This week, I stopped by Davis Square’s Diesel to sip some coffee and assess the overall vibes. Confession: this wasn’t my first time at Diesel. In fact, I stop by this coffee shop (located at 257 Elm St. in Somerville) at least twice a week. The coffee is just that incredible. I usually order a latte with oat milk, but sometimes I opt for a chai latte. The coffee is smooth and flavorful, served in a big mug with thick foam.
The chai was sprinkled with cinnamon and was the perfect temperature, not too hot. I often pair the chai with one of Diesel’s chocolate croissants, which are made — as all their pastries are — fresh every day at Diesel’s sister restaurant, Forge Baking Company, also located in Somerville, about a twenty minute walk from Diesel. The pastries are beautiful, buttery and the perfect amount of flaky-ness (is that a word?).
To sum up Diesel’s vibe in one word, I would say: lively. The big garage-style windows are pulled open in the front of the store when the weather allows, creating an indoor-outdoor experience. On sunny days, the warm breeze flows through the open windows, through the big, open space. This is a huge space, as far as cafes go, featuring seven glossy red leather booths, 10 little square tables with pairs of chairs, and a large table which seats 10 people on benches toward the back of the store. In all, the cafe can comfortably fit about 60 people. There’s a pool table at the very back and old street signs hang as decor on the walls. One side of the wall is exposed brick, opposite the long counter which displays pastries and the to-go window. A cluster of people are circled around the to-go station at all times, proving the popularity of this cafe.
I usually gravitate toward the red booths at the front of the stores, where I can feel the sun on my face on warm days or people-watch on colder ones. I can use the convenient outlets (an essential part of the coffee shop experience!) and get some work done. I’ve spent hours at Diesel, rolling through breakfast and lunch, enjoying one of the best lox bagel sandwiches I’ve ever had.
An ice cream bar sits toward the back of the store, which feels a little random, though it adds a fun touch with the red swivel bar chairs, giving an old-fashioned diner feel. I sampled the mint chocolate chip ice cream and was pleasantly surprised! There’s also a tiny store section along the line that features some merch and writing supplies, like markers and journals. Bright green vines hang over the entryway and little store area, adding to the beautiful indoor-outdoor feel.
I asked a few customers to tell me their thoughts on Diesel. One customer — a self-proclaimed “regular” at Diesel — described the coffee as “well-balanced” and gave an 8/10 rating. Two other customers gave me their ratings on a latte (7/10) and a café au lait (8/10). Based on my experience and the ratings of other customers, I would give Diesel a solid 8/10 rating. Downsides include high prices and constant crowds, but there’s so many upsides, it’s easy to overlook the minor faults. I would recommend this spot to anyone! Make sure to try the oat milk latte, chocolate croissants, and lox bagel sandwich. See you next week for more “Caffeinated Commentary.”