Food 4.0: A Guide to Navigating the Harvard Square Neighborhood

August 24, 2017 |
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Explore Harvard Square

September is fast approaching and this college town is about to expand in size as students from all over the world head back to start another school year. Harvard Square, located in Cambridge, is one of the city’s educational epicenters and there’s no doubt it’ll be buzzing in the next couple of weeks. With its old-time class and modern flare you’ll definitely want to check it out if you’re in Boston. Don’t worry your GPA is irrelevant, but they get a 4.0 from us when it comes to food.

Where to Eat


Crema Cafe

coffee from crema

Photo Credit: @tinyurbankitchen via Instagram

This welcoming local spot offers a variety of seating with an earthy vibe where you can enjoy artisanal coffee, homemade pastries or a quick meal—they serve breakfast and lunch.

Address: 27 Brattle St, Cambridge, MA 02138
Phone: 617-876-2700


tea drawers at tealuxe

Photo Credit: Tealuxe

This dark and cozy tea shop feels like you’ve stepped into 1900s England. The expansive wall filled with black drawers holds over 100 different kinds of loose leaf tea. This is not only a great place for a cup of tea (hot or iced) but also ideal for gift buying.

Address: 0 Brattle St, Cambridge, MA 02138
Phone: 617-441-0077


coffee and pastries from tatte

Photo Credit: Tatte

This local mini-chain offers an eye-bulging variety of sweet treats and baked goods. If you need an afternoon pick-me-up definitely pay them a visit. If you are in need of something less sweet, let them serve you a breakfast or lunch that you can savor.

Address: 1288 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138
Phone: 617-441-4011


Felipe’s Taqueria

tacos and nachos from felipe's

Photo Credit: @devonmonique via Instagram

This counter-service restaurant serves mouth-watering Mexican food in a casual environment. Perfect for a quick lunch after touring the Square. All the guac please!

Address: 21 Brattle St, Cambridge, MA 02138
Phone: 617-354-9944

Pinocchio’s Pizza

pizza from pinocchio's

Photo Credit: Pinocchio’s

This spot is easy to miss but don’t miss it. Grab a slice, or two, or three. Maybe get us one too? Thanks.

Address: 74 Winthrop St, Cambridge, MA 02138
Phone: 617-876-4897

Nice Dinner:

Alden & Harlow

beef dish from alden & harlow

Photo Credit: Alden & Harlow

Chef Michael Scelfo has made a name for himself in this city with Alden & Harlow’s unique flavors and alluring atmosphere. He calls it “new American food” and has seen wild success. They offer shareable plates packed to the brim with thoughtful combinations of ingredients and have a reputation for a killer secret burger, but they go fast so get one quick.

Address: 40 Brattle St, Cambridge, MA 02138
Phone: 617-864-2100


tomato dish from parsnip

Photo Credit: Parsnip

This elegant restaurant and lounge is an inviting place to have an intimate dinner or and some drinks (because why not have both, you’re definitely not going to want to leave this spot in a hurry). The food is seasonal with a modern-European flare.

Address: 91 Winthrop St, Cambridge, MA 02138
Phone: 617-714-3206

Henrietta’s Table

interior of henrietta's table

Photo Credit: @andreea0790 via Instagram

Reminiscent of a farmhouse this comforting spot located in the Charles Hotel feels like home, offering locally sourced fare for dinner, lunch, and brunch. They call their menu “honest to goodness New England cooking.”

Address: 1 Bennett St, Cambridge, MA 02138
Phone: 617-661-5005


pasta from toscano

Photo Credit: @baddiedae via Instagram

Known for their Italian hospitality, Toscano pays homage to the cuisine of Tuscany with dishes comprised of seasonal ingredients and rare imports.

Address: 52 Brattle St, Cambridge, MA 02138
Phone: 617-354-5250


green vegetables and burrata from harvest

Photo Credit: Harvest

Using the freshest ingredients they can find, Harvest serves contemporary New England cuisine in an earthy and elegant space. Tucked away down a cobblestone street in the heart of Harvard Square you can dine inside or outside in their private garden cafe.

