This sprawling venue is one of America's leading rock clubs, and a major player on the national and local music scene. A Middle Eastern restaurant as well as a club, it was the nurturing ground for Boston's alternative and indie music scenes, beginning in the mid-1980s in the smaller Upstairs room. Today, it offers multiple nooks and crannies for live performances. The Downstairs room, like many of Boston's basement clubs, was once a bowling alley. In the restaurant, musicians play the Corner stage without a cover charge, and in keeping with the Middle Eastern theme, there are also belly dancers. ZuZu sits between the Upstairs and Downstairs, offering food, hip DJ nights and bands.
Although Central Square has been becoming slightly more elevated year by year, the Cambridge neighborhood has managed to maintain its distinctly gritty identity and artsy essence. Over the past decade or so, the former diamond in the rough has started to sparkle, becoming a desirable location for young professionals—with high-priced condos and elevated establishments quickly following suit. With the area’s recent rise in appeal, it’s kept its bohemian soul, with its colorful hodgepodge of characters, lively underground music scene, swaths of street art and second-hand stores—and now, even some hip, newer restaurants and bars to boot. Once you’ve had your fill of Central Square, find more action with our guides to the best restaurants in Boston, best live music in Boston and best museums in Boston.
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