Assembly Row in Somerville is just about ten minutes north of downtown Boston. Somerville is a fun city in itself full of hipster hotspots, breweries and historic landmarks. Assembly Row is one of it’s newer developments to draw young professionals and tourists to the area with new shops, food and fun. If I wanted to flex my outlet shopping muscles I’d usually head toward Cape Cod, so having a hub of activity nearer to the city is a welcome change. Assembly Row Somerville is growing exponentially too – I visit every few months and there’s always a new store or restaurant to try.
How are the Assembly Row, Somerville Restaurants?
The selection of places to graze at is ever expanding. We loved the outdoor patio at the American Fresh Brewhouse. We hope to go back someday in the future as the patio is dog-friendly! The River Bar is another fun option for cocktails and pints, with views of the water and dining al fresco late into the year. We didn’t have a chance to visit this time, but Southern Kin is on the list for the next visit, for its wonderful reputation for some of the best home cooking north of the Mississippi.
I also enjoy the more laid-back cafe spaces here – they’re fairly empty and cozy during the day. Try the new Nero’s – it’s a big chain in Europe, offering espresso drinks and hot pressed breakfast sandwiches. Plus, lots of naughty pastries for a tasty afternoon.
Besides a few independent gems, there’s also plenty of local chain choices that can be just as delicious. Our favorites include Mexican fare at Papgayo and Legal Seafoods. There’s even a Mike’s Pastry off-shoot from the famous bakery in the North End. The best part of these Assembly Row Somerville restaurants is they are far less crowded than their Boston counterparts and great for groups out on the town.
Which Assembly Row Stores are Best?
Those working on their home can have a peek at the Le Creuset and Setting the Space for décor and kitchen items. Fashionistas will find respite at some of the great outlet stores, such as J Crew, Loft and Banana Republic Outlets. Besides the dozens of outlets, the ‘Marketplace’ has it’s own street of finds, including TJ Maxx, Trader Joe’s and Burlington, to name a few.
At many of the Assembly Row stores and restaurants, you can grab a little gift or discount too as a bonus.
Can you Stay at an Assembly Row Hotel?
With all this shopping, dining and coffee-sipping, you’ll want to stay nearby. This last visit I had the pleasure of an overnight at the brand-new Row Hotel, part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection. Geared toward business travelers but perfect for everyone, the 150+ room hotel is steps from the main shopping street, al fresco bars and the subway stop to downtown Boston. It’s ideal for a staycation just outside the city, a romantic weekend or for visitors who want to be somewhere a bit quieter than the Financial District.
The space is bright and sleek, as each room is equipped with a darker palette of décor and amenities. We enjoyed a lounge area inside the room and a plush king bed to spread out. Noise was minimal and there’s plenty of options for working at the desk right in the room too. Special modern sculptures, bookshelves filled with sundries and other touches of personality do not go unnoticed in the lobby areas, hallways and rooms themselves. The Row Hotel prides itself in being a modern design hotel with the chic ambiance to support that goal.
One of the highlights was access to a rarity in the Boston area – an indoor pool. The hotel is connected to full-time resident apartments, so the pool and gym are shared by all. But on a weekday stay, we were the only ones in the lounge area, enjoying the water and the beautiful cabanas.
You can book dinner outside the hotel, but they also offer a full menu to guests and a relaxing bar area called Reflections. There’s a lively after-work crowd with locals, business travelers and vacationers alike. Have a drink in the lofty bar, then book a table around a quiet corner. Items rotate, but the fresh fish options and juicy cheeseburger both were a win. Of course, you can indulge and order everything up to the room too.
Where is Assembly Row Outside of Boston?
It’s easy to reach the Assembly Row stores, restaurants and hotel from Boston. Uber is simple and one of the most efficient ways to get to the center of Assembly Square. It’s about a 10-minute drive from South Station downtown to Somerville’s Assembly Row.
Otherwise, the MBTA (or the ‘T’) is simple too, and they’ve added a stop right outside the Nero’s coffee place and the Smoke Shop BBQ. The Assembly stop is on the orange line, right before Sullivan Square.
There are Assembly Row parking options if you have your own car. Some spaces are free, especially over by the Marketplace. This is ideal for day trips or an afternoon of shopping. There are also parking garages for $10 per day and some metered spots on the streets. The Row Hotel has valet parking available for $35 per day.
With easy city access, super chic shopping and plenty of places to relax, it’s well worth spending time at Assembly Row, Somerville’s newest asset.
Have you been to Boston before? Did you know there are neighboring cities like Somerville to check out also? Do you like to shop on your trips?