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Fried chicken at Bisq
The fried chicken at Bisq is the truth
Bisq/Facebook

Where to Eat and Drink in Inman Square

Half-sour pickles at a century-old Jewish deli and some of the best Indian food in Greater Boston

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The fried chicken at Bisq is the truth
| Bisq/Facebook

Inman Square, located almost entirely in Cambridge but with a sliver in Somerville, is the neighborhood that everyone loves but the neighborhood that a lot of people don’t move to because every T station is at least 15 minutes away by foot (something the Green Line Extension — if it’s ever completed — will mitigate, but just barely). The folks who do live in Inman Square are lucky, because it boasts one of the Boston area’s best bar and restaurant scenes.

Here’s a starter guide to a dozen excellent dining and drinking spots worth checking out around Inman Square — just the tip of the iceberg of the neighborhood’s exceptional options.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Trina's Starlite Lounge

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3 Beacon St
Somerville, MA 02143
(617) 576-0006
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Trina’s is well-known as an “industry” hangout, which means that a lot of people who work in bars and restaurants head to Trina’s when they’re not working. The drinks are superb, as is the brunch menu. The brunch burger — two flat patties served with bacon and a fried egg — and a bloody mary will cure any Sunday morning hangover. Also, try one of the decadent hot dogs.

Trina’s Starlite Lounge dog of the day
A decadent doggy at Trina’s Starlite Lounge
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

2. Moona

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243 Hampshire St
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 945-7448
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This intimate Eastern Mediterranean joint won the Eater Boston Readers’ Choice award for best restaurant in 2017. The food at Moona is meant to be shared. Bring some friends, and enjoy dishes like roasted beets and grilled whole fish along with plates of olives and hummus.

moona chicken bastilla
Chicken bastilla at Moona
Brian Samuels

3. Punjabi Dhaba

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225 Hampshire St
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 547-8272
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Punjabi Dhaba has been slinging Punjabi cuisine in Inman Square for two decades now. Everything on the menu is worth sampling, but the Dhaba special lamb curry is not to be missed.

punjabi dhaba
A spread at Punjabi Dhaba
Stephanie C./Yelp

4. The Druid

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1357 Cambridge St
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 497-0965
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The Druid is great for many reasons, but chief among them is the mussel pots. Number two: Guinness.

the druid
Beer and mussels and happiness
The Druid/Facebook

5. Bukowski Tavern

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1281 Cambridge St
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 497-7077
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Like its sister in the Back Bay, Bukowski Tavern is an exceptional place in which to drink much beer. The draft list is deep, but you can also get a cheap domestic bottle if that’s what you’re into.

Bukowski Tavern Inman Square - elk burger
Hearty bar snacks and a deep draft list make Bukowski Tavern one of Inman Square’s best hangouts
Chris Coe/Eater

6. Highland Fried

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1271 Cambridge St
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 714-4662
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Highland Fried is a boisterous palace of Tiki and fried chicken — some of which is seriously spicy — from the team behind Somerville hangout Highland Kitchen.

Overhead view of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, slaw, and dipping sauce on a red-and-white checkered paper on a white plate.
One of several excellent fried chicken options in Inman Square
Highland Fried/Facebook

7. Christina's Homemade Ice Cream

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1255 Cambridge St
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 492-7021
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Christina’s has been making ice cream in Inman Square for 35 years, and everyone — yes, even Bon Appétit — has recognized its excellence. There are lots of flavors, so making a decision is never easy. It’s best to try something seasonal — vanilla is always going to be there.

Christina’s ice cream
Christina’s ice cream
Christina O./Yelp

8. S&S Deli

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1334 Cambridge St
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 354-0777
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S&S Deli is on the verge of its 100th birthday. Go for lunch, and get something you can only get at a Jewish deli — chopped liver or tongue, for example. Also, get a half-sour pickle or three: They’re the best pickles in the city.

s and s deli - beef tongue sandwich on pumpernickel
Trust: Get the beef tongue
Rooty T./Yelp

9. Bisq

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1071 Cambridge St
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 714-3693
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This Bergamot sister restaurant is doing fried chicken (three ways) that’s tough to beat, not to mention small plates like black eyed pea hummus or charred baby carrots, meant to be shared among friends. It’s a good date spot, too, with romantic wine bar vibes.

Fried chicken at Bisq
Fried chicken at Bisq
Bisq/Facebook

10. Puritan & Company

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1166 Cambridge St
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 615-6195
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Puritan & Co. has been at it in Inman Square for some time now, serving hungry diners New England-y dishes made with local ingredients (and sometimes even with produce from chef and owner Will Gilson’s family farm). Go for Sunday brunch — try the sourdough griddle cakes.

A spread of Puritan & Co. food
A spread of Puritan & Co. food
Puritan & Co./Facebook

11. Momi Nonmi

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1128 Cambridge St
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 945-7328
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Momi Nonmi describes itself as a modern izakaya, which is a Japanese pub. And like any good izakaya, Momi Nonmi has got some skewers. Order them all (chicken, vegetable, short rib, and sausage). The wagyu beef dumplings are also a hit.

