This summer I spent a week in Cambridge for a week-long writer’s residency at Harvard. I’ve been to Cambridge a few times before, but this was my longest trip. Because we were in class all day, (and because Boston was in the middle of a heat wave with temps nearing 100!) my roommates and I didn’t really go out a whole lot. But we DID EAT! Here’s a list of (I think) all the places we went.
Wholesome Fresh Our first morning, we walked from our AirBnB in Huron Village down Brattle Street. We stopped at Wholesome Fresh to grab some coffee, fruit, and pastries. We sat at the counter looking out the window. It was on our way and had plenty of time to kill. Lots of stuff to choose from in this little market.
Tatte We really liked how light and airy Tatte was, especially the upstairs area. We enjoyed some delicious pastries and coffee drinks. A classmate liked Tatte so much she went there every day, sometimes twice a day!
Mike’s Pastry I had mentioned to one of my friends that I wanted to hit Mike’s Pastry before leaving town so that I could bring Tommy home a pound of their champagne cookies. One morning, it occurred to me that they might have something we could eat for breakfast, so we decided to pop in. I didn’t get a breakfast pastry, but I did get one of their freaking delicious homemade whoopie pies and an iced coffee. We went to Widener Library and sat on the steps to eat our breakfast before going in to study.
Pavement, Smith Campus Center This might have been my favorite place, to grab coffee and we ate there more than once. They make awesome breakfast sandwiches. My favorite was sausage, egg, cheese, and pepper jelly on a biscuit. It was SO GOOD. The best part about Pavement is their iced coffee – the large was HUGE and just the refreshment I needed after a hot walk to campus!
Blackbird Doughnuts, Smith Campus Center One morning, I grabbed a doughnut here and then went to Pavement for another giant iced coffee. The doughnuts were okay, but a little too heavy and… well, doughy for my tastes.
Grendel’s Den A group of us went here for our first lunch. This was before the heat wave struck, so we were able to enjoy our meal outside. I had a burger and a cider. Pretty decent pub grub. Lots of beers on the menu and the patio was nice!
Clover Food Lab There are a couple different locations around Cambridge/Boston. The first time we went, one of our professors suggested we meet there for lunch. We didn’t know it was vegetarian. And we weren’t sure what to eat. And then I saw a peanut butter and vanilla rhubarb sandwich on the menu. Because the kid loves (and frequently eats) PB&J at home, I usually do, too. I love peanut butter. So I wasn’t ashamed to order one for lunch. And the rosemary french fries. And a strawberry lemonade.
I ended up getting the same exact meal as my professor’s 5 and 8-year old children. Oh well. I don’t care. It was delicious. So delicious, in fact, that I ordered the same exact lunch another day at a different Clover.
Mr. Bartley’s Burgers There was a bit of a wait outside when we went, and it was super crowded inside, but it was so worth it! There are two dozen different burgers on the menu, and the one I had was awesome. The fried pickles are also pretty damn good, and there’s a ton for sharing.
Russell House Tavern I’ve eaten here for dinner on previous trips and a large group of us wound up here for lunch one day. It’s super close to campus and the atmosphere is what makes it a fun place to hang out, even though it can get pretty crowded. Upstairs, they can open up all the windows onto the street. Downstairs, it’s really dark and cool. I’ve had the duck poutine for dinner before, but the duck was kind of dry. This visit, I had the grilled chicken sandwich and it was good, just super sloppy! I think next time I’m in town, I’ll just stick to drinks here!
Hong Kong On our last day, some of us girls headed out in search of lunch. We hadn’t all eaten lunch together before, so between the four of us, it felt like we had covered just about every restaurant within walking distance from our classes. We ended up going to Hong Kong because it was the one place we hadn’t been. I got the spicy basil chicken lunch special. So hot. SO GOOD. We all left STUFFED.
Grafton Street Our first night in town, we had a happy hour here. I had the 7th Ward off the cocktail menu. So good. I would go back here again for drinks or dinner for sure!
Beat Brew Hall We walked here for a late dinner one evening. I had the fried chicken sliders. Delicious! Lots of beers on tap, plus we saw a table get some gigantic drink in a fish bowl. The live music was good and the place got really busy the later it got!
Fenway Park We went to a Red Sox game. It was a baseball game, so I had to have hot dogs. And beer. And popcorn. And Cracker Jacks. And peanuts.
Border Cafe Six of us squished into a booth for typical Tex-Mex fare: chips, salsa, gaucamole (that was disappointingly bland and not spicy at all) enchiladas and margaritas.
The Village Kitchen in Huron Village This place was around the corner from our AirBnB so we walked there one night and loaded up on Italian food for dinner. We got gigantic portions of lasagna and garlic bread. Cash only, but there’s an ATM at the bank two doors down.
Full Moon in Huron Village Also right by our AirBnB, across from the Village Kitchen. While the menu may look fancy, this place was relaxed and super comfortable. There’s a big giant chalkboard wall which would make this place awesome for kids, but when we were there, there weren’t many people at all.
J.P. Licks I don’t really know what to say about this place, other than the fact that they had Fruity Pebble ice cream, which I thought was awesome, but what was even better was the fact that they let me order chocolate ice cream and put Fruity Pebbles on top. I know that might sound weird, but when I was an undergrad (cough) over 20 years ago (cough), I used to do that almost every night for dessert in the cafeteria. So this was kind of a weird full-college-circle dessert experience for me.
Lizzy’s Homemade Ice Cream So, I love ice cream. I got two scoops of the Columbian Fudge Avalanche, which was basically a really strong coffee flavored ice cream with chunks of chocolatey fudge all throughout. SO GOOD. A friend of mine ordered the Chocolate Orgy, which was a super dark looking chocolate… I ALMOST got that one. When he couldn’t finish his cone, I happily ate the rest of it.