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580 Commonwealth

Are there any restaurants worth visiting near this Boston U. dorm/apartment house? Also are there any full service grocery stores nearby?

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  1. Well, define "worth visiting"... do you mean for a student on a budget? Or for parents visiting? That's right near Kenmore Square, lots of chow nearby at various price/atmosphere levels.

    Also, not sure what you mean by a "full service" grocery store... and by nearby, do you mean to walk, T or drive?

    Sorry for all the questions but it'll help you get a better answer.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Chris VR

      Thanks for your interest. We are visiting parents on a budget and we will have a car.

    2. Eastern Standard is a 5 min walk, across the street is U Burger, Petit Robert Bistro is 6 min, Audobon is about 5 up the stairs over to Beacon St.. A little further down Beacon is Beacon St. Bistro, O'Leary's Pub, Chef Chang's, a few others.. The Shaw's on Comm. Ave. in Packard's Corner is a 2 min drive away, about 5 stops on the horrendous B line.

      10 Replies
      1. re: Joanie

        Johnnies Market on Beacon (1000 block) next to Beacon St Tavern.is a full service market and not any pricier than Shaw's. Also on that block the Japonnaise Bakery is a nice place to sit and have coffee and a snack. Busy Bee for a sit down diner meal.

        1. re: ginnyhw

          I disagree; that market is much pricier on veggies but generally cheaper on meat. Except for sale items, their produce is expensive.

        2. re: Joanie

          And, although it's not really a favorite, it should be mentioned that Z Square's second location is actually in 580 Commonwealth. No walking required, and it's not terribly expensive.

          Just a block or so beyond the Shaw's is the Super 88 - the food court is excellent for people on a budget, and it's a good spot for Asian groceries (some of the non-Asian groceries are also cheaper here than at the rather overpriced Shaw's, where sale items are about the only good deals).

          1. re: overproofed

            I agree, I'd do the Shaw's/Super 88 combo myself- both have parking lots if you're driving over. There's also a Shaw's near-ish on Brookline Ave, although I'm not a fan of that store, kind of dingy and crowded. With a car, Trader Joe's in either Coolidge Corner or Cambridge is very accessible, without a car, Coolidge Corner is still very do-able via T.

            Parking in Boston is pretty easy once the schools clear out for the summer, which happens in early-mid May. This makes it pretty easy to drive to many restaurants, but from where you are, you can easily get to just about anywhere in the Boston area via T.

            Joanie gave a pretty good rundown of what's within easy walking distance. I'd add India Quality for some of the best Indian food around. Boston Beer Works can be a fun scene- I enjoyed it when I was that age. Both are right in Kenmore Square.

            Elephant Walk is also nice for a dress-up (parents paying) meal and I do enjoy Sol Azteca (Spanish) and Ginza (Japanese) as well. These are all on Beacon Street , right around where St. Mary's intersects.

          2. re: Joanie

            If you are going to be up at the Shaw's you could try Brown Sugar - a decent and not terribly pricey thai place that is almost next door. Or you could drive/walk easily from Shaw's to Coolidge Corner, Brookline. I'd recommend Zaftigs (Jewish deli, does great brunch but not cheap), Ramis (I love the falafel), or Coolidge Corner Clubhouse for huge meals that are reasonably inexpensive (I love the curly fries and veggie burgers, but most of the food is pretty standard pub food).

            1. re: soxchik

              Yes, Coolidge Corner is reasonably close to 580 Comm (better to go out Beacon St. than to start from Shaw's). If you're combining it with a Shaw's trip, it would be much closer to head up Brighton Ave. for a few blocks to the intersection with Harvard Ave. Within a block or so on either of those streets, you have lots of reasonably-priced choices, such as: Buk Kyung II (Korean), Gitlo's (dim sum), Aneka Rasa (Malaysian), Carlo's Cucina (Italian), Suvarnabhumi Kiri (Cambodian/Thai), Rangoli (Indian), Cafe Belo (Brazilian pay-by-the-pound), and a couple of new-ish shabu-shabu places, along with numerous other small, reasonably-priced restaurants.

              Between there and Coolidge Corner along Harvard, there's also the very good Chinese food at Shanghai Gate (Harvard & Comm.) and Dok Bua (very casual Thai).

              Basically, 580 is reasonably close to a very wide variety of restaurants, ranging from cheap to very expensive. If you have a car, or are willing to take a short T trip, there's so much variety that the question is more one of what you want to eat, rather than what's available.

              1. re: overproofed

                Plus, doesn't BU run a shuttle bus up and down Comm Ave constantly, between the dorms and packard's Corner?

                  1. re: ginnyhw

                    I call it the most annoying public transportation ever.

                    1. re: ginnyhw

                      There's the BUS, the BU shuttle. One also runs to the medical campus.

            2. I second Z Square. Reasonable, and very nice food. Good service and right where you're going to be anyway. I mean, they make CREPES, both savory and sweet. Who makes crepes anymore? I can also recommend the hamburger and fries. Excellent salads. And they have beer/wine.

              I wouldn't choose it for a family or holiday affair, but for a bite before an event: excellent.