2.6 min readBy Published On: April 25th, 2024Categories: Eat and Drink2 Comments on Blank Street Coffee Review

If you’ve walked around downtown Boston or New York recently, you may have noticed a new coffee chain rapidly conquering the streets. Seemingly out of nowhere, Blank Street Coffee has risen to the level of franchises like Starbucks, Dunkin’, and Caffe Nero—and this March, it finally found its way to Southie at 489 East Broadway. As an iced coffee connoisseur, I decided now would be a perfect time to see how the new chain measures up.

Walking into the new location, I felt a bit like I had entered a Manhattan coffee shop. Rows of modern wooden tables perfect for computer work took up the long, narrow space, illuminated by bright, almost neon lighting. Similar to what you’d see in many urban coffee shops, the design is a stark contrast to the East Broadway streets. Still, the space seems perfect to spend a working afternoon.

The menu at 2 pm was limited to drinks plus a few grab-and-go snacks, like yogurt or kombucha—but there are locally sourced pastries in the morning. The drink menu is quite elaborate, spanning from strawberry & cream lattes to over eight varieties of matcha to English Breakfast tea. With Starbucks under renovation, Blank Street provides a great option for more niche, non-coffee beverages. Prices are reasonable all around, which is a welcome touch, especially with the rapidly rising prices of Starbucks and even Dunkin’.

I figured for a coffee review, it’d be best to stick to the basics, so I tried a “Big” iced cold brew for $5, which I thought was a pretty good deal for the largest size. The taste was solid—dark enough to pack a punch but leaving no bitter aftertaste. As far as chain coffee goes, Blank Street’s easily rivals or surpasses that of Dunkin’ and Starbucks, though I’d say it falls short of more expensive options like Flour or Tatte.

Blank Street’s strength, though, seems to be in its combination of variety, speed, atmosphere, and pricing. All are solid, which seems fitting for a mildly themed chain that tries to fit into every neighborhood it occupies. If you’re looking for a new, reliable, and cheap option, it’s perfect. The Southie location, in particular, provides a nice quiet but urban atmosphere.

What Blank Street isn’t is a replacement for an independently owned coffee shop, as much as it wants to look like one. The business—founded in August 2020 by a pair of NYC grads—rapidly grew with the help of venture-capital funding to 157 locations today. Many New Yorkers initially thought the brand was an independent shop, only to notice it spreading like a weed across the city. With the ubiquity of chain restaurants everywhere, Blank Street’s ascent is nothing new or shocking. But it’s definitely more of an alternative for chains like Dunkin’ or Starbucks than truly independent coffee shops, or even smaller chains like Tatte. After all, Southie has a myriad of those, such as Annie’s, Deja Brew, and Koko Cafe.

Regardless, I’d say Blank Street has achieved its goal of providing a measured, well-rounded coffee experience.

2 Comments

  1. Fitzrep April 29, 2024 at 8:42 pm - Reply

    So glad you wrote this one. I missed this opening! Great review

  2. Jon May 17, 2024 at 3:47 pm - Reply

    Tatte is no small chain! Much bigger than Blank St. So glad they finally opened in Southie

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