Get to Know Somerville: Best Restaurants, Bars, Coffee Shops & Things to Do:
Somerville is the place to be when you’re in the mood for a great latte, local beer, or great music in a trendy area. You’ll find everyone from college kids to families hanging out on the lawn in Davis Square in the spring listening to a local musician. Somerville has everything you need, except maybe parking! So plan to walk or take an uber as the street parking fills up fast in this popular area!
We’ve come a long way from what was once referred to as “Slummerville”, with so many new thriving restaurants and eclectic events.
If you’re looking for some great food and drinks, Somerville is the place to be. You can find everything from fine dining to “hipster” Mexican food.
Somerville’s Best Restaurants:
- The Neighborhood
If you’re looking for breakfast any time of the day, head over to The Neighborhood. Chef Will Gilson says that “the quirkiness of this family-owned bakery is what makes it great”. There is a line out the door along Bow Street to enjoy the pastries, omelets, and complimentary fruit of Cream of Wheat while you wait for your food. There are known for their great breakfast with a Portuguese twist.
Check them out at
25 Bow St., Somerville; 617-623-9710 or theneighborhoodrestaurant.com.
- Union Square Donuts
In the mood for doughnuts? Look no further than Union Square Donuts, where you can find giant-sized doughnuts in unique flavors like maple bacon, carrot cake, sea salted bourbon caramel, and buttered popcorn. BostonCBSlocal.com calls it one of the best doughnut shops in Boston. Thrillist named Union Square Donuts one of the top 33 donut shops in America!
If you’re looking for a chic cocktail bar, come to Backbar. Wilson calls it a “hidden gem”, and a “really hip, well-curated cocktail bar”. He also says the serve the best cocktails in town, hands down. The bar is tucked in the back of an already seemingly hidden restaurant, and Wilson says this “takes the cool factor to the next level”. Check them out at:
7 Sanborn Ct., Somerville; 617-718-0249 or backbarunion.com.
- El Potro
Feeling like Mexican? El Potro is a very eclectic Mexican restaurant filled with vibrant colors that excite you when you come in. You can have your margarita in a mason jar here and enjoy great quesadillas, enchiladas and chips and salsa. Wilson highly recommends El Potro and says “the food is super tasty and the margaritas are awesome”.
61 Union Square, Somerville; 617-666-4200 or elpotromexicangrill.com.
- Highland Kitchen
If you’re looking for a favorite local hangout that is great for either a nice dinner or for the bar atmosphere, venture over to Highland Kitchen. Chef Gilson calls it “friendly, tasty, and affordable”. He also calls the bartenders “some of my favorite bartenders in the city”, including Joe McGuirck.
150 Highland Ave., Somerville; 617-625-1131 or highlandkitchen.com.
- Buk Kyung
Feeling like Korean food? Check out Buk Kyung in Union Square. They also have another location in Allston. The restaurant is a large square carpeted room where there is not much English spoken. Renowned Chef, Josh Lewin says “it’s pretty great to be able to have a traditional Korean meal this far from Boston University. He says that he loves “all the little dishes of pickles and fermented this-and-that.” Chef Katrina Jazayeri says, “If you’ve never had clay pot bibimbop, that alone is worth the visit. If you’re feeling adventurous try the kimchi jjigae, a boiling pot of salty, spicy soup with soft tofu and chewy rice cakes. It will cure you of nearly any illness.”
9 Union Square, Somerville; 617-623-7220
- Spoke Wine Bar
Fancy a glass of wine in a trendy spot? Venture over to Spoke Wine Bar. Chef Wilson calls it “the most underrated bar in Boston”, and says there is nothing that wouldn’t recommend on the menu. He also calls the wine selection is “funky, fun, and original”. “It’s my favorite date place, if you can score a seat.”
89 Holland St., Somerville; 617-718-9463 or spokewinebar.com.
- Amsterdam Falafelshop
If you’re in the mood for a falafel, check out Amsterdam Falafelshop. According to Susie Blair and Amanda Stonely, of the Boston Globe, the building was once the venue of Diva’s House, and now is home to this DC based hotspot. They specialize in customizable salad bowls, falafel sandwiches and boasts a customer-friendly topping bar.
