You voted for Cambridge’s best service providers—from car repair to real estate—in the 2016 Scout’s Honored Awards. Here are your winners!
Looking for the best places to shop? Those are rounded up here. Check back later this month for the winning dining destinations and the city’s coolest arts and entertainment options.
CAMBRIDGE CENTER FOR ADULT EDUCATION
CCAE.ORG | (617) 547-6789
Home to two of the most prestigious universities in the world, Cambridge is rightly seen as a bastion of knowledge. But the pursuit of self-improvement isn’t restricted to the pricey, exclusive campuses of Harvard and MIT. The Cambridge Center for Adult Education offers everyone the opportunity to learn about a wide array of subjects at extremely reasonable prices. Brush up on cooking, writing, literature, science and much more—they make learning fun, easy and affordable.
PRESCHOOL OR DAYCARE
KIDDIE ACADEMY OF CAMBRIDGE
FACEBOOK.COM/KIDDIEACADEMYOFCAMBRIDGE | (617) 945-0021
When you send your kids to childcare for the day, don’t you want them to have a fun and nurturing experience? Kiddie Academy of Cambridge ensures just that. With programs for children ages six weeks to 12 years, they give your children opportunities to grow, with a focused curriculum and lots of play. Best of all, you can schedule a visit to see for yourself if there’s a program that might be the right fit for your kid.
HARVARD STREET DENTAL
HARVARDSTREETDENTAL.COM | (617) 492-3535
High-tech dentistry meets fast, efficient service in this convenient office on—you guessed it—Harvard Street. Headed by dentist Keith Foley, these teeth experts will help you maintain that beautiful smile in a stylish office decorated in cool, modern colors. You might actually look forward to your next cleaning!
TUTORING PLUS OF CAMBRIDGE
TUTORINGPLUS.ORG | (617) 349-6588 X422
Tutoring Plus of Cambridge is passionate about affordable education—so passionate that their tutoring programs are 100 percent free and led by community volunteers. They were recognized as the 2012 Non-Profit of the Year at the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce’s Excellence in Business Awards for being a “Cambridge-area nonprofit organization that demonstrates superior performance, quality and consistency in the pursuit of its mission and evokes community spirit and participation.” That’s why T+ has been going strong for over 50 years—since 1964.
VIMFITNESS.COM | (617) 945-2708
At VIM, you can feel good about more than just your bulging biceps. Founded in Central Square in 2004, VIM has been locally owned and operated for 12 years, with just one sister location in University Park. Although members love that they never have to wait for a machine, the classes at VIM are where it’s really at. Their impressive list of unique class offerings that ranges from casual dance-based sessions to boxing to extreme boot camps proves that there’s something for everyone—even if you’re allergic to exercise.
O2YOGA.COM | (617) 491-0002
O2 Yoga’s motto is “up dogs, down dogs, no dogma,” which should make your ears perk up. We’re big fans of unpretentious, genuine enthusiasm. At O2 Yoga, that’s what you’ll get. Founded in 1998, O2 believes in mastering basic poses and proper form so that you’ll have a strong foundation as you move into more advanced classes and techniques.
TATTOO OR PIERCING STUDIO
REDEMPTIONTATTOO.COM | (617) 576-0097
Redemption has a reputation for professional, high-quality work and a friendly, down-to-earth team. Co-owners Erick Lynch and Mike Shea opened the shop together in 2002, and they’ve maintained their passion for tattooing over the past 14 years with the help of a group of expert artists. Whether it’s a traditional tattoo or geometric linework, Redemption is the number one place to get inked.
THOMAS F. COUGHLIN INSURANCE AGENCY
TFCOUGHLININSURANCE.COM | (617) 876-1127
Easy, Patriots fans—not that Tom Coughlin, the one whose ghoulish visage still haunts your Super Bowl dreams. This one is here to help you break free from the grips of large national insurance carriers and their infuriatingly ubiquitous commercials. If you’ve ever felt the cold impersonality of those giant companies, check in with the Thomas F. Coughlin Insurance Agency for a local, personal option as well as some serious savings.
REAL ESTATE AGENCY
HAMMOND REAL ESTATE
HAMMONDRE.COM | (617) 497-4400
In all likelihood, your house will be the biggest purchase you make in your lifetime—especially if you’re buying in Cambridge. You need to have someone who will guide you through this incredibly important and often stressful process. That’s where Hammond Realty’s staff comes in. They have a deep knowledge of Cambridge and its surrounding areas and will work to make sure they find your dream house—at a reasonable price!
BANK OR CREDIT UNION
CAMBRIDGE SAVINGS BANK
CAMBRIDGESAVINGS.COM | (617) 441-4287
Local banks used to be pillars of the community. People trusted them, trusted their vaults, because they knew everyone who worked there. The rise of multinational conglomerates has all but erased that feeling today, but Cambridge Savings Bank is doing its part to provide a welcoming banking experience. Whether you’re opening a personal or business account, investing or getting a loan, the people at Cambridge Savings know what you really want in a bank: trust.
