Eateries & Markets

Union Square’s diverse restaurants offer something to please everyone’s palate —from volcano sushi rolls and bibimbap (Korean dish) to feijoada (Portuguese dish popular in Brazil) and spring pea soup with pancetta and piave. Primarily, Nibble is focused on the local flavors of numerous independent immigrant-owned businesses, which bring rich culture and diversity to the local food landscape. However, this listing includes all food establishments. We hope by scrolling through this list, you’ll be inspired to eat your way through the square.

Barbecue International

Bow Street | 617.623.9068 | barbequeinternational.com/
Owners: Hapreet Sigh, North India
Description: Barbecue International occupied the former Jimbo’s Famous Roast Beef & Sea Food. It is a self-proclaimed Mecca for barbecue pleasure. Here, you will find anything from buffalo wings and baby back ribs, to shawarma and house-made Indian flatbreads. The chef has recommended: the goat curry, parantha, paneer masala or dal tadka!

Bloc 11 Café

11 Bow Street | 617.623.0000 | bloc11.com
Owners: Tucker Lewis & Jennifer Park, United States
Description: It was love at first sight for owners Tucker Lewis and Jennifer Park, who took one look at a former bank building on Bow Street and saw the potential for a lively, community-oriented café to take root in Union Square. Now a bustling eco-friendly establishment, Bloc 11 serves a variety of coffee beverages plus several kinds of black, green, white and herbal teas. In addition to breakfast items like oatmeal, pastries and seasonal fruit parfaits, Bloc 11 also has a creative selection of soups and salads, and sandwiches.You can enjoy your meal in the old bank vault, now a cozy dining area, or outside on the comfortable patio.

Brass Union

70 Union Sq. | 617.623.9211 | www.brassunion.com
Owner: Ken Kelly, Dublin, Ireland
Description: Brass Union is an eatery and lounge tavern located in the heart of Union Square, where you can enjoy not only diverse cocktails, but also live DJ and games. The menu feature American-style plates including roasted chicken breast, lobster pappardelle, steak tartare, and grilled pork loin sandwich. (photo: Elyse Andrews, Somerville Beat)

Bronwyn

255 Washington Street | 617.776.9900 | www.bronwyn.com
Owner: Bronwyn Wiechmann, Germany
Description: Bronwyn features the cuisine of Germany and greater Central and Eastern Europe. Chef Tim Wiechmann draws on his cultural heritage to create hand-crafted sausages, schnitzels, traditional noodles and specialties such as Riesling sauerkraut and giant pretzels. An extensive list of bier and regional wein has been curated to enhance the cuisine. The chef’s wife, Bronwyn, is the restaurant’s namesake. The interior of Bronwyn embodies the rusticity of a European tavern and is adorned with the handcrafted treasures of the Chef’s travels and his family’s heirlooms.

Buk Kyung Korean Restaurant

9A Union Sq. | 617.623.7220 | www.bukkyungrestaurant.com
Owner: Kyung Suk Lee, Seoul, South Korea
Description: Opened by Kyung Suk Lee and her husband in 1998, Buk Kyung offers a menu of over 70 Korean dishes. Traditional menu items include Bulgogi, a savory dish of marinated beef stir-fried with mushrooms, onions and scallions served with rice; Kimchee, a spicy pickled cabbage dish; and Bibimbap, a meal of rice mixed with vegetables, beef and sweet and spicy ko chu jang sauce. Specialties popular in southern Korea include Jajangmyun, a Chinese-influenced dish of rice noodles with pork, onion, potatoes and zucchini in a sweet black bean sauce. Many menu items are served family style, and scissors are included as a serving utensil for the purpose of taming the long noodles served with many meals.

Bull McCabe’s Pub

366A Somerville Avenue | 617.440.6045 | www.bullmccabesboston.com
Owners:  Brian Manning and family, Ireland
Description: A family-owned pub open since 2008, Bull McCabe’s produces homemade food in a tiny kitchen and offers an extensive beer list including local and international favorites. Burgers are served with a choice of six cheeses and a wide range of toppings. The menu also goes beyond traditional pub fare, with entrees like Filet Mignon. Owner Brian Manning, an area native of Irish heritage, likes pairing great food with great beer. With space at a premium, the options on tap are limited to 10, but Manning stocks 60 varieties of bottled beer. Bull McCabe’s also offers a vibrant local music scene. The pub is known for evenings such as Dub Apocalypse on Sundays and Dub Down on Thursdays and frequently features popular local bands.

Cantina La Mexicana

247 Washington St. | 617.776.5232 | www.cantinalamexicana.com
Owners: Roberto & Carolina Rendon, Mexico
Description: Owners Roberto and Carolina Rendon opened Cantina La Mexicana as a counter-service taqueria over a decade ago and transformed it into a sit-down restaurant with a bright and welcoming interior and an extensive food and cocktail menu. The lineup includes longstanding favorites like the Burro, a burrito of epic proportions; tacos filled with rice, beans and your choice of pork, beef or potato and chorizo. Enchiladas Potosinas, prepared in the style of Carolina Rendon’s hometown, San Luis Potosi, Mexico, consist of two corn tortillas rolled with your choice of filling and topped with melted cheese and red or green tomatillo sauce. Cantina La Mexicana houses a bar adorned with a wide variety of tequilas and serves nearly a dozen different margaritas, including spicy jalapeño. Cantina La Mexicana also features live music on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. —Raleigh Strott