248 Elm Street, Somerville, MA 02144 617-764-3334 falafelshop.com
Favorite Somerville Bars:
If you’re looking for a night on the town, check out these eclectic and fun bars in Somerville:
Saloon was rated by Improper Bostonian magazine as the “best hotspot” in Somerville. They feature “saloon style” cocktails and spirits and offer an upscale dining atmosphere. Come here on a nice date or drinks with business colleagues.
255 Elm St, Somerville 617-628-4444
- The Burren
Boston.com rated this Irish pub and lounge as one of the best for “true locals”. They have a lavishly decorated bar in the front and a stage and dance floor in the back where there are live bands playing almost every weekend. They allow local aspiring singers to show off their pipes for open mike night on Tuesdays and it’s always a good time. Some Friday nights, they have a string quartet playing amazing Irish tunes on the cello, violin, and keyboard. Whether you feel like a great red wine at a reasonable price, or a local IPA, they have both options, including a large selection of brews on tap.
247 Elm Street, Davis Square Somerville MA 02144 617-776-6896
- Orleans Restaurant
Christine Varriale writes on Boston.com that this restaurant and bar near the Davis T is good for a “swanky good time”. Orleans has a sophisticated dining room and after dinner, the bar area comes alive. Drop in on Wednesdays for trivia and Saturdays for karaoke.
65 Holland St Somerville, MA 617-591-2100
- Joshua Tree
This lively bar is located in the heart of Davis Square and is always guaranteed to have the music cranked up on the weekends. Dancing is what you do at Joshua Tree! The bartenders are friendly and they have great beer on tap.
256 Elm St Somerville, MA 617-623-9910
Somerville’s Best Coffee Shops
- Diesel Café
This trendy café was started in Davis Square in 1999 by two buddies, and has been a local hangout ever since. They boast everything from homemade chocolate to MEM tea imports. They also feature brands such as Intelligentsia, Stumptown, and Counter Culture in their coffee. On a cold day, warm up & indulge in The Cider Deluxe: local apple cider, caramel, and whipped cream topped with cinnamon. Thrillist.com named Diesel one of the “12 Best Coffee Shops in Boston”.
257 Elm St Somerville, MA 61-629-8717
After their first venture, Diesel Café was a huge success, the owners, Jennifer and Tucker, opened their second coffee shop, Bloc11 in Union Square. The locals were very excited to have their favorite café in this part of town. The building, a former bank, allows you to actually sit in the old vault while sipping beverages from ther “Hot”, “Iced, “Liquid Lab”, and “Tea” categories. Some of their unique drinks include “London Fog”, which consists of Earl Grey tea, steamed milk and vanilla and “The Hub”, which is half black iced tea and half lemonade. Don’t forget to try the 777, a roast beef sandwich triumph with Gruyere, caramelized onions and garlic mayo.
11 Bow St, Somerville MA 617-623-0000
- True Grounds
This eclectic coffee shop is located in Ball Square in Somerville and is very lively at breakfast time. You will love curling up with a good book on the couch under the bright paintings on the wall. Their menu is very extensive including sandwiches & paninis, baked goods, breakfast burritos, wraps and salads. Try their Chipotle Veggie Burrito, filled deliciously with scrambled eggs, jack cheese, chipotle mayo, tomatoes, and onion. Shortly after opening in 2004, USA Today recognized them as one of the top ten coffee houses in America!!
717 Broadway Somerville, MA 617-591-9559
- Tony C’s
Looking for a place to watch the game? Look no further. Tony C’s, located at Assembly Row, is the ultimate sports bar. You can see the TVs from everywhere in the restaurant as there are SEVERAL of them. The bar boasts one of the longest beer taps you will ever see. Like blueberries? Try them in the Blueberry Beer. Tony C’s is right on the Mystic River, so you can also enjoy some of their great food outside in the spring. They have great nachos and an excellent Italian chicken dish.
699 Assembly Row, Somerville, MA 02145 617-666-8282
Things To Do:
- The Museum of Bad Art
According to reviews on TripAdvisor.com, this place is “exactly what it claims to be”.
55 Davis Square, Somerville, MA 02144 (781) 444-6757
- Bantam Cidery
- Mystic River Reservation
Walk your dog or with your special someone down the beautiful trails aligning the Mystic River, that runs through Somerville and Medford. Assembly Row is right on this beautiful river so you can dine with a water view.
- Assembly Row Shopping Center
You can do pretty much anything here. Movie? Kids time? Date night? Assembly has fine dining, elegant shops, lego land and a great movie theater.
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