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Overhead shot of a spread of takeout Thai food, including Thai iced tea, mango sticky rice, sai ua, and lots more
A takeout spread from 9zaab in East Cambridge.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Where to Eat and Drink in East Cambridge

Thai street food, Uyghur hand-pulled noodles, Portuguese salt cod, and lots more

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A takeout spread from 9zaab in East Cambridge.
| Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

East Cambridge — sometimes referred to as Area 1 — hugs the Charles River, encompasses part of Kendall Square, and is home to many great restaurants and cafes. From cocktails to coffee and burgers to breakfast sandwiches, East Cambridge has a lot to offer.

Here are just some of the many great East Cambridge restaurants, serving soup dumplings, breakfast tacos, liège-style waffles, and lots more.

(Note: Neighborhood staple Loyal Nine has announced that it will close after service on December 18, so it doesn’t appear on this map, but if you can grab a reservation during its final few days, do so; its unique take on New England cuisine — what it refers to as “East Coast revival” — will be missed. Read more here.)

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Atwood's Tavern

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877 Cambridge St
Cambridge, MA 02141
(617) 864-2792
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Delightful is exactly the right word for the Atwood’s patio, which is heated in the winter and is a great spot to grab a generously sized burger and a beer. The indoor space — typically home to a busy live music schedule — is currently closed for renovations, but takeout is available.

2. Orale Mexican Grill

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847 Cambridge St
Cambridge, MA 02141
(617) 945-2047
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Great tortas are just one of the many things Orale does well. Also make sure to try the nachos, which are perfectly layered in cheese and topped with refried beans, pico de gallo, crema, jalapenos, guacamole, and a choice of meat.

3. Portugalia Restaurant

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723 Cambridge St
Cambridge, MA 02141
(617) 491-5373
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This Portuguese restaurant has been open for over 25 years in East Cambridge, and it specializes in salt cod and northern Portuguese food. Eating there feels like you’re dining in someone’s home, in the best way. Order the cod fritters, which have an incredibly unique texture; for even more salt cod, try the bacalhau a ze do pipo, which is baked with a tangy, flavorful tartar sauce and piping hot potato puree.

A strip of baked fish topped with a pale reddish white sauce sits atop mashed potatoes with a side of olives.
Bacalhau a ze do pipo (baked salt cod) from Portugalia Restaurant in East Cambridge.
Karen Wilber/Eater

4. Silk Road Uyghur Cuisine

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645 Cambridge St
Cambridge, MA 02141
(617) 945-1909
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Previously Pronto Cafe, Silk Road offers soups, kebabs, hand pulled noodles, Uyghur-style samosas, and more. Uyghur hand-pulled noodles are known to be very soft, and Silk Road’s come packed with plenty of vegetables as well. Stop by for dine-in or takeout.

overhead view of a bowl of long noodles of medium thickness with chopped veggies and meat
Hand pulled noodles from Silk Road Uyghur Cuisine in East Cambridge.
Karen Wilber/Eater

5. Cafe Beatrice

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100 N First St
Cambridge, MA 02141
(617) 945-1349
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Cafe Beatrice — along with two of its sibling restaurants, the Lexington and Geppetto — is located at the Cambridge Crossing development near the Lechmere MBTA stop. (Big sibling Puritan & Co. is over in Inman Square.) Cafe Beatrice’s pastries are the perfect weekend morning treat (or any day, really) — try one of the fruit brioches or a maple kouign amann pastry.

Closeup of a round sticky bun topped with hazelnuts, sitting on a piece of tissue paper decorated with colorful, cartoony pieces of fruit
The sticky bun at Cafe Beatrice.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

6. Lone Star Taco Bar

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635 Cambridge St
Cambridge, MA 02141
(857) 285-6179
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Lone Star provides a great late-night option in East Cambridge, open until midnight each night. It also offers all-day brunch — order the tres leches French toast with the breakfast tacos. (You can also never go wrong with an order of queso.)

Two shredded beef tacos and a wedge of lime sit on a plate
Shredded beef tacos at Lone Star Taco Bar’s Cambridge location.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

7. Royal Pastry Shop

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738 Cambridge St
Cambridge, MA 02141
(617) 547-2053
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Royal Pastry Shop, which opened in 1942, has long been serving Italian and American pastries and other treats in East Cambridge; there’s a Lexington location, too. There are plenty of pastries to catch your eye in the display cases, but also do yourself a favor and get a box of cannoli.

