Camberville, consisting of Cambridge and Somerville, has some of the Greater Boston area’s best eateries. With the family in town for graduation weekend, be sure to check out some of these options that will excite your taste buds without emptying your wallet. Important to note: These spots are all pretty walk-in friendly, so don’t worry if you didn’t book a reservation weeks in advance!
Close to Tufts
This casual Davis Square spot serves some of the best Mexican food in Boston, with the outrageously good tortas stealing the show. Tenóch is perfect for a no-frills meal, destined to have diners in bliss after just one bite.
Dishes to try: Campechana torta ($7.95), Choriqueso torta ($7.95), Enchiladas mole ($7.95)
Location: 382 Highland Ave. in Somerville
Five Horses Tavern
Five Horses Tavern is much more than a typical neighborhood bar; it serves some of the best comfort food in the Davis area. Featuring an extensive beer and cocktail list, this tavern has something for everyone and is perfect for a delicious bite to eat or a quick drink.
Dishes to try: Handmade Pretzel ($9), Fried Chicken Sammy ($15), Mac and Cheese ($13)
Location: 400 Highland Ave. in Somerville
The Painted Burro
With a wide selection of tequilas and a menu full of tasty Mexican food, The Painted Burro is the perfect spot for a fun meal with the whole family. Pro tip: The bar seating is first come, first served and features the full menu!
Dishes to try: “Cholo” Corn Cob ($6), Chorizo Nachos ($14), Charred Octopus taco ($8.50)
Location: 219 Elm St. in Somerville
Semolina Kitchen and Bar
For many, Italian food is practically synonymous with Boston, and Semolina brings excellent cuisine to the very edge of Tufts’ campus. The pizzas are particularly delicious, having a nice wood-fired crust and a wide variety of toppings. Owned by the same folks who run the Tufts classic Dave’s Fresh Pasta in Davis, Semolina also features some excellent pasta dishes from the aforementioned shop.
Dishes to try: Sausage, Mushroom, Onion pizza ($14), Crispy Pancetta pizza ($16), Shrimp Pappardelle ($15)
Location: 572 Boston Ave. in Medford
Breakfast, brunch and snack time
One of Somerville’s best brunch spots, Highland Kitchen is not for the faint of heart. The menu wholeheartedly embraces Southern comfort food. Brunchtime also features fun cocktails, including Kentucky Cold Brew and Mexican Hot Chocolate. The line for brunch gets long, so be sure to arrive on the early side!
Dishes to try: Dirty Bird ($11.95), Buttermilk Pancakes ($7.95), Hushpuppies ($6)
Location: 150 Highland Ave. in Somerville
The Neighborhood Restaurant
This Portuguese-influenced breakfast joint draws large crowds for its homestyle breakfasts and delicious baked goods. The Neighborhood is particularly renowned for its cream of wheat, which will conjure up nothing but warm childhood memories. The waitlist on the weekend can be a bit extensive, making weekdays the ideal time to go.
Dishes to try: Cream of Wheat (served with all breakfast), Three Eggs w/Linguica, Fried Banana, Homefries & Toast ($9.99), French Toast & Homefries ($8.99)
Location: 5 Bow St. in Somerville
In the quest to find a good bagel outside of New York City, Bagelsaurus comes pretty close in meeting the standard set by the city that never sleeps. This Porter Square institution has great sandwiches, but if you arrive before 10 a.m. on the weekend, you can skip the line to pick up bagels by the dozen.
Dishes to try: Any bagel ($2.50), T-Rex sandwich ($8/$6 with no bacon), Hot Smoked sandwich ($11)
Location: 1796 Massachusetts Ave. in Cambridge
Union Square Donuts
This artisan donut shop has a cult following here in Boston, known for serving both unique and classic flavors. The Union Square spot is rather unassuming, but one taste of their delicious pastries and it’s impossible to not be in heaven.
Dishes to try: Maple Bacon ($3.50), Sea Salted Bourbon Caramel ($3), Boston Cream ($4)
Location: 20 Bow St. in Somerville
Outside the Tufts bubble
Yume Wo Katare
One of the most famous ramen shops in Boston, Yume Wo Katare is known for its insanely rich pork broth and excellent noodles. The menu is fairly simple. Note that it doesn’t leave options for vegetarians. Come for the excellent ramen experience, and be prepared to wait in the inevitable line.
Dish to try: Ramen with extra pork ($14)
Location: 1923 Massachusetts Ave. in Cambridge
For more than three decades, Cafe Sushi has been stealing the spotlight from Boston’s higher-end Sushi restaurants. Located unassumingly on the outskirts of Harvard Square on Massachusetts Avenue, this hidden gem features some of the best seafood in all of Boston at a price that won’t break the bank. While Cafe Sushi does take reservations, the wait is usually quick enough that it only makes one a recommendation and not a necessity to enjoy some truly delicious sushi.
Dishes to try: Sushi Dinner ($22), Signature Sampler ($17), Ceviche Maki ($14)
Location: 1105 Massachusetts Ave. in Cambridge
This Venezuelan eatery brings vibrant flavor right to the heart of Harvard Square. Serving up delicious arepas and empanadas, Orinoco is great for a quick lunch or laid-back dinner. The restaurant does not take reservations, which is important to consider when heading there on a Friday or Saturday night.
Dishes to try: Pelua arepa ($7), Mechada empanadas ($9.50), Guayanesa arepa ($6.75)
Location: 56 John F. Kennedy St. in Cambridge
Arguably kicking off the Jewish deli revival here in Boston, Mamaleh’s has quickly emerged as a fixture in the Kendall Square area, offering diners a full delicatessen experience all day. Whether it be for breakfast, lunch or dinner, Mamaleh’s is sure to have something that will leave you feeling full and joyous!
Dishes to try: Pastrami, Egg & Cheese ($8.85), Reuben ($13.95), Abraham’s Potato Latkes ($8.40)
Location: One Kendall Square, 15 Hampshire St. in Cambridge