Hailed as 1 of 11 coffee shops that “put Boston on the map,” according to the Boston Globe, Simon's Coffee Shop decided the only way to top itself was to literally put itself on the map again. Despite just opening, Simon’s Too looks a little more grown-up than its predecessor. Instead of playful orange walls, the coffee shop has exposed brick; instead of scrawling the menu items in multicolored chalk, the baristas print them carefully with white block letters. But Simon’s Too still has the same energy as the flagship location. And it still uses only local coffee, which is brewed from beans roasted in Arlington and Acton. Like a cartoon pie cooling on a windowsill, the coffee bean grinder entices guests with its deep aromas, luring patrons to the wooden counter to order one of the day’s available soups or a signature drink concocted by a La Marzocco espresso machine.
Harvest of India's modestly priced lunch buffet makes it a popular spot for students to stop for a meal between classes. Come dinnertime, though, it's on to entrees that span the whole of India, from South Indian dosas served with coconut chutney to Kashmiri goat meat marinated in tamarind and red chili.
Beantown Taqueria specializes in spicy dualities. One side of their chalkboard menu splits off into authentic territory, boasting tacos on homemade corn tortillas and tostadas that Thrillist Boston claims will satisfy "SoBo purists." The other side embraces crispy Tex-Mex classics such as burritos and chimichangas drizzled in sour cream and guacamole. Guests stroll up to a counter whose wooden slats evoke a street taco stand, placing orders until 11 p.m. from Sunday to Wednesday and until 4 a.m. on weekends.
Pop into River Gods on any given night, and you’ll be sharing the dim, tiny space with leering gargoyle statues and hipsters splitting orders of crispy fries. Guest DJs spin a mix of tunes in a loft above the bar as bartenders bustle about below, doling out Moscow mules and seasonal drafts.
With two locations situated in the heart of Harvard Square and Natick, Dolphin Seafood Restaurant reflects the unique maritime flavors of Boston and the Atlantic coast, receiving daily shipments of fresh seafood such as Chesapeake Bay oysters and Maine clams. Cooks stir fresh pots of New England clam chowder and broil filets of Bluefish, Idaho rainbow trout, and swordfish swathed in butter and garlic over their breadcrumb-flavored scales. At each restaurant, patrons can unwind in the evenings in a lounge with beers on tap, sports on the TV, and martini glasses filled with specialty cocktails.
Nestled between Central and Harvard Squares, Cancun Taqueria's simple, homey, sit-down eatery treats guests to plates of tacos, burritos, and fajitas made with fresh vegetables, savory pork al pastor and carnitas, fresh grilled salmon, and zesty chorizo. Diners quell morse code stomach rumble distress signals with hearty bowls of homemade pozole, or burritos stuffed with chicken and sirloin and ladled with chile verde and chile colorado.