A Guide to the Cambridge Area

Right across the Charles River, you’ll find the city of Cambridge. Academics rub elbows with students and artists in the most culturally active section of Boston. Coffee culture and the locavore movement occupy much restaurant real estate and night life is centered around the club scene with many choices for live music in this Cambridge area guide.

Highlights
244 Huron Ave
For over 30 years, Formaggio Kitchen has been a Boston institution. Here you can shop for artisan products from all corners of the globe. The owners crowded travel schedule has them taste testing in unusual places and bringing their high quality finds back to a captive audience. Prepared foods are made with traditional methods, and whether you’re looking for picnic ingredients, a hostess gift or coffee and scones for breakfast, this gourmand’s paradise will no doubt take a chunk from your wallet and leave you wanting more. They have tours of their cheese cave in the Cambridge store, and you might just think you’ve stumbled into an Alpine hillside. Their South End location is a mini version of the mothership.
350 Huron Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
Marimekko is a Finnish textile company known for the unusual prints and colors featured in its fabrics. The designs have an interesting twist, and the array of fabrics is used to make captivating clothing and home decor pieces. This store, one of only a few in the U.S., is located in Cambridge, where you can browse the surrounding cute boutiques and art galleries afterward.
185 Mt Auburn St, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
Visiting Beyt Design in Cambridge was inspirational. Their award winning social enterprise uses architectural salvage from conflict zones in the Near East destroyed by violence and up cycles them into one of a kind home decor. Tiles from 18th century mansions, reclaimed wrought iron gates, window frames & antique textiles make their way into tables, lamps and shades in this unique shop. In addition, the labor they employ is from diverse, disadvantaged backgrounds. When I visited, I spoke with a woman working on a lampshade, clearly proud of her project and the opportunity the owners had given her. Their mission to ‘Restore the Unseen Beauty of the Broken” resonates in each and every piece.
32 Quincy Street
The new Renzo Piano designed Harvard Art Museums is so dynamic and state of the art it will take your breath away. Housing an extensive collection that combines the Fogg, the Bush-Reisinger and Arthur M. Sackler under one roof, it’s a comprehensive collection with something for everyone. The pyramid glass roof allows a flood of natural light to stream through in the daytime and leaves a lasting impression. The restoration and conservation areas are glass enclosed as well, leaving the inner workings of the museum exposed for observation in an interesting way. With over 250,000 pieces, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Come with a game plan; stop and enjoy music in the central courtyard and snacks at the cafe and you will surely discover a space as interesting as the art found within.
249 Pearl St, Somerville, MA 02145, USA
Sarma is the third outpost in restaurateur Ana Sortun’s Boston empire after the acclaimed Oleana and Sofra. Meyhanes—literally, “houses of wine”—have been social gathering places in Istanbul since Byzantium, and Sarma channels the communal spirit of these traditional Turkish bar/restaurants while serving up craft cocktails, local beer, and of course wine, not to mention typical meyhane snacks like parsnip fritters and lamb kofte (albeit the latter in slider form). Mezes, the eastern Mediterranean’s version of tapas, are also dished up alongside sarma wraps and shish kebab: Chef/owner Cassie Piuma gets creative with the latter, skewering and grilling scallops, quail, and barbecued duck.
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