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Fried chicken plated on foil with sides of mac and cheese and collard greens
Fried chicken at The Coast Cafe
Korsha Wilson/Eater

Where to Eat Around Cambridgeport and West Cambridge

These 16 destinations cover everything from pastries to fine dining

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Fried chicken at The Coast Cafe
| Korsha Wilson/Eater

Cambridge’s main squares from Kendall to Porter each boast a strong concentration of restaurants, but there are plenty of hidden gems tucked away on side streets and main roads that are farther afield from the Red Line. Here’s a closer look at the dining options within a stretch of Cambridge that borders the river and expands north, reaching from MIT out to Fresh Pond but skirting around the edges of the best-known squares. This map includes bits of Cambridgeport, West Cambridge, Observatory Hill, Neighborhood Nine, and Riverside.

This map was originally published on November 4, 2019; it will be updated periodically, with the date of the most recent update appearing above. A small update on December 5, 2019, removed Full Moon, which is now closed but expected to reopen soon under a new name and new ownership but few other changes.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Gran Gusto

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West of Porter Square, in Cambridge’s Neighborhood Nine, Gran Gusto is strangely nestled inside of an office building within a largely residential area, where it’s serving up some of the best Italian food in the Boston area. The pizza is a must, as is the paccheri with short rib ragu. (Or have some fun with the chitarra alla “sciuè sciuè,” served out of a cheese wheel.)

Paccheri garnished with a meaty short rib ragu and a sprig of rosemary sits on a white plate on a dark background
Paccheri with short rib ragu at Gran Gusto
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Talulla

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This charming restaurant on Concord Avenue fits the bill for fine dining off the commonly beaten path. At Talulla, owners Conor Dennehy and Danielle Ayer serve composed dishes that highlight local ingredients, carefully selected wines, and more. There are often special events and various options for dining, including tasting and a la carte menus.

Overhead view of carrots and greens delicately plated
Carrot dish at Talulla
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Trattoria Pulcinella

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From a Sardinian toasted pasta with chickpeas, squid, and shrimp to paccheri with salt cod, Trattoria Pulcinella dips into parts of the Italian food repertoire not readily found in the Boston area. Keep an eye out for specials, especially if there’s wild boar.

Hi-Rise Bread Company

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This casual Observatory Hill bakery — which has a second location in Porter Square — is run by René and Cynthia Becker, who also operate Italian spot Luce in Porter Square. Hi-Rise has been around since 1996, serving a wide array of sandwiches and breakfast dishes, all with bread made in-house. The Concord Avenue location also serves packaged to-go dinner entrees and sides on weeknights from 4:30 p.m. to close. There are also beers, wines, and liquor available for purchase.

Workers stand around a wooden counter prepping dough balls
Prep at Hi-Rise Bread Company
Hi-Rise Bread Company/Official Site

Armando's Pizza

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One of the best old-school, New York-style slice shops in town, Armando’s serves everything you’d expect from a counter-service pizzeria with wooden booths and youth soccer photos on the walls.

Overhead view of a New York-style pepperoni pizza
A pepperoni pizza at Armando’s
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Sarah's Market & Café

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This small, comfortable spot has grab-and-go items, plus a mini-market of wine, beer, and snacks. Its full-service cafe menu includes salads, soups, sandwiches, and select hot dishes and desserts, and there’s an all-day breakfast menu on the weekends.

Formaggio Kitchen

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Primarily an exceptional retail shop for cheese (so much cheese) and other specialty goodies, the Huron Village location of Formaggio Kitchen is also notable for its long-running seasonal weekend barbecue series that happens on the sidewalk in front of the shop.

Piles of ribs and wings are set up on a table outdoors in front of a food store window
Formaggio sidewalk barbecue
Katie Chudy/Eater

Forage is a sleek subterranean space in Cambridge, close enough to Harvard Square but slightly removed from the hustle and bustle. It delivers gorgeous dishes made with local and seasonal ingredients.

A wide angle of a dining room with wooden tables, blue chairs, and blue painted walls with soft lighting
Dining room at Forage
Forage [Official Photo]

Darwin’s Ltd.

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There are actually two Darwin’s locations (of four total) in this neck of the woods: One in the former Petsi Pies space on Putnam Avenue (which opened in 2019) and this location on Mount Auburn Street, meaning there’s twice the volume of sandwiches, breads, cookies, and other sundry snacks. Get a Walden on sourdough stacked high with thick mozzarella cheese slices and slathered in pesto. The Mt. Auburn location also offers retail wine, beer, and hard ciders, with monthly tasting events.

The edge of a blueberry-covered pastry is visible on one edge of the photo, and a small cup of a coffee beverage is visible on another edge
A pastry and coffee at Darwin’s Ltd.
Darwin’s Ltd./Official Site

Andala Coffee House

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Just a street removed from Central Square, Andala Coffee House is a cozy cafe with Mediterranean dishes, pastries, sandwiches, and various specials. Get a caffeinated beverage while you’re at it — Andala makes Arabic and Turkish coffees.

