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Overhead shot of a maple glazed doughnut with pieces of bacon on it. It’s sitting on a white paper bag on a rustic wooden table.
The maple bacon doughnut from Union Square Doughnuts
Terrence B. Doyle/Eater

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Coolidge Corner Food Crawl: Deli, More Deli, and Some Shawarma

Oh, and some doughnuts and maybe a movie, too

Welcome back to Food Crawls, a series in which Eater Boston staffers guide you (virtually) on various food (and booze) crawls in the Boston area.

When we go out, we often find ourselves wanting to try more than one restaurant or bar at a time — a drink and a snack here, another drink and perhaps a dessert there — and want to share our favorite multi-stop combinations with you. These crawls are meant to be relatively walkable, and the amount of food and drink is meant to correspond roughly to a couple of average appetites (so bring a friend), although your mileage may vary. Email us if there’s a particular theme, specific dish or drink, or neighborhood you’d like to see covered in a future installment.

Coolidge Corner — and either stretch of Harvard Street leading into it — is an eater’s (and a culture vulture’s) dream. There is very good to great Thai and Japanese and kosher and Middle Eastern and Italian. There are good cocktail bars, and there are good dive bars. There’s a fantastic bookstore, and there’s one of the very best independent theaters in the country. As far as neighborhoods in Boston’s suburbs go, Brookline’s Coolidge Corner is hard to beat for tasty treats.

This crawl will require at least two (but probably three to four) mouths.

Stats for this food crawl:

  • Total stops: 4
  • Things eaten from a deli: 2
  • Healthy salads consumed: 1
  • Doughnuts eaten to negate the healthy salads: As many as you can handle

Corned Beef Sandwich at Michael’s Deli

256 Harvard St., Brookline, MA 02446

michael’s deli coolidge corner
Get a knish too
Terrence B. Doyle/Eater

The self-professed corned beef king (it’s a deserved note of self-confidence), Michael’s Deli has been doing its thing in Coolidge for nearly four decades. Get a whole corned beef sandwich and share it with a friend, and get a couple of half-sour pickles too. And, yeah, why not: Eat a potato knish while you’re at it.

Tabbouleh at Shawarma King

1383 Beacon St., Brookline, MA 02446

shawarma king coolidge corner brookline
Everything is good, but get the tabbouleh
Terrence B. Doyle/Eater

There’s a lot of meat and a lot of doughnuts on this crawl, so this salad is crucial. Tabbouleh seems simple, but there’s a lot happening here — parsley, lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, cracked wheat, lemon juice, and olive oil. This is an exceptional version.

Beef Tongue Sandwich at Zaftigs Delicatessen

335 Harvard St., Brookline, MA 02446

zaftigs beef tongue
Get the beef tongue
Terrence B. Doyle/Eater

There are many good ways to cook and serve beef tongue — I dream weekly of the lengua tacos at Tacos Lupita in Haverhill — but on a sandwich is about as good as it gets. Go with marble rye, and grab a few more half-sours and some potato pancakes, too.

Any Doughnut at Union Square Donuts

409 Harvard St., Brookline, MA 02446

union square donuts brookline
Maple bacon or coconut are tops
Terrence B. Doyle for Eater

The best are the classic coconut and the not-so-classic maple bacon — but honestly, everything is worth a taste. Pack whatever space you’ve got left in your stomach with a bunch of yeasty, fried goodness. And some coffee. Union Square Donuts has a damn fine cup of coffee.

Michael's Deli

256 Harvard Street, , MA 02446 (617) 738-3354 Visit Website

Union Square Donuts (Brookline)

409 Harvard St., Brookline, MA 02446 Visit Website

Zaftigs Delicatessen

335 Harvard Street, , MA 02446 (617) 975-0075 Visit Website