The 17 Best Restaurants Near Kendall Square in Cambridge, MA

a delicious sandwich with ham, cheese and tomatoes, from a restaurant near Kendall Square in Cambridge, MA

Featured photo by @ameliastrattoria on Instagram

If you’re from the Boston area, I can guarantee you know Cambridge, and know it well.

There’s just so much going on in the small city—and there’s always something to do.

There are many great areas around the city that are filled with many fun things to do; from bars, to restaurants, and live entertainment.

One of the most notable areas, however, is Kendall Square.

Due to the large number of entrepreneurial startups and overall quality of innovation, Kendall Square is known as “the most innovative square mile on the planet.” Sounds about right to me.

Kendall Square is also home to the world renown prestigious university, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

So it’s no secret that due to the large amount of people traveling in and out of the area each and every day, that Kendall Square is a thriving bustling area.

And with that, (naturally) comes delicious food.

Someone’s gotta feed the hardworking people somehow, right?!

There’s so many delicious restaurants near Kendall Square that it would be impossible to name or even visit all of them.

But I’ve compiled a list of all of my favorite restaurants for you to see for yourself.

So next time you’re visiting some of your favorite MIT students and wondering where you should go for family dinner, or if you’re leaving the office of your new job at that fancy startup down the street and wondering where to grab some Chinese food for the ride home, take a look at this list.

Here are all of the best restaurants near Kendall Square in Cambridge.

Vincent’s Grocery

 

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A modern American restaurant, Vincent’s is open for lunch, dinner, and Texas roadside weekend brunch.

Everything they make is as fresh as it gets, so there’s a constantly rotating menu.
Check out what they’re currently doing here!

The Helmand

 

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Afghani food in the heart of Kendall Square? Say no more.

The Helmand, named after Afghanistan’s most important river, is serving up authentic Afghani food and desserts.

You may recognize the name of this place because of their iconic flatbread. It’s made right in house, and has been the talk of the town since 1994. Stop by for yourself to see what all the hype is about!

Shabu & Mein

 

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This is one of the most popular Japanese restaurants in the entire Boston area, with glowing reviews.

Shabu & Mein gives you the opportunity to cook your very own hot pot, right from your seat.

Shabu & Mein perfectly caters to any and all food allergies and dietary restrictions. If hot pot isn’t your thing, you can also choose from a wide variety of ramen dishes and small Japanese style plates.

The Smoke Shop

The award winning American BBQ restaurant, The Smoke Shop, has been awarded the Best of Boston 2022 award by Boston Magazine – and it’s no secret as to why.

Their live-fire cooking style has been curated from BBQ focused trips around the country, and the creation of three BBQ cookbooks by owner and head chef Andy. Some popular favorites are their Famous Wings, their First Place Ribs, and their Burnt Ends.

When you go, leave room for dessert – they make a mean Butter Cake.

State Park

Inspired by the beaches of Southwestern Virginia, State Park is serving up all of the fun for the Kendall Square area.

Aside from delicious American style food and drinks, State Park offers tons of your classic favorites – shuffleboard, pinball, pool, and more. You’ll want to stay long after you’ve finished your dessert (which may include their Key Lime Cheesecake).

And, the best part is, if you get food to go, you can take booze to go, too!

Sumaio Hunan Kitchen

 

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Inspired by one of the eight culinary traditions of China, Sumaio Hunan Kitchen offers a creative menu with bright colors and a variety of flavors to all customers that are craving Chinese food.

This is seriously some of the best authentic Chinese cuisine offered in all of Cambridge.

Enjoy stationary tapas and classics like noodles and fried rice, while also exploring their seasonal menus. There’s something for everyone here.

Area Four

 

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This great place is like a three in one – with an all homemade, Italian kitchen, stylish cafe, and an up and coming arcade.

All food from Area Four is completely scratch made. Yes, this includes their famous pizza, which has been described widely as “somewhere between Neapolitan and New Haven pizza.” That’s the biggest compliment any pizza place could ever get, in my opinion.

Aside from their famous Italian kitchen, Area Four also features a wonderful cafe menu, including scratch made English muffins. You HAVE to try them!

