A true neighborhood place. That was the owner’s dream — and achievement. Simon’s Coffee Shop opened its doors four years ago in Porter Square and has been serving the needs of locals since then. And owner Simon knows most of his customers by name and preferred caffeine addiction. There’s the gentlemen who sits one table from the window, with his portable office set up: lap top plugged in, cell phone in hand, jasmine tea ($1.90) on the table. There’s the avid reader who sits cross-legged a few tables away, a large café au lait ($2.05) next to his latest library book. There are a few college students studying, and the woman who runs in for two low-fat maple scones and a medium coffee ($1.70) before catching the bus, which conveniently stops directly in front of the building.
It’s the relaxed environment, premium-grade tea and coffee, and delicious pastries that keep people coming back. Simon prefers to start his mornings off with a soy chai ($2.70–$3.70). He worked with his tea importer to develop a chai that isn’t too bitter or too sweet. The coffee is delicious as well. Simon previously worked at a café on the North Shore and was familiar with local coffee roasters. He chose Amherst’s Raos Coffee Roasters; their coffee is rich, but not overly so.
Simon’s pastries come from Carberry’s Bakery and are delivered fresh every morning. Lunch is a simple but delicious meal; typically, two soups ($3–$5) and one sandwich ($5–$7) are offered daily.
Simon’s Coffee Shop, located at 1736 Mass Ave, in Cambridge, is open Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Call (617) 497-7766.