Basta Pasta

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Basta Pasta has all the piping hot pasta dishes you need for a filling dinner in Cambridgeport. Choose your noodle and sauce, or opt for a pizza or risotto dish.

Green Street

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Yes, it’s a wildly popular Central Square bar, but Green Street is technically in Cambridgeport, so it makes the cut here. Get any number of tasty cocktails, or grab a local beer and settle into a booth for a meal of hearty pasta dishes and more while soaking up history.

A view of a dark bar with illuminated bottles of liquor
Green Street in Cambridge
Terrence B. Doyle/Eater

The Coast Cafe

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The Coast Cafe is a longtime Cambridgeport institution serving soul food and loaded combo platters. There are plenty of classics here, from fried chicken to crispy, cornmeal-crusted, fried catfish and Caribbean dishes like jerk chicken and beef and cheese patties.

Fried chicken plated on foil with sides of mac and cheese and collard greens
Fried chicken at the Coast Cafe
Korsha Wilson/Eater

Alive & Kicking Lobsters

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This unassuming restaurant in a mostly residential block of Cambridgeport is decidedly no-frills, with plastic tables and chairs, a seafood counter, and a compact menu of lobster sandwiches, steamers, chowders, and fish. The popular lobster sandwich comes lightly dressed with mayonnaise, served on buttered Scali bread toast.

Big chunks of lobster in mayo sit between toasted slices of Scali bread
A lobster sandwich at Alive & Kicking Lobsters
Alive & Kicking Lobsters/Official Site

Surya Indian Kitchen N Caterers

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Surya Indian Kitchen N Caterers opened in 2016, and it serves a variety of Indian dishes, grilled specials, and biryani. The menu caters to a broad range of dietary restrictions, and the meats are all certified halal.

Flour Bakery

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This location of local bakery and cafe chain Flour boasts a fireplace and is the perfect spot for settling in with a tasty pastry and a warm beverage. There are daily specials, as at every Flour location, and of course the bakery’s signature sticky buns.

Plump sticky buns, topped with nuts, sit on a white cake display in front of a white tiled wall
Flour’s sticky buns
Kristin Teig

Gran Gusto

Paccheri garnished with a meaty short rib ragu and a sprig of rosemary sits on a white plate on a dark background
Paccheri with short rib ragu at Gran Gusto
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

West of Porter Square, in Cambridge’s Neighborhood Nine, Gran Gusto is strangely nestled inside of an office building within a largely residential area, where it’s serving up some of the best Italian food in the Boston area. The pizza is a must, as is the paccheri with short rib ragu. (Or have some fun with the chitarra alla “sciuè sciuè,” served out of a cheese wheel.)

Paccheri garnished with a meaty short rib ragu and a sprig of rosemary sits on a white plate on a dark background
Paccheri with short rib ragu at Gran Gusto
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Talulla

Overhead view of carrots and greens delicately plated
Carrot dish at Talulla
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

This charming restaurant on Concord Avenue fits the bill for fine dining off the commonly beaten path. At Talulla, owners Conor Dennehy and Danielle Ayer serve composed dishes that highlight local ingredients, carefully selected wines, and more. There are often special events and various options for dining, including tasting and a la carte menus.

Overhead view of carrots and greens delicately plated
Carrot dish at Talulla
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Trattoria Pulcinella

From a Sardinian toasted pasta with chickpeas, squid, and shrimp to paccheri with salt cod, Trattoria Pulcinella dips into parts of the Italian food repertoire not readily found in the Boston area. Keep an eye out for specials, especially if there’s wild boar.

Hi-Rise Bread Company

Workers stand around a wooden counter prepping dough balls
Prep at Hi-Rise Bread Company
Hi-Rise Bread Company/Official Site

This casual Observatory Hill bakery — which has a second location in Porter Square — is run by René and Cynthia Becker, who also operate Italian spot Luce in Porter Square. Hi-Rise has been around since 1996, serving a wide array of sandwiches and breakfast dishes, all with bread made in-house. The Concord Avenue location also serves packaged to-go dinner entrees and sides on weeknights from 4:30 p.m. to close. There are also beers, wines, and liquor available for purchase.

Workers stand around a wooden counter prepping dough balls
Prep at Hi-Rise Bread Company
Hi-Rise Bread Company/Official Site

Armando's Pizza

Overhead view of a New York-style pepperoni pizza
A pepperoni pizza at Armando’s
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

One of the best old-school, New York-style slice shops in town, Armando’s serves everything you’d expect from a counter-service pizzeria with wooden booths and youth soccer photos on the walls.

Overhead view of a New York-style pepperoni pizza
A pepperoni pizza at Armando’s
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Sarah's Market & Café

This small, comfortable spot has grab-and-go items, plus a mini-market of wine, beer, and snacks. Its full-service cafe menu includes salads, soups, sandwiches, and select hot dishes and desserts, and there’s an all-day breakfast menu on the weekends.

