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MIT staff blogger Matt McGann '00

Summer restaurant recommendations by Matt McGann '00

Some of my favorite restaurants.

A few weeks back, I ran into my friend Andre ’08 on the T (that is, the Boston subway). Andre, who is on campus this summer working on the MIT iGEM team, was on his way to eat with some friends at a new (for him) restaurant. Summer is a time where students find even more time to explore Boston and try yummy restaurants. Inspired by my conversation with Andre, here is a good summer list of restaurants for students (and campus visitors!) to try. They’re many of my favorite places!

  • Cafe Baraka: A wonderful, hole-in-the-wall Tunisian restaurant. Tell Chef Alia I said hello =)
    80 1/2 Pearl St.
    Cambridge, MA
    T: Red Line to Central Square 
  • Punjabi Dhaba: Probably the best, cheapest, and most authentic Indian food in all of Boston.
    225 Hampshire St
    Cambridge, MA
    T: Red Line to Central Square; #83 or #91 bus 


  • Addis Red Sea: Great Ethiopian food and an excuse to eat with your hands.
    544 Tremont St.
    Boston, MA
    T: Orange Line to Back Bay 


  • Redbones: Among the better barbecue/Southern food in Boston, with a lot of culture and attitude.
    55 Chester St
    Somerville, MA
    T: Red line to Davis Square 


  • Johnny D’s: Great jazz brunches on the weekends, and half-price (cheap!) dinners before 6pm on weekdays.
    17 Holland St
    Somerville, MA
    T: Red Line to Davis Square 


  • Trident Cafe: This bookstore cafe on trendy Newbury Street has all-day breakfast and lots of vegetarian, vegan, and other healthy options.
    338 Newbury Street
    Boston, MA
    T: #1 bus to Hynes 


  • Fugakyu: One of many great sushi places in the Boston area, and a great excuse to visit the very cool Coolidge Corner neighborhood.
    1280 Beacon St
    Brookline, MA
    T: Green Line C train to Coolidge Corner 


  • Rubin’s Kosher: Yummy Kosher deli/restaurant. It really hits the spot.
    500 Harvard Street
    Brookline, MA
    T: Green Line B train to Harvard Ave 


  • Flour Bakery & Cafe: Yummy pastries, but also great brunch & dinner. The best of its kind around.
    1595 Washington St
    Boston, MA
    T: #1 bus to Washington Street 


  • The Helmand: Delicious Afghani food. Don’t miss the Kaddo (pumpkin), it’s to die for.
    143 1st St
    Cambridge, MA
    T: CambridgeSide Galleria shuttle 


  • Taiwan Cafe: One of many great places in Chinatown. I love their soup dumplings.
    34 Oxford St
    Boston, MA
    T: Red Line to Downtown Crossing or South Station

Bon appetit!

(Feel free to leave other recommendations in the comments)

15 responses to “Summer restaurant recommendations”

  1. tokenadult says:

    Now you’ve really come up with a reason to apply to MIT. smile One of my favorite activities on business trips around the country is eating at ethnic restaurants, and you’ve just named some in Cambridge or Boston I’d love to visit.

    Best wishes for a great summer. It’s still a few years away before the guys on the math team I coach start making their college applications, but if you happen to be in my part of the country the next few times that MIT has an info session here, I’ll attend just to say hello.

  2. errhode says:

    I miss Redbones…

    And Matt seems to have completely disregarded the North End, the mecca of Italian dining. Everyone will tell you to go get a cannoli at Mike’s, Modern, or Bova’s (and of the three, I vote for Modern, although Bova’s is 24 hours), but the real place to get the best cannoli is to go to Ricardo’s Ristorante. It’s a sit-down place and the cannoli will be a little more expensive, but they actually make the filling when you order it instead of letting it sit in a bakery display all day. Sooooo good. And their risotto and tiramisu is top notch too.

  3. JKim says:

    omg indian food. omg INDIAN FOOD.

    Do you know of any other really good vegetarian/vegan restaurants in the area? I’ve heard the options on campus aren’t all that great.

  4. Anshuman says:

    sry to comment on the wrong post…the july omnibus comment box is closed….

    i had given my sat 1 this june…scored 2190 ( national percentile of 97 and 98…writing section score – 690)… is it good enough or should i attempt sat 1 again?

    thanx for all the info on AP… but i guess its too late for me now…i am seeking admission for spring 2007…

  5. Daniel says:

    I also scored a 690 on the Writing section of the test… It does fall in the middle 50% of accepted writing section scores in 2006 admissions (670-760). And SAT scores are not going to make or break your application. In fact they say very little about how you will thrive in and contribute to MIT, when compared with the rest of your application.

    If you’re applying for 2007 admission, you should spend your time working on the rest of the application (which comes out this month) instead of worrying about the SAT and studying for it.

  6. Melis says:

    Helmand’s is amazing! I went there with my Freshman advising group (so it was free too…highly recommended). The Turkish coffee is heavenly, and I’m Turkish, so hopefully that says a lot.

    …and my mom ordered me a birthday cake from Flour Bakery in my freshman year and it was one of the best I’ve ever had. Good recommendations, Matt! I’ll have the check out some of the other places in the next two years.

  7. Ram says:

    That’s an impressive list. I would like to add the ‘Tanjore’ restaurant in Harvard Square. They serve some really great tasting south indian food. Be prepared for long waits during weekends.

  8. Jenny says:

    Mr. McGann, how could you have left off Bartley’s Burgers in Harvard Square? SO GOOD. Amazing burgers. Delicious onion rings. The decor is also amusing smile

  9. cemilyd says:

    Ethnic foods are wonderful.

    Ditto on JKim about vegetarian/vegan options though – especially when we’re on campus, where would you say the best place to go for food would be when we’re feeling too lazy to cook? wink

  10. Jon says:

    no love for the truck vendors it seems…

  11. Anshuman says:

    Daniel, the problem is I am from india where competition is very tough and intense…so i really want to leave no stone unturned in my application…in fact i want to appear for CLEP or AP but i guess that’s not possible here in Kolkaya,India now…

  12. Mollie says:

    All of the MIT-run food places on campus have vegetarian (and usually vegan) options every day. There are lots of vegetarians at MIT! smile

    Whether the options are great… well, they’re about as good as they are for the omnivores.

    For the record, I think the best place for veggie options is Steam Cafe (

  13. Christine says:

    yay for vegetarians. :D

  14. Vicki says:

    Veggie Planet ( in Harvard Square is a tiny hole-in-the-wall that a lot of people miss, but it has some great veggie options. I’m partial to their “Lunch for Henry”.

  15. not too many choices around the campus for cheap and quick dinner though. recommend using you can order and they will deliver.