I read a lot of great city guides in Bust Magazine and on Design Sponge, and although I don’t expect anyone to plan a vacation around Watertown, I’m making a list of my favorite Watertown hot spots (that term might be a bit of a stretch haha), so that if you find yourself in the area, you’ll be well prepared for an awesome time.
Eat & Drink
Breakfast: I’ve already mentioned the Deluxe Town Diner quite a few times so I’ll spare you the details (see this post if you missed it the other day), but I also want to give props to The Diner at 11 North Beacon because it’s also a great breakfast/brunch spot. Their biggest selling point? A much shorter wait than you’ll find at Deluxe Town and a patio for outdoor dining in the warmer months.
Lunch: Maximo’s is a new addition to Coolidge Square and I have to say that they win my vote for best takeout in the area, hands down. Their dishes are healthy, creative, and very vegetarian friendly. A+, try the burritos!
Dinner: For a snazzy date night meal, I’d recommend Stellina right in Watertown Square. It’s upscale Italian food and they even have live jazz music a few nights a week. I also really like La Casa De Pedro, a Latin American restaurant in the Arsenal. They may not be super veggie friendly, but the few options that they do have are really good and the cocktails are awesome. For something a little more low key, Red Lentil is Watertown’s very own vegan restaurant and they have a pretty extensive menu and great fresh juice and smoothies.
Markets: I’ve already posted extensively about Russo’s and the Armenian and Middle Eastern markets, so again, I won’t go into detail here. Refer to the posts that I linked to above to get the full story.
Drinks: I have to be honest here, Watertown doesn’t have much of a bar scene. There are a few fun sports bars, 21 Nickels, (my favorite) and Donahue’s, but there’s not too much going on other than that. I like to get a drink at the bar at Not Your Average Joe’s and also at Porcini’s (the food is great here too). Other than that though, it’s drinking at Casa De Danne.
Big Box Stores: My post from earlier this week should have been called “The Watertown 4” because people also always know Watertown because we have a Target in the Watertown Mall (there aren’t too many in the area). We’re also famous for the 2-floor Forever 21 across the street in the Arsenal Mall.
Smaller Shops: There honestly aren’t too many “gift shop” type places, but a few spots come to mind like Fastachi, a specialty nut and chocolate shop, and also the shop at Arsenal Center for the Arts which sells goods made by local artists and artisans. We also have Sister Thrift, which is a great thrift shop located on Pleasant Street, just before Russo’s.
The Arsenal Center for the Arts is probably the best option for entertainment in town. They have art exhibits, music performances, jazz, theater and various other special events. The Arsenal also houses The New Repertory Theatre, which offers plays throughout the year (I saw my friend Jordan in Hot Mikado here). Watertown is also home to the Boston Swing Dance Network which offers monthly lessons and dancing to a live swing band at the Armenian Church on Mt. Auburn. I’ve been a bunch of times and it’s super fun. And I know this is cheating because it’s in Belmont (a neighboring town), but there’s a great little independently owned movie theater on Trapelo Road called Studio Cinema and it’s awesome. They only show one movie at a time (which I love) and the actually use real butter on their popcorn. Believe it!
Mind & Body
Looking to do some yoga? Underground Studios is absolutely the best place in town. I’ve been going there for over a year now and I can’t say enough good things about it. Come to a class with me! And if you’re a runner or cyclist, head over to Charles River Road and take advantage of the great bike and run trails that follow the river. Watertown also has a host of Health & Wellness Centers but I haven’t checked any of them out personally so I can’t vouch for them. Anyone have any input?
And I have to say, as much as I love Watertown and how wonderful and magical it is, there are definitely a few things that this town could use:
1. A cool bar. I love 21 Nickels, I really do, but we need to expand our horizons beyond the sports bar scene. Anyone want to start one with me? Kim Cameron, maybe this is where Cat Bar comes in?
3. A farmers market. We’re practically the only town that doesn’t have one! Why? Can someone answer this for me?
4. More little shops selling local arts and crafts. I love Magpie in Somerville and wish we had something like it here.
Anything I forgot? Places you love that I missed? Ideas for things that would make Watertown even more awesome than it already is? Lemme know!