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Two Lunch Spots Needed near MIT and Lesley U in Cambridge

I have two meetings one at MIT and one at Lesley so need two great lunch spots. Anything considered but not high priced. Thanks Chowhounds!

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  1. At Lesley, Cafe Mami (in Porter Exchange).

    1. Also near Lesley: Addis Red Sea for Ethiopian (best to go with a friend due to communal dining, rather than alone or with business associates).

      5 Replies
      1. re: Pia

        I don't think Addis Red Sea is open for lunch. I'd second Cafe Mami in Porter Exchange, though. Also nearby is Sugar & Spice for decent, if thoroughly Americanized, Thai (IMO).

        Near(ish) MIT, I like the Friendly Toast and Emma's Pizza.

        1. re: greenzebra

          Oxford Spa at the corner of Oxford and Crescent Streets, practically across the street from Lesley. Quick cheap sandwiches and salads.

          Pho & Rice (name?) on Beacon St. in Somerville right next to Petsi's about three blocks from Lesley. There is on-street parking on Beacon St.

          Across the street from that Thai place is Zoe's, a well-known Chinese resto.

          None of these are high-priced.

          1. re: VivreManger

            Pho 'n Rice is a good suggestion, definitely better than Sugar & Rice. Should have thought of that myself.

            1. re: greenzebra

              Pho n' Rice is great - the Crazy Udon and Spicy Eggplant with tofu are awesome.

            2. re: VivreManger

              Oxford spa...quick??

              The sandwiches are great there, and the larges are a good value as well. However this place is absolutely NOT quick for what it is. In fact when I go there I shoot for off peak hours, or call ahead to order as not to get frustrated waiting 15 min for a sandwich. The speed to serve has only gotten worse since the change of ownership (though the sandwiches are pretty much the same).

              Taco's Lupita is a short walk from Lesley (though you do need to make a few turns and cross Somerville Ave). I would go there and get a torta.

        2. There is a recent long Kendall lunch thread covered a lot of ground. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/504505

          The options right around MITs campus are generally not ideal but you are a reasonalbe walk's away (depending where on campus you start) from some good choices.

          1. Around MIT: (check to make sure they are open for lunch)

            Thailand Cafe (make sure to stick to Sichuan dishes)
            Mulan (stick to Taiwanese dishes)
            Baraka Cafe

            2 Replies
            1. re: junior coyote

              The plan is now DEFINITE Lesley on Sat. for lunch. We will walk from the college. Last call for recs. Pho n Rice sounds nice.

              1. re: mrwynter

                I'd consider Temple Bar. It's near-by, and the food is quite good and it's a pleasant space. They offer brunch, but have a few lunch items on the menu as well.

                Temple Bar
                1688 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138

            2. Sapporo Ramen in the Porter Exchange. Cheap, awesome, and in the Lesley building.

              Sapporo Ramen
              1815 Massachusetts Ave Ste M5, Cambridge, MA 02140

              2 Replies
              1. re: JMBigley

                In the Lesley Building, JM? What building? What is Porter Exchange? Sorry not familiar with Boston.

                1. re: mrwynter

                  Porter Exchange is a building that houses some Lesley administrative offices, as well as some good, inexpensive Japanese eateries. If that's where your meeting is, my favorite among the Japanese places is Tampopo.

                  Less than half a mile south is the rest of the Lesley campus. Dorms and classrooms mostly I believe. Some of the suggestions above are nearer this part of Lesley (Oxford Spa, Pho 'n' Rice, and Temple Bar for instance).

                  1815 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA

              2. I would suggest Cafe Rustica, great sandwiches, very friendly service, and a short walk from Lesley.

                Cafe Rustica
                356 Beacon St, Somerville, MA 02143

                1. Ended up at Masa's Sushi Bar in the Porter Exchange. I was at a conference upstairs at Lesley and wanted to try Cafe Mami as recommended here but my dining companion wanted sushi. The service was great, the price was right. I noticed the fish was pre sliced. A little odd? The ginger was bright pink, not the beige of a quality ginger. My fish was not too fresh looking in fact I left 3 pieces. The rice was slightly hard. It was ok but not great. 3 lunch specials 25.00 USD with a good tip. Cheap for sure..and a fun vibe. The day was great when I had a bubble tea after..yummm

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: mrwynter

                    pity...you can get mediocre sushi anywhere. good modern/casual Japanese fare like Cafe Mami is much harder to find. maybe next time...

                    1. re: barleywino

                      Bluefin in the same building has better sushi. Oh well.
                      I still prefer Tampopo. Anything that chef puts that delicious curry sauce on has got to be better than pre-sliced sushi and pink ginger.
                      Like barleywino says, next time...

                      1815 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA