The Incomplete Guide to Harvard Square

As Princeton and Penn fans descend on Harvard Square for the weekend, here is a brief, biased visitor’s guide to the area.

Parking

The greatest aggravation in visiting Harvard Square is finding a place to pahk the cah. If you’re just coming for the game, it’s no problem: spots inside the athletic complex are only $10. But if you’re trying to grab a bite across the River first, it can be a headache. The garage at Eliot and JFK is like $20 to $30, and the one under the Charles Hotel is like $20. If you’re cheap like me you will search for street parking all the way until tip-off. My secret (and I shouldn’t be passing on such valuable knowledge) is to loop from Plympton St., to Mount Auburn St., to Mass Ave., to Bow St., cheap celebrex online to Dewolfe St., to Memorial Dr., and then

back onto Plympton. Repeat as necessary. Meters run until 8 PM.

Food

Harvard has much in the way of culinary options. For the quick bite, I suggest Pinocchio’s for pizza, Felipes for Mexican (though Chipotle, Qdoba, and Boloco are fine substitutes), and Al’s for subs. The iconic Mr. Bartley’s is a great place for burgers, but plan on waiting for a table. Border Café has delicious Tex-Mex and margaritas, but you’ll end up smelling like a fry cook. If you’re looking to have a beer with dinner, Grafton St., John Harvard’s, and Tommy Doyle’s are all good choices with solid pub food. Slightly higher end options include Daedalus, Russell House Tavern, and Cambridge 1. The overall selection is extremely wide with everything from Indian and sushi to pizza and subs, so if you find your stomach unsatisfied, it’s probably because you made a bad decision.

Drinks

Maybe you’ll be drowning your sorrows or maybe you’ll be toasting a victory (hopefully the former), but if you’re in Harvard Square, you might as well stick around for a drink. Charlie’s Kitchen, Tommy Doyle’s, and Grendel’s Den make for a nice row of bars with good selections and good vibes. If bars aren’t your thing, you could class it up at Tory Row and Russell House Tavern, or catch some live music at Club Passim. If you’re sick of Harvard people, you could just as easily catch the T for a five-minute ride into Davis or Central Square where the options are greater in number and more diverse.

Dessert

Harvard Square has more than a few places for post-game treats. You can get obnoxiously haute yet delicious cupcakes from Sweet or a slice of your favorite cake from Finale. Cambridge has a number of ice cream places, the most popular of which is JP Licks, but Lizzie’s is a good choice as well and likely less crowded. The latest craze is frozen yogurt. If you support local, go to Berryline; if you support convenience, go to Pinkberry.

Obviously, I’ve left out a number of places. If you’re passionate about a particular location or item (e.g. the cheeseburger sub at Noch’s), feel free to post recommendations in the comments section.

1 thought on “The Incomplete Guide to Harvard Square

  1. For dinner, pre-game, I’d add Clover (cheap, easy but 100% vegetarian).

    Also, if I had access to a car and wasn’t going to do dinner/drinks in Harvard square, I’d go over to Inman where the bar/restaurant options are better/more diverse (Bukowski’s, Trina’s Starlite Lounge/Parlor Sports, Atwood’s, Lord Hobo) and they have the best ice cream place in the city (Christina’s, way better than overrated Toscanini’s).

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