Casa B

253 Washington St. | 617.623.9710 | www.casabrestaurant.com
Owner: Alberto Cabré (San Juan, Puerto Rico) & Angelina Jockovich (Barranquilla, Colombia)
Description: Casa B is the brainchild of husband-and-wife team and licensed architects Angelina Jockovitch and Alberto Cabré. The restaurant combines the couple’s academic and cultural backgrounds into a place where customers can enjoy the “clean lines” of the architecture that Jockovich says recreates her favorite elements of the Caribbean. Casa B has two floors: a cozy space on top where guests can enjoy a snack or casual meal with friends, and a more formal dining room downstairs. The restaurant serves small plates that represent a unique combination of Latin American and Caribbean cuisines, including Carne Mechada, a Puerto Rican pot roast stuffed with porcini mushrooms and topped with yucca gnocchi and a red wine sauce, and the Sandwich de Bistec with crispy shallots and beef tenderloin

Dosa-n-Curry

447 Somerville Ave. | 617.764.3152 | www.dosa-n-curry.com
Owner: Prabhjot Kaur, India
Description: Sukhjinder Singh, Dosa-n-Curry chef and partner, has compiled a menu that features a wide variety of exclusively vegetarian North and South Indian and Indo-Chinese cuisine. The restaurant is known in particular for its dosa, savory crepes made of rice flour, semolina, and lentils, filled with spicy sauces including potato and curry leaf-spiced onion masala; onion, tomato and paneer; and more. Dosa-n-Curry also makes pizza-like rice and lentil upthappam; two dozen different curries; house-baked naan, khulcha, roti, and more. It offers gluten-free and vegan options upon request.

Ebi Sushi

290 Somerville Ave | 617.764.5556 | www.ebisushi.com
Owner: Jose Garcia, Puerto Barrios, Guatemala
Description: Owner, Jose Garcia, moved to the US from Guatemala in 2000, and has been in the sushi business ever since. Garcia says, “the first time I saw it, I knew it was what I wanted to do.” Located in a small, nondescript space along Somerville Avenue, the restaurant features an extensive sushi menu, including the Spider Roll, with softshell crab and cucumber, and a vegetable roll with sweet potato tempura, cucumber, avocado, eel sauce and spicy mayo. Ebi also serves a variety of main dishes ranging from Sashimi Squid to Mackerel Filet to Ginger Pork. These entrées are complemented by small plates including tempura, noodle soups and curry rice dishes, which are an adaptation of the Indian favorite and considered a national dish in Japan. (photo: Ebi Sushi Facebook page)

El Potro Mexican Grill Restaurant

61 Union Square |617.666.4200 | www.elpotromexicangrill.com
Owner: Elias Interiano, El Salvador
Description: With its bright, bold sign, El Potro, located right off the plaza in Union Square, is hard to miss. Inside, you will find vibrant walls adorned with sombreros and portraits of Mexican movie stars, hand-painted chairs depicting evocative desert scenes and, if you’re there on a weekend, live mariachi music by Mariachi Estampa de America. The restaurant’s founder, Elias Interiano, hails from El Salvador, and you can spot his country’s influence in menu items such as the pupusas. These traditional Salvadoran tortillas work as an appetizer or a side dish, stuffed with cheese and either beans or loroco, a plant whose flowers are used extensively in Salvadoran cuisine. Tex-Mex dishes are available as well: nachos, quesadillas, enchiladas, fajitas, tacos and burritos, plus desserts like flan and fried ice cream. El Potro also offers full bar service. The restaurant is open for breakfast too, offering items such as Desayuno Ranchero, eggs scrambled with tomatoes and onions, served with a slice of plantain.

Fortissimo Café

365 Somerville Ave.| 617.776.1880 | www.facebook.com/FortissimoCoffeehouse
Owner: Vinny Soares, Brazil
Description: Vinny Soares opened Fortissimo in April 2012 in the space previously occupied by his parents’ Brazilian bakery. Soares has kept many Brazilian baked goods on the menu, including corn cakes and Pão de Quiejo (Brazilian cheese bread), though he lets baker Toni Duarte use his creativity to come up with different items daily. This coffee shop also has a substantial sandwich menu including the Uncle Toni, a panini with chipotle turkey, chipotle gouda, onion, tomato, romaine, red and yellow peppers and guava cream cheese. Soares, a drummer, brings music into the café in more than just its name—he keeps a working record player in one corner and encourages customers to bring and play their own records.—Shannon Cain Arnold (photo: Chris Orchard, Somerville Patch)

The Independent

75 Union Sq. | 617.440.6022 | www.theindo.com
Owner: Ken Kelly, Dublin, Ireland
Description: The relaxed, casual atmosphere makes the Independent a regular haunt for Union Square foodies and beer fanatics. One side is a cozy bar; the other a spacious restaurant. The Independent’s creative yet familiar menu includes appetizers like mussels cooked in a variety of styles, depending on the season, and bacon-sprinkled deviled eggs. Entrees change seasonally but you can always find a grass-fed burger from Hanson and Roberts Farm; chicken from Seven Acre Farms and a daily special of locally caught, sustainable seafood. The bar boasts 32 draft beers and over 60 bottles, with most on a seasonal rotation alongside Belgian classics such as Duvel and local favorites like Pretty Things. The bar also has a creative cocktail list and a small collection of organically produced wines from sustainable vineyards. If you’re looking for nightlife, The Independent features local DJs, including a ’60s Soul Night every Friday.

