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Cambridge/Boston for the weekend


So me and my gal will be visiting for the weekend and we were looking for food recs. We're going to be staying at a friend's near the Harvard business school (1 western Ave). We are vegetarians but do eat fish (and my girlfriend eats shellfish) So we will be looking for as follows:

Are there any good places that will be open late (like 11:30ish as we arrive late tonight) for a quick dinner in the cambridge area? Is that Middle East place any good/open late or any other reccomendations?

A quick, cheap and tasty breakfast (small cafe?) on Saturday in the Cambridge area.

A good, not to expensive lunch in Boston. My girlfriend is all about a lobster roll so if there is a really good place to get one that would be great. Italian would also be good here.

I think we're going to East Coast Grill for dinner on Saturday night unless there are other suggestions.

The best Ice Cream, hopefully near ECG.

And a sunday brunch in cambridge not to expensive but doesn't have to be cheap (10-15 per person before tax/tip/drinks).

Also bar/music venue reccomendations are also wanted as I do enjoy great microbrews. Thanks in advance for the help!!

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  1. Christina's, in Inman Square, will certainly satisfy your ice cream cravings. Homemade with a huge variety of interesting flavors.

    Christina's Homemade Ice Cream
    1255 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139

    1. At East Coast Grill, you'll be right next to some of the most praised ice cream in the area--Christina's on Cambridge Street. Many, many flavors, all with with a more gourment bent. Think kulfi, mint, orange-chocolate, etc.

      1. i third the christina's for ice cream. so good. I enjoy brunch at West Side Lounge in Cambridge, near Harvard Law School. It's good and fits your price

        1. For your tasty breakfast cafe, my vote would be Sherman Street Cafe in Union Square (Somerville, but very near Cambridge). Excellent baked goods, notably the scones, and very good coffee.

          Fourth the vote for Christina's ice cream. High quality, cool variety of flavors.

          Tough to find stuff open late, I'm afraid. Middle East is serviceable. Hi-Fi pizza down the street is mediocre (better after having consumed sufficient amounts of alcohol). Does anyone know how late the kitchen at River Gods stays open? RG is a cool bar just outside of Central Square, with notably good food; if the kitchen is open, that would be a good bet.

          1. oh, and if you need a place open late for dinner Charlie's Kitchen in harvard square definitely serves late. not the best food but it's good for what it is and a great atmosphere.

            3 Replies
            1. re: cambridgeMike

              I used to love Charlie's, but it's kind of a burger joint, and OP is a vegetarian.

              The Middle East is fun. The food is ok, not great, but like finlero says, serviceable, and the atmosphere is certainly festive. It's a better music venue than restaurant.
              I haven't lived in Cambridge in a long time and I know Central Sq has improved since my days there in the mid 90s, but in general I think you might be hard pressed to find good food that late. Mary Chung has great Chinese (is that still there?) but I'm not sure it will be open that late. A bar with food is probably your best bet.

              And ditto on Christina's--one of the things I miss most about Boston!

              1. re: cambridgeMike

                if you do go to Charlie's Kitchen, I would recommend not getting the lobster roll there. so much mayo, the bun was just a bun (untoasted, unbuttered). i wouldn't want your girlfriend to think that's what a lobster roll was supposed to be like.

              2. Bukowski's next to East Coast has good beers. Down the street is the Abbey which has a decent show Sat. nite (say hi). As mentioned, you'll get by w/ the food at the Middle East and I've had decent brunch there. Sherman Cafe is a bit of a pain without a car. Brookline Lunch in Central Sq. would work. Not too too far from Harvard Sq. is Petsi's Pies which has good baked goods. In Allston not far on the other end is the Breakfast Club in a diner.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Joanie

                  Bukowski's has a decent veggie burger and great sweet potato fries too.

                2. B-side lounge on Windsor street has good bar food and drinks and I think they serve food pretty late. They also do a very tasty brunch.

                  1. Central Kitchen is great as well as the Enormous Room in Central Kitchen. Enormous Room is a scene but the kitchen is open late and they have a great vegetarian platter

                    1. Cambridge Brewing Company is great for veggies and very easy to get to by T- http://www.cambrew.com/dinner.html. For inexpensive breakfast, you can't beat Sound Bites which isn't in Cambridge but is worth the short trip: http://www.soundbitesrestaurant.com/. I agree with the comments about Middle East and Christinas. If you decide you want to spluge a bit for dinner on Saturday night, Upstairs on the Square has an AMAZING veggie tasting option but is on the pricier side: http://www.upstairsonthesquare.com/. I'm not sure about the lobster roll since I'm not a fish eater.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: soxchik

                        Sorry, but I'm going to rain on the Christina's love-in here. I really don't care for their ice cream and greatly prefer Toscanini's (Central Square), Herrell's (Harvard Square), and Emack and Bolio's (Porter Square) to it. I find Christina's flavors comparatively bland and their ice cream less rich and satisfying in general.

                        I'm also not at all a fan of Cambridge Brewing Company unless you stick to their craft-brewed beer and avoid eating anything; River Gods has exponentially better food in general and a surprisingly good vegetarian menu. The Middle East I've found very pedestrian, and that goes for its sister spot ZuZu. And while I'll agree on Central Kitchen as a good place, I didn't at all like Enormous Room, which seemed pretentious in atmosphere and weak on food. Bukowski's in Cambridge was disappointing, too.

                        But I'll happily second Sound Bites for breakfast, Upstairs on the Square (but bring money), Petsi Pies, West Side Lounge, and East Coast Grill.