I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and that you’re recovering from your food hangover. After spending so much time in the kitchen this week, you’re probably ready to dine out this weekend. Here are some of my favorite restaurants in Somerville to try during the next few days and beyond …
3 Little Figs: This cozy spot at 278 Highland Ave. serves delicious baked goods (many with seasonal flavors, though I’m partial to the avocado muffin and the banana muffin) as well as Greek-inspired dishes like the flakey, rich spinach pie. For breakfast, I love the housemade granola with locally made Greek yogurt and fruit. And don’t forget the coffee, which is brewed to perfection. (Note: The Figs aren’t open Friday, November 23, but will be serving up tasty goodies 8 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.)
Renee’s: This classic diner, located at 198 Holland St. in Teele Square, offers more than just the usual fare. From inspired omelettes and a plethora of eggs Benedict varieties to choose from to pancakes and waffles with seasonal flavors, there’s something to please everyone’s palate. The friendly staff refills your coffee often and lets you linger with the locals.
Bloc 11: While this cafe at 11 Bow St. in Union Square does breakfast well, it does lunch even better. I usually rotate between the Arrow sandwich (marinated tempeh, cheddar cheese, avocado, banana ring peppers and greens on rye) and the Union salad (greens, shredded beets, a hard-boiled egg, sliced almonds and cheese cubes with a choice of chicken salad, tuna salad, tofu salad or marinated tempeh). The soups are fresh-made and the perfect way to warm up on a chilly fall day. With a variety of options for meat-lovers and vegetarians alike, Bloc 11 is my go-to lunch spot in the ‘Ville.
Sherman Cafe: Local food is all the rage these days, but few places do it better than Sherman Cafe (257 Washington St.) in Union Square. The funky eatery serves everything from hearty salads and sandwiches to cheese plates and soups showcasing regionally grown and produced food. Try the green hummus (your mouth will thank you) or if you’re looking for a light bite, get a snack of a local apple with Teddie Peanut Butter (made right down the road in Everett).
The Biscuit: Located near the Somerville/Cambridge line at 406 Washington St., the Biscuit is a terrific place to visit any time of the day–for breakfast, lunch or your afternoon pick-me-up. I’m partial to lunch at the cozy cafe, which offers vegetarian, vegan and carnivorous options like the Helsinki sandwich (smoked salmon, cream cheese, pickled red onion and mesclun greens on potato dill bread) or a hot vegan sandwich featuring lots of veggies and a tahini dressing. And don’t forget to pick up some of the Biscuit’s legendary baked goods for a treat later!
Highland Kitchen: Hands-down my favorite restaurant in Somerville (and perhaps anywhere), Highland Kitchen (150 Highland Ave.) offers a fresh take on comfort food and creative cocktails with some of the best service I’ve ever experienced. Come early or try to score a coveted bar seat and put some of your favorite songs on the jukebox while you settle in at one of Somerville’s most fun restaurants.
True Bistro: Probably my other favorite restaurant in Somerville, True Bistro (1153 Broadway) in Teele Square is an upscale vegan eatery that satisfies both veggie and meat lovers. Innovative dishes, professional service and an intimate atmosphere make True Bistro the perfect place to take a date.
Backbar: Maybe you’re still too stuffed from all that Thanksgiving food to even think about eating out yet. Even if that’s the case, I bet you have room for some of the best cocktails in the Boston area. You’ll find them tucked away in an alley in Union Square at Backbar (9 Sanborn Court). With a menu that changes all the time and some of the best bartenders anywhere, Backbar is a real hidden gem. And if you can fit a bit of room for food, try the spicy caramel corn, it’s divine!
The Independent: I often joke that the Independent is my kitchen away from home because it’s our neighborhood go-to spot when we want to get a tasty meal out without a lot of fuss. And while the food is delicious, the bar is truly outstanding. This time of year I’m partial to the hot-buttered cider, but you really can’t go wrong with any of the special cocktails or dozens of beers on tap.
P.S. This is just a sampling of the restaurants and bars I’ve reviewed in Somerville and the surrounding area. You can see the full list here. Happy eating!