Junior family weekend: a time to catch up with your folks, collectively gasp at the fact that you're almost a senior, and show off your sophisticated Boston palate. There's no better time to check off some of your bucket list's top Cambridge restaurants, and we're here to help you make a game plan. From casual cafes to fancy eateries, all of these restaurants are nearby and easy to access. You'll be wishing that family weekend was every weekend.

Steps from the square:


Shelby Yuan

This Italian restaurant is just minutes away from Harvard Square. Its menu combines elegant dining with rustic Italian cuisine, comparable with Boston's best. Be sure to try the ‘bagna cauda,’ local veggies with warm anchovy dipping sauce, or some delicate house-made pasta.

Flour Bakery and Cafe

Pastries and sandwiches and desserts, oh my! This renowned bakery and cafe, opened by a Harvard grad, boasts some of the best pastries in the country. From their infamous sticky buns to their perfect coffee drinks, you'll want to try everything that comes out of their magic kitchen. 

Fancy Shmancy:

Oak + Rowan

Venture down the Red line into Boston for this upscale restaurant. The food is not only gorgeous, but full of creativity and impeccable flavors. Also impress your parents with their wine and cocktails menu. And make sure to leave room for dessert — you cannot miss out on the best dessert in Boston.


This innovative, pug-themed restaurant is a blend of Japanese and Spanish cuisine with out-of-this-world small plates. With your parents, more people means more tapas, right? Don't leave without trying some of their delicious, and photogenic baos.

Veg Out:

Veggie Galaxy

Whether you and your family are carnivores or veggie-lovers, this classic diner will blow your socks off. Everything is vegetarian and can be made vegan, including their impressive array of diner desserts. Try some pulled pork jackfruit or a crazy-good piece of cheesecake with those good old-fashioned, diner vibes.

True Bistro

Another plant-based gem sure to impress any palate. This small restaurant is tucked away nearby in Somerville, but it definitely gives the big city bistros a run for their money. Amazing desserts, dinner, and even brunch, are all almost too pretty to eat. Almost.

Brunch Brunch Brunch


New England seafood is a must-try, so why not combine it with brunch? Waypoint's brunch menu is insanely creative, filled with the freshest seafood, and bold flavors. From high-end caviar service to chicken fried oysters and waffles, this takes brunch to a whole new level.

Cafe Luna

Weekday breakfast or weekend brunch, Cafe Luna is the right way to start off your day. This Cambridge classic recently moved into a bigger location right in Central Square, because their lines were literally out the door all the time. Show your parents how sweet your love is for them with some of these double thick Belgian waffles, or have it all with a sample brunch special.

Sweet treats:

Union Square Donuts

They've been named Boston's best donuts so many times, we've lost count. From classic vanilla bean, to maple bacon, vegan orange mango, or sea salted bourbon caramel, these donuts are basically sufficient reason to go to school in the area. Even if it's on the way to the airport, make sure you show your folks these pieces of fried magic.


Nestled between Harvard and MIT is one of America's best ice cream shops. Among Toscanini's never-ending list of accolades is the New York Times' title of the "world's best ice cream." From niche New England favorites like Grapenuts, to new cultural experiences like Khulfee and saffron, you'll want to try every single flavor. It's never too cold for ice cream, right?

These Cambridge restaurants will guarantee that you and your family have an unforgettable meal and an amazing weekend. Take your family to one (or several) of these places, and show off the cultural culinary connoisseur into which college has transformed you.