The Boston Area has more named “squares” than any other American city, but Harvard Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts is among the most popular. Like most east coast cities, streets are zig-zagged and often change names without notice. It’s not easy finding a good place to eat – or worse, a good place to park. One stop will satisfy every palate in your group when it’s lunchtime in Harvard Square. Felipe’s TaquerÃ?Âa, Flat Patties, and The John Harvard Brew House are good restaurants that can all be accessed within one building.
The first and best advice when visiting Harvard Square is: Don’t drive. Take the local Red Line subway called “The T” ($1.25); there is a stop at Harvard Square. (Parking is astronomically priced and there are so many one way streets even local people get lost). Once you’re in the Square, stop in any convenience store or bank for a large, well-labeled local map. John F. Kennedy Street (JFK) begins right there in the square and these local favorite restaurants are less than a block away.
As you approach JFK St. the traffic will be coming one way toward you; stay on the left side. The address to the building is 36 JFK St. Inside the building there is a ramp to the right, an escalator in the middle, and a corridor on the left. Take the corridor. The first restaurant you’ll see is Flat Patties, a brand new no-frills burger joint that customizes your meal just the way you want it. It’s so new it doesn’t even have a website yet! There are a couple of tables to sit at or a long bar-style seating arrangement along the windowed wall, but for the most part, it’s a take-out place. Less than a month old, Flat Patties was an immediate success with the locals.
To your right, you’ll be at the back entrance of Felipe’s TaquerÃ?Âa. This is a cantina-style grill that you order-by-site. Everything is authentic and cooked fresh for an unbeatable price. The tostada satisfies the light eater for fewer than 3.00, while the 4.00 super burrito could be considered a meal for some. One can smell the cilantro from the street and the natural, terra cotta dÃ?Â©cor gives Felipe’s the real world class of its own in Harvard Square.
For a complete service meal in a conventional style with sit down service and a table server, John Harvard’s Brew House is an excellent choice. Their logo is “Honest Food. Real Beer.” To get there from Flat Patties and Felipe’s – look left. There is a rear exit door just past the Starbuck’s. Exit this door and take an immediate left. Do not go out on the sidewalk, just stay under the awning. You will descend in to one of Harvard Square’s local best-kept secrets. The menu offers everything from New England Clam Chowder (3.49) to Sesame Shrimp Salad (9.99) to New York Steak (18.99). They are famous for their many worldwide “brews” that range from Dry Irish Stout to the seasonal Summer Blonde served in an ample glass.
So, whether it’s a quick burger, a zesty culinary treat, or a good steak and a beer that you want, there’s no need to wander in circles looking for the right location. Just take these directions and go to 36 JFK St. and enjoy!
John Harvard Brew House
33 Dunster Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
83 Mt. Auburn Street
Cambridge (617) 354-9954
Open daily, from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
81 Mount Auburn Street
Cambridge, MA 02138