Washington Square – Brookline, MA

Five miles west of downtown Boston and directly south of Allston, Washington Square offers residents both a city atmosphere and a suburban sense of community. Some call this Brookline neighborhood a grown-up Cambridge, satisfying the needs of families without sacrificing the fun of Boston. Good public transit and fast commutes to the city add to the appeal, attracting young professionals and students from nearby Boston College and Boston University. The architecture runs from elaborate single-family Victorians to turn-of-the-century brownstones and modern apartment buildings.

Schools in Washington Square

School data provided by GreatSchools

Restaurants & Nightlife

Washington Square, one of Boston's hottest restaurant scenes, attracts many of Boston's most talented chefs to the restaurant row on Beacon Street. Find traditional taverns, sophisticated restaurants, trendy eateries and other out-of-the-ordinary dining options. The Publick House, recipient of the Best Neighborhood Diversion award from Boston Magazine, welcomes customers in a cozy wood-paneled room with medieval flourishes including fleur-de-lis doorways and a lively tavern atmosphere that draws in locals. A favorite spot for after-work drinks and leisurely weekend meals, the Publick House menu presents thoughtful variations on pub classics, including dry-rubbed buffalo wings served with gorgonzola dressing and mussels steamed in a house-made fish stock. Stand-outs include the rich, gooey mac and cheese served with Maine lobster and the fried brussel sprouts with bacon-horseradish aioli. The bar impresses with its list of Belgian craft beers and knowledgeable staff on-hand for recommendations. Sample and share small plates of tapas at Barcelona Brookline. Served in a refined rustic atmosphere with raw clapboard walls, the Spanish menu includes artisanal meats and cheeses, such as nutty manchego and dry-cured Spanish ham, as well as meat entrees and paella. Try the chorizo and fig for a sweet and savory balance or the tender grilled hanger steak drizzled with truffle vinaigrette. Expect a wait on weekends, and while waiting enjoy a much-praised pitcher of sangria. For a casual meal, locals line up at Rod Dee Thai for what might be the best pad thai in Boston. The cash-only establishment doesn't have wait service, so you choose your own table in the brightly painted room. Other favorites include the curries and the Indonesian fried rice. Fans of spice appreciate the tom yum soup. At night, locals crowd into the neighborhood eatery bars on Beacon Street for craft brews and expertly blended cocktails. At Washington Square Tavern, customers cozy up at the candle-lit mahogany bar to choose from the spirit-lined shelves, which includes a superb selection of single-malt scotch whiskeys. The comfortable yet upscale spot gets crowded on weekends, when old-school bartenders serve up craft brews and crafty cocktails. Though music fans won't find many live shows in Washington Square, locals trek into neighboring Allston for big crowds and bigger sounds. Fans pack the small concert room at Paradise Rock Club to hear new bands and established musicians play everything from rock and metal to hip hop. Regulars love the venue's size, with an intimate stage and a second-level balcony. Reasonable ticket prices ensure a diverse crowd, and several full bars mean you won't get stuck in line. For a quieter evening out, head over to the Coolidge Corner Theater in Coolidge Square, a beloved neighborhood institution for indie films, midnight screenings and classic movies. Inside the Art Deco theater, painted ceilings and decorative accents grace the old stage spaces, while several tiny screening rooms hold modern padded armchairs for comfortable viewings of even the most obscure titles.

History & Culture

Named for the two brooks that border the area, Brookline began as a rural colonial outpost. From the start, Brookline residents were engaged, independent citizens, electing representatives for their town meeting-style government and resisting annexation to Boston. Near Washington Square, wealthy Bostonians charmed by the winding country lanes and scenic landscape built luxurious summer mansions on Tappan Street. Though the small area has no museums or galleries, just a mile away visitors can tour the Waterworks Museum at the Chestnut Hill Reservoir, where massive Victorian machinery pumped water to Boston for nearly 100 years. At the First Lights festival, locals gather every holiday season to sip hot cider and watch live music and dance performances. The festival started in Washington Square and later expanded throughout Brookline, culminating in a neighborhood-wide walk for families to participate in ice block carving, lantern decorating, raffles and sing-a-longs.