Address: 44 Brattle St, Cambridge, MA 02138
Phone: 617-868-2255


Grafton Group Hospitality

outside of grafton street

Photo Credit: Grafton Street

The Grafton Group has monopolized Harvard Square with four of their restaurants that have become quintessential to the identity of the neighborhood. They combine upscale flavors with a sophisticated pub atmosphere. In the Square are Russell House Tavern, The Hourly Oyster House, PARK, and Grafton Street. Be sure to check them out for lunch or dinner (good to know: they all stay open late).

burger from russell house tavern

Photo Credit: Russell House Tavern

Russell House Tavern
Address: 14 John F. Kennedy St, Cambridge, MA 02138
Phone: 617-500-3055

The Hourly Oyster House
Address: 15 Dunster St, Cambridge, MA 02138
Phone: 617-765-2342

Address: 59 Jfk St, Cambridge, MA 02138
Phone: 617-491-9851

Grafton Street
Address: 1230 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138
Phone: 617-497-0400

The Boathouse

fish and chips from the boathouse

Photo Credit: @j_flyer via Instagram

This local, nautical-themed spot serves up pub fare and is a great place to relax with some beers!

Address: 49 Mt Auburn St, Cambridge, MA 02138
Phone: 617-349-1650

Night Life:

Charlie’s Kitchen

bar at charlie's kitchen

Photo Credit: @martymartin via Instagram

This local restaurant/bar is energized come nighttime. It’s the ideal local hang and they also offer a wide range of food, there’s something for everyone. They have a 50s-style diner on their ground floor as well as a patio and beer garden.

Address: 10 Eliot St, Cambridge, MA 02138
Phone: 617-492-9646


cocktail from noir

Photo Credit: The Charles Hotel

Located in The Charles Hotel, this sophisticated lounge is the perfect place to settle down for some intimate drinks and chill time. The dark and sultry atmosphere has just as much allure as the seasonal handcrafted cocktails.

Address: 1 Bennett St, Cambridge, MA 02138
Phone: 617-661-8010

Beat Brasserie

cocktail and stage from beat brasserie

Photo Credit: @agirlwithadrink via Instagram

This funky underground spot serves share plates inspired by both American and international flavors. They have live music at night; that along with the purple glow cast over the space creates all the good vibes.

Address: 13 Brattle St, Cambridge, MA 02138
Phone: 617-499-0001

The Sinclair

cocktail from the sinclair

Photo Credit: The Sinclair

The modern version of dinner and a show—this American gastropub is accompanied by a music venue where you can catch some tunes.

Address: 52 Church St, Cambridge, MA 02138
Phone: 617-547-5200


Lizzy’s Ice Cream

ice cream sundae from lizzy's

Photo Credit: @eli_morrissey via Instagram

This little hole in the wall place is easy to miss until you see people emerging from its doors with cones piled high and smiles spread wide. This is definitely the place to treat an ice cream hankering.

Address: 29 Church St, Cambridge, MA 02138
Phone: 617-354-2911


waffle from zinneken's

Photo Credit: @shunliangphotography via Instagram

This Belgian waffle haven is a must-visit, top of the list, gotta have kind of place. They serve REAL Belgian Sugar waffles, also know as Liège waffles, hot and covered with toppings that get into all those crispy crevices. You can build your own or choose from one of their pre-set topping choices. Dessert for breakfast is our favorite way to start the day.

Address: 1154 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138
Phone: 617-876-0836

L.A. Burdick

hot chocolate from l.a. burduck

Photo Credit: Rachel DeSimone

This artisanal chocolate shop offers some of the most decadent hot chocolate we’ve ever had. You can choose from white, milk, dark, or single source chocolate to fill your cup. It’s so thick that if you leave it in the fridge overnight it turns into mousse (we may have done this once…or twice).

Address: 52 Brattle St, Cambridge, MA 02138
Phone: 617-491-4340

Where to Shop

Harvard Square is packed with shops both small and local, and some recognizable big names. Several that we think you should check out are:

Harvard Book Store

Cardullo’s Gourmet Shoppe

Goorin Bros. Hat Shop

Bob Slate Stationers

World’s Only Curious George Store

What to See/Do

Walk around Harvard’s Campus

The Comedy Studio

The Brattle Theatre

Where to Stay and Getting There


Harvard Square Hotel

The Charles Hotel

Hotel Veritas

Sheraton Commander Hotel

Courtyard Boston Cambridge

A Bed & Breakfast in Cambridge

Public Transportation

Closest MBTA Stops

Harvard Square – Red Line (trains and buses)

map of harvard square

Photo Credit: Google Maps

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