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A Bike Path to Dinner: Arlington

With a Tufts Bike, why not check out somewhere off campus that is also off the T line, different from your regular routes and apart from the usual hangouts? Many readers have probably heard of Somerville’s and Cambridge’s neighbor, Arlington, but if you have never headed in that direction, it may be worth a detour. With parks, a charming town square, the Capitol Theatre, and of course, destination-worthy eateries, Arlington offers a new scene of things to do just a short bike ride down the street from Tufts.

Before going off the beaten path, though, there is the perfect path for bikers to enjoy, the Minuteman Bikepath. Less than a mile down Massachusetts Avenue from Porter Square is the entrance to Linear Path, which leads bicyclists to Alewife T Station, and from there, the path will take you 10.5 miles through Arlington, Lexington, and Bedford. This ride can be a full-day affair for some, so refueling will be a must. Since the Minuteman runs virtually parallel along Mass Ave up until around the Lexington Battle Green area, popular restaurants on this highly trafficked road would make for convenient pit stops. Here are three Arlington places that you will leave happy and ready to pedal your way home or further down the trail.

The Chilly Cow

Located in the heart of Arlington Center, the Chilly Cow isn’t the typical ice cream parlor. This cozy neighborhood shop will pick up any mood with its vibrantly colored walls and, most importantly, with its homemade frozen custard specialties.  You can’t go wrong with most flavors of this rich, creamy custard, such as red raspberry chip, strawberry, and Chilly Tracks. Plus the old-fashioned ice cream is every chilly bite delicious. Be prepared: portions are enormous, and the assorted topping bar is irresistibly tempting. But when you’re biking leisurely, this is a perfect springtime cool-down.

451 Massachusetts Ave
Arlington, MA 02474

Little Q Hot Pot and Szechuan House

Little Q, located a few doors down from the Capitol movie theater, emanates a wafting aroma of tasty spices the moment you walk in the door. This sit-down restaurant specializes in Mongolian hot pot, so each table has a burner to cook your own food in a boiling pot of flavorful broth. The overwhelming menu enumerates many kinds of meats and poultry, sliced into skinny slivers for rapid cooking, as well as seafoods, noodles, and about thirty vegetable options. For an intensely spicy broth, try Mala, and vegetarians can opt for the Mongolian Veggie (just be sure to request vegetarian preparation). Little Q also offers made-to-order Chinese and Mongolian entrees, but you’re missing out if you order these. Come here for the hot-pot and for hands-down the best fried rice any restaurant could offer. Light, moist, tasty and enhanced by generous chunks of freshly-cut vegetables, this rice will make you smile. And so will the attentive, friendly staff. Honestely a must-visit.

196 Mass Ave 
Arlington, MA 02474

Of the three places, this is the closest to campus (by a few storefronts). Kathmandu Spice presents a warm, homey environment where reliably enjoyable, authentic Nepalese cuisine is served. With similar spices to Indian cuisine but in general lighter sauces and more delicate flavors, food from Nepal will satisfy but not overladen your stomach before hopping back on a bike. The specialties on the menu include traditional chicken momos, tangy eggplant, and aloo tama. The winning appetizer is golden gobi, balls made of cauliflower, onions, and garlic and served with a spicy tomato sauce for added intensity. The desserts here are fresh, but the optimal dessert choice is down the street!

166 Massachusetts Ave.
Arlington, MA 02476

Kathmandu Spice

Of the three places, this is the closest to campus (by a few storefronts). Kathmandu Spice presents a warm, homey environment where reliably enjoyable, authentic Nepalese cuisine is served. With similar spices to Indian cuisine but in general lighter sauces and more delicate flavors, food from Nepal will satisfy but not overladen your stomach before hopping back on a bike. The specialties on the menu include traditional chicken momos, tangy eggplant, and aloo tama. The winning appetizer is golden gobi, balls made of cauliflower, onions, and garlic and served with a spicy tomato sauce for added intensity. The desserts here are fresh, but the optimal dessert choice is down the street!

166 Massachusetts Ave.
Arlington, MA 02476

There’s even more to enjoy on this bike detour: Mass Ave also features Pasha Café for Turkish cuisine, Krazy Karry’s for burgers, and Za for gourmet pizzas with local farm ingredients. Though taking the Minuteman all the way is always a good time, going on a bike exploration of this neighboring town will definitely be a pleasant ride, with revitalizing stops along the way.

Jenny White



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