When thinking of iconic Boston buildings it is impossible not to think of the State House. The Golden Dome can be seen from all over the city and is a testament to the culture and history of Beacon Hill.
Right behind the State House there is a tiny shop called Capitol Coffee House that has just as much culture and history as its neighborhood.
Keeping politicians, legislators, professionals and students fed and caffeinated, Capitol Coffee House opened in 1977 with little changing since. Sam Maione is proud of his no-frills shop and the consistency they offer to customers.
As a Suffolk alum and State House employee I love the tried-and-true basics Capitol has to offer. Hands down when I want a BLT I hold out until I can run over and watch them make one especially for me. Something about the flattop makes the bread extra crispy and delicious.
Capitol absolutely lives by the “mangiando insieme” standard since the Maione family not only eats together, they work together. Sam runs a tight ship that includes two of his sons and other relatives. It is great to walk in and hear the guys tease each other about nothing and everything at the same time. Sam’s son Mike has been there for 10 years but doesn’t consider that to be too long. His dad on the other hand, “he’s been here forever.”
Having been there forever is exactly the reason everyone keeps coming back. They serve American diner staples but do them well and, more importantly, serve them to you quickly. Having a rough morning? Head over to Capitol for one of their breakfast specials, two eggs with ham, bacon or sausage are just $4.99 including toast and home fries.
My favorite thing about Capitol is that they shamelessly encourage my caffeine habit. They keep a pintsized bottle of espresso in the fridge to pour into iced coffee for people who want some extra pep in their morning coffee.
Being the only restaurant directly between the State House, the McCormack Building and Suffolk University certainly has its perks when it comes to people watching.
On any given morning you can see the state auditor or treasurer come in for a quick bite or the house counsel meet with other general counsels to discuss the trajectory of Massachusetts laws. At the table right next to them, you’ll find students recovering from a late night over pancakes and French toast. They have seen everyone come through their doors and are one of the few constants on Beacon Hill.
Even the most popular places have to appeal to new customers and Sam is doing a great job of bringing in young people. They post daily specials on their Facebook, tweet them from @CapitolSpecials and accept LevelUp.
Head on in for a big breakfast or simple lunch but keep your eyes peeled, you’ll probably see a senator!