Kendall Square isn’t just the East Coast’s answer to Silicon Valley; Kendall’s also home to quite a bit of good food. From long-fermented wood-oven pizza to spicy Hunan bites to traditional Afghan cuisine, this East Cambridge neighborhood has something for every eater. Here are 12 of the best places to eat and drink in and near Cambridge’s Kendall Square.Read More
Where to Eat and Drink in Kendall Square
Ribs, fried chicken, poutine, and beautiful cocktails
1. Café du Pays
Café du Pays took home the award for Eater Boston’s 2017 Restaurant of the Year. The French-Canadian joint — yes, there’s poutine — is known for hearty dishes such as tourtière (pork and venison meat pie) and duck. Diners feel like they’re seated at mémère’s dining room table.
2. The Automatic
The Automatic has one of the prettiest bars in Greater Boston, and the flat patty burger isn’t half bad either. Be sure to check out the late-night scene there.
3. The Helmand
The Helmand, named for the longest river in Afghanistan, has been serving stunningly good Afghan food for years just outside of Kendall Square. The half rack of lamb is not to be missed, nor is the mantwo, which consists of a pastry shell filled with onions and beef and topped with carrots, yellow split peas, and a beefy sauce.
4. Shabu & Mein
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5. Mu Lan Taiwanese Restaurant
Kendall Square missed Mu Lan for two and a half years after a fire shuttered it, but fortunately it returned in mid-2017 to resume filling the neighborhood with Taiwanese classics, from dumplings to hot pot.
6. The Smoke Shop
Pork belly and peaches. Fried green tomatoes. An admirable draft list. Stop by the Smoke Shop’s original location (it has since expanded to Somerville and Boston) some Sunday for apps and brews before heading to the Kendall Square Cinema to see the latest buzz-worthy indie flick.
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7. State Park
Cambridge, MA 02139
The Nashville hot fried chicken is served as advertised — hot! Wash it down with a Miller High Life (or something better from the small but always well-curated draft list), and play something hip on the jukebox at State Park.
8. Sumiao Hunan Kitchen
This Hunan spot was a welcome addition to a Chinese food scene that was lacking in cuisine from the Hunan province. Hunan food is best known for being spicy, but Sumiao’s menu contains plenty of options for the eater who’s less inclined to sweat at the table.
9. Artscience Culture Lab & Café
The late Tenzin Samdo, who was bar director and partner, left a beautiful cocktail menu in place at Artscience Culture Lab & Café that pays tribute to endangered animals. Like the drinks, the food is a work of art — be sure to save room for the lovely desserts.
Commonwealth showcases straightforward food made with local ingredients. The chicken pot pie is a must, as are the duck fat fries. End with a classic warm brownie sundae, and then come back on a Sunday for fried chicken.
11. Area Four
The dough at Area Four is made with a sourdough starter and ferments for 30 or more hours. The result: one of the best pizzas in Boston. The wood-fired pizzas have a beautifully blistered crust. Keep things simple and get the “not pepperoni” (it’s soppressata.)
The Vespa hanging from the ceiling is a bit on the nose, but in a good way. The Sulmona space is gorgeous, and the Italian-inspired comfort food is indulgent. Try the pizzette, the panini, and the arancini.