Kendall Square may now be known as the headquaters of Twitter Boston, Amazon, and Google, but it once was the home to a huge variety of industrial companies. Kendall Square is part of the East Cambridge neighborhood and was originally a salt marsh on the Charles River. In 1793, the West Boston Bridge (now known was the Longfellow Bridge) was constructed and provided the first wagon route from Cambridge to Boston. In 1810, the Broad Canal was dug, providing a little seaport, and the Kendall Square subway stop was opened in 1911.
As a result, in the 19th and early 20th century, Kendall became home to distilleries, electric power plants, soap and hosiery factories, and the Kendall Boiler and Tank Company (the square was named after the company). In 1915, MIT moved from Boston to its new Cambridge campus, where is has been ever since.
Besides the startups, venture capitalists, biotech and high tech companies, Kendall Square is home to variety of residents and smaller businesses. There are long standing restaurants such as Blue Room, Friendly Toast and Cambridge Brewing Company, and newer spots like Abigail’s, Firebrand Saints, Westbridge, Meadhall and the upcoming Commonwealth Restaurant. In addition to the restaurant scene, Kendall boasts an ice rink and kayak landing. There is something for the outdoor adventurer, techie, and the food lover here in Kendall Square. View our Kendall Square photo gallery.
Cambridge Center Roof Top Garden
4 Cambridge Center Garage, top floor
Cut through the new Google Arcade, take the elevator and enjoy one of Kendall Square’s hidden gems – the Roof Top Garden. The garden is a great place to eat lunch, enjoy a view, and get away from the hussle of the Square. The garden has benches and tables and has a variety of views of the neighborhood.
Kendall Square Canoe & Kayak and Ice Rink
Broad Canal (kayak) & West Kendall Street (ice rink)
Did you know that Kendall has a Canoe and Kayak rental area? Walk down Broad Canal past EVOO and Za and you will see the canal filled with kayaks and canoes. Charles River opened the Kendall spot a few years ago and provides rentals from early spring to late fall. The group also provides skyline and harbor tours as well as catering options for large groups.
Right down the road from the canal, a summer patio becomes a winter ice rink. Kendall Square Community Ice Skating offers ice skating on a refrigerated and Zamboni-maintained surface, skate rentals, lessons, and a snack bar to warm any cold feet at the end of your skate. Learn more about the rink here.
One Kendall Square, Lower Floor
State Park is the newest concept coming from the folks behind Kendall Square’s Hungry Mother Restaurant. This new bar, across the street from HM, will offer pinball, pool, shuffleboard, and a jukebox. The menu will be filled with fun items like pulled pork sandwiches, fried chicken, and an all-magnum wine list. State Park is slated to open in November.
One Kendall Square, lower level, near Blue Room
Belly is one of newer additions to the One Kendall Complex. Developed by the folks behind neighborhood faves like Central Bottle and Blue Room, Belly celebrates great wine and charcuterie. Belly offers a wide array of delicious salumi and spreads and a few main courses, including an “arm and a leg” of lamb. Belly likes to play games, too – on Sunday nights, Belly offers game night and Monday nights are “3 Blinds Night” where you must guess the wine. And if you like what you taste, all wine offered by the glass or bottle at Belly can be found at Central Bottle.
287 Third Street
Xylem is a modern gift shop, located on the Third Street corridor of Kendall Square. Xylem provides an assortment of wonderful gift items. Want a fun Pi pizza cutter or a Star Wars mug? Perhaps a fun kids toy, new earrings or birthday card? All can be found at Xylem. Stop by – you never know what you will find!
318 Third Street and 205 Broadway
It just seems like yesterday when the first Tatte opened up along Third Street, and now we have another one on the other side of the Square, near the Garment District. Tatte Bakery offers an array of baked goods from croissants to specialty tarts. In addition to traditional pastries, Tatte offers cakes and pies, gift packages and a diverse lunch and dinner menu. Visit a location today!
Squeaky Beaker Cafe
675 West Kendall Street
Squeaky Beaker Cafe comes from the operator of the local East Cambridge Spot 2nd Street Cafe. Anthony Miller, the owner, opened Squeaky Beaker to offer fresh, non-prepared food at a reasonable price. The Cafe offers a great variety of specialty sandwiches, as well as the ability to make your own. In addition to breakfast and lunch options, Squeaky Beaker also offers Christina’s Ice Cream and daily dinner-to-go specials. Next time you are in Kendall for lunch, check this place out.
9 Broad Canal Way
Cambridge Spirits is the newest addition to Kendall Square. Located along Broad Canal, the store provides a variety of craft beers, wines and local spirits like Bully Boy and more. Cambridge Spirits also offers a free weekly wine tastings on Thursdays from 5pm-7pm.