhaps the most well known café on campus is Espresso Royale, located just across from the BU Central T-stop. Because Espresso Royale is so popular, tables (and outlets) can be in high demand. However, you’ll have a better chance of snagging a spot around breakfast time, or in the mid-afternoon when the lunch crowd clears out. Fortunately, the café is pretty roomy, so even if it’s busy, if you linger for a few minutes, chances are you’ll be able to find a seat.

A study session at Espresso Royale isn’t complete without a sandwich or a coffee. The famous Tequila Sunrise, with jalapeño cream cheese, egg, tomato, onion and your choice of meat, is one of Espresso Royale’s most popular sandwiches. Espresso Royale also caters to vegetarians, and the Joy of Soy, with tofu spread, sprouts and avocado, is a campus favorite. All of Espresso Royale sandwiches are made with fresh bagels baked in their Allston sister-café, Bagel Rising.

Espresso Royale also brews fair trade coffee, loose-leaf tea and espresso drinks. When it’s warm out and the sun is shining, their Crimson Berry Iced Tea is a refreshing choice, as is their iced coffee, which seems to go great paired with soymilk. As for hot drinks, Espresso Royale’s Spanish Latte is one of their signature drinks, as is the Honey Cinnamon Latte, which is the perfect choice on a blustery fall day.

Espresso Royale’s ambiance is one-of-a-kind. You’ll spot plenty of hipsters scattered throughout the place, but you’re just as likely to see sorority girls, SMG teams doing group work and even teaching assistants and professors. It draws a different sort of crowd than any of the on-campus Starbucks, but the eclectic mix of people who flock to Espresso Royale have one thing in common— they all have work to get done.

Although the café is also a popular meet-up spot, usually most people in the café are working on laptops, reading or studying, a testament to the fact that Espresso Royale is readily conducive to doing work. Although the Internet connection can be spotty on occasion, on most days it’s dependable. There’s usually music playing in the background, but it’s not so loud as to make it impossible to wear headphones. If you haven’t tried out Espresso Royale as a study spot yet, give it a go. You might just find that it becomes one of your favorite places to do work.

Espresso Royale is located on 736 Commonwealth Ave. The café is open 7 a.m. – 9 p.m. on weekdays, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. on weekends.

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