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Just north of Harvard Square and five miles from downtown Boston, Neighborhood Nine is a quiet, mild-mannered section of Cambridge with tree-lined streets and historic single-family homes. The area borders both Harvard Square and Porter Square, making for a peaceful, almost suburban neighborhood that's right next door to the big city, with the theaters and restaurants of Harvard Square within walking distance, along with the bars and funky boutiques of Porter.

Neighborhood Nine also has excellent schools, good public transit and safe streets, making the area attractive to families. The convenient location and beautiful old homes do come at a cost, and some of Cambridge's most expensive homes stand near Avon Hill, a section known for its Victorian mansions.

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Rent Trends

As of August 2017, the average apartment rent in Cambridge, MA is $2,140 for a studio, $2,325 for one bedroom, $2,880 for two bedrooms, and $3,592 for three bedrooms. Apartment rent in Cambridge has decreased by -2.3% in the past year.

Beds
Avg Sq Ft
Avg Rent
Studio
539
$2,140
1 BR
752
$2,325
2 BR
986
$2,880
3 BR
1,182
$3,592
Beds
Avg Sq Ft
Avg Rent

Ratings

83 Walk Score® Very Walkable
66 Transit Score® Good Transit
92 Bike Score® Biker's Paradise

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Restaurants

Residents in Neighborhood Nine are perfectly positioned to take advantage of some of Cambridge's best eateries. A large number of restaurants line Massachusetts Avenue, clustering around Harvard and Porter squares, with a scattering of additional options on Concord Avenue. Cuisines range from highbrow New American to Persian and Mexican, along with neighborhood pizzerias and burger joints.

Cafe Mami serves up Japanese comfort food in its tiny modern dining room. Rice bowls and curries dominate the affordable menu, along with the highly praised Hamburg steaks, a flavorful burger patty topped with house-made sauces. Regulars also love the green tea milk shake for its creamy texture and strong matcha taste. The few tables here fill up fast, but the restaurant does a brisk take-out business for those who arrive during the mealtime rush.

Curious foodies come to T.W. Food to taste the inventive parings and locally sourced ingredients that are the brainchild of the husband-and-wife owners. The prix fixe menu changes daily but includes such dishes as foie gras creme brûlée or tobacco-laced ice cream with whiskey sauce. Despite the high-concept cuisine and matching prices, the cozy dining room feels welcoming, making the spot just right for celebrating special occasions with small groups.

Closer to Danehy Park, customers come to Gran Gusto for authentic Italian food that borrows from both Northern and Southern cuisines. The short menu changes often, with pizzas, risottos, pastas, roasted chicken and fresh fish often appearing. Regulars often come just for the crackling pizzas topped with buffalo mozzarella, and the grilled calamari gets frequent praise. Service can be slow, but the warm, rustic decor make meals feel intimate. Prices are quite reasonable, and the establishment accommodates large groups, making it a good choice for dinner with friends or big family meals.

At night, locals leave the quiet streets of Neighborhood Nine for the bars, pubs and lounges that line Massachusetts Avenue, along with live music and dance clubs in Harvard Square. For a casual night out with friends, head over to Cambridge Common, a large tavern with a neighborhood vibe and well-priced pitchers meant for sharing. The welcoming bartenders pour a good selection of beers on tap, including Guinness, IPAs and lagers, along with a decent wine list and specialty cocktails. Though the place gets noisy when full, the large tables can seat big groups, and the solid bar food menu keeps patrons happy, especially the sweet potato fries.

Locals looking for upscale ambiance and well-executed cocktails go to Russell House Tavern, where bartenders blend creations like Burma Nights, a gin-based drink flavored with jasmine and orange waters. Patrons perch at the large, modern horseshoe bar downstairs, where the dim lighting and lively atmosphere make the place feel like a low-key party. The spirits list includes a wide selection of bourbons, aperitifs and cordials, along with craft beers and wine, and the tavern's dinner menu can be ordered at the bar for those who get too comfortable to leave.

For live music, head to Porter Square any day of the week to hear local bands play at Toad. Crowds pack into this tiny bar, encouraged by the no-cover rule that makes it easy to drop in and see who's playing, but if there's any free space, the patrons start dancing. Strong drinks, friendly service and fair prices make the spot a favorite neighborhood hole-in-the-wall, and hungry patrons can bring in burgers next door from Christopher's.

