Did you know? Porter Square was named for the now-vanished Porter’s Hotel, operated by Zachariah B. Porter, who also left his name to the hotel’s specialty, the cut of steak known as porter house. And back in the day, the current shopping plaza was home to the 19th Century Rand Estate. So if you think about it, Porter Square has always been center for commerce. Click here for our photo gallery of Porter Square.
23 White Street (Porter Square Shopping Center)
Cambridge Naturals was founded in 1974 to fulfill a vision of establishing a community natural health store. The mission is to sell nutritional supplements for health and wellness, pure, clean body care products and organic foods. They offer classes, speakers, workshops, and tastings weekly on all subjects from “enhancing brain function” to water filters.
They are a local family-owned store and are members of BOTH Cambridge Local First & Somerville Local First. They are also a Sustainable Business Leader. Shop there and give back to a truly vibrant organization building a sustainable economy!
Porter Square Books
25 White Street (Porter Square Shopping Center)
With regular book signings and events, a special section dedicated to local authors, all your favorite guilty pleasure books (The Hunger Games, anyone?), AND the option to purchase e-books right from the store, Porter Square Books really is your one-stop-shop for all things reading. A recent event included a collaboration with the Cambridge Public Library to bring Temple Grandin to town to talk about her experiences, and an evening with Ilan Mochari, Somerville author of the new book Zinsky the Obscure! Porter Square Books is also home to Cafe Zing, a great coffee corner featuring baked goods and Equal Exchange coffee. Porter Square Books is currently looking for a new owner – so if you have ever wanted to own a book shop, this is the perfect one.
29 White Street (Porter Square Shopping Center)
TAGS Hardware is a local, independent family-owned store, operating in Cambridge since 1955. As one of the founders of Cambridge Local First, TAGS participates in a variety of local and global issues and offers a vareity of annual events. TAGS Hardware sells a lots of home goods, kitchenware, paint, nuts a bolts. TAGS is great for seasonal needs (plants, salts, etc.) and energy efficiency products.
13 White Street (Porter Square Shopping Center)
In need of local, delicious and inexpensive treats for the weekend? Well this is the place to stop by. The proprietors are knowledgeable, the wine plentiful, and there are always deals on a variety of goods. Liquor World also provides the occasional tastings, from boubon to sake.
Yuko Wo Katare
1923 Massachusetts Ave
Have you ever walked by when this place was open and NOT seen a line down the block? Neither have we! Yuko Wo Katare is the newest addition to the Cambridge/Boston ramen scene, straight from Japan. The restaurant only serves ramen two ways and is open from 5pm to 11pm Tuesdays-Sundays. They do not do take out, so make sure to get in line early!
Walking into this shop brings you into another country – or so it seems. Tibet Arts offers a variety of literature, apparel and jewelery from Tibet. The wares are beautiful, the ambience relaxing, and the smells are amazing. You can get gorgeous healing bracelets for only $7 and prayer flags. Definitely worth a walk up Mass Ave.
2000 Massachusetts Avenue
Ready to sweat it out? Then Baptiste is the place to go for hot yoga – from beginner to expert. Founded in the 1940’s by Walt Baptiste, it has since been taken over by his son Baron, who has brought the movement to national fame with appearances on MTV and Good Morning America. Stop over for a great early morning class and get your day started off right.
Also a member of the Sustainable Business Network, Christopher’s has been a Cambridge institution for over 30 years, holding strong as an anchor for Porter Square. Christopher’s is also connected to Toad, a great neighborhood venue to see live music any day of the week. Stop by Christopher’s for a delicious and affordable dinner, and make it a date night by rounding out the evening with some great local and live music at Toad.
1798 Massachusetts Avenue
Oh clogs, how my feet love thee. Walk into this quirky store with deliciously comfortable shoes packed into every nook and cranny, and you can almost feel your feet smile. And the owner and staff are so helpful and make sure to help you find the right fit. Looking for cute stockings, too? You can get a variety fo knee highs and colorful stockings too. Cambridge Clogs is perfect fit for those looking for a comfortable and unique sense of style.
Joie de vire
1792 Massachusetts Avenue
I think that their website says it best: “Our stock includes wind-up toys, kaleidoscopes, jewelry, flashing rings, clocks, snowglobes, music boxes, books, postcards, rubber ducks, singing animals and all kinds of other things designed to enchant, or give pleasure through the unexpected.” And that is right – enchant it will! A great place to stop off and grab a little trinket to supplement that gift for your friends or family, or get that gag gift your office desk. You will definitely find something for anyone, ages 1 to 99. Check their website regularly for a special monthly item.
1760 Massachusetts Avenue
A family owned and operated store selling all music-playing needs, Guitar Stop has been open since 1962. You can get private lessons in guitar, bass, piano, and even ukele! Call or email the store to learn more about lessons. Guitar Stop also hosts group workshops, including Kid Jam, an 8-week series designed to teach kids to play guitar solo or in a band.
1771 Massachusetts Avenue
Walk with principle, indeed. For those of you who are passionate about animal rights and dislike wearing leather, you must check out Sudo Shoes, Cambridge’s only vegan shoe store. Vegan shoes doesn’t mean you can’t be on trend! Sudo Shoes brings in new styles for men and women every day, every season. Check out their facebook page to find out what’s in the store today!
1773 Massachusetts Avenue
Clothware began as a “womens design collective”, producing an original line of fashion alternatives in Cambridge. Founded in the sevenities in Harvard Square, Clothware remains loyal to the same criteria that accounted for its initial success in the store’s new Porter Square location. Clothware offers a variety of apparel and accessories, women’s sleepware, as well as travel, career and weekend wear. Clothware is one of the founders of Cambridge Local First, so its only fitting that many of the designers at Clothware are local, too!
1963 Massachusetts Avenue
Porter Square is home to a variety of Asian restaurants, especially in the Porter Exchange retail area, so it is only fitting that the Square has a great Japanese grocery store. Miso Market is packed with fresh made sushi, Japanese sweets, an aisle dedicated to noodles, packaged ramen and much more. Make sure to stop by and grab a bento box today!
145 Elm Street (Somerville)
Wheelworks is a wonderful stop on your cycling adventure. Great for commuters, recreational cyclists, racers, or families out for a weekend jaunt – stop in and say hi! Whether you need to purchase a new bike, are looking for lights, need specialty gear, or are in need of a tune-up, you can do it there.