Side Streets: Mass Ave

By Ingrid Adamow • October 30, 2011 at 11:56 pm


“Side Streets” is a partnership between The Quad and BU Now, in which Quad writers will profile things to see and do along different streets that intersect Commonwealth Avenue. This week’s street of choice, Massachusetts Avenue is otherwise affectionately referred to as “Mass Ave” by Bostonians. Mass Ave is 16 miles of history and culture. The street runs from Dorchester to Lunenberg. On a journey down Mass Ave, you’ll encounter bars, restaurants, historic landmarks, shops, and even colleges.

Should you find yourself in far eastern BU territory, make moves to Mass Ave and stop in any of the following highlights of the legendary street.

Sweet Cupcakes, at 49 Mass Ave, could not be more appropriately titled. The bakery is small and intimate. Its décor is simple and cute. The cupcakes are sugar-laden and heavenly. Sweet’s flavors vary seasonally. For fall, the shop features apple or pumpkin pie, s’more, and caramel apple among others. It’s the perfect spot to stop and pick up something sweet for a friends’ birthday or a post-midterm indulgence.

Although it’s not actually on the street, Pavement Coffeehouse is located at 1096 Boylston, which runs perpendicular to Mass Ave. Pavement is in the same family of coffee shops as Commonwealth Avenue’s Espresso Royale, and Allston’s Bagel Rising. Since it’s right on the Berklee Campus, you’ll find it packed with college kids at all times. They specialize in single roast coffee, and the bagels are to die for (try them with tofu spread!). It’s a really excellent study spot, with bright lighting and plenty of cozy seating. While it may not be the season for it anymore, set up camp on their outdoor patio in warmer weather.

Dorothy’s Boutique, located at 190 Mass Ave, is an eccentric costume boutique. The shop has been bustling and busy this Halloween season for its wide variety of wigs, shoes, hats, and gags items. Visit the shop if you’re looking for last-minute accouterments for that trashy, themed frat party.

Boston’s Symphony Hall stands at 301 Mass Ave. The historic landmark, built in 1900, is home to the famed Boston Pops. The Hall offers a BSO College Card. Pay a one-time fee of $25 and attend concerts and performances for no additional charge.

These are only a small sampling of the spots you’ll uncover on the legendary street. Others include Wally’s Jazz Cafe, Professional Arts Consortium, the Christian Science Center, and Horticultural Hall. Pull on your most comfortable boots and uncover your own favorite Mass Ave gems.


Ingrid Adamow (COM '14) is Editor-in-Chief and also a writer for The Quad. Ingrid is an advertising major and enjoys reading, writing, good music, fashion, coffee, and adventures around the city of Boston. But mostly coffee.



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