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Somerville/Malden/Medford

I recently moved back to Massachusetts for family reasons. I am currently in Mansfield but want to find a rental closer to Boston -- perhaps Somerville, Malden or Medford. I've read about several pubs and restaurants in that area, including the time-honored Highland Cafe in Malden, but would be interested to get some opinions and recommendations on reasonably priced places. I like a good selection of microbrews, too. Thanks!

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  1. I will leave food to others, but I can talk about beer. Malden is not a great place for beer. I lived in Malden for 4 years never found a place that served a decent selection of microbrews. I now live in Somerville near Porter and Davis Square, and this area is fantastic for beer. There is Redbones in Davis, which is one of the best places for beer in the Boston area. Both P.J. Ryan's in Teele Square and the Olde Magoun Saloon in Magoun Square serve great beers. And many of the "normal" restaurants in this part of Somerville have a surprising amount of interesting beers available.

    3 Replies
    1. re: afty698

      I was at Redbone's years ago and yes, that's a terrific place. I remember having or two Watch City brews there, and of course I got amazingly full from that dynamite BBQ. Thanks for your thoughts!

      1. re: afty698

        I agree 100% with afty698 about the beer scene in Malden - it's dismal - and Somerville wout be the best option if that is your main criteria. But if you are truly concerned with reasonable pricing and access to Boston, I would invert mcel215's list. From what I have found, Malden is by far the most affordable rent wise, and food wise, there is a variety of reasonably priced restaurants. Check for previous posts on Malden to get an idea of what the favorites are. You also have very easy access to Boston via the orange line.

        It is certainly not the place for everyone, but we have found Malden to be a convenient, inexpensive, diverse, and all around fine place to live in most aspects. Check the west end neighborhood for the best aesthetics.

        1. re: afty698

          I second the Olde Magoun Saloon as a great place for some beers and pub grub.

        2. vinnys on broadway somerville awesome food tiny place in the back of a tiny store

          1. To me, it would go like this for your requests.

            1. Somerville
            2. Medford
            3. Malden

            1. Malden is not good for much.
              Medford has some good Italian food supplies stores but that's about it.
              Somerville has a lot more to offer than the two M's. There's plenty of beer in Davis Square and some good eats as well (Gargoyles, Sabur, etc.)

              2 Replies
              1. re: joebelt

                Malden actually has some really good food. FuLoon, Tivoli's, and All Seasons Table are a few of the better places, plus you have the Super 88 market and Dom's. And I personally feel some of the best New York-style pizza around here is found in Malden. It's been a little while since I've been to Hugh O'Neills but IIRC they have a decent beer selection. Plus you're right on the Orange Line for a quick hop to the city.

                1. re: Chris VR

                  O'Neill's does have a decent beer selection, but nothing much in microbrew territory. They do have pub food that is better than average, though, and a nicely refinished space too, though it can get loud later in the evening.

                  Edit: my man and I were just talking about what constitutes a "microbrew" in this area, and it may not be fair to write off O'Neill's in that territory. The beer list is available on their website so everyone can draw their own conclusions:

                  http://www.hughoneills.com

                  I have met many who think Malden is some kind of wasteland - invariably, they have never actually looked around first hand.

              2. For great BBQ, Redbone's has the widest beer selection, no question. Around the corner, The Burren is a solid standby Irish pub w/good taps. But for my pub money, I'd take the food @ The Independent in Union Sq. (Somerville), which has a dozen or so excellent taps. You generally can't go wrong with anything they're pouring. Sit in the bar section on the left and get a burger, fish and chips, sandwich, etc. Good apps too.

                5 Replies
                1. re: franksnbeans

                  The Independent is the best bar in Somerville.

                  1. re: joebelt

                    My vote for best bar now goes to Highland Kitchen with Gargoyle's a very close second.

                    1. re: heathermb

                      I'll have to try Highland Kitchen but the cocktails at the Independent are hard to beat around town. How's the food at Highland Kitchen?

                      1. re: joebelt

                        I really, really loved what I had as well as my tastes of everyone elses plates...here's a link to the write up:

                        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/483161

                        Their cocktailing is also quite good, something they seem to take quite seriously, which I appreciate.

                        1. re: heathermb

                          Agree with the excellent bar craft at Highland Kitchen. It's hard to beat Paul at Gargoyles but these guys might just do it.

                          What an embarrassment of riches we have in the Ville. :-)

                2. Well, Malden might not be known for great beer selection in a bar - but have you all checked out the shelves at Stop and Shop? In my book, being able to pick up good brews (and decent wine, and liquor) along with my groceries is a big plus.

                  Our favorites in Malden are Tivoli's, Saigon Noodle (not so crazy about Pho 99), and Pasta Market Cafe. Beansprout has pretty good Chinese food and sushi; it's less expensive and less swanky than All Seasons Table. As far as groceries, there are several mom-and-pop asian markets scattered around town in addition to the big Super 88 on Commercial Street. There's also a good Indian market in Malden Center, and a butchersop and fishmonger in Maplewood Square.

                  In Medford Square, Chilli Garden has great Sichuan food. I also like the Korean-Japanese restaurant that's a few doors down but I can never remember the name...sorry.

                  There's also some great cheap eats in Everett: Sal y Brasa, Super Burrito, and Bread & Company. Abbondanza is not cheap but it's oh so good. Good markets are McKinnon's (butcher shop) and Regina Food Store (Italian).

                  The "Malden is a wasteland" attitude makes me chuckle - I don't know why it got such a bad rep. We also have found Malden to be an all around fine place to live. Somerville is a lot more crowded than either Malden or Medford...if you have a car that you're thinking of parking someday, better skip Somerville.