Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Boston Neighborhoods: Brookline

Brookline is not a Boston neighborhood, but a town on its own. But, at least to me, the fact that it is surrounded by Boston, makes it feel like it's part of it. Today's post is by my friend Molly, from Wicked Cheap.

I've lived in Brookline since 2010, when I moved to an adorable street in Brookline Village (pro tip: if you have kids, take them to Brook Street on Halloween). I now live near Cleveland Circle (on a less adorable street, without all the Halloween festivities, but still nice.)

Since I'm kind of a homebody, most of my favorite places are within a few blocks of my apartment. Luckily, there's plenty to do here!

what to see
Knight Moves opened late last year on Beacon St and is the first board game cafe in the area. Stop by here to play some games, have a cup of coffee or just say hey to the owner, Devon, and his wife, Nessa, who are both SUPER nice people. Check out my blog post about the cafe to find out more.

Clayroom has been one of my favorite places in Brookline for years now. My fiance and I have spent many evenings there painting pottery - we even hosted a birthday party there. Pottery painting is fun for all ages and abilities, and the folks at Clayroom are very helpful to get you started.

Coolidge Corner Theater is an independent movie theater that has been in operation since 1933. This is my favorite theater for a few reasons - the art deco interior and the popcorn. They show art house and independent movies, as well as classics, midnight movies, and "science on screen" lectures.

where to eat
Barcelona is the hip new place around here and it deserves all the hype. The menu of tapas (small plates) changes fairly regularly but they always have my favorites - fuet (dried sausage) and hangar steak with truffle vinaigrette. What makes Barcelona stand out, to me, is the service. The waitstaff are super helpful and friendly. I have a few food allergies and they're all knowledgeable about the menu and cooking process (and there's also a LOT I can have! Bonus points!)

Anna's Taqueria has locations throughout Boston and Cambridge now but it started here in Brookline at their Beacon St location. These burritos got me through college. They're just the best.

Kookoo Cafe is so "unplugged" they don't even have the a website. And for a coffee place, I like that. There's no wifi, but the space is so cozy you won't want to open your laptop while you're there. It's a perfect place to meet a friend to catch up. Ever have a cup of coffee so good you want to swim in it? That's every cup of their house blend.

Otto is an import from Portland, ME that's found a fantastic home in Coolidge Corner. They offer the usual cheese and pepperoni pizza, which is fine. But where they really shine is with all the interesting combos you can get. My personal favorite - pulled pork and mango. Sounds strange but just trust me on this one. It's ridiculously good. They also offer a decent gluten free crust.

where to shop
I'll admit, I'm not much of a shopper. But for those of you who are, there are so many small independent shops in Brookline (especially in the Village or Coolidge Corner areas).

Brookline Booksmith is a must-visit independent bookstore that has been open since 1961. Be sure to check out the large selection of used books in the basement, and the calendar of Writers And Readers events.

Eureka is a store jam-packed with board and card games, jigsaw puzzles, mechanical puzzles and books. The best part about Eureka is that the people working there know their stuff. Whatever type of "gamer" you are, you'll walk out with something you'll love.


Thank you so much for sharing these tips, Molly! I love Brookline and its adorable little pockets of shops and restaurants!

For addresses and working hours, click on the names of restaurants and shops and check back soon for more insider's tips of Boston neighborhoods!

images: 1, 2, 3


  1. I love brookline and I loveeee otto! My favorite pizza joint ever.


  2. CC Theater is a classic spot! Been there a few times for movies.