Commonwealth

The Commonwealth strives to provide customers with an ambiance that’s reflective of Sunday dinners and time well spent with good friends.

Here, you can enjoy tons of creative dishes all in their stylish indoor space.

Most notable on their menu right now is their delicious duck fat fries, something I had never tried before coming here.

Sulmona

 

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With food inspired by Sulmona, Italy, this restaurant is the talk of the town right now.

Serving brunch, lunch, and dinner, Sulmona (meaning, “to gather”) is the ultimate gathering spot for any and all occasions you may have.

As an Italian American myself, Sulmona’s meatballs are the closest I’ve ever ordered to the ones that my family would make growing up. You have to see for yourself what they’re all about!

Aceituna Grill

 

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With three locations, Aceituna’s Kendall Square restaurant is one of the best spots to visit if you’re craving fresh Mediterranean food.

Aceituna, meaning “olive,” uses its namesake for inspiration on all dishes.

Shawarma, a.k.a. slow cooked meat on a vertical rotating grill, is an art that Aceituna has perfected. And all of their meat is 100% real and top quality. Aceituna is the gold standard for Mediterranean cuisine, and I would recommend it to anyone!

Cambridge Brewing Company

One of the most popular breweries in the Boston area, Cambridge Brewing Company isn’t just serving beer.

Unlike many other breweries, this perfect place offers a wide variety of menu items, filled with all of your favorite classics.

From Thai noodle bowls, to salmon burgers, to Chicken Milanese, this great place will quickly become a new favorite for you and all of your friends.

Catalyst Restaurant

One of the most gorgeous locations on this list, Catalyst Restaurant features locally focused fare in a beautiful setting.

Aside from delicious, well crafted dishes at reasonable prices (hello Lamb Kofta Wrap), Catalyst also offers their location as a reception area for events, including bridal showers, wedding receptions, the entire restaurant being able to fit up to 500 guests.

So whether you’re enjoying a casual lunch with friends or a family member’s bat mitzvah or rehearsal dinner, there’s no doubt in my mind that you’ll love your Catalyst experience.

Fuji at Kendall

 

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Open since December 2011, Fuji at Kendall has been offering the area’s finest Japanese, Korean, and Chinese favorites with a modern American twist.

Owned by the same restaurant group as Shabu & Mein, Fuji has been a longtime favorite for upscale Asian classics.

Enjoy everything from sushi to pan fried noodles here, everything is absolutely delicious.

Glass House

 

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A modern day “meeting house” inspired by the history of Kendall Square, the Glass House is one of the most unique restaurants on this list and in the Boston area.

The Glass House is known for serving fine American food with a modern Asian twist. Where else could you get Togarashi seared tuna alongside the best caramelized onion grilled cheese sandwich you could ever eat?

You are also able to rent out the area as a private dining room for the night for any event that you may have.

Aside from food, the Glass House also offers an extensive beer and wine list, and tons of creative homemade cocktails.

Shy Bird

 

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A cafe, rotisserie, and bar all in one? Sign me up!

Offering lunch, dinner, and brunch, Shy Bird is best known for its rotisserie chicken, craft cocktails, and their extensive vegetarian and gluten-free dishes.

Shy Bird also serves the best fried chicken you will ever taste, with delectable honey mustard sauce to go along with it.

Le’s Sushi Bar and Restaurant

 

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This Asian Fusion restaurant has been thriving since 2016 and has been a local favorite to everyone residing in the Kendall Square area.

Complete with pho, a full sushi bar, and a variety of Asian food, Le’s Sushi Bar and Restaurant crafts its unique menu from the freshest and highest quality ingredients.

The restaurant’s promise is to create food from tradition mixed with modern tastes, to appeal to every person dining there. If you’re looking for high quality authentic Asian fusion food, I highly recommend checking out this wonderful restaurant.

Amelia’s Trattoria

This family owned Italian eatery in Cambridge has been serving up the finest Italian food for over two decades.

Inspired by his Abruzzi roots, chef Delio has become widely known for his handmade pasta, gnocchi, and short ribs.

Featured in Phantom Gourmet and Zagat, Amelia’s also runs a promotion with the Kendall Movie Theater, offering discount movie tickets if you join them for dinner. Sounds like a win win to me!

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