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North Cambridge

As Mass. Ave. unfurls northward from Porter Square, things start to get weird - and wonderful. Strewn along the main drag are some of the funkiest small businesses and authentic ethnic restaurants around. There's a no-nonsense restaurant supply store (fueling every last dinner-party fantasy), a boutique Italian foods retailer, and an Indian bridal showroom. Keep going for more adventures, including a bygone-era steakhouse, a legit donut hut, and a tree-lined bike path leading to Alewife Brook Parkway. If you're willing to stop and smell the flowers, you won't get a better sense of unfettered Cambridge bohemia than this.