A melting pot of ideas and innovation, where the world's best minds gather to discover how they'll change it, intricate modern architecture and historic landmarks stand side by side, while the city's burgeoning food, music and technology scenes offer a more artistic, creative alternative to the business-minded model of its cross-river cousin, Boston.
Part garage-band coffee shop, part locally sourced eatery, grab a Chemex and chill out in their rustic-revival dining room, open all day long for spillover from the café, or swing by for dinner and try their rotating menu of innovative interpretations on classic New England fare, or do both - once you step inside you'll never want to leave.
Restaurant & Café | Loyal Nine
660 Cambridge St
Formerly known as the hidden skate shop in the doldrums of The Tannery, a growing demand for its carefully chosen high-end streetwear and rare sneaker collection made it difficult for Concepts to stay in the shadows any longer. This lifestyle store stepped into the light in 2006 and now occupies its own Harvard Square storefront, adjacent to The Tannery.
Men's Shop | Concepts
37 Brattle St
When President Obama came to Cambridge to treat his Democratic National Committee pals to a fundraiser brunch, his spot of choice was Area Four, and for good reason. Firmly entrenched in MIT territory on Main St in Kendall Square, Area Four is known for its wood-fire grilled pizzas, which have the char of a Neapolitan pie and the heartiness of a Sunday brunch; it's commonplace to order a fried egg on top.
Restaurant & Café | Area Four
500 Technology Square
This converted 19th century firehouse is a tip of the cap to the old-time Kendall Square that inhabited southeast Cambridge before the glossy tech building boom of recent decades. Robed in a patriotic blend of Americana, the hotel offers the relaxed comfort of Kendall square, while the bustle of downtown Boston and Harvard square beckon only a couple quick red-line stops in either direction.
Hotel | The Kendall Hotel
350 Main St
Setting aside the fact that this location brews Stumptown coffee, journey here for the handmade pastries, cookies, cakes and tarts. You might forget you're in the middle of Kendall Square with Tatte's laid-back Parisian feel, but we're not complaining.
Bakery & Café | Tatte
318 Third Street
Travel the plains of the Serengeti, through a jurassic cemetery, over the frozen tundra of snowball earth, beneath an Atlantic leviathan, next to minerals from outer space, and inside ancient Mayan temples, all in a day's work at this expansive labyrinth of creatures, places and things both relic and real.
Museum | Harvard Museum of Natural History
26 Oxford St
Tucked under the Brattle Theatre in Harvard Square, this foodie paradise serves up an ever-changing menu of creative libations and culinary creations, but there's one item that's always around even if it's not on the menu: the secret burger. It's 33% brisket, 33% short rib, 33% beef plate and 100% the worst kept secret in town.
Restaurant | Alden & Harlow
40 Brattle St
Museum | Fogg Museum | 32 Quincy St | www.harvardartmuseums.org
Café | Voltage Coffee & Art | 295 Third St | www.voltagecoffee.com
Organic Fast Food | Clover | 7 Holyoke St | www.cloverfoodlab.com
Oysters | The Red House | 98 Winthrop St | www.theredhouse.com
Rooftop Bar | Felipe’s Taqueria | 83 Mt Auburn St | www.felipestaqueria.com
Pub | The Field Pub | 20 Prospect St | www.thefieldpub.com
Museum | MIT Museum | 265 Massachusetts Ave | web.mit.edu/museum
Park | Charles River Bike Path | massbike.org/resourcesnew/pathstrails