Smart Food

Unusual meals in a place you wouldn't expect

trident

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t’s de rigeur to have cafés in bookstores—those few bookstores that are left, anyway—but Trident Café actually sells great books and great food. Opened in 1984 by Bernie and Gail Flynn, recovering hippies from Vermont, this place pioneered the bookstore-café thing before it was trendy, and still does it better than everybody else (certainly including the chain coffee shop that’s practically next door). Settle in for a good read over the trademark lemon ricotta French toast or sweet-potato pancakes. Even the mac ‘n’ cheese is beyond expectations, and an excellent late-night snack. And, sure, you can order just a cappuccino, but why settle for that when you can also choose from bubble teas, smoothies, and lots of other ways to have your coffee? Carriero

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Anchored by the E.U. Wurlitzer store (now Best Buy) and the fine-arts supplies department of Johnson’s Paints, lower Newbury Street was a bohemian hangout for artists and musicians when Trident Booksellers and Café opened there. Aimee Mann, later of ‘Til Tuesday, was a cashier at neighboring Newbury Comics, and the Cars and other Boston bands recorded across the street at the Newbury Sound studios.

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