History

Once the grazing fields of the original Puritan colony, Neighborhood Nine gradually developed as industry came to Cambridge. Immigrants worked the clay pits that lay in what is now Danehy Park, and by the early 1900s, handsome mansions lined Washington Avenue and surrounding Avon Hill. In the early 20th century, Radcliff College built its campus here, earning the area the early nickname of "Radcliff."

Today, Neighborhood Nine has some of Cambridge's best cultural institutions close by, including Harvard's Museum of Natural History and its first-rate art museums. The American Repertory Theater stages new plays, musicals and edgy Shakespeare adaptations, and Harvard students perform the Hasty Pudding Theatricals, continuing a 150-plus-year tradition of burlesque comedies with an all-male cast. Every spring, artists cover the sidewalks of Harvard Square with chalk murals at the MayFair Festival, and thousands come for the live bands, performances and street food.

Transportation

The streets of Neighborhood Nine are great for walking and biking, and good public transportation makes for easy commuting around Boston. L train riders pick up the red line from the Harvard or Porter stations, and numerous bus routes at the Harvard bus depot provide service around Cambridge. Riders can also pick up the Fitchburg commuter line from Porter for express service into North Station or points northwest. Hailing a cab rarely poses a problem, especially during the day near busy Harvard Square, but Hailo and Uber both service the area if you get stuck after the bars close, along with local car services.

Cambridge ranks as one of America's best cities for walking, and the busy street life in Harvard and Porter Squares let residents run errands on foot or forgo their cars entirely. Many people take bike rides in Cambridge, an area known for its strong cycling infrastructure. In Neighborhood Nine, most streets are bike-friendly, if a bit narrow for comfort, and dedicated bike lanes on nearby thoroughfares make for smooth riding around Cambridge, including lanes on Massachusetts Avenue and Beacon Street.

Drivers have a 20-minute commute into downtown Boston and can take major thoroughfare Massachusetts Avenue to other points in the city or route 3 to I-90 for weekend getaways. Parking often proves a hassle, especially near Harvard Square, where even metered street parking is usually full. However, resident-only spaces ease the problem somewhat for locals and visitors, who can find several private garages in Harvard Square for backup.

Cost

Neighborhood Nine's convenient location comes with a price tag, and the average one-bedroom here rents for $2,320, higher than the citywide average of around $2,000. Households who budget carefully can keep down costs by choosing from the many affordable restaurants and going for the $5 beer at the local pub over the $11 mixology cocktail. Gas prices are 10 percent higher than the national average, but a one-way fare on the subway costs $2.65 and the bus $2.10.

Shopping

Residents here have their pick of shopping expeditions, from the small storefronts in Harvard Square selling everything from boutique clothing and toys to Porter Square's funky vintage threads and home goods. The Shops at Porter feels a bit like a Japanese mall dropped onto the middle of Cambridge, with imported ceramics and clothing among the ramen shops and bubble tea stands. Inside of Tokai Japanese Gifts, super lucky cats share the shelves with wooden children's toys, lushly patterned papers and kimonos. The more substantial imported items cost a pretty penny, but the store sells small inexpensive stuff too, like miniature taiko drums and Hello Kitty items, making it a fun spot to bring kids.

For gift shopping and sheer entertainment, the tchotchkes and toys at Joie de Vivre are hard to beat. On any given day, you might find a science kit that makes snow, birthday cake scented cologne, muscle man-shaped ice cube trays or a Buddha snow globe, alongside classic childhood favorites like kaleidoscopes and the grow-your-own-crystal Magic Garden.

For weekly grocery shopping, locals go to the independent grocers and markets on Massachusetts Avenue or head to the Shaw's just east of Porter Square. For those driving, the Market Basket in Somerville is a little further away but offers the lowest prices. On Tuesdays, residents can walk just east of Harvard Square for fresh fruits and vegetables at the Harvard University Farmers Market. The mid-sized market stays open until 6:00 p.m., and the offerings include baked goods, fresh fish, cheeses and pasta.

