We're going to keep you pretty busy during ScienceWriters2015. But if you decide to take an evening to explore the area's restaurants—such as the Monday, October 12 Dine Around night—we want you to be prepared to choose wisely.
Below we've listed places we like in Cambridge and neighboring Somerville, roughly in order of increasing distance from the Hyatt Regency Cambridge and MIT's west campus. After that, we mention a few top Boston restaurants.
Note that the Stratton Student Center at MIT includes a number of fast-food joints for those in a rush, including Anna’s Taqueria (Mexican), Cafe Spice (Indian), Cambridge Grill (pizza, burgers, etc.), Laverde’s Market (groceries, sandwiches), Shawarma Shack (Middle Eastern), Shinkansen (Japanese), and Subway (sandwiches).
Craigie on Main - 853 Main Street - Pricey French-American, with a famous Bar Burger.
Area Four - 500 Technology Square, near the corner of Main and Portland - Tasty and innovative wood-fired oven pizza.
Cambridge Brewing Co. - One Kendall Square, near the corner of Hampshire and Cardinal Medeiros - Fresh beer, local food.
The Friendly Toast - One Kendall Square, near the corner of Hampshire and Cardinal Medeiros - Eclectic menu with breakfast served all day.
Emma’s Pizza - 40 Hampshire St - Unpretentious but spectacular pizza.
Oleana - 134 Hampshire Street. Innovative Turkish- and Mediterranean-inspired plates.
Catalyst - 300 Technology Sq., near intersection of Albany & Main - upscale new American; the MIT faculty club in exile.
Black Sheep - 350 Main St. - new American lunch and dinner, in the lobby of the boutique Kendall Hotel.
Legal Seafoods - 5 Cambridge Center, at the corner of Ames and Main - classic seafood, lunch and dinner.
Clover - 5 Cambridge Center, near the corner of Ames and Main - vegetarian fast food, small chain founded by an MIT grad.
Meadhall - 4 Cambridge Center, corner of Ames and Broadway - pub food, and many, many beers on tap.
Firebrand Saints - 1 Broadway at the intersection of Main - new American.
Bondir - 279A Broadway - Cozy, farmhouse-style French/American with a hint of molecular gastronomy.
Alden & Harlow - 40 Brattle Street, in Harvard Square - hipster tapas-style new American.
Henrietta's Table - 1 Bennett Street, at the Charles Hotel in Harvard Square - Organic New England cuisine, great people-watching.
Rialto - 1 Bennett Street, also at the Charles Hotel - Regional Italian cuisine.
Giulia - 1682 Massachusetts Avenue, just beyond Harvard Square - Classic, spirited Italian cooking.
T.W. Food - 377 Walden Street, halfway between the Harvard Observatory and Fresh Pond - Gourmet French-American hideaway.
Sarma - 249 Pearl Streeet, Somerville - Dim-sum-style Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes.
Asta - 47 Massachusetts Ave in Back Bay - Small New American place offering an experimental tasting menu.
Coppa - 253 Shawmut Ave. in the South End - Italian small plates and charcuterie.
The Hungry I - 71 1/2 Charles Street on Beacon Hill - Cozy, romantic bistro with rustic French cuisine.
Island Creek Oyster Bar - 500 Commonwealth Avenue, near Fenway Park - Smart seafood including South Shore-sourced farm-fresh oysters,
L’Espalier - 774 Boylston Street, Back Bay - New English / New French prix fixe meals. Long considered Boston's top restaurant.
Menton - 354 Congress Street, in the Fort Point district - French-Italian prix fixe.
Neptune Oyster - 63 Salem Street in the North End - Innovative New England classics, including a famous lobster roll.
O Ya - 9 East Street in the Leather District - The place to splurge on sushi.
Ribelle - 1665 Beacon Street, Brookline - Avant-garde small Italian plates.
Stella - 1525 Washington Street in the South End - Contemporary Italian.
Uni - 370 Commonwealth Avenue, at the Eliot Hotel - Sashimi and sake bar.