Nestled amid the cobblestone streets and independent shops of the Old Port District, 15 Exchange Grille sizzles with an ever-transforming menu of Mediterranean-inspired comfort fare. Each week, chefs whip up sandwiches, pastas, and Mediterranean comfort specialties from the freshest ingredients and market-catch seafood available. Bartenders pair the Levantine comfort food with beer and cocktails from the full bar. Tabletops checker the dining room, backdropped by exposed-brick walls and the enormous portrait of French actress Bridget Bardot staring down from her frame, goading diners into staring contests.
Modernity has permeated both Thistles Restaurant's cuisine and decor, and helped earn it a Certificate of Excellence in 2013 from TripAdvisor. The restaurant is helmed by Chef Alejandro, whose kaleidoscope of culinary skills includes dishes popular in Argentina, Colombia, Germany, Italy, Portugal, and Spain. Contemporary fixtures shine light down on the smorgasbord of selections, and red, black, and white accents fill the dining space just as accent marks fill the menu.
Cambridge Coffee Bar slings specialty coffee, smoothies, and other blended drinks alongside its pastries crafted from time-tested Cambridge family recipes. Caffeine seekers can quench their cravings with delectable slurps from a 12-ounce americano ($1.99), white-mocha latte ($3.49), or café au lait ($2.69), and sippers seeking chillier ways to increase their liquid intake––besides eating mouthfuls of snow––can opt for an espresso and vanilla ice-cream blend, such as the 16-ounce Caramelicious ($4.49) or a fruit blend available in six fructosey flavors ($3.49).
Ruby Slippers Cafe and Bakery's cooks prepare homestyle American cuisine with a focus on Maine ingredients. They serve hearty breakfasts until 3:00 p.m., pairing tender cuts of steak with local eggs and topping buttermilk pancakes with local maple syrup and fruit. Pork shoulder slow-roasts for 24 hours before the meat is shredded and sandwiched between brioche buns, and fresh haddock or deep-sea scallops bake to flaky perfection. Patrons can also nibble housemade chocolate truffles and sip local wines and beers.
The edibles artisans at Beach Bagels Cafe feed hungry patrons with nine types of bagels and nine cream cheeses, a flavorful bounty of sandwiches stuffed with Boar's head meat and cheese, and 15 Gifford's ice-cream flavors. Ward off early morning vampire advances with a garlic bagel smeared with bacon and horseradish cream cheese ($1.09 plus topping), or take a trip to the batter-paved streets of Belgium with a belgian waffle cloaked in whipped cream and fresh fruit ($7.99). Unruly stomachs that only respond to meat-centric commands can comfort the black and blue burger, a beefy patty encrusted in black pepper and smothered in blue cheese ($8.49), while gastronomes that prefer the garden can nosh on a vegetarian wrap with fresh vegetables embraced in a tomato-basil, spinach, or whole-wheat tortilla ($4.49–$5.99).