Popular Seaport District ice cream shop Taiyaki NYC — which expanded here in 2019 from New York — will open its second Massachusetts location in Cambridge’s Harvard Square, and this one will share space with Taiyaki’s mochi doughnut shop sibling, the Dough Club. They’ll be located in the former Mint Julep storefront at 6 Church Street, a prime location steps from the Harvard MBTA station.
The shops specialize in social media-friendly (but also tasty) treats. Taiyaki is known for its fish-shaped ice cream cones with red bean or custard fillings, colorful swirls of soft serve, and toppings like unicorn horns. The shop also serves fluffy piles of souffle pancakes and hot, iced, and frozen matcha, hojicha, and taro drinks.
This will be the Dough Club’s first appearance outside of New York, where it has a trio of shops. On the menu: a rotating array of pon de ring-style mochi doughnuts with, of course, plenty of cutesy toppings. There are milkshakes, too, as well as retail bags of mochi waffle and pancake mix.
Mochi doughnuts, known for their distinctive chew and light texture, are fairly new to Greater Boston but not entirely unfamiliar here. As of late 2021, Allston, Dorchester, and Worcester were home to dedicated mochi doughnut shops or cafes that sold them, and a pop-up called Neighborhood Donut Society has been making appearances in Greater Boston over the past couple of years as well. Cambridge also has one source of mochi doughnuts already, as Cambridge Day notes — Paris Baguette in the food court at H Mart in Central Square, which serves the doughnuts in flavors like yuzu, matcha, and blood orange.
Harvard Square is seeing lots of changes these days (say goodbye to the Garage as you know it), but it remains home to quite a few dining options, including lots of sweet ones. While the era of date nights at Finale Desserterie ended almost a decade ago — feeling old? — Taiyaki NYC and the Dough Club will join a lot of other dessert options in the neighborhood, including an offshoot of North End icon Mike’s Pastry, gelato chain Amorino, Lizzy’s Ice Cream, New York-based chain Milk Bar, J.P. Licks, Blackbird Doughnuts, and more.
The Taiyaki NYC/Dough Club team was not immediately available for comment, but stay tuned for updates on an opening timeline and other details about the forthcoming shops.