How to spend a day in Jamaica Plain

The Jamaica Pond kettle lake is part of the Emerald Necklace parks. | Photo by @joshlukeyen

The Jamaica Pond kettle lake is part of the Emerald Necklace parks. | Photo by @joshlukeyen

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Eat

Looking to explore thrift shops, independent bookstores + nature? There isn’t a better Boston neighborhood to check out than Jamaica Plain, aka JP. Plus, the area has a pretty unique history — did you know that Sylvia Plath was born there?

Check out these fast facts about the neighborhood.

  • The neighborhood accounts for 4.4 square miles in the City of Boston.
  • It was one of America’s first streetcar suburbs + was originally a part of the Town of Roxbury.
  • 41,012 people call Jamaica Plain home, according to the 2020 census data.

Here are our recommendations for spending a day in the charming Boston neighborhood, from strolling around the Arnold Arboretum to hitting the shops on Centre Street.

How to get there

If you’re traveling via the MBTA, you’re in luck. The Jackson Square, Stony Brook, Green Street + Forest Hill Stations are all on the Orange Line, and the area is also accessible via the Green Line Heath Street stop.

Eat

Blue Frog Bakery, 3 Green St.

Satisfy your sweet tooth with the pastries, cakes, breads + cookies.

Brassica Kitchen + Cafe, 3710 Washington St.

Make a reservation for dinner Wednesdays through Saturdays or check out their weekend brunch.

Casa Verde, 711 Centre St.

Tacos, nachos, margs + beer? You can’t go wrong.

Cheese skillet nachos. ‘Nuff said. | Photo by @casaverdejp

Cheese skillet nachos. ‘Nuff said. | Photo by @casaverdejp

Evergreen Eatery and Cafe,154 Green St.

Serving breakfast all day, because there’s never a bad time for cinnamon brioche french toast.

Fiore’s Bakery, 55 South St.

Stop by for vegan, vegetarian + gluten-free breakfast, lunch, and pastries.

The Haven, 2 Perkins St.

Come in for a variety of Scottish dishes and drinks, stay for the banter.

JPizle Kitchen, 536 Centre St.

Curb your diner cravings, whether it’s a loaded burger or a maple bacon crumble waffle.

J.P. Licks, 659 Centre St.

Visit the first location of this iconic Boston joint, which opened in 1981.

Juicygreens, 61 South St.

Nourish your body with fresh juices + plant-based bowls made from pure ingredients.

Ten Tables, 597 Centre St.

Try the latest dishes on their seasonal dinner menu Wednesdays through Sundays.

Tres Gatos, 470 Centre St.

A full-service restaurant, book, and music store.

Vee Vee, 763 Centre St.

Pro tip: don’t miss fried chicken night every Tuesday, available for dine-in + take-out.

When Pigs Fly, 613 Centre St.

Freshly baked artisan and classic bread with 25+ options to choose from.

Drink

Brendan Behan Pub, 378 Center St.

Stop by for live Irish music every Saturday at 5:30 p.m., and check out their different food pop-ups.

Espresso Yourself, 767 Centre St.

Treat yourself to coffee + one of their signature Greek halvas.

Galway House, 710 Centre St.

A cozy neighborhood destination since 1960.

Sam Adams Brewery, 30 Germania St.

Sign up for one of the four different tour experiences of the Boston brewery.

Tokava Coffee, 7 Pond St.

Sip all the coffee classics, or try a seasonal drink like the sparkling matcha.

Enjoy a side of international art with your coffee at Tokava. | Photo by @tokavacoffee

Enjoy a side of international art with your coffee at Tokava. | Photo by @tokavacoffee

Turtle Swamp Brewing, 3377 Washington St.

Enjoy beer brewed onsight at their Production Brewery + try their New England India Pale Ale.

Ula Cafe, 284 Amory St.

This local spot focuses on whole ingredients, sustainability, inclusivity + charity.

Outdoors

Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway

Explore 281-acres with over 15,000 plants on your own or with a tour guide.

Jamaica Pond Park, 507, 345 Jamaicaway

Walk, run, or stroll on the scenic 1.5 mile trail around the pond.

History

Haffenreffer Brewery, 31 Germania St.

Visit the site of the former brewery, which was built in 1871.

The Loring Greenough House, 12 South St.

Schedule a tour of the house, or picnic + relax on the lawn during the day.

Shop

40 South St., 40 South St.

Stop by to check out their rotating selection of hand picked vintage items.

Boomerangs, 716 Centre St.

Thrift high-quality new, vintage + gently-loved merchandise while supporting AIDS Action.

Deep Thoughts, 138-B South St.

Sell or buy vintage records, tapes, CDs, and books — join them every Friday night for Grateful Dead Family Night.

On Centre, 676 Centre St.

Shop everything from gourmet treats, JP apparel, toys, clothing + games.

Papercuts, 60 South St.

A woman-owned, independent bookstore — shop their curated booklist, or pop in to browse the shelves.

Papercuts has been selling a variety of books since 2014. | Photo by @papercutsjp

Papercuts has been selling a variety of books since 2014. | Photo by @papercutsjp

Entertainment

aVenue, 3611 Washington St.

An alternative live music venue — check out their website for upcoming events, like live music yoga.

Footlight Club, 7A Eliot St.

Stop by America’s oldest community theater to catch a local show.

Midway Cafe, 3496 Washington St.

Enjoy food, music + karaoke at this venue — open until 2 a.m. daily.

Wenham Street Cinema, 23 Wenham St.

This free theatre builds community through film, food + discussion.

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