When looking at a map of Cambridge, MA, 9 different neighborhoods can be recognized.
These areas of Cambridge include Central Square, Harvard Square, Inman Square, Kendall Square, Porter Square, Cambridgeport, North Cambridge, East Cambridge, and West Cambridge. Click on the links to the left to learn more about each neighborhood.
A Cultural Hub in Cambridge
Each Cambridge neighborhood has its own personality and atmosphere from the bright students in Harvard Square to the Brazilian and Portuguese residents of Inman Square.
This rich diversity of the areas in Cambridge contributes to a community of different people and cultures. The distinct neighborhoods offer bucolic parks, recreation facilities, beautiful homes and apartments, higher education, a variety of restaurants and places to shop, thriving industries, and more.
Cambridge’s neighborhoods have something for everyone, making Cambridge a wonderful place to visit and live.
Neighborhood Guide: Harvard Square
The famous Harvard Square, named for the university, is an iconic tourist and student Harvard Square, Cambridge destination, offering local book and coffee shops for the intellectual or not.
There are also many small cafés and restaurants in which to relax and enjoy the nearby scenery.
However, Harvard Square is not just about the university. There are over 365 businesses in the area.
Neighborhood Guide: Central Square
Central Square has the biggest mix of ethnic restaurants and exotic clubs, contrasting with several video game and pharmaceutical start-up companies.
Most of the businesses are small and specialized. Take the MBTA Red Line to Central Square.
Neighborhood Guide: Porter Square
Porter Square is a participant in “Arts on the Line,” a program to bring more art to MBTA stations. As a result, there are many structures and artwork in the area.
Home to Lesley University, Porter Square is a center of Japanese culture, with many restaurants of that variety throughout.
However, there are also many other restaurants and small retailers to satisfy shoppers’ everyday needs.
Neighborhood Guide: Lechmere Square
Although still accessible, the Square is currently undergoing renovations that will include a year-round farmer’s and public market.
Neighborhood Guide: Inman Square
- Inman Square, unlike the other squares mentioned, is off the beaten path. A 15-minute walk from Central Square, it has several local shops and restaurants, many of which have Portuguese and Brazilian influences.
- Fun fact: The first Legal Sea Foods restaurant began here as a fish factory in 1950.
Neighborhood Guide: Kendall Square
Kendall Square, also nicknamed “Technology Square,” is home to office spaces, laboratories, and several retail and restaurant spaces.
Known for being green, residents in the Square have access to Zip Cars to reduce their carbon footprints. In the summer Kendall Square is known for its free concerts.
Neighborhood Guide: Cambridgeport
Cambridgeport is home mostly to residences. It is bordered by Massachusetts Avenue (affectionately called “Mass Ave”), the Charles River, the Grand Junction Railroad, and River Street. Cambridgeport is also the birthplace of the Fig Newton (named after Newton, MA). Yummy!
Neighborhood Guide: North & East Cambridge
North Cambridge is bordered by Porter Square, the Fitchburg Line, Somerville, Alewife Brook, Belmont, and Arlington.
This diverse area is home to many interesting railroads, churches such as St. John’s Roman Catholic Church, and Watson’s Corner.
East Cambridge houses the Charles River, many parts of MIT, the CambridgeSide Galleria shopping mall and center, and Lechmere Square. It is sprawling with activity! East Cambridge was used in the Revolutionary War as the landing point for British troops into the Battles of Lexington and Concord.