India Palace

23 Union Sq. | 617.666.9770 | www.indiapalaceinsomerville.com
Owner: Gurdev Singh, India
Description: India Palace offers a wide variety of dishes from Northern India at affordable prices. One of the most popular choices is the Chicken Tikka Masala, cooked in a rich, creamy sauce with tomato and coriander. Another favorite is Chicken Korma, cooked with nuts, raisins and a mix of herbs and spices in a creamy sauce. For lighter fare, try the Jalfrezi: your choice of chicken, lamb, or shrimp with fresh tomato, a mix of vegetables and Indian spices. There are also many vegetarian options available, including Palak Paneer, fresh spinach with homemade cheese and coriander; Malai Kofta, vegetable balls cooked in a creamy sauce; and Aloo Gobi, potatoes and cauliflower cooked with tomatoes, onions, herbs and spices. India Palace also serves freshly baked breads, tandoori specialties, rice dishes and tempting desserts. All of the dishes can be cooked to your preferred level of spiciness, from mild to very hot. India Palace also offers a daily all-you-can-eat lunch buffet featuring a selection of appetizers, entrees and desserts for $7.95.

Juice Union

23 Bow Street | www.thejuiceunion.com
Owner: Diana Krefetz, United States
Description: 100% vegan, the Juice Union was created by local residents eager to offer a fresh and delicious option to the diverse culinary culture of Union Square. They offer a variety of fruits and vegetables blended in a delicious and creative way. The options include juice made to order from fresh fruits and vegetables; smoothie; and b’nice cream bowls, which are bananas whipped and transformed to a texture reminiscent of soft-serve ice cream. (photo: Juice Union Facebook page)

Juliet

257 Washington St. | www.julietsomerville.com
Owner: Joshua Lewin & Katrina Jazayeri, United States
Description: Here you can be comfortable stopping in on your morning commute, taking a cup of the hand selected coffee or house made tea to go, along with a commuter friendly menu choice, such as coffee or tea + two breakfast tacos for $8.00. If you want to have your meal there, you could enjoy it around their open kitchen counter seating. The options include charcuterie, soup, salads, and sandwiches. Juliet serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and has been featured in Boston Magazine, Bon Appetit, and the Boston Globe.

Machu Picchu Restaurant Turístico

307 Somerville Ave | 617.628.7070 | www.machupicchuboston.com
Owner: Rosy Cerna, Lima, Peru
Description: At Macchu Picchu, owner Rosy Cerna shares the distinctive flavors and rich culinary heritage of her native Peru with Union Square. On Friday nights you can hear a traditional Andean band while sipping on a Pisco Sour and enjoying the Peruvian national dish, ceviche, in a dining room filled with authentic decor. Ever since moving to Somerville from Lima, Cerna has been creating traditional dishes that span the three different regions of her native country: coast, mountains and jungle. Taste Peruvian corn served with queso fresco, a classic food of the Andes; or Causa Limena, a famous coastal dish whose name means “sustenance of life” in Spanish. Or nibble on some fried yucca, a jungle favorite. With incredible geographic and cultural diversity within its borders, Peru offers a wide variety of cuisines, many of which can be found at Machu Picchu.

Machu Picchu Charcoal Chicken and Grill

25 Union Sq | 617.623.7972 | www.machuchicken.com
Owner: Rosy Cerna, Lima, Peru
Description: Machu Picchu owner Rosy Cerna says that restaurants that serve only chicken, called pollerias, are common in Peru. Machu Picchu Chicken marinates its chicken in a mix that includes Peruvian beer and rosemary for up to twenty-four hours and serves it with a choice of two insanely good sauces—a green one made with jalapeño and the Andean herb huacatay, and a yellow huancaína sauce flavored with Peru’s most famous chili: aji amarillo. This restaurant also serves Andean Chicken salad made with Peruvian quinoa and Anticuchos Peruanos, beef hearts that come sliced and on skewers. For dessert, Machu Picchu Chicken offers Peruvian Flan, which is a little browner than traditional flan and sits in a pool of caramelized sugar.

Momo n Curry

431 Somerville Ave | 617-764-1563| www.momoncurry.com
Owner:
Description: Momo n Curry, a Nepalese and Indian restaurant, features a wide variety of traditional curry dishes and momos. A momo is a classic Nepali steamed dumpling filled with delicately spiced minced meat like chicken or buffalo. Many classic South Asian entrees served at Momo n Curry include chicken tikka masala, goat or lamb curry, and vegetable momos spinach & paneer cheese. Other vegetarian options available are panner masala with homemade Indian cheese or aloo gobhi with cauliflower.

Neighborhood Restaurant and Bakery

25 Bow Street | 617.623.9710 | www.theneighborhoodrestaurant.com
Owner: Sheila Borges Foley, Newark, NJ
Description: The Neighborhood Restaurant and Bakery originally opened its doors as a storefront selling baked treats in 1983. Almost 30 years later this family-run business still thrives, serving traditional Portuguese recipes that have followed the Borges family from Portugal to New Jersey and now to Union Square. The Neighborhood’s unique family recipes include homemade jelly, syrups, Portuguese sweet breads, wines, soups and sauces. At breakfast, make sure to order the Papage, a Portuguese cereal similar to Cream of Wheat made with a closely guarded family recipe. For lunch, treat yourself to one of the homemade soups. In the later hours of the day, you can sit in the shade of the patio and drink homemade wine made from the grapes hanging over your head while enjoying one of Sheila Borges Foley’s seafood or linguica plates. Try Bacalhau Assado na Braza a Cacador, barbecued codfish; Carne de Porco Alentejana, pork and clams in red wine ; or dive into a Portuguese favorite,Linguica with Fava Beans.

