Known collectively as Fenway,
this area includes the smaller neighborhoods of East Fenway, West Fenway, Audubon Circle, Kenmore
Square and Longwood. The area is best known for being home to Fenway Park, where the Boston
Red Sox play. It is also home to a number of higher-education institutions, attracting students to the neighborhood. The area was named after its central thoroughfare, The Fenway, which the neighborhood was originally planned and built around. The neighborhood sits southwest of downtown Boston, sandwiched between Back Bay and South End to the east and Brookline to the west.
Schools in Fenway
School data provided by GreatSchools
Restaurants & Nightlife
The Fenway/Kenmore area offers a variety of restaurant options including Mexican, Greek, Thai, Japanese and Italian fare. Nightlife in the neighborhood consists mainly of bars, a few dance clubs and a bowling alley. Many of the Fenway/Kenmore area restaurants sit off of Yawkey Way and Peterborough Street, the latter of which has an area called Restaurant Row with multiple restaurants clumped together.
El Pelon Taqueria features big burritos with unusual toppings, such as red cabbage and cucumbers, served alongside Mexican Coke. The small space makes it hard to grab a seat inside, but you can also grab a seat outside to enjoy the nice weather. With limited street parking, walking or taking public transportation will save you time from fighting or hunting for a parking spot.
Gyro City serves its gyros the traditional way, with fries stuffed inside, just as you'd find in Athens, Greece. Some of the gyros are served with honey mustard, so ask for tzatziki if you prefer. The warm, fluffy pita bread and huge horiatiki salad made with large, fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and olives, and topped with a hunk of feta score just as high as their gyros. If you can't find an empty stool along the wall, head toward the picnic tables outside.
Jordan Hall, located on Gainsborough Street, is the neighborhood's closest music venue. Part of the New England Conservatory, this venue hosts a number of performances from chamber orchestras to choirs and jazz bands. Jillian's Boston offers residents a chance to have fun with Lucky Strike bowling. This tri-level establishment has 70,000 square feet of entertainment, including the Tequila Rain dance club on the first floor, 35 billiards tables and a lounge on the second floor, and bowling lanes on the third floor.
Watch a Red Sox game in the ultimate sports bar at Bleacher Bar. This bar is built inside of Fenway Park and features a large window that gives patrons a perfect view of the field during games. If you want to sing karaoke with a live band, head on over to the Lansdowne Pub, also featuring a dance floor and two bars. Loretta's Last Call and Bill's Bar & Lounge also call the Fenway/Kenmore area home.
History & Culture
Once part of Brookline, the Fenway area was envisioned as a wealthy residential neighborhood, but instead became a neighborhood for educational institutions, over 20 of which were built in the area by 1907. Over the years, renovations and new developments have brought the area closer to its original vision. The east side of the neighborhood has a large population of students due to its proximity to universities, while the west side has attracted young professionals. Kenmore square is mostly comprised of student
housing and commercial tenants.
The Museum of Fine Arts and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum both sit to the south of the neighborhood. The MFA offers exhibitions, programs and gallery collections and even provides free admission on Wednesday nights. The Fenway area does not offer a true arts scene outside of institutions such as the MFA, the New England Conservatory and the Panopticon Gallery. Some of the festivals and annual events enjoyed in the Fenway area include The El Mundo Latino Festival, College Fest and the Phantom Food Festival.
Public transportation and walking remain the most popular ways to get around the neighborhood. Mass transit stations located around the neighborhood include Fenway, Kenmore, St. Mary Street, Blandford Street and Museum of Fine Arts. Besides the subway line, the area also has 25 bus lines and a light rail line running across it. If you need a faster or more private option, you can also call a cab or book a ride through Uber.
At least 10 public parking lots and garages sit within the neighborhood. Pricing can be high, especially on days when the Sox play at Fenway Park. I-90 runs through the neighborhood, making it easily accessible to residents. As Boston’s 10th most walkable neighborhood, residents can accomplish most errands on foot. Plus, many bike lanes and paths pass through the neighborhood, including one that runs all the way around The Fenway.
The cost of living in this neighborhood hovers at just over $40,000 a year, about $10,000 less than the average for the rest of Boston. All costs, including food and entertainment, remain comparable to the rest of the city, but housing costs hover slightly lower in the Fenway area. Costs for a one-bedroom
apartment in Fenway average just over $2,400 a month, while the rest of Boston averages over $2,700 a month. The median home value in Fenway hovers around $500,000.
Most stores and shops in the Fenway area sit off of Brookline Avenue, Boylston Street and at the Landmark Center on Park Drive. This area has a variety of stores that offer high-end or high-value items, including a few specialty stores. Sleep-A-Rama, located on Boylston Street, sells brand-name mattresses, platform beds, futons and tables. They can accommodate almost any budget, giving everyone a chance to find the best deal. Giant Boston, located on Kilmarnock Street, caters to cycling enthusiasts. They carry a large selection of bikes and bike gear, including gloves, bells and racks.
Most of the grocery options in the area consist of national or regional chain supermarkets. For a break from the big chains, head to Symphony Market to the south of the neighborhood. Located on Huntington Avenue, this small shop offers fresh vegetables, juices and some boxed items, like mac and cheese. The Fenway area does not host a farmers' market, but nearby options include Brookline Farmers' Market a few miles down Beacon Street in Coolidge Corner, Mission Hill
Farmers' Market on the other side of Huntington Avenue in Mission Hill and Prudential Center Farmers' Market located a few blocks down Boylston Street in Back Bay.
Parks in the area include Forsyth Park, Evans Way Park, Ramler Park, Joslin Park, Mass Art Park and Back Bay Fens, which offers the most amenities. Back Bay Fens features an athletic track and field where exercise fanatics can run laps to their hearts' content, along with bleachers for the spectators. Additionally, it has two baseball diamonds, two basketball courts, two miles of walking paths and a playground for the kids. None of the parks provide off-leash dog areas.