Transportation

Run errands by foot on busy Beacon Street. Pick up the Green Line B branch train from Washington Station, or ride local bus Route 65 for service into Brighton Center or Brookline Village. Drivers are five minutes away from Routes 9 and 20 for easy access to major highways, and downtown Boston is just 10 minutes away, barring traffic. Biking provides another great way to get around, with dedicated lanes on Beacon and Washington streets for safe cycling and bike-friendly side streets, though hilly areas further north take more pedaling. Parking here can be a hassle, and tow trucks await those who ignore the posted rules or park in resident-only spaces. However, metered parking lines Beacon Street, as well as many side streets off Beacon and Washington streets, making it easy to run errands or enjoy a meal out. Cabs often pass by on Beacon Street for curb-side hailing, Uber services the area for late-night trips and several car service companies are based in Brookline.

Cost

The average one-bedroom in Washington Square rents for around $1900, which falls in line with Boston's average but is approximately 20 percent higher than rents in neighboring Allston. Gas prices run about 10 percent higher than the national average. Groceries and utilities are typical for the Boston area, and a beer at the local pub can be had for $5 or $6. The availability of the subway keeps down transportation costs, with a single fare into downtown Boston setting you back $2.65, or $2.10 if you buy a CharlieCard.

Shopping

Beacon Street in Washington Square satisfies most shopping needs, from home goods stores to high-end boutiques to everyday shops selling wares ranging from exercise gear to exotic wear. Marathon Sports, a well-stocked sports wear shop, will help you find the perfect running shoe and other work-out apparel. At Brocades, window-shop the selection of saris or step inside to browse delicate gold necklaces and jingling Indian ankle bracelets at competitive prices. The helpful store owner makes excellent recommendations and works with a tailor to give you the perfect fit. For more options, trek to nearby Coolidge Corner for reasonably priced vintage threads, handmade jewelry, art supplies and comic books. There you'll find one of the favorite local book shops, Brookline Booksmith. Puzzle fanatics come from all over Boston to Eureka Puzzles for jigsaw and mechanical puzzles, indie board games, train sets, construction kits and cool science toys. Residents do the weekly grocery shop at Star Market, conveniently located next to the Tappan T Station, though many locals make an extra trip to Trader Joe's in Coolidge Corner for produce or to Whole Foods on Washington Street for organic brands. Closer to Summit Avenue, the popular Bazaar International stocks ethnic specialities from Latvian beer and Russian poppy seed rolls to Israeli feta cheese, Swedish herring and Polish pirogues, along with a good selection of fresh produce at low prices. During the warm months, head over to Coolidge Corner on Thursdays to pick over produce at the Brookline farmers' market.

Parks

Make a quick escape from daily routines at one of the small public parks and playgrounds that dot Washington Square. Instead of outdoor festivals, locals get uncrowded grounds for leisurely summer picnics or reading under shady trees. Kids come to Schick Park, hidden at the top of a hill, to climb and swing in the well-sized play area, with sections for both toddlers and older children along with a basketball court for teenagers. Run through the Corey Hill Outlook, where the gorgeous views of Cambridge won't be blocked by crowds of other runners and joggers. The 4 acres includes a steep hill that challenges even experienced runners. A playground keeps kids occupied, and daredevils sled in the winter. Picnic at the tables or let dogs explore off-leash in the mornings. Locals cherish the 3-acre, willow tree-lined Griggs Park for its scenic grounds and relaxed atmosphere. A paved pathway circles a grassy field where families picnic in the warm months and a small playground with a tire swing. Dog owners also love the spot, where dogs can run off-leash until early afternoon.
1440 Beacon
1440 Beacon St, Brookline, MA 02446
1 / 46
2 wks
$2,100 - 2,625 Studio - 1 Bed Available Now
844-678-4720