GENTLE GIANT MOVING COMPANY
GENTLEGIANT.COM | (800) 442-6863
How many times have you been packing up all your stuff only to semi-seriously consider running off and beginning life anew as an ascetic monk? No one likes moving, but it’s an unavoidable facet of life. And the good news is, the ladies and gents at Gentle Giant have you covered. No more cardboard boxes of various sizes, haphazardly packed and labeled. They can help in all areas of your move, from packing and unpacking to getting your things wherever they’re going—whether that’s across Cambridge or out of the state.
BRATTLE SQUARE FLORIST
BRATTLESQUAREFLORIST.COM | (617) 876-9839
In Harvard Square, it’s hard to forget where you are. It’s a place so completely itself that you’re always aware of your location, and the circular nature of the alleged “square” doesn’t offer many places to get lost. But take one step inside Brattle Square Florist, and you’re instantly transported to another land. The smell of fresh earth and plants offers a tantalizing taste of rural life in an urban environment. And the long, narrow layout gives you a path to gaze upon the beautiful flora that surrounds you on all sides.
DOGGIETRAIL.COM | (781) 654-7152
If you’re not one of the lucky few who works out of dog-friendly offices, there’s a good chance that your four-pawed pal needs someone to grab a little fresh air with them while you’re away. The animal lovers at Doggie Trail are here for you, with reasonable prices and the ability to take on short-notice appointments when something pops up at the last minute. And because their small groups max out at three dogs, you can be sure Fido’s getting the same love and care he’d get from you at home.
MARIO PIMENTEL, CLM AUTO
CLMAUTO.COM | (617) 497-6722
Is anything more instantly anxiety inducing than hearing a strange sound while driving? You may be quickly cycling through the seven stages of automobile grief, but a trusted mechanic will put you at ease. Mario Pimentel is just that mechanic. Over at CLM Auto in Inman Square, Pimentel’s to-the-point advice and sense of humor will have you smiling through the stress.
GIROSTUDIO.COM | (617) 547-5767
Giro Studio is so much more than your run-of-the-mill photo studio. This full-fledged multimedia firm offers photography, videography, video editing services and a full-service studio for all types of filming. They’ll even convert your old videotapes to DVDs or digital files, so you can finally stop wearing out that old VHS copy of your virtuosic middle school clarinet performance.
INMANOASIS.COM | (617) 491-0176
There’s just no better place in Cambridge to chill in a hot tub. Inman Oasis staffers really have an eye for detail, from the clean and peaceful atmosphere to the cold-filtered drinking water available to guests. It’s been over a year since Renee Farster-Degenhardt stepped down as owner, and Inman still holds the gold standard for making it seem like you’re on a mini-vacation far from the city.
PYARA AVEDA SALON AND SPA
PYARAAVEDA.COM | (781) 270-9200
Pyara knows all about making a good first impression, both with their gorgeous modern interior and with the hair and makeup you’ll sport when you walk out the door. The bright, clean space is the perfect setting for their unique makeup services, which include one-on-one workshops that teach you how to update your application skills and put your best face forward. And their calming body treatments aim to make you feel as good on the inside as you look on the outside!
JUDYJETSON.COM | (617) 354-2628
Annie Potts’ quirky character from Sixteen Candles, Iona, would be right at home sitting in the space-age chairs at Judy Jetson. Established by Jude Stearns in 1986, the funky Cambridge favorite has been supplying us with fresh, creative styles for 30 years. It should come as no surprise that this isn’t their first Scout’s Honored Award! Whether you’re looking for a mohawk, a buzz cut or a bob, Judy always makes it stellar.
KAYLA AT SALON LUNA
SALONLUNA.COM | (617) 492-7792
Kayla’s a favorite at Salon Luna because of her love for bold, bright colors and blonding. The salon itself is the perfect setting for her to work her rainbow magic—it’s spacious, colorful and clean. And all Salon Luna stylists are experts in everything from kinky, curly hair to precision cuts. So if vibrant colors aren’t your thing, there’s still a chair for you here.
FLOYDSBARBERSHOP.COM/CAMBRIDGE | (617) 492-0936
Floyd’s is more than a little bit rock ‘n’ roll. This classic barbershop sticks to simple cut and style practices but enthusiastically shows off its funky taste through floor-to-ceiling collages, atmospheric rock music and stylish barbers. Their chairs fill up quickly, so plan ahead!
MOOSE AND MIMI’S
MOOSEANDMIMI.COM | (617) 945-9256
This cute spot in Inman offers massages, waxing and relaxology—or a foot soak with a little extra pampering—and life-changing facials. Depending on how aggressive you want to get, you can choose either a gentle scrub, a purifying and brightening mask or a chemical peel to even skin tone. Mrs. Doubtfire, these are major upgrades from your cake mask.
This story originally appeared in the September/October print issue of Scout Cambridge, which is available for free at more than 240 locations throughout Cambridge and just beyond its borders or by subscription.