7 Reasons To Visit Beacon Hill Books & Café in Boston

The Children's Room at Beacon Hill Books & Cafe gives kids a fun space to explore while finding a new favorite book!
The Children's Room at Beacon Hill Books & Cafe gives kids a fun space to explore while finding a new favorite book!
12/21/22 - By Catherine Aillon

Once upon a time…in an old townhouse in Beacon Hill lives Paige the Squirrel. She occupies a cupboard on one of the floors inside the Beacon Hill Books & Cafe. Snuggled between bookshelves, you can view her cozy little abode complete with a stone fireplace, a bed made of twigs, a Citgo sign, a checkered table, chairs, and of course books, for Paige loves to read. She also loves to read to her animal friends at the Boston Public Garden. Every day, she can be seen riding on the little Choo Choo train that goes around the top of the bookstore in the children’s section.


If you can imagine Boston as a bookstore, then Beacon Hill Books & Café would embody it. Nestled on 71 Charles St. in the beautiful, historic Beacon Hill neighborhood of gas lamp posts and cobblestone streets, this bookstore is meant to complement its surroundings. Occupying five floors, its façade is that of a traditional brick townhouse.

When you first walk into the bookstore, you are greeted by an oasis of pale blue walls, a glowing fireplace, wall sconces, warm pendant lighting, muted wall coverings, and upholstered seating. The aesthetic is one of calm and welcome. The place literally beckons you to grab a book and find a corner to get lost in your reading.

Besides being an independently owned, neighborhood bookstore, there are seven unique characteristics that can only be found at Beacon Hill Books and Cafe.

Image of child and adult by fireplace at Beacon Hill Books & Cafe

Curl up by the fireplace with a volume from Beacon Hill Books amazing children's section.

7 Reasons To Visit Beacon Hill Books & Cafe in Boston

From the architecture to the menu (and, of course, the books), Beacon Hill Books & Cafe gives families plenty of reasons to visit.

1. Distinctive Children’s Books Section

This scene is thoughtfully curated for the little ones in mind. Children are encouraged to explore and pick out the titles that capture their interest. Perfectly sized chairs for the little ones are placed throughout the area. There’s a miniature tea table that kids can pretend to have afternoon tea. There’s also an enchanting little red door that is made for the little ones to enter and exit from the room. The door is marked 71 ½, a nod to the bookstore’s address of 71 Charles St. Kids love to pretend it’s a secret door. Probably the main attraction of the room though is the miniature train with Paige the Squirrel riding in it that runs along the top of the bookshelves. When it stops, kids are encouraged to press the red button on the wall for the train to start its journey again. 

Photo of seating area at Beacon Hill Books & Cafe in Boston

Beacon Hill Books & Cafe offers a warm space for enjoying afternoon tea and so much more.

2. Delightful Cafe

Situated at the bottom of the bookstore and covered in the same elegant, pale blue walls, the café is open for breakfast, lunch, and afternoon tea. This is not your typical modern café with industrial lighting and generic-looking walls. The café bespoke of elegance, whimsy, and flair, without being stuffy. In fair weather, you can have your sips and savories out in the courtyard, next to the café. You can rent this charming café space after hours for your personal event such as birthday parties, anniversaries, baby and bridal showers, private dinners, and more. Just think, hot cinnamon cider in the pale light of winter in a serene bookstore. Perfect.

3. Persephone Books

One wall is dedicated to Persephone Books, which are reprints of neglected fiction and non-fiction, mostly by women writers. It is inspired by the real-life Persephone Books located in Bath, England.

Photo of kids at Beacon Hill Books & Cafe in Boston

Beacon Hill Books & Cafe is a great spot to let your mind (and body) wander!

4. In-Store Events

Check their website for events such as meet and greet with authors, story time for kids, pop-ups, and literary events. 

5. Greek Revival Building

It’s one of the few remaining original buildings of its kind. Once a former restaurant, its architecture is preserved so you still have that aura of being in a building that has stood the test of time. As soon as you walk in, it invites you to linger. You will see a long staircase, complete with spindles on your left. But of course, the building is modernized with an elevator. For families with kids, there are bathrooms with changing stations. The second floor houses general interest books. The third floor has a travel and aesthetics section. The fourth floor is for young readers and on the ground floor you will find cookbooks and other culinary delights such as the café.

Photo of Beacon Hill Books & Cafe exterior and sign. 
The bookstore is housed in a clasic Beacon Hill building. Photo courtesy of Beacon Hill Books via Twitter

6. Beacon Hill Setting

An out of the ordinary, charming bookstore on the flat of the hill is finally here and it embraces all that is New England. There are so much to explore in this neighborhood. Per the bookstore’s website, an ideal day would be to stroll through Beacon Hill and discover the homes of literary luminaries such as Robert Frost, Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes, Henry David Thoreau, Louisa May Alcott, and Nathaniel Hawthorne. Afterwards, grab lunch or an afternoon snack at the café inside the bookstore. After a leisurely break at the cafe, visit the Boston Athenaeum (library, museum, and cultural center) and the Museum of African American History nearby. Finally, end the day with the “Make Way for Ducklings” statues at the Boston Public Garden.

7. Paige the Squirrel Mascot

Paige is a fictional squirrel and the mascot of the bookstore. She is said to live year-round in the bookstore but sometimes she can be found reading her beloved collection of books from the bookstore to her many friends at the Boston Public Garden. You can find her story in the book “Paige of Beacon Hill” for sale in the bookstore.

A new establishment has opened in Beacon Hill in the form of a picturesque bookstore and Paige wants you to come in and see her collection of books. Stay and linger for a spell if you like for Beacon Hill Books & Café is meant to be enjoyed one “Paige” at a time.

All photos courtesy of the author unless otherwise noted.

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