My Favorite Spots in Somerville

Since I just moved, I thought it would be fun to put together some of my favorite spots in Somerville from my two years there. That’s not to say I won’t be going back to these places, ever – after all, Cambridge is just next door. I just know Matt and I definitely stuck to our neighborhood much of our time there, and I feel like Somerville gets often overlooked when compared to Cambridge or Boston. The food scene is Somerville is really picking up!

So, here’s my neighborhood by neighborhood synopsis.

Davis Square

Since we lived close to Davis Square, that’s where we spent most of our time (and money). I would say our three favorite hangouts were Redbones, Posto, and Painted Burro…and all for different reasons.

Redbones Bar

The upstairs bar at Redbones

Redbones has solid and cheap barbecue, and – perhaps most importantly – a great beer list. The key, I think, is to eat at the upstairs bar either during the day or after the dinner rush. The atmosphere is super laid back and the bartenders are fun and friendly.

Posto

Posto’s Margherita Pizza

Posto and Painted Burro have the same owners, and are both definitely more upscale than Redbones. Posto has phenominal Neopolitan style pizza, and every other dish I’ve tried there has been just as good.

Painted Burro

Zucchini and Nopales Tacos at the Painted Burro

Painted Burro has more of a bar scene, especially with their recent expansion to Burro Bar next door. The food is excellent and it’s hard to have just one of their margaritas.

Foundry

If you go to Foundry, fill up on the fries. They’re delicious.

Foundry on Elm is a place we frequented, but not for the food. I’ve always found their food to be sadly lacking. Their drinks and bar atmosphere, on the other hand, are wonderful (but its best to avoid the crowds on a Friday or Saturday night).

M3

Chicken and Waffles at M3

I’ve had mixed experiences at both Five Horses and M3, but I think they’re worth mentioning. Five horses has an incredible beer list, and I love going there for drinks when its not too crowded. I’ve had some tasty food there, but definitely some misses. M3 is similarly hit or miss. Still, I love the atmosphere and the service is always friendly. (And their fried pickles are unbeatable.)

Diva was our go-to spot for Indian food. To be honest, I sort of hated their service most of the time and their prices are a bit high, but I can’t argue with the consistent high quality of their food.

Right next door is Amsterdan Falafel, a tiny falafel shop that I became sort of addicted to. They make great falafel and offer a toppings bar with all sorts of pickled/fried/saucy goodies. To get me out of my falafel coma, I would usually walk across the street to Diesel Cafe for some great coffee.

Dave's Fresh Pasta

Dave’s French Ham Sandwich: black forest ham, french brie, green apple, dijon mustard

Dave’s Fresh Pasta has a deceiving name because they offer so much more than just pasta. Their fresh pasta is no doubt wonderful, but so are their sandwiches. They also have a small but great wine selection, and usually some local produce.

Ball Square

DooWee and Rice

Habanero Chicken Baos at DooWee & Rice

DooWee & Rice is sort of between Davis and Ball Squares. Though really more of a takeout place, I’m hoping we make it back here before our NYC move at the end of the summer. They opened right before we left the neighborhood and, even though we ate there as often as we could, I’m still craving more! Their fresh, flavorful Asian fusion creations are absolutely addicting.

Ball Square is sort of known for its breakfast. Sadly, I think its breakfast joints are way overrated. I know this is supposed to be about my favorites, but I feel like I should mention that I’ve had less than stellar experiences at both Ball Square Cafe and Soundbites. You’re much better off brunching at Highland Kitchen, Painted Burro, or Five Horses, just to name a few!

Ball Square Wines

This might be the best beer in the world.

On a brighter note, Ball Square Fine Wines is more than worth the trip to Ball Square. Their wine and beer is extraordinarily well selected, and they’re one of the few places around that carry Maine Beer Company Lunch when it becomes available. Also a plus: they have extremely helpful but not overbearing staff.

Winter Hill/Magoun Square

Highland Kitchen

Highland Kitchen’s Shrimp and Grits

One of our favorite brunch spots was Highland Kitchen. The food keeps us going back, and the live bluegrass music during brunch is always a bonus.

Pini's Pizza

Large cheese pizza with jalapenos, extra sauce

Pini’s Pizza was our go-to pizza delivery joint. Cheap and delicious.

Olde Magoun's Saloon

Olde Magoun’s Saloon almost always has Green Flash on tap

Olde Magoun’s Saloon offers solid bar food and a great beer selection in a friendly neighborhood atmosphere

Union Square

Backbar

Backbar’s Union Mule – pear-infused Gin, St. Germain, citrus, ginger, and spice

I love how many places are opening in Union Square now – especially since it’s so close to our new Cambridge place! Backbar has been a great addition to the cocktail scene. Journeyman, from the same owners as Backbar, is definitely a food destination worth the trip.

Union Square Donuts

Maple Bacon Donut at Union Square Donuts

I don’t know what to say about Union Square Donuts that hasn’t been said already. Just go.

And then there’s The Independent. You might notice a common theme in my list – places where I like to drink, but not eat. This is one of them. I will say that Matt completely disagrees with me on this and loves their food. I’m convinced their vegetarian options are the best on their menu. Still, like many other places I’ve listed, their beer selection keeps me coming back.

So, there’s my “short” list of spots in Somerville. Anything I missed or should try before I leave the area all together?

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  • http://www.acambridgestory.com Emily

    Great round-up! I’m excited to hear what you get into as a temporary Cambridge resident.

  • http://www.quarterlifecrisiscuisine.com/ Ashley Bee

    This made me miss Boston a whole lot. I love Redbones!

  • http://twitter.com/Kates254 Katie

    You left out Journeyman?

    • http://www.culinarycolleen.com/ Colleen

      It’s in there 🙂

  • Shannon Grande

    I still haven’t been to redbones (the wait the few times we’ve tried to go was beyond rediculous and I can’t do beer, so it was not worth it), and have tried to go to dave’s twice but was after they closed 🙁 our fave indian place is guru in teele square. highland kitchen! i’ve been meaning to get there, too. and i need that donut…

    • http://www.culinarycolleen.com/ Colleen

      I tried Guru for the first time recently and loved it! I’m sad I didn’t get a chance to try more of their food.

  • http://profiles.google.com/michellepcollins Michelle Collins

    I love this post! I adore Somerville for many reasons, but mainly because of the wide variety of food options available to us. P.S. I STILL need to try a sandwich from Dave’s!

  • http://megan-deliciousdishings.blogspot.com/ Megan

    What a great list. I so want to try Union Square Doughnuts! And that Union Mule at Backbar sounds like my kind of drink.

  • http://www.confessionsofachocoholic.com/ Bianca Garcia

    Awesome round-up! Posto is one of my favorites too 🙂

  • joan

    Just visited my daughter in Somerville. Dave’s Fresh Pasta is always a dinner for us one night. Had the best nachos at Redbones. Love that place! And since she lives a few doors up from Ball Square Fine Wines… we were in there often. Ha We did go to the wine tasting Friday night. It was fun.

  • http://twitter.com/InAndAroundTown In and Around Town

    wow, such a great list! I needed to get to Posto

  • http://www.simplylifeblog.com/ Simply Life

    There really are so many great places to eat there- I loved the brunch at Posto!



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