Sally O’Briens

335 Somerville Ave. | 617.666.3589 | www.sallyobriensbar.com
Owner: Liam Mannion, Galway, Ireland
Description: Sally O’s is a large restaurant and bar on Somerville Avenue that serves classic Irish, Mexican, Italian and American food. Known for its burgers—eight-ounce patties served on a toasted bun with a variety of toppings to choose from—the restaurant also offers seasonal specials. Shepherd’s Pie and Beef Stew are winter favorites; fish specials and salads are popular in the summer. Sally O’s is also well known for its live music, which attracts diverse crowds five nights a week. Local bands hit the stage every night except Monday, when the crowd is invited to step up for a comedy open mike, and Wednesday, which is free poker night.

Siam Ginger Thai Cuisine

22 Bow Street | 617.625.5015 | www.sweetgingerunionsq.com
Owner:  Rungnapa Otero and Patchara Thavornkas, Thailand
Description: Siam Ginger serves up both traditional Thai favorites and familiar dishes with a twist. The restaurant makes good on its name, blending sweet and spicy foods. The popular Crab Rangoon, for example, made with crabmeat and cream cheese wrapped in a wonton skin, gets a twist with added curry powder and onion to give the dish more bite. Fans of spice will enjoy fiery dishes like the Drunken Chicken sautéed with vegetables in a Thai chili paste or the Pad Kra-Pow, a Thai-style stir-fry with red and green peppers in a spicy sauce. The menu also features a wide selection of seafood, including the Tilapia Fillet with Mango Salsa and Spicy Squid served with vegetables and a Thai chili sauce. For dessert, try some of Sweet Ginger’s signature coconut ice cream.

Tasting Counter

14 Tyler St. Somerville | 617.299.6362 | www.tastingcounter.com
Owner: Peter Ungar, Fort Worth, Texas
Description: Tasting Counter only offers a multi-course tasting menu, a seasonally evolving “taste encounter.” In place of reservations, you may purchase tickets via their website, which includes: food, beverage, tax, and service. Their tasting menu offers you a unique dining experience, showcasing dishes created from seasonal ingredients paired with all-natural beverages.

Thunder Road

379 Somerville Ave |617-776-7623 | www.thunderroadclub.com
Owner:
Description: Thunder Road is Somerville’s newest live music club and restaurant. The kitchen features a full menu of great selections curated by Chef Mauger, with a little something for everyone, including gluten free and vegetarian options.

Yuki Shabu

16 Bow Street |617-776-7623
Owner: Queenin and Joe Lam, Hong Kong
Description: Offering a variety of vegetables, chicken, beef, pork, seafood, noodle soup, and hot pot varieties, Yuki Shabu has your next Chinese food craving ready and waiting for you. You can sit down to eat either at the food bar in front or in the back part of the restaurant to enjoy the full hotpot experience. Choose between spicy, savory, and mild soup flavors to pair with the platters of ingredients which are cooked in the broth tableside before being eaten. They have platters of vegetables, seafood, tofu and noodles. The thinly sliced meats are the most popular.

There is too much food in Union Square to cover it all! In addition to the venues profiled here, you can find the following restaurants or beverage & food-related establishments in the Square:

Aeronaut Brewing

14 Tyler St. | 617.987.4236 | www.aeronautbrewing.com

Aman Place

63 Union Sq. | (617) 776-7617 | http://aman-place.com/

Backbar

7 Sanborn Ct. | https://backbarunion.com/

Bantam Cider

40 Merriam St. | 617.299.8600 | www.bantamcider.com

Barismo

14 Tyler St. | www.barismo.com

Ceasar’s Pizza

401 Somerville Ave. | 617-776-9942

China Delight

524 Somerville Ave. | 617-623-6161 | chinadelightsomerville.com

Dunkin Donuts

282 Somerville Ave. | 617-623-9703 | www.dunkindonuts.com

Gracie’s Ice Cream

22 Union Square | 617-764-5294 | www.graciesicecre.am

Forklift Catering

5 Sanborn Ct. | 617-776-7600 | www.forkliftcatering.com

J & J Restaurant

157 Washington Street | 617-625-3978 | www.jandjrestaurant.com/

Mandarin Chinese Restaurant

7 Union Square | 617-776-8680

Mama Gina’s Pizza

19 Union Square | 617-625-0116 | www.mamaginaspizzasomerville.com

Nu Cafe

195 Washington Street | http://www.nucafe.com/

Pizza Palace

222 Somerville Avenue | 617-628-6464| www.pizzapalacesomerville.com

Red House Chinese Restaurant

24 Union Square | 617-666-4300

Slumbrew

15 Ward Street | 1.800.428.1150  | www.slumbrew.com

Something Gud

14 Tyler St. | www.somethinggud.com

Somerville Chocolate

14 Tyler St. | www.somervillechocolate.com

Subway Sub Shop

71 Union Square | 617-623-1144 | www.subway.com

Union Square Donuts

20 Bow St. | (617) 209-2257 | www.unionsquaredonuts.com

Union Square Pizza & Subs

63 Union Square | 617-666-8686 | www.unionsquare-pizza.com

Wings Over Somerville

519 Somerville Ave. | 617-666-9464

If you are a business owner and want to share more information about your food related establishment, please feel free to contact us. Send an email to Maria Martinez, her email is martinez.mmariafernanda@gmail.com.

