a step outside the city at assembly row

Nestled alongside the Mystic River in Somerville is Assembly Row, an urban-industrial chic shopping center checking off just about every box of your lifestyle needs. Assembly Row offers great eateries, brand-name shopping, exciting entertainment for adults and kids alike, and even a five in one fitness conglomerate dubbed “FITRow’.

I walked around the area and took in the unique atmosphere, but I (as I always do) had food on my mind. After taking note of my options, I first stopped in at Caffe Nero - a London based coffee house that has made a name for itself around New England. Caffe Nero’s inviting yet sophisticated atmosphere put me at ease among the impressive variety of European-style coffee and tea, pastries, and sandwiches.

I filled my table with a beautifully prepared cappuccino, warm croissant, drool-worthy chicken caprese sandwich on ciabatta (the bread that accounts for nearly half of my diet), and a hot chocolate to warm me up from the frigid November air. The woman next to me gave me the  'are you really going to finish all of that?' look as I alternated bites and sips. I silently answered her question as I brought my empty dishes to the counter.

On my way back to my car, my eyes lit up as I noticed the newest extension of Mike’s Pastry - the famous North End Bakery. Yes, I know that I just finished all that food and drink at Caffe Nero, but how could I say no to Boston’s king of cannolis? I walked into the shop, and being the indecisive foodie that I am, couldn’t make a decision on which cannoli to order. So, I ordered four! The kind lady at the counter prepared my four cannolis - chocolate chip, chocolate covered, strawberry, and limoncello - and topped them off with just the right amount of powdered sugar. Was this heaven? I certainly think so.

I walked back to my car (for real this time) with two cannolis leftover in hand and said goodbye to Assembly Row just for the time being, of course. As I drove out, I passed FITRow and laughed...I really should pay them a visit...

Assembly Row is a gem and not to be missed. It is conveniently located just seven minutes from downtown Boston by car, and the new Assembly Station stop of the MBTA Orange Line is accessible as well. The growing surplus of new restaurants, businesses, and housing is intended to continue into 2018.

Want to shop 'till you drop and eat until you can't breathe? I think you know where to go.

PRO TIP: don't forget to check out the brand new Zo Greek which opened it's Assembly Row location late this month.