Whether you’re an earlier riser or you’ve been out all night, sometimes the best way to start your day is with a side of fries.
1. Mass Ave Diner 906 Massachusetts Ave.
This hole-in-the-wall is a little further afield than the typical Harvard student wanders on a weekend morning, which means you will probably be able to enjoy your $1.99 bottomless coffee in blissful anonymity away from TFs and girls returning home from the Fly. The menu here is classic, all-American diner food, but the decor is pleasantly off-kilter: paintings by local artists, lime green paint, and café curtains.
2. Leo’s Place Diner 35 JFK St.
Colorful window paintings of sizzling bacon and sandwiches on rye beckon passersbys into Leo’s place, a real neighborhood joint, established in 1949. The sign above the door promises, “COMFORT FOOD INSIDE,” and Leo’s delivers, with hearty helpings and an overwhelming selection of root beers. For those who enjoy long conversations over a table for two, however, look elsewhere: it’s bar service only. Take that, yuppies.
3.Zoe’s 1105 Massachusetts Ave
Zoe’s is Harvard Square’s answer to the classic Greek coffee shop. Which means that it, like nearly everything within a five block radius of the Yard, is slightly less rough around the edges than its counterparts elsewhere. The menu offers the requisite bagels, Reubens, and kabobs, alongside slightly more exotic fare like tofu scrambles and a specialty drink called “Coffeelicious.” Be warned, though, you will probably wind up sitting in the booth next to some kid from your freshman entryway and his visiting parents.
4.Charlie’s Kitchen 10 Eliot St.
Billed as “the best night in town,” this watering hole doesn’t open until 11a.m. But who’s really awake before that hour on a weekend, anyway? Chow down on a burger amongst the hodgepodge of neon signs and checkered tile. While you’re at it, have a beer on tap. It’s five o’clock somewhere.
5. International House of Pancakes 16 Eliot St.
What IHOP lacks in mom and pop charm, it makes up for in being open from 7a.m. to 4a.m. Sure, the coffee tastes like water, but hey, welcome to Cambridge. For the true experience, order the Rooty Tooty Fresh ‘N Fruity—almost as fun to say as it is to eat!