Formaggio Kitchen

Piles of ribs and wings are set up on a table outdoors in front of a food store window
Formaggio sidewalk barbecue
Katie Chudy/Eater

Primarily an exceptional retail shop for cheese (so much cheese) and other specialty goodies, the Huron Village location of Formaggio Kitchen is also notable for its long-running seasonal weekend barbecue series that happens on the sidewalk in front of the shop.

Piles of ribs and wings are set up on a table outdoors in front of a food store window
Formaggio sidewalk barbecue
Katie Chudy/Eater

Forage

A wide angle of a dining room with wooden tables, blue chairs, and blue painted walls with soft lighting
Dining room at Forage
Forage [Official Photo]

Forage is a sleek subterranean space in Cambridge, close enough to Harvard Square but slightly removed from the hustle and bustle. It delivers gorgeous dishes made with local and seasonal ingredients.

A wide angle of a dining room with wooden tables, blue chairs, and blue painted walls with soft lighting
Dining room at Forage
Forage [Official Photo]

Darwin’s Ltd.

The edge of a blueberry-covered pastry is visible on one edge of the photo, and a small cup of a coffee beverage is visible on another edge
A pastry and coffee at Darwin’s Ltd.
Darwin’s Ltd./Official Site

There are actually two Darwin’s locations (of four total) in this neck of the woods: One in the former Petsi Pies space on Putnam Avenue (which opened in 2019) and this location on Mount Auburn Street, meaning there’s twice the volume of sandwiches, breads, cookies, and other sundry snacks. Get a Walden on sourdough stacked high with thick mozzarella cheese slices and slathered in pesto. The Mt. Auburn location also offers retail wine, beer, and hard ciders, with monthly tasting events.

The edge of a blueberry-covered pastry is visible on one edge of the photo, and a small cup of a coffee beverage is visible on another edge
A pastry and coffee at Darwin’s Ltd.
Darwin’s Ltd./Official Site

Andala Coffee House

Just a street removed from Central Square, Andala Coffee House is a cozy cafe with Mediterranean dishes, pastries, sandwiches, and various specials. Get a caffeinated beverage while you’re at it — Andala makes Arabic and Turkish coffees.

Basta Pasta

Basta Pasta has all the piping hot pasta dishes you need for a filling dinner in Cambridgeport. Choose your noodle and sauce, or opt for a pizza or risotto dish.

Green Street

A view of a dark bar with illuminated bottles of liquor
Green Street in Cambridge
Terrence B. Doyle/Eater

Yes, it’s a wildly popular Central Square bar, but Green Street is technically in Cambridgeport, so it makes the cut here. Get any number of tasty cocktails, or grab a local beer and settle into a booth for a meal of hearty pasta dishes and more while soaking up history.

A view of a dark bar with illuminated bottles of liquor
Green Street in Cambridge
Terrence B. Doyle/Eater

The Coast Cafe

Fried chicken plated on foil with sides of mac and cheese and collard greens
Fried chicken at the Coast Cafe
Korsha Wilson/Eater

The Coast Cafe is a longtime Cambridgeport institution serving soul food and loaded combo platters. There are plenty of classics here, from fried chicken to crispy, cornmeal-crusted, fried catfish and Caribbean dishes like jerk chicken and beef and cheese patties.

Fried chicken plated on foil with sides of mac and cheese and collard greens
Fried chicken at the Coast Cafe
Korsha Wilson/Eater

Alive & Kicking Lobsters

Big chunks of lobster in mayo sit between toasted slices of Scali bread
A lobster sandwich at Alive & Kicking Lobsters
Alive & Kicking Lobsters/Official Site

This unassuming restaurant in a mostly residential block of Cambridgeport is decidedly no-frills, with plastic tables and chairs, a seafood counter, and a compact menu of lobster sandwiches, steamers, chowders, and fish. The popular lobster sandwich comes lightly dressed with mayonnaise, served on buttered Scali bread toast.

Big chunks of lobster in mayo sit between toasted slices of Scali bread
A lobster sandwich at Alive & Kicking Lobsters
Alive & Kicking Lobsters/Official Site

Surya Indian Kitchen N Caterers

Surya Indian Kitchen N Caterers opened in 2016, and it serves a variety of Indian dishes, grilled specials, and biryani. The menu caters to a broad range of dietary restrictions, and the meats are all certified halal.

Related Maps

Flour Bakery

Plump sticky buns, topped with nuts, sit on a white cake display in front of a white tiled wall
Flour’s sticky buns
Kristin Teig

This location of local bakery and cafe chain Flour boasts a fireplace and is the perfect spot for settling in with a tasty pastry and a warm beverage. There are daily specials, as at every Flour location, and of course the bakery’s signature sticky buns.

Plump sticky buns, topped with nuts, sit on a white cake display in front of a white tiled wall
Flour’s sticky buns
Kristin Teig

Related Maps