IDIOT’S GUIDE: Bakeries Near Tufts
There comes a time when every Tufts student recognizes that the campus has everything one needs to survive. And this is more likely to happen when wind chills get nasty and the frost begins to bite. One asks, “Am I silly to search for food beyond this hill that is Tufts when I have 9 diverse & convenient on-campus dining locations?”, or “Aren’t endless plates of frosted eclairs/vegan craisin nut bars/zucchini bread/purple cupcakes the epitome of diner’s delight?” Sometimes, the answer to both is No. Because the tongue wants what the tongue wants, and sometimes, it just needs an off-campus bakery to ease the responsibility that Hodgdon/Carmichael/Dewick has, regarding your satiety.
1. La Ronga Bakery, 599 Somerville Avenue
If this bakery seems familiar, it’s because you’ve been grabbing slices of their scali/multi-grain/white/wheat/marble/etc. bread in Tufts’ dining halls. La Ronga has been operating from its current location since it first opened in 1969, selling sandwiches, pizza, and assorted dessert (think: sheet cakes & pies). It’s decor is consciously unfancy, but the smell of freshly baked bread would lure you in. The occasional yelp review reveals that their sandwiches are nothing to make a trip for, but that might be because La Ronga’s focus is more on its catering and distribution business.
2. Petsi Pies, 285 Beacon Street
Get your pies at Petsi Pies! A self-declared “indie bakery”, Petsi Pies is one of the younger bakeries near Tufts. It even has its own Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook accounts, so the fun doesn’t end even after you leave 285 Beacon Street. It’s best known for its pies —savory and sweet— but you probably already knew from the get go. For those who don’t dig pies of any stripe, Petsi Pies also sells cupcakes, cookies, and croissants.
3. Lyndell’s, 720 Broadway
Lyndell’s is right off Powder House Square, going strong for 127 years and counting. It’s website wants you to know it’s one of the oldest “scratch” bakeries in USA (that is, a bakery which makes its goods from scratch), and that it is “one of the area’s greatest institutions”. And sure, they all say that, but online reviews would actually agree, especially regarding Lyndell’s custom cakes and sweet cupcakes. Like several of the featured bakeries here, they also sell pastries, pies, baked goods and breads. If you’re there, get the half-moons, their specialty cookie.
4. When Pigs Fly, 378 Highland Avenue
If you want more bread made from scratch, When Pigs Fly is the place for you. They have a lot of bread that you can buy in-store, or order online. Classic Breads include Pumpernickel, Rye, Oat & Honey, and Cinnamon Raisin. Artisan Breads include Lemon Rosemary, Potato, Roasted Garlic & Onion, Chocolate, and Mango, Pineapple, and Raisin with Toasted Sesame & Ginger. And in case you wanted the world to know you love their stuff, they have shirts and caps for the hardcore fan, with its pink flying pig, proudly in search of loftier heights and more bakery locations across New England.
5. Kickass Cupcakes, 378 Highland Avenue
Another reason to explore this side of Davis Square is Kickass Cupcakes, which is right next to When Pigs Fly. It already stands out with its wacky cupcake flavors, but what’s also special is how Kickass refuses to be a staid cupcakery with inventions like deep-fried cupcakes and pupcakes/kittycakes (not for you, unless you’re canine/feline). Find out what “cocktail cupcake happy hour” means at Kickass, every last Monday of the month. They also have a cupcake truck so the rest of Boston can indulge.
6. Arthur’s Pastry, 382 Main Street, and Patsy’s Pastry Shop, 182 Broadway
Both are Italian Pastry shops with classic offerings, both have 4.5 stars on Yelp, and both are “better than Mike’s in North End”, according to gushing Yelpers). Patsy’s pride appears to be its luscious cakes, and Arthur’s, its Italian pastries (e.g. lobster tails, fruit squares, cannolis). While Arthur’s is a lot nearer to Tufts, you could do both in a day, and use the 1.6-mile walk to Patsy’s to recharge your tummy.
7. La Cascia, 418 Main Street
If you’re with a buddy who’s without a sweet tooth, never fear! La Cascia is a deli and a bakery, and it fulfills these two roles equally deliciously. Lots of people love their steak tip sub, as well as their traditional Italian pastries (e sì, La Cascia is also Italian). Get some affordable coffee, stay and chat over a whoopie pie. And before you leave, check out the freezer in case their selection of pasta ingredients is just what you need.
8. Danish Pastry House, 330 Boston Avenue
Finally, DPH is so close by, it nearly needs no introduction. Even if you didn’t know about their Danish staff and imported European ingredients, the posters of Copenhagen and porcelain windmill clocks would let you know that they are authentic. It has plenty of seating areas for you to enjoy their nutella lattes, sweet and savory crepes, cake slices, sandwiches, home-baked breads, and delicious Danish pastries.
So, if ever there be a day where you just need to wander out, you know there are bakeries near Tufts that will always welcome you.
– Min Yi Tan
Cover photo source.