8. 9Zaab Thai Street Food

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569 Cambridge St
Cambridge, MA 02141
(617) 868-6644
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9Zaab offers many different Thai dishes, including a number of great soups. In the mood for rice? Try the khao tom Thai rice soup. For an egg noodle soup, order ba mee moo dang, and for rice noodles, try the boat noodle soup.

A pile of seasoned ground beef studded with sliced red peppers and toasted rice sits on a restaurant table with a colorful photo of Thailand in the background.
Beef laab at 9Zaab.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

9. Elmendorf Baking Supplies & Cafe

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594 Cambridge St
Cambridge, MA 02141
(617) 945-0045
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Elmendorf sells all kinds of baking supplies, from flour to whisks to cookbooks, and it has a great cafe as well. Stop by for an indulgent breakfast egg sandwich and a latte, which you can enjoy in the colorful outdoor seating setup.

10. Dumpling Xuan

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465 Cambridge St
Cambridge, MA 02141
(617) 868-2888
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While Dumpling Xuan is fairly new to the East Cambridge food scene, it has a lot to offer, with dumplings being just one of many things the restaurant does well. The menu has well over 100 items from which to choose, including mapo tofu as well as dry pot, which shares similar flavors to traditional hot pot but is prepared stir-fried instead.

Overhead view of two round and three rectangular black plastic takeout containers of Chinese food, including two kinds of dumplings, ma po tofu, oval rice cakes with greens and slivers of pork, and more.
Dumplings, ma po tofu, rice cakes, and more from Dumpling Xuan in East Cambridge.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

11. Curio Coffee and Wine

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441 Cambridge St
Cambridge, MA 02141
(857) 242-3018
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The coffee is excellent, but the liège waffle will make your day — it’s the only food item on the daytime menu, and it comes hot to order. Check the cafe’s social media to keep up with different seasonal waffle flavors and information on nighttime service, when it turns into a wine bar with a limited food menu.

Overhead view of a liege-style waffle on a white paper bag and a white mug of hot chocolate, both on a wooden table
Curio Coffee hot chocolate and waffle.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

12. Vincent's

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233 Cardinal Medeiros Ave
Cambridge, MA 02141
(617) 314-7297
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Vincent’s — sibling to Mamaleh’s and State Park nearby — has a great neighborhood feel with a unique menu that changes regularly, and plenty of incredible wine and cocktails from which to choose. The focus on making food from scratch and sourcing ingredients from small and local producers shows up in the quality of each dish, whether it’s a casual breakfast taco or kolache at brunch or a hearty pork loin and sausage entree at dinner.

1. Atwood's Tavern

877 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02141

Delightful is exactly the right word for the Atwood’s patio, which is heated in the winter and is a great spot to grab a generously sized burger and a beer. The indoor space — typically home to a busy live music schedule — is currently closed for renovations, but takeout is available.

877 Cambridge St
Cambridge, MA 02141

2. Orale Mexican Grill

847 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02141

Great tortas are just one of the many things Orale does well. Also make sure to try the nachos, which are perfectly layered in cheese and topped with refried beans, pico de gallo, crema, jalapenos, guacamole, and a choice of meat.

847 Cambridge St
Cambridge, MA 02141

3. Portugalia Restaurant

723 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02141
A strip of baked fish topped with a pale reddish white sauce sits atop mashed potatoes with a side of olives.
Bacalhau a ze do pipo (baked salt cod) from Portugalia Restaurant in East Cambridge.
Karen Wilber/Eater

This Portuguese restaurant has been open for over 25 years in East Cambridge, and it specializes in salt cod and northern Portuguese food. Eating there feels like you’re dining in someone’s home, in the best way. Order the cod fritters, which have an incredibly unique texture; for even more salt cod, try the bacalhau a ze do pipo, which is baked with a tangy, flavorful tartar sauce and piping hot potato puree.

723 Cambridge St
Cambridge, MA 02141

4. Silk Road Uyghur Cuisine

645 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02141
overhead view of a bowl of long noodles of medium thickness with chopped veggies and meat
Hand pulled noodles from Silk Road Uyghur Cuisine in East Cambridge.
Karen Wilber/Eater

Previously Pronto Cafe, Silk Road offers soups, kebabs, hand pulled noodles, Uyghur-style samosas, and more. Uyghur hand-pulled noodles are known to be very soft, and Silk Road’s come packed with plenty of vegetables as well. Stop by for dine-in or takeout.

