This is the fourth post in our Neighborhood Spotlight series. To catch up on earlier installments in this series, read Part I, A Love Song to Davis Square, Part II, An Ode to Union Square, and Part III, A Tribute to Harvard Square.
For those of you who consistently hunger for a beautiful view of the Charles, let’s start at the Smoot bridge before we head to Central Square. With the Boston skyline on either side and Cambridge straight ahead, even the crankiest New Englanders find it hard not to enjoy the views on this bridge.
As we walk by M.I.T., you can either choose to hop on a bus or take a walk into the center of Central Square. Before we reach the heart of Central, you might choose to grab a coffee at Darwin’s. Maybe instead you’ll choose a melt-in-your-mouth meringue cloud or a brioche au chocolat at Flour.
If you’re in the mood for a margarita rather than a latte, pull up a stool at the Miracle of Science, where there is no shame in showcasing your inner dork, grabbing a margarita made with orange juice, and (in the summer) enjoying a seat by the big open window. The Miracle of Science also has an excellent bar menu (and be sure to check out their brunch)!
Though you might be filled to the brim with a delicious, that is no excuse not to get an ice cream at Toscanini’s. Happily buzzing with local hipsters and students alike, a micro sundae is an excellent choice to top off your meal. Make sure that they top your homemade ice cream off with homemade whipped cream.
If, by nighttime, you’ve had enough time to digest, you might want to head to Mass Ave. for some dancing. Local favorite Middlesex is owned by the same people who created Miracle of Science and Tory Row in Harvard Square. The vibe is pretty chill, and the music is usually a good mix of new and old school hip-hop, with some solid dance pop in between.
If Middlesex isn’t your style, Zuzu and Phoenix Landing are also great spots to grab a drink and hit the dancefloor. If you’re interested in a more low-key drink-and-dance space, t.t. and the Bears and the Middle East often feature live local bands in their cozy performing spaces.
After you have danced the night away, you might want to head to Falafel Palace, where you can grab delicious Syrian food until 3 a.m.
In the morning, you can swing by Mary Chung for delicious and cheap dim sum. Mary Chung’s has been in Central since my mom was in college. It has been a constant fixture of Central Square life, even as other restaurants and shopping centers came and went.
From hippie health food to live bluegrass tunes to the local record store, Central Square has a unique mix of folksy eccentricity and nightlife. Just a 25-minute walk or 15-minute train ride from HDS, Central is a convenient and ever-exciting place to live!
And if none of the above appeals to you, never fear! There is a 7/11 on the corner next to the post office where you can always get your Slurpee fix.