In this series, we'll be visiting the other parts of Cambridge, the "City of Squares." Join us as we explore the ins-and-outs of things to do in Inman, Central, Davis, Kendall, and Porter Squares.
Former home of Cambridge natives Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, Central Square is just a short T-stop away from Harvard and hosts a variety of shops, eateries, and bars, along with a vibrant music scene. Students looking for a break from the usual weekend routine should check out a few of the places Central Square has to offer.
Since its first rock show in 1987, The Middle East has become one of the most popular music venues in the greater Boston area. Each night, The Middle East features indie and alternative rock groups in both its upstairs and downstairs rooms, as well as live music at its two restuarants, Zuzu and the Corner.
Around the corner is T.T. the Bear's Place, where according to local legend, a relatively unknown band named Nirvana once played to an audience of only 13 people. A hot spot for the younger crowd, the small, gritty dive has been booking a talented and eclectic mix of acts since 1985.
Additionally, The Cantab Lounge offers Bluegrass Tuesdays and Poetry slams, while Plough and Stars features live nightly local music in addition to their Southern cuisine.
Mingle with MIT students at The Miracle of Science Bar and Grill. Nothing quite says geek-chic like ordering off the Periodic Table and chowing down on a hamburger at lab counters turned restaurant tables.
For dessert, head to Toscanini's hailed by The New York Times as home of "the best ice cream in the world." For skeptics, Toscanini's rotation of 40-odd flavors—ranging from Chocolate Chip to Bourbon Black Pepper—offers ample opportunity to test the theory.
A popular spot for weekend clubbers, Moody’s Falafel Palace serves cheap eats until 3 a.m. Thursday through Saturday but is delicious any day of the week—just ask Ben Affleck, who signed a t-shirt on the wall that proclaims, "Best Falafel in Town."
Rodney's Bookstore is home to more than 6,000 square feet of used books, rare books, and bargain books. In addition to more than 45,000 titles, Rodney’s also sells a wide variety of vintage poster prints.
Knick-knacks and novelty items abound at Buckaroo's Mercantile, where owner Brooks Morris makes nearly half of all the items available for purchase.
For your music needs, Central Square offers Cheapo Records—a store jam-packed with records, CDs, and tapes covering a range of genres—and Weirdo Records—the self-proclaimed "best in screwy music" and home of more obscure selections. Together, the two stores serve vinyl needs of nearly every variety.
Who can resist a place named after Charo's famous catchphrase? Cuchi Cuchi hosts an extensive menu of vintage and hand-muddled cocktails. The atmosphere, inspired by 1920s and 40s glamor, is perfect for sipping on a signature Blackberry Cosmo in your dress-code appropriate pearls and designer jeans.
Painted on the side of the People's Republik is a picture that proclaims, "Join The Party!" Fortunately, people of all political ideologies are free to enjoy drinks, darts, and what may be Cambridge's largest concentration of Communist propaganda at this friendly bar.
This post has been revised to reflect the following correction.
CORRECTION: October 23, 2011
The October 21 post "Central Square" misidentified the status of the Enormous Room. It is, in fact, closed.