Parks

Several well-sized public parks give residents a place to play ball, walk the dog or picnic on lazy summer days. For short trips, parents bring kids to climb and swing at the Corcoran Playground, also called Raymond Park. The small but centrally located park has basketball hoops and a baseball diamond for older kids and tables for taking your lunch break under the trees.

For large open spaces and weekend pickup games, the 50-acre Danehy Park delivers rolling, grassy lawns, tables and athletic fields, along with easy parking and bathrooms. Danehy offers a little something for everyone, with paved paths and loops for runners and cyclists, a well-designed dog park where pups roam off-leash, and two playgrounds, one with a water spray area for hot days. Summer concerts take place here, and kids ride for free on amusement park rides trucked in for the annual Family Day, along with live music, child-friendly activities and free hot dogs and refreshments.

At the 16-acre Cambridge Common Park, Harvard students play Frisbee on the open fields, and old elm trees shade the winding paths used by many cyclists and dog walkers. Legend says that George Washington gathered the first American army under one of these elms, which today bears a plague for visitors to find. On the north side, the large, imaginative playground engages kids for hours with wooden dragon boats, climbing nets and swings.

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Neighborhood Nine Apartments for Rent

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Park87
87 New St, Cambridge, MA 02138
7 hrs
Call for Rent 1-3 Bed Not Available
844-899-3026
Walden Park
205 Walden St, Cambridge, MA 02140
New
$2,010 - 2,945 Studio - 2 Bed Available Now
844-826-6065
1 day
100 Upland Rd Unit 3
Cambridge, MA 02140
$2,300 1 Bed Available Now
888-570-1493
1 day
60 Walden St Unit 1
Cambridge, MA 02140
$1,700 Studio Available 09/01/17
877-419-3354
1 day
52 Hubbard Ave
Cambridge, MA 02140
$4,500 4 Bed Available Now
617-932-6044
1 day
47 Saville St Unit 1
Cambridge, MA 02138
$3,000 2 Bed Available Now
617-744-3194
1 day
60 Walden St
Cambridge, MA 02140
$1,700 Studio Available Now
339-227-6357
1 day
20 Hubbard Ave
Cambridge, MA 02140
$2,750 3 Bed Available 09/01/17
844-349-6461
1 day
83 New St Unit 1
Cambridge, MA 02138
$2,950 2 Bed Available Now
401-288-3954
1 day
2 Arlington St Unit 2
Cambridge, MA 02140
$2,600 Condo for Rent Available Now
844-213-3778
1 day
19 Agassiz St Unit 5
Cambridge, MA 02140
$3,200 2 Bed Available Now
843-790-9819
1 day
100 Upland Rd Unit 3
Cambridge, MA 02140
$2,500 2 Bed Available Now
339-502-0544
1 day
15 Richdale Ave
Cambridge, MA 02140
$5,300 3 Bed Available Now
781-352-0407
1 day
20 Hubbard Ave Unit 6
Cambridge, MA 02140
$2,950 3 Bed Available 09/01/17
844-591-7327
1 day
85 Richdale Ave
Cambridge, MA 02140
$5,000 3 Bed Available Now
857-706-6139
1 day
3 Arlington St Unit 3
Cambridge, MA 02140
$2,200 Condo for Rent Available Now
877-590-0272
1 day
20 Hubbard Ave
Cambridge, MA 02140
$3,000 3 Bed Available 09/01/17
1 day
19 Agassiz St
Cambridge, MA 02140
$3,200 2 Bed Available Now
1 day
279 Concord Ave
Cambridge, MA 02138
$4,600 4 Bed Available Now
1 day
60 Walden St Unit 1
Cambridge, MA 02140
$1,850 Studio Available 09/01/17

Apartments for Rent in Neighborhood Nine, Cambridge, MA

Just north of Harvard Square and five miles from downtown Boston, Neighborhood Nine is a quiet, mild-mannered section of Cambridge with tree-lined streets and historic single-family homes. The area borders both Harvard Square and Porter Square, making for a peaceful, almost suburban neighborhood that's right next door to the big city, with the theaters and restaurants of Harvard Square within walking distance, along with the bars and funky boutiques of Porter.

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