Take a tour of Union Square Markets!

We offer walking tours of the international markets; click here for upcoming tours and check our market guides: English VersionSpanish VersionPortuguese Version

Capone Foods

14 Bow Street | 617.629.2296 | www.caponefoods.com
Owners: Al Capone & Jennifer Hegarty, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Most customers are:  Somervillians & restaurant buyers
What you’ll find: Fresh pasta, homemade sauces, prepared meals, desserts, cheeses.

In the back kitchen of Capone’s, a machine dubbed “the Extruder” pumps out anywhere between 200–300 pounds of fresh pasta per day. Over 20 specialty pastas are available, including such enticing flavors as saffron, wild mushroom, squid ink and Jennifer Hegarty’s favorite: rosemary and garlic. Pair any one of these pastas with Capone’s homemade sauces; ask for the pairing chart, which suggests delicious combos. Most of the recipes at Capone’s were handed down from Al Capone’s mother, Nina, or developed by Al himself. The store also stocks an impressive selection of olive oils and vinegars, as well as make-your-own cannoli kitsserve them at your next dinner party and pretend you made them from scratch.

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La Internacional Foods

318 Somerville Avenue | 617.776.1880
Hours: Mon – Sat, 8am-9pm; Sun, 9am-7pm
Owner: Nora & Byron Cabrera, Guatemala
Most customers hail from: Haiti and Central and South America
What you’ll find: Plantains, rice, spices, fish and produce from Costa Rica and Columbia
Don’t miss: Assortment of dried chiles including pasilla, ancho and guajillo, and the small plastic bags of djon djon mushrooms from Haiti.

Customers come from as far away as Waltham, Mattapan and Malden for La Internacional’s broad selection of Latin American and Haitian goodsand great prices. The store has so many Haitian customers that Nora Cabrera says her son Byron has learned Haitian Kreyol just from talking with the clientele! Nora estimates that they sell a thousand 10-pound bags of rice each week. Check out the selection of spices, which includes numerous varieties of chili powder, including chile mulato and chile poblano. This is also the place to go for authentic tortillas, queso fresco and crema, as well as Salvadoran products like flor de izote and loroco. As for Haitian items, you’ll find rare djon-djon mushrooms, yams, yucca and drinks like cornmeal-based Akasan.

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Little India

438 Somerville Ave. (by Market Basket) | 617.623.1786
Hours:  Mon-Sat 8am-9:30pm; Sun 8am-8:30pm
Owners: Dipti and Umesh Mistri, Mumbai, India
Most customers hail from: Bangladesh, Pakistan and India (primarily the Punjab region)
What you’ll find: Spices, rice, fresh produce including bitter melon and daikon radishes
Don’t miss: Ladu (round sweet balls made of wheat, lentils, ghee and sugar)

Here you’ll find a wide assortment of rice, including both white and brown basmati and the aromatic sona masuri variety. The Mistris also sell spices galore, including mustard seed, pomegranate powder, amchoor powder (powdered green mango) and black and green cardamom. Ask Dipti Mistri about the medicinal value of spices and produce and she will offer you a wealth of information. For example, bitter melon is good for diabetes, and tumeric is excellent for colds and putting on cuts. Each October and November, Little India shoppers will also find sweet delicacies and decorations for Diwali, the Hindu New Year. The store also carries wine and beer, including many Indian brews.

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New Bombay Market

359 Somerville Avenue | 617.623.6614
Hours: Daily,  9am-10pm
Owners: Jeetendra, Nepal
Most customers hail from: Nepal
What you’ll find: Spices, lentils, dal, pickles
Don’t miss: Sweet lapsi (dry hog plum), which grows all over Nepal

Here you will find specialties of Nepal, including different forms of sweet lapsi, a dried fruit also known as hog plum that is used in achars (pickles) and sweet spicy candy. While you’re there, take a whiff of the gorgeously fragrant spice timur, which looks like peppercorns and is used in achars. Better yet, buy some and experiment! The store also carries products like papadam, dal (udad, chana and moong varieties), gram flour (made from dal) and dried peas. The extensive spice collection includes star anise, amchoor powder and methi seed. Lamichhane explains that although over 80 percent of Nepal’s population is engaged in agriculture, it is often much cheaper to import products from India, which, unlike Nepal, is not landlocked. Go here for a great recipe using timur: Tomato Timur Pickle.

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Mineirão, One Stop Market

57 Union Square | 617.625.0022
Hours: Daily, 7am-10pm; Sunday: 8am-5pm
Owner: Francisco Silva
From: Minas Gerais
Most customers hail from: Brazil
What you’ll find: Cured meats for feijoada, various forms of Açai (superfruit from Brazil’s rain forests), perfume and soccer shirts.
Don’t miss:  pão de queijo (cheese bread) and coxinha(chicken dumplings)

In addition to fresh pão de queijo—addictive cheese puffs made with yucca flour rather than wheat flour— Little India also sells a frozen variety as well as a mix for making your own. Shoppers will also find kits to make feijoada, the undisputed national dish of Brazil. Originating from Bahia, in eastern Brazil it’s made with various pork products (sometimes beef products too) and black beans. The market sells prepared feijoada at its buffet every Saturday; be sure to have some farofa (which has a consistency of farina cereal and is made from manioc/cassava flour) on the side. Also consider sampling Guarana, Brazil’s popular, highly caffeinated soda.