Momi Nonmi bento box
A brunch bento box from Momi Nonmi
Momi Nonmi/Facebook

12. Muqueca

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1008 Cambridge St
Cambridge, MA 02141
(617) 354-3296
Visit Website

First things first: Muqueca has one of the most adorable bars in the city. Go eat at it, and order the dish from which the restaurant takes its name, moqueca, which is a traditional Brazilian stew made with fish and shellfish.

muqueca
A spread at Muqueca
Muqueca/Facebook

1. Trina's Starlite Lounge

3 Beacon St, Somerville, MA 02143
Trina’s Starlite Lounge dog of the day
A decadent doggy at Trina’s Starlite Lounge
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Trina’s is well-known as an “industry” hangout, which means that a lot of people who work in bars and restaurants head to Trina’s when they’re not working. The drinks are superb, as is the brunch menu. The brunch burger — two flat patties served with bacon and a fried egg — and a bloody mary will cure any Sunday morning hangover. Also, try one of the decadent hot dogs.

3 Beacon St
Somerville, MA 02143

2. Moona

243 Hampshire St, Cambridge, MA 02139
moona chicken bastilla
Chicken bastilla at Moona
Brian Samuels

This intimate Eastern Mediterranean joint won the Eater Boston Readers’ Choice award for best restaurant in 2017. The food at Moona is meant to be shared. Bring some friends, and enjoy dishes like roasted beets and grilled whole fish along with plates of olives and hummus.

243 Hampshire St
Cambridge, MA 02139

3. Punjabi Dhaba

225 Hampshire St, Cambridge, MA 02139
punjabi dhaba
A spread at Punjabi Dhaba
Stephanie C./Yelp

Punjabi Dhaba has been slinging Punjabi cuisine in Inman Square for two decades now. Everything on the menu is worth sampling, but the Dhaba special lamb curry is not to be missed.

225 Hampshire St
Cambridge, MA 02139

4. The Druid

1357 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139
the druid
Beer and mussels and happiness
The Druid/Facebook

The Druid is great for many reasons, but chief among them is the mussel pots. Number two: Guinness.

1357 Cambridge St
Cambridge, MA 02139

5. Bukowski Tavern

1281 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139
Bukowski Tavern Inman Square - elk burger
Hearty bar snacks and a deep draft list make Bukowski Tavern one of Inman Square’s best hangouts
Chris Coe/Eater

Like its sister in the Back Bay, Bukowski Tavern is an exceptional place in which to drink much beer. The draft list is deep, but you can also get a cheap domestic bottle if that’s what you’re into.

1281 Cambridge St
Cambridge, MA 02139

6. Highland Fried

1271 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139
Overhead view of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, slaw, and dipping sauce on a red-and-white checkered paper on a white plate.
One of several excellent fried chicken options in Inman Square
Highland Fried/Facebook

Highland Fried is a boisterous palace of Tiki and fried chicken — some of which is seriously spicy — from the team behind Somerville hangout Highland Kitchen.

1271 Cambridge St
Cambridge, MA 02139

7. Christina's Homemade Ice Cream

1255 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139
Christina’s ice cream
Christina’s ice cream
Christina O./Yelp

Christina’s has been making ice cream in Inman Square for 35 years, and everyone — yes, even Bon Appétit — has recognized its excellence. There are lots of flavors, so making a decision is never easy. It’s best to try something seasonal — vanilla is always going to be there.

1255 Cambridge St
Cambridge, MA 02139

8. S&S Deli

1334 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139
s and s deli - beef tongue sandwich on pumpernickel
Trust: Get the beef tongue
Rooty T./Yelp

S&S Deli is on the verge of its 100th birthday. Go for lunch, and get something you can only get at a Jewish deli — chopped liver or tongue, for example. Also, get a half-sour pickle or three: They’re the best pickles in the city.

1334 Cambridge St
Cambridge, MA 02139

9. Bisq

1071 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139
Fried chicken at Bisq
Fried chicken at Bisq
Bisq/Facebook

This Bergamot sister restaurant is doing fried chicken (three ways) that’s tough to beat, not to mention small plates like black eyed pea hummus or charred baby carrots, meant to be shared among friends. It’s a good date spot, too, with romantic wine bar vibes.

1071 Cambridge St
Cambridge, MA 02139

10. Puritan & Company

1166 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139
A spread of Puritan & Co. food
A spread of Puritan & Co. food
Puritan & Co./Facebook

Puritan & Co. has been at it in Inman Square for some time now, serving hungry diners New England-y dishes made with local ingredients (and sometimes even with produce from chef and owner Will Gilson’s family farm). Go for Sunday brunch — try the sourdough griddle cakes.

1166 Cambridge St
Cambridge, MA 02139

11. Momi Nonmi

1128 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139
Momi Nonmi bento box
A brunch bento box from Momi Nonmi
Momi Nonmi/Facebook

Momi Nonmi describes itself as a modern izakaya, which is a Japanese pub. And like any good izakaya, Momi Nonmi has got some skewers. Order them all (chicken, vegetable, short rib, and sausage). The wagyu beef dumplings are also a hit.

1128 Cambridge St
Cambridge, MA 02139

12. Muqueca

1008 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02141
muqueca
A spread at Muqueca
Muqueca/Facebook

First things first: Muqueca has one of the most adorable bars in the city. Go eat at it, and order the dish from which the restaurant takes its name, moqueca, which is a traditional Brazilian stew made with fish and shellfish.

1008 Cambridge St
Cambridge, MA 02141

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