645 Cambridge St
Cambridge, MA 02141

5. Cafe Beatrice

100 N First St, Cambridge, MA 02141
Closeup of a round sticky bun topped with hazelnuts, sitting on a piece of tissue paper decorated with colorful, cartoony pieces of fruit
The sticky bun at Cafe Beatrice.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Cafe Beatrice — along with two of its sibling restaurants, the Lexington and Geppetto — is located at the Cambridge Crossing development near the Lechmere MBTA stop. (Big sibling Puritan & Co. is over in Inman Square.) Cafe Beatrice’s pastries are the perfect weekend morning treat (or any day, really) — try one of the fruit brioches or a maple kouign amann pastry.

100 N First St
Cambridge, MA 02141

6. Lone Star Taco Bar

635 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02141
Two shredded beef tacos and a wedge of lime sit on a plate
Shredded beef tacos at Lone Star Taco Bar’s Cambridge location.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Lone Star provides a great late-night option in East Cambridge, open until midnight each night. It also offers all-day brunch — order the tres leches French toast with the breakfast tacos. (You can also never go wrong with an order of queso.)

635 Cambridge St
Cambridge, MA 02141

7. Royal Pastry Shop

738 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02141

Royal Pastry Shop, which opened in 1942, has long been serving Italian and American pastries and other treats in East Cambridge; there’s a Lexington location, too. There are plenty of pastries to catch your eye in the display cases, but also do yourself a favor and get a box of cannoli.

738 Cambridge St
Cambridge, MA 02141

8. 9Zaab Thai Street Food

569 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02141
A pile of seasoned ground beef studded with sliced red peppers and toasted rice sits on a restaurant table with a colorful photo of Thailand in the background.
Beef laab at 9Zaab.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

9Zaab offers many different Thai dishes, including a number of great soups. In the mood for rice? Try the khao tom Thai rice soup. For an egg noodle soup, order ba mee moo dang, and for rice noodles, try the boat noodle soup.

569 Cambridge St
Cambridge, MA 02141

9. Elmendorf Baking Supplies & Cafe

594 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02141

Elmendorf sells all kinds of baking supplies, from flour to whisks to cookbooks, and it has a great cafe as well. Stop by for an indulgent breakfast egg sandwich and a latte, which you can enjoy in the colorful outdoor seating setup.

594 Cambridge St
Cambridge, MA 02141

10. Dumpling Xuan

465 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02141
Overhead view of two round and three rectangular black plastic takeout containers of Chinese food, including two kinds of dumplings, ma po tofu, oval rice cakes with greens and slivers of pork, and more.
Dumplings, ma po tofu, rice cakes, and more from Dumpling Xuan in East Cambridge.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

While Dumpling Xuan is fairly new to the East Cambridge food scene, it has a lot to offer, with dumplings being just one of many things the restaurant does well. The menu has well over 100 items from which to choose, including mapo tofu as well as dry pot, which shares similar flavors to traditional hot pot but is prepared stir-fried instead.

465 Cambridge St
Cambridge, MA 02141

11. Curio Coffee and Wine

441 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02141
Overhead view of a liege-style waffle on a white paper bag and a white mug of hot chocolate, both on a wooden table
Curio Coffee hot chocolate and waffle.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

The coffee is excellent, but the liège waffle will make your day — it’s the only food item on the daytime menu, and it comes hot to order. Check the cafe’s social media to keep up with different seasonal waffle flavors and information on nighttime service, when it turns into a wine bar with a limited food menu.

441 Cambridge St
Cambridge, MA 02141

12. Vincent's

233 Cardinal Medeiros Ave, Cambridge, MA 02141

Vincent’s — sibling to Mamaleh’s and State Park nearby — has a great neighborhood feel with a unique menu that changes regularly, and plenty of incredible wine and cocktails from which to choose. The focus on making food from scratch and sourcing ingredients from small and local producers shows up in the quality of each dish, whether it’s a casual breakfast taco or kolache at brunch or a hearty pork loin and sausage entree at dinner.

233 Cardinal Medeiros Ave
Cambridge, MA 02141

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