#2: Woodstar Cafe

There is no lack of coffee shops in Northampton, Massachusetts. A college town with an artistic flare, every other block seems to have a cafe, art gallery, or fair-trade-oriented boutique.

A top choice of mine is Woodstar Cafe. Down a little side street off Main, Woodstar doesn’t boast its presence. But it doesn’t need to. The shop maintains standard cafe hours – not staying open late (which is perhaps my only qualm) – and it seems to always be busy. The lunch rush can leave students and community members alike with difficulty finding a table – though in warmer weather there is sometimes better luck with the outdoor seating. This is a testament to the food, drinks, and feeling of the quaint cafe. Huge windows let in natural light over blue tiled tables. A long bench is set against the big windowed wall, with individual chairs facing this seating across the small, European-feeling tables. Though it can sometimes get rather loud during the lunch rush, the cafe maintains a positive and open vibe. People are friendly and the space, though the tables are close together, is never uncomfortably packed. The environment is conducive to good conversation, relaxation, or some studying over tea, coffee, sandwiches, bagels, cookies, or other delicious options.

I search out natural light wherever I can, and any time I can position myself by a window at midday in the little cafe, I do. With a book in hand and a spicy ginger chai in reach, I am more than content to spend time at Woodstar on any day.

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