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Reliable Market

45 Union Square | 617.623.9620
Hours:  Mon-Fri, 9.30am-9pm; Sat, 9am-9pm; Sun, 10am-7pm
Owner: Pokye Casserly, South Korea
Most customers hail from: Korea, Japan, China, and Somerville
What you’ll find: Bulgogi (thinly-sliced beef or pork marinated in salty/sweet sauce),  prepared kimchee pancakes (made with spicy cabbage), seaweed layer for sushi, frozen gyoza
Don’t miss: A staggering selection of sake, rice, noodles and kimchi—and pocky sticks! Shopping at the Reliable Market is like a vicarious trip to Asia. The shelves are laden with exotic products with labels in many Asian languages. The produce is inexpensive and fresh. Fresh Asian staples such as daikon radish, scallions, ginger, tofu and Asian pears are always on hand. Aisle two has rice toppings galore including bonito (salty fish) flakes, wasabi and rice crackers . Reliable also has an entire aisle dedicated to kimchi, a mind-boggling array of noodles and rice, sashimi-grade fish, a great pocky stick selection and elegant and utilitarian crockery. For certified sake expert Richard Auffey’s sake recommendations, go here: Sake 101 at Reliable.

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Ricky’s Flower Market

238 Washington Street | 617.628.7569 | www.rickysflowermarket.com
Owner:Ricky DiGiovanni, Somerville
In this former gas station, owner Ricky DiGiovanni oversees a bustling nursery selling flowers, vegetables and herbs. All the plants are grown in Massachusetts, and choices include honeydew melon, white eggplant and a broad spectrum of tomatoes, from Early Girl to Black Krim. The herb selection is also huge and includes orange mint, lemon mint, sorrel and spicy globe (Greek) basil. DiGiovanni says he often stocks items on request; a recent example is Portuguese kale. (photo: rickysflowermarket.com)

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Union Square Farmers’ Market

Union Square Plaza | 617.955.0080 | unionsquaremain.org/food/farmers-market/
Hours: Sat 9 am – 1pm; June through November
Organizers: Union Square Main Streets and the City of Somerville
Most customers hail from: Somerville
What you’ll find: Organic and local vegetables, fruits, meats and cheeses, all cultivated and produced in Massachusetts
Don’t miss: The new products and vendors at the market this year, including cheeses from Robinson Farm, meats from Hollis Hills Farm and Misty Brook Farm and raw uncut oysters from Shady Oaks Farm, not to mention Culinary Cruisers mobile, bike-powered snack carts.

The Union Square Farmers’ Market transforms what was once a sleepy weekend morning to a weekly block party! Each weekend, approximately 2,000 people visit the square in search of Massachusetts-produced goods ranging from baby bok choy and misuna to fresh mozzarella and raw oysters. “Our farmers tell us that this is their most profitable farmers’ market,” says Mimi Graney, executive director of Union Square Main Streets. “The farmers also tell us that the people who come to this market really know their food.”

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Food producer section

EH Chocolatier

561 Windsor St. B-206 | 617.284.6096 | ehchocolatier.com
Owners: Elaine Hsieh and Catharine Sweeney, Somerville
Most customers hail from: Greater Boston area
What you’ll find: Artisan chocolates
Don’t miss: Chocolate-making classes (see their website for details)

Many years ago Elaine Hsieh and Catharine Sweeney came together to create a wedding cake for a mutual friend. Baking together was a great experience , but at the time, they were immersed in other careers. But in 2011, the duo launched a chocolate company and started making confections full-time—handcrafted bon bons often tinged with spices and teas. These Somerville-based chocolatiers use top-notch ingredients for their artful chocolates, including Michel Cluizel and Valrhona chocolate from France, as well as Taza chocolate, the business conveniently located next door! You can purchase their products online (delivery or pick-up) or at the following stores: Formaggio Kitchen in Cambridge; South End Formaggio in Boston; City Feed and Supply in Jamaica Plain; Fastachi in Watertown; and Dave’s Fresh Pasta in Somerville.

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Taza Chocolate

561 Windsor Street | 617.284.2232 | www.tazachocolate.com
Owners: Alex Whitmore, Larry Slotnick, & Kathleen Fulton, United States
Most customers hail from: United States
What you’ll find: Organic, stone-ground Mexican chocolate
Don’t miss: Salt and Pepper Chocolate Mexicano

A bean-to-bar chocolate manufacturer, Taza is an eco-friendly, community-centric business that uses a traditional Mexican stone grinding technique to produce rich, intense chocolate. Committed to fair trade, Taza imports its beans directly from growers in the Dominican Republic and its sugar from Green Cane Project, a Brazilian organic company. Taza’s Mexicano chocolate comes in wide variety of flavors, from the sweet-salty smoothness of Salted Almond to the smoky-fruity heat of Chipotle Chili. Don’t miss their plain dark chocolate either—ranging from 60% to 87% cocoa content, the bars have a powerful and complex taste that combines wonderfully with the rustic, grainy texture that is the trademark of all Taza chocolate. Their periodic chocolate factory tours are not to be missed!

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Dining Guide

Union Square’s diverse restaurants offer something to please everyone’s palate —from volcano sushi rolls and bibimbap (Korean dish) to feijoada (Portuguese dish popular in Brazil) and spring pea soup with pancetta and piave.

Find a great restaurant, imported foods market, coffee, beer and innovative cocktails.

South America

Asia

Europe and North America

Middle East and Africa

Coffee and Juice Bars

Breweries, Cideries and Cocktail Bars

Ice Cream, Chocolate and Donuts!

