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Harvard’s Renovated Smith Campus Center Is Filled With Popular Dining Options

The new building is home to Bon Me, Blackbird Doughnuts, Pavement Coffeehouse, and more

Bon Me breakfast egg sandwich
Bon Me breakfast egg sandwich
Bon Me [Official Photo]

Coinciding with the start of fall semester, Harvard University’s Smith Campus Center (30 Dunster St., Cambridge) reopened Tuesday, September 5. In planning since 2013 and under construction for the past two years, it brings a host of new dining options open to students and the public.

The campus center spans a full block in the center of Harvard Square between Dunster and Holyoke Streets, abutting Massachusetts Avenue. The building previously included the likes of Oggi Gourmet, Clover, B.Good, and Au Bon Pain, all of which closed or relocated as renovations began on the building more than two years ago. Now with renovations complete, several businesses are ready to feed the Square. Here’s a rundown of the new restaurants that opened in the campus center this week.

Blackbird Doughnuts

First popularized in Boston’s South End, Blackbird Doughnuts expanded to the Fenway neighborhood in 2017 and has now crossed the river into Cambridge. With both raised and cake doughnuts available, Blackbird offers a variety of flavors ranging from classic chocolate sprinkle to raspberry lime, vanilla glazed, and s’mores.

The store also has a soft serve machine and is serving seasonal slushies. First up, available this weekend: frozen apple cider. Blackbird recommends that visitors use the entrance on Holyoke Street to find the doughnut shop, which is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Blackbird is also working on an expansion to Brighton.

Bon Me

A classic story of food truck turned brick-and-mortar, Bon Me has vastly expanded its presence in the Boston area over the last few years. One of the Bon Me trucks is a regular on a plaza north of Harvard Yard, and its newest restaurant addition to Harvard Square features an updated menu and a new structure that includes pre-set items from chef Alison Fong along with customizable options for customers.

New additions include the Mala bowl with chilled glass noodles, carrots, chickpeas, mushrooms, and spicy sauce. The new Harvard location also serves breakfast, including overnight oats, congee, and an egg sandwich. It’s open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Bon Me also plans to add a location in Boston’s Longwood Medical Area (431 Brookline Ave.) next month.

Pavement Coffeehouse

This is Pavement’s first foray into Cambridge, as its seven other locations are all in Boston proper. It’s situated in the lobby of the campus center, giving visitors easy access to coffee as they pass through or linger in one of the communal seats at the renovated facility.

A few months ago, Pavement also debuted a large cafe, roasting facility, and commissary kitchen in Brighton.

Swissbakers

Now with four locations in Massachusetts (and one on the way to North Station), Swissbakers brings to Cambridge soft pretzels, croissants, filled doughnuts, and other pastries. It has a location close by, across the river in Allston near the Harvard Business School campus, but this puts its presence right in the heart of Harvard Square.

Eventually, the building will also be home to Saloniki, Whole Heart Provisions, and more. Stay tuned for details on future openings.

Bon Me, Blackbird Doughnuts and More Open at Harvard Smith Center [BM]

Swissbakers (Cambridge)

1350 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138 Visit Website

Pavement Coffeehouse (Harvard)

1350 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138 Visit Website

Bon Me (Harvard)

1350 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138 Visit Website