Brookline is a town in Massachusetts that is bordered on three sides by Boston. Brookline is primarily residential, and it's technically a suburb, but it's fairly high density considering all of that. Brookline is in fact denser than many major cities, such as Los Angeles! In terms of the number of T stops, it's probably the best-connected of any town to Boston.
Brookline has quite a few destinations, but unless you're meeting someone or have your heart set on a particular restaurant, Brookline probably doesn't justify a stop. It has some interesting attractions, shops, and restaurants, but they're primarily patronized by locals and aren't wildly interesting, especially compared to those in the rest of the Boston area.
Brookline is very close to and therefore served by Boston's sole major airport, Logan International Airport.
Brookline is served by 2 out of 4 branches of the MBTA light rail known as the Green Line, which is in itself a part of the system known as the T.
Take the C line from Boston, and get off at one of the main stops in Brookline. Coolidge Corner is a great place to get off the train.
The D line, also accessible from many places downtown, will bring you to Brookline Village, a quaint area with many restaurants, though it isn't as big a draw for people who live outside the area. Brookline Village is a little sleepier and more residential, although it has some dining and shopping.
The B line doesn't actually enter Brookline proper, but its Commonwealth Ave. stops are all within blocks of Brookline.
The E line is a bit of a hike, but you can get to it by walking all the way to the Fens.
The D line is much faster with less stops than the B and C lines. If given the choice between one or the other, take the D line. That said, the D line is further away from most of the people and businesses in Brookline, who mostly are near the C line, which also has the most stops of any Green Line branch in Brookline.
If you are disabled, think carefully before taking the train into Brookline. Only a few Green Line stops are wheelchair-accessible (the MBTA website should have the most current accessibility information). During busier times of day wheelchair users should have little difficulty getting to Coolidge Corner, Washington Square, and Brookline Village on one of the newer Green Line trolleys with low floors; however many older-style cars with large steps up are still in use, especially during non-peak hours, and these are accessible only via hand-cranked wheelchair lift. The situation is better now than it was even just a few years ago, but the Green Line is still a long way from being universally accessible. The other rail lines in the MBTA, for the most part, have handicap access.
All MBTA rapid transit services, including the Green Line, are $2 with a plastic RFID (wireless transmitter) card known as the CharlieCard, and $2.50 with either a CharlieTicket or cash. Unfortunately for riders, the CharlieCard, for the most part is only available at neighborhood stores such as 7-11s. The vending machines, for some bizarre reason, only vend CharlieTickets, and it's impossible to pay in cash if you're taking the trip from downtown.
Cars and Brookline, like most of Boston and its immediate suburbs, do not mix perfectly. One thing to be aware of is that there is generally no overnight parking on streets; those cars on streets after 2AM (11PM in some areas) will be ticketed...seriously! There is also a two-hour parking limit, which is not as strictly enforced. (But wouldn't you know it, your car will be the one that gets ticketed :)
Route 66-At Coolidge Corner and Brookline Village. Runs up and down Harvard Street and continues north to Allston in Boston and Havard Square in Cambridge.
Route 65-Is less frequent, goes through Brookline Village and Washington Square and continues north to Brighton Center in Boston.
Route 60-Goes Along Highway 9 (Boylston Street) and Cypress Street. Goes through Brookline Village. Continues west to Chestnut Hill Mall, and East to Kenmore Square.
Route 51-Goes from Cleveland Circle into South Brookline and continues Forest Hills MBTA station in Jamaica Pond in Boston.
Route 86-Goes from Cleveland Circle north into Brighton Center and Harvard Square.
Many buses that go to other cities including New York, stop at the Riverside MBTA Stop in