What’s New In the Square?

By Courtesy of Anya Henry

Harvard Square is a living, breathing, and ever-evolving organism. Shops, restaurants, and cafes come and go pretty often, and there have been (and will be) some major additions (and losses) to the heart of campus life. If you’re not sure what’s up with all the changes or what to expect in the next few months, here is your guide to what’s new in the Square.

Gong Cha

Long gone are the days when the somewhat perplexing Boston Tea Stop was the only boba place to rule the Square. A popular bubble tea chain but new to the Harvard scene, Gong Cha opened on Church Street this past summer and is already a hit with students. PSA: Flyby will be exploring their boba offerings quite thoroughly for purely scientific research purposes.

Taiyaki… to come!

Ah, yes: Taiyaki AKA Japanese fish-shaped waffle cake with sweet fillings AKA our personal kryptonite. We hope you’re just as excited as we were to hear that the incredibly popular ice cream shop by the same name is finally coming to Cambridge! While opening date details are still murky, definitely keep an eye out for when those delicious, Insta-friendly treats hit the tourist-heavy streets of Harvard.

Harvard Shop #3

R.I.P. beloved Starbucks. Yes, there is Peets, Capital One, Tatte, Darwin’s, and more Dunkin’s than I can count (and another Starbucks by the Quad) to fuel our coffee addictions. Even so, our central, ever-so-convenient Starbucks will be missed. The silver lining is that the new Harvard Shop’s merch is way cuter than any merch at the Coop AND you get a consistent student discount on most items. Do we really need three Harvard Shops in the Square? No. Do I love my new Harvard Shop hoodie? Very much so.

Corporate Jefe’s

While the cozy, homey and somewhat sweaty vibe of the original Jefe’s may be gone, the Square is now home to a giant, two-story, upgraded Jefe’s, complete with lots of indoor seating and standing room (check out Flyby’s full Jefe’s investigation here). The vibes are different and may take some getting used to, but our new late-night meal spot will still fulfill drunken cravings, impress with its fun decor, and definitely feel less cramped as you not-so-patiently wait for your burrito.

Rock-climbing wall

If someone asked me to name 10 things (or maybe 50) that the Square is missing, I can’t say that a rock-climbing wall would be one of them. But, the new rock-climbing wall in F45 Training’s new Brattle Square location, is impressive. You can use their (not-so-generous) one-day free trial option to check it out and flex your climbing knowledge in front of everyone at CVS and Russel House.

Brattle Square Florist 2.0(ish)

Remember all those cute plants everyone got during the first week of classes? You can thank the ever-reliable Brattle Square Florist for those. After a few years of touch-and-go changes, this beloved family establishment has finally settled into their new location on 52 Brattle Street. If you’re scrambling for finishing touches on your dorm ahead of those wintertime sneaky links, you know where to visit first.

So long, &pizza

Controversial list of pros (personal pies and Snackpass immortality) and cons (insanely overpriced and subpar crusts) aside, it seems this Harvard Square staple has finally closed its doors. We can only wonder what will eventually take its place; after all, it's pretty prime real estate right by the Red Line T stop. A laser tag arena? A Mini Bass Pro Shop? A 21+ Rainforest Cafe? Yet another Harvard Sh…?

The Macaron Store?!

Not quite what a college campus needs, but Le Macaron French Pastries’ macarons are delicious and beautiful. There are macarons in flavors including but definitely not limited to chocolate praline, birthday cake, lavender white chocolate, and passion fruit dark chocolate. If you ever want an extra fancy snack or to manifest your next Parisian vacation, this is the spot for you.

Though we’re always talking about popping the Harvard Bubble, don’t forget to also take some time to explore what’s in our own backyard! We promise Lamont and Cabot will always be right there when you return (for better or for worse). See y’all on the 2nd floor of Jefe’s!

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