Imported Specialty Grocers- Italian/Spanish, Indian, Asian, and Latin American

 

Find a great restaurant, imported foods market, coffee, beer and innovative cocktails.

Restaurant finder: South America, Asia, Europe and North America, Middle East and Africa

Beverage finder: Coffee, Juice Bars, Breweries, Cideries and Cocktail Bars

Dessert finder: Ice Cream, Chocolate and Donuts!

Imported Specialty Grocers: Italian/Spanish, Indian, Asian, and Latin American

 


South America

Cantina La Mexicana

247 Washington St. | 617.776.5232 | www.cantinalamexicana.com
Owners: Roberto & Carolina Rendon, Mexico
Description: Owners Roberto and Carolina Rendon opened Cantina La Mexicana as a counter-service taqueria over a decade ago and transformed it into a sit-down restaurant with a bright and welcoming interior and an extensive food and cocktail menu. The lineup includes longstanding favorites like the Burro, a burrito of epic proportions; tacos filled with rice, beans and your choice of pork, beef or potato and chorizo. Enchiladas Potosinas, prepared in the style of Carolina Rendon’s hometown, San Luis Potosi, Mexico, consist of two corn tortillas rolled with your choice of filling and topped with melted cheese and red or green tomatillo sauce. Cantina La Mexicana houses a bar adorned with a wide variety of tequilas and serves nearly a dozen different margaritas, including spicy jalapeño. Cantina La Mexicana also features live music on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. —Raleigh Strott

Casa B

253 Washington St. | 617.623.9710 | www.casabrestaurant.com
Owner: Alberto Cabré (San Juan, Puerto Rico) & Angelina Jockovich (Barranquilla, Colombia)
Description: Casa B is the brainchild of husband-and-wife team and licensed architects Angelina Jockovitch and Alberto Cabré. The restaurant combines the couple’s academic and cultural backgrounds into a place where customers can enjoy the “clean lines” of the architecture that Jockovich says recreates her favorite elements of the Caribbean. Casa B has two floors: a cozy space on top where guests can enjoy a snack or casual meal with friends, and a more formal dining room downstairs. The restaurant serves small plates that represent a unique combination of Latin American and Caribbean cuisines, including Carne Mechada, a Puerto Rican pot roast stuffed with porcini mushrooms and topped with yucca gnocchi and a red wine sauce, and the Sandwich de Bistec with crispy shallots and beef tenderloin

El Potro Mexican Grill Restaurant

61 Union Square |617.666.4200 | www.elpotromexicangrill.com
Owner: Elias Interiano, El Salvador
Description: With its bright, bold sign, El Potro, located right off the plaza in Union Square, is hard to miss. Inside, you will find vibrant walls adorned with sombreros and portraits of Mexican movie stars, hand-painted chairs depicting evocative desert scenes and, if you’re there on a weekend, live mariachi music by Mariachi Estampa de America. The restaurant’s founder, Elias Interiano, hails from El Salvador, and you can spot his country’s influence in menu items such as the pupusas. These traditional Salvadoran tortillas work as an appetizer or a side dish, stuffed with cheese and either beans or loroco, a plant whose flowers are used extensively in Salvadoran cuisine. Tex-Mex dishes are available as well: nachos, quesadillas, enchiladas, fajitas, tacos and burritos, plus desserts like flan and fried ice cream. El Potro also offers full bar service. The restaurant is open for breakfast too, offering items such as Desayuno Ranchero, eggs scrambled with tomatoes and onions, served with a slice of plantain.

Machu Picchu Restaurant Turístico

307 Somerville Ave | 617.628.7070 | www.machupicchuboston.com
Owner: Rosy Cerna, Lima, Peru
Description: At Macchu Picchu, owner Rosy Cerna shares the distinctive flavors and rich culinary heritage of her native Peru with Union Square. On Friday nights you can hear a traditional Andean band while sipping on a Pisco Sour and enjoying the Peruvian national dish, ceviche, in a dining room filled with authentic decor. Ever since moving to Somerville from Lima, Cerna has been creating traditional dishes that span the three different regions of her native country: coast, mountains and jungle. Taste Peruvian corn served with queso fresco, a classic food of the Andes; or Causa Limena, a famous coastal dish whose name means “sustenance of life” in Spanish. Or nibble on some fried yucca, a jungle favorite. With incredible geographic and cultural diversity within its borders, Peru offers a wide variety of cuisines, many of which can be found at Machu Picchu.

Machu Picchu Charcoal Chicken and Grill

25 Union Sq | 617.623.7972 | www.machuchicken.com
Owner: Rosy Cerna, Lima, Peru
Description: Machu Picchu owner Rosy Cerna says that restaurants that serve only chicken, called pollerias, are common in Peru. Machu Picchu Chicken marinates its chicken in a mix that includes Peruvian beer and rosemary for up to twenty-four hours and serves it with a choice of two insanely good sauces—a green one made with jalapeño and the Andean herb huacatay, and a yellow huancaína sauce flavored with Peru’s most famous chili: aji amarillo. This restaurant also serves Andean Chicken salad made with Peruvian quinoa and Anticuchos Peruanos, beef hearts that come sliced and on skewers. For dessert, Machu Picchu Chicken offers Peruvian Flan, which is a little browner than traditional flan and sits in a pool of caramelized sugar.


