Scout Picks

The Automatic. Photo by Rachel Leah Blumenthal.

We love letting readers vote for the winners—but that means you guys get to have all the fun, and we want to get in on the action too! Here’s what our staff is snacking on when we’re not hard at work putting the magazine together.

POST-WORK HANGOUT: THE AUTOMATIC

A Kendall Square newcomer, the Automatic has quickly become our go-to spot for unwinding after hours. The cocktails rule, the prices are great ($3 Narragansett drafts? Those are Allston rates!) and the vibe is just right, with records spinning on the turntable and shareable, snackable plates on your table.

50 HAMPSHIRE ST.(617) 714-5226, THEAUTOMATICBAR.COM

 

SPECIAL OCCASION EXPERIENCE: WHOLE ANIMAL DINNERS, BISQ

Looking for a night out that’s unlike any other night out? Stop looking and make a reservation for one of BISQ’s whole animal dinners. With whole roast suckling pig, fish, duck, lamb or chicken, plus another three courses prepared by chef Alex Saenz (in case you were worried you’d leave hungry after eating a whole roasted animal off the bone), it’s a one-of-a-kind shared experience with friends.

(617) 714-3693, BISQCAMBRIDGE.COM

 

NEIGHBORHOOD NOSH: URBAN HEARTH

Urban Hearth—our favorite little neighborhood-cafe-by-day, supper-club-by-night operation—is top-to-bottom charming. But one of our favorite delights is the “Nosh” menu: handcrafted, pint-sized bites that are packed with flavor and pair perfectly with a glass of wine. You can even order a “nosh box” and get yours to go; they make for a pretty pleasant picnic.

2263 MASS. AVE.(617) 682-7295, URBANHEARTH.NET

 

EGGS: NOCA PROVISIONS

We were gonna shout out NOCA Provisions for having the best breakfast toasts—seriously, avocado, jack cheese, pepper jelly and chorizo on that house-made sourdough is too good. But then, avocado toast became a millennial meme thanks to that millionaire claiming young people can’t afford homes because they buy too much of it. So instead, let us suggest NOCA’s tasty, spicy green eggs, a wonderful combination of green chili, black beans and queso fresco. (And, what the hell, get the toast one of these days. It’s worth it.)

156 RINDGE AVE. (617) 902-0764, NOCAPROVISIONS.COM

 

CANDY SHOP: SPINDLER CONFECTIONS

We first fell for Jeremy Spindler’s sinfully good caramels and clusters when he was making them out of his Somerville kitchen and selling them at area farmers markets. Today, no trip to North Cambridge is complete without a visit to his shop. The nut brittles, the chocolates, anything with sea salt—they’re all incredible, especially when paired with one of Spindler’s root beer floats.

2257 MASS. AVE.(617) 714-4871, SPINDLERCONFECTIONS.COM

 

BURGER: ALDEN & HARLOW

It’s the worst-kept secret in Cambridge, but the “secret burger” at Alden & Harlow is mega-limited; less than 50 of these smoky, beautiful burgs are available each night. And even if chef Michael Scelfo once joked to Boston Magazine, “Every time I put together one of our burgers I swear it looks like a Big Mac without the extra bun,” there’s nothing fast-food-like about this bad boy, from the Creekstone brisket, short rib and beef plate patty to the aged Cabot cheddar crisp to the bread-and-butter pickles (a recipe from Scelfo’s grandmother).

40 BRATTLE ST.(617) 864-2100, ALDENHARLOW.COM

 

DINER: MASS AVE DINER

This little spot has everything we love in a diner: it’s cute, it’s cozy, it’s quick, it’s cheap. But it’s no greasy spoon—the food is delicious, fresh and not drenched in oil in a way that makes you feel like you need a three-hour nap after. Plus: the staff is one of the friendliest anywhere (and the craft beer selection is pretty good to boot).

906 MASS. AVE.(617) 864-5301, MASSAVEDINER.COM

 

SUSHI: CAFE SUSHI

That ecstatic scream you heard back in August? That was our staff, totally losing it over the news that, for the first time in its 30-year history, the best sushi place anywhere in Greater Boston would begin offering delivery. Yes, you can get Cafe Sushi straight to your door while wearing pajamas, though we’re still more than happy to roll out and meet you at this Central Square gem any time you want some sashimi. What’s that? Right now? Sure!

1105 MASS. AVE.(617) 492-0434, CAFESUSHICAMBRIDGE.COM

 

TATTOO OR PIERCING STUDIO: PINO BROTHERS

This expansive Inman Square shop—seriously, it even has an annex—is home to an absolutely stacked roster of local talent. Traditional black and grey, color-splashed Disney princesses… whatever it is, rest assured this team of tattoo artists will knock it all the way outta the park.

1100 CAMBRIDGE ST.(617) 250-9903PINOBROSINK.COM

 

DOCTOR: DR. LINDA POWERS, MOUNT AUBURN HOSPITAL

“Yes, I am actually writing a review about my PCP. She is that great.” So proclaims one of Dr. Linda Powers’ patients, adding that this is a doc who will skip lunch to see you and really wants you to be well. We get it: finding a PCP is hard. But Linda Powers has the power to make you not dread a visit to the doc.

330 MT. AUBURN ST., (617) 499-5055 MOUNTAUBURNHOSPITAL.ORG

 

REAL ESTATE AGENCY: COMPASS REAL ESTATE

Compass only opened its Boston office about two years ago, but the proof is in the progress for this Manhattan-based firm, which debuted in 2013 and now has 30 offices in 10 major metropolitan areas throughout the U.S. With a combo of top tech and local know-how, their agents will set you up with a home you just love.

126 NEWBURY STREET, 5TH FLOOR, BOSTON, 617.206.3333 COMPASS.COM/AGENTS/BOSTON

 

COMMUNITY CLASSES: CAMBRIDGE CENTER FOR ADULT EDUCATION

It’s only fitting that the CCAE shares the square with Harvard University—it, too, is a top-tier place to learn and grow as a person. Here, small classes in everything from beer to glassblowing are taught by knowledgeable instructors in a non-competitive setting designed to help you succeed.

42 BRATTLE ST. (617) 547-6789, CCAE.COM

 

This story originally appeared in the September/October issue of Scout Cambridge, which is available for free at more than 200 locations throughout the city or by subscription.

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