The air in Polcari’s Coffee in the historic North End is alive with the roasted scent of fragrant coffees, teas, and spices from around the world – so heavily that you can practically taste the offerings on your tongue when you walk in. Sparing design, this time-worn shop is laid out as it was when it was founded in 1932, with beans climbing the walls; flower, seeds and spices stuffed into rows of glass jars; and candy, cookies, and fruitcakes stacked up on the floor. With a kind of cultish devotion, locals line up to chat with their neighbors while purchasing fresh grounds, along with such hard-to-find favorites as Italian citron, chickpea flour, lupini, and fresh ground lemon and orange zest.

105 Salem St.