Once an industrious factory town, East Cambridge is now a vibrant neighborhood, and home to more than just techies and MIT students. Bordered by Somerville and the Charles River, East Cambridge is a very walkable (and bikeable!) area in which to live. Residents can take a stroll around Kendall Square, or catch a movie screening in North Point Park. New, trendy restaurants and bars share streets with long-standing Portuguese restaurants and specialty shops. Easy access to Boston on the Kendall and Lechmere T stops.
MIT is bordered by the old Boston & Albany railroad tracks to the west, and the Charles River to the east. The majority of its residents are students attending the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Toscanini’s, a neighborhood favorite, serves “The World’s Best Ice Cream” (crowned by The New York Times, and the spot is also consistently ranked in Best of Boston.) Close proximity to Kendall Square and the Charles River Reservation.
Home to its namesake, and the oldest Ivy League school in the nation (the university was established 1636), Harvard Square is a blend of the old and the new. College town hangouts and bumpy brick sidewalks make up this historic yet current and ever-changing neighborhood. The beautiful Harvard Yard is open to all visitors (regardless of enrollment status!). Living in Harvard Square means you are right next door to an eclectic mix of fashion and entertainment from Mr. Bartley’s Gourmet Burgers to Newbury Comics to the Harvard Co-op.
Porter Square is both in Cambridge and Somerville, located between Harvard and Davis. The neighborhood was renamed in 1899 for Zacharaia B. Porter, owner of what used to be Porter’s Hotel. The hotel was famous for its T-Bone steak which was later popularized as “porterhouse steak.” The area is now a popular residential neighborhood, with a shopping center and galleria mall.
Inman Square is an ideal place to live, as the midpoint of Cambridge and Somerville. It is practically equidistant from Union, Central, and Harvard Squares. Known for its breadth of local businesses, Puritan & Company serves up traditional New England flare with a contemporary twist or visit one of our favorite eateries, Bom Café, with its long history of serving up some of the best Brazilian pastries in the neighborhood.
Home to Central Square, Cambridgeport is an eclectic neighborhood with a rich history. Since 1850, Cambridgeport has housed immigrants from all walks of life, including Ireland, Africa, South America, and the West Indies. The old Necco Candy Factory, built in 1901, was recently converted into what is now a lab facility. It is also a designated historical landmark. Nowadays, you can grocery shop at the Harvest Co-Op, or catch a rock show at The Middle East, which also doubles as a restaurant. They make a killer shakshuka!
A quiet, more residential neighborhood in the city, Mid-Cambridge is practically equidistant from Central, Harvard, and Inman Squares. The city’s flagship library is located in the neighborhood, and before its renovation, used to house a scale model of Saturn. The planet has found its forever home at the Museum of Science.
Riverside (also known as Area 7) is primarily a residential neighborhood that runs along the Charles River between Harvard and Central Squares. Mass Ave serves as the retail hub of the neighborhood with smaller neighborhood shops and restaurants found along Putnam Avenue, Western Avenue and River Street. Favorites like restaurant Plow & Stars (opened in 1969) flourish just down the street from contemporary furniture stores like BoConcept.
Home to Lesley University and Harvard Law School, the Agassiz neighborhood or “Harvard North” is located between Porter and Harvard Squares. Rich in history, the neighborhood boasts a number of attractions, including E.E. Cummings House, the Josiah Royce/ Julia Child house, the Harvard Museum of Natural History and the Sacramento Street Community Garden.
West Cambridge is a neighborhood located west of Harvard Square and bordered by Concord Avenue which runs into Belmont, the Charles River, Fresh Pond Reservation. Historic Mount Auburn Cemetery, where such notables as Winslow Homer and Henry Cabot Lodge are buried, is located at the southwestern edge of the neighborhood. For the cheese enthusiast, try a visit to Formaggio Kitchen or catch a movie at the newly renovated Apple Cinema at Fresh Pond.
Bordering Somerville, Arlington, and Belmont, North Cambridge is an eclectic neighborhood of single and multi-family homes along with large apartment buildings. Mass Ave, with its array of retail stores, offices and restaurants, runs through this neighborhood from Porter Square to Arlington with access to the Red Line at Porter and at Alewife. North Cambridge is home to many young families, hip taverns along and contemporary restaurants like Urban Hearth or The Table at Season to Taste, started by a Cambridge native.
Strawberry Hill, the smallest Cambridge neighborhoods by land area, has about 2,500 residents. The neighborhood is primarily residential with a small commercial area along Mount Auburn Street that extends into Belmont and Watertown. While the strawberry fields, giving this neighborhood its name, are now gone, this Mt. Auburn neighborhood is home to many families who enjoy the City’s only municipal golf course and the Fresh Pond Reservation. There are multiple MBTA bus routes that run through Strawberry Hill connecting to Harvard and Watertown Squares.
Rich with history, the Lechmere neighborhood of Cambridge can be found on Revolutionary War maps shown as “Lechmere’s Point;” it was the point of landing for British troops on their way to the Battles of Lexington and Concord. In the 20th century, the neighborhood became known for the regional department store Lechmere Sales, popular for an array of household merchandise. Lechmere has now been transformed by several large development projects and the influx of the high tech industry. With that has come restaurants, apartments buildings and the revitalization Lechmere Canal Park. The neighborhood is services by the MBTA’s Lechmere Station.
Alewife is in North Cambridge north of Cambridge Highlands and bordering Fresh Pond. This is the home of our Keller Williams Cambridge office! For more on this area, view “North Cambridge” above.