Asia

Buk Kyung Korean Restaurant

9A Union Sq. | 617.623.7220 | www.bukkyungrestaurant.com
Owner: Kyung Suk Lee, Seoul, South Korea
Description: Opened by Kyung Suk Lee and her husband in 1998, Buk Kyung offers a menu of over 70 Korean dishes. Traditional menu items include Bulgogi, a savory dish of marinated beef stir-fried with mushrooms, onions and scallions served with rice; Kimchee, a spicy pickled cabbage dish; and Bibimbap, a meal of rice mixed with vegetables, beef and sweet and spicy ko chu jang sauce. Specialties popular in southern Korea include Jajangmyun, a Chinese-influenced dish of rice noodles with pork, onion, potatoes and zucchini in a sweet black bean sauce. Many menu items are served family style, and scissors are included as a serving utensil for the purpose of taming the long noodles served with many meals.

Dosa-n-Curry

447 Somerville Ave. | 617.764.3152 | www.dosa-n-curry.com
Owner: Prabhjot Kaur, India
Description: Sukhjinder Singh, Dosa-n-Curry chef and partner, has compiled a menu that features a wide variety of exclusively vegetarian North and South Indian and Indo-Chinese cuisine. The restaurant is known in particular for its dosa, savory crepes made of rice flour, semolina, and lentils, filled with spicy sauces including potato and curry leaf-spiced onion masala; onion, tomato and paneer; and more. Dosa-n-Curry also makes pizza-like rice and lentil upthappam; two dozen different curries; house-baked naan, khulcha, roti, and more. It offers gluten-free and vegan options upon request.

Ebi Sushi

290 Somerville Ave | 617.764.5556 | www.ebisushi.com
Owner: Jose Garcia, Puerto Barrios, Guatemala
Description: Owner, Jose Garcia, moved to the US from Guatemala in 2000, and has been in the sushi business ever since. Garcia says, “the first time I saw it, I knew it was what I wanted to do.” Located in a small, nondescript space along Somerville Avenue, the restaurant features an extensive sushi menu, including the Spider Roll, with softshell crab and cucumber, and a vegetable roll with sweet potato tempura, cucumber, avocado, eel sauce and spicy mayo. Ebi also serves a variety of main dishes ranging from Sashimi Squid to Mackerel Filet to Ginger Pork. These entrées are complemented by small plates including tempura, noodle soups and curry rice dishes, which are an adaptation of the Indian favorite and considered a national dish in Japan. (photo: Ebi Sushi Facebook page)

India Palace

23 Union Sq. | 617.666.9770 | www.indiapalaceinsomerville.com
Owner: Gurdev Singh, India
Description: India Palace offers a wide variety of dishes from Northern India at affordable prices. One of the most popular choices is the Chicken Tikka Masala, cooked in a rich, creamy sauce with tomato and coriander. Another favorite is Chicken Korma, cooked with nuts, raisins and a mix of herbs and spices in a creamy sauce. For lighter fare, try the Jalfrezi: your choice of chicken, lamb, or shrimp with fresh tomato, a mix of vegetables and Indian spices. There are also many vegetarian options available, including Palak Paneer, fresh spinach with homemade cheese and coriander; Malai Kofta, vegetable balls cooked in a creamy sauce; and Aloo Gobi, potatoes and cauliflower cooked with tomatoes, onions, herbs and spices. India Palace also serves freshly baked breads, tandoori specialties, rice dishes and tempting desserts. All of the dishes can be cooked to your preferred level of spiciness, from mild to very hot. India Palace also offers a daily all-you-can-eat lunch buffet featuring a selection of appetizers, entrees and desserts for $7.95.

Momo n Curry

431 Somerville Ave | 617-764-1563| www.momoncurry.com
Owner:
Description: Momo n Curry, a Nepalese and Indian restaurant, features a wide variety of traditional curry dishes and momos. A momo is a classic Nepali steamed dumpling filled with delicately spiced minced meat like chicken or buffalo. Many classic South Asian entrees served at Momo n Curry include chicken tikka masala, goat or lamb curry, and vegetable momos spinach & paneer cheese. Other vegetarian options available are panner masala with homemade Indian cheese or aloo gobhi with cauliflower.

Siam Ginger Thai Cuisine

22 Bow Street | 617.625.5015 | www.sweetgingerunionsq.com
Owner:  Rungnapa Otero and Patchara Thavornkas, Thailand
Description: Siam Ginger serves up both traditional Thai favorites and familiar dishes with a twist. The restaurant makes good on its name, blending sweet and spicy foods. The popular Crab Rangoon, for example, made with crabmeat and cream cheese wrapped in a wonton skin, gets a twist with added curry powder and onion to give the dish more bite. Fans of spice will enjoy fiery dishes like the Drunken Chicken sautéed with vegetables in a Thai chili paste or the Pad Kra-Pow, a Thai-style stir-fry with red and green peppers in a spicy sauce. The menu also features a wide selection of seafood, including the Tilapia Fillet with Mango Salsa and Spicy Squid served with vegetables and a Thai chili sauce. For dessert, try some of Sweet Ginger’s signature coconut ice cream.

Yuki Shabu

16 Bow Street |617-776-7623
Owner: Queenin and Joe Lam, Hong Kong
Description: Offering a variety of vegetables, chicken, beef, pork, seafood, noodle soup, and hot pot varieties, Yuki Shabu has your next Chinese food craving ready and waiting for you. You can sit down to eat either at the food bar in front or in the back part of the restaurant to enjoy the full hotpot experience. Choose between spicy, savory, and mild soup flavors to pair with the platters of ingredients which are cooked in the broth tableside before being eaten. They have platters of vegetables, seafood, tofu and noodles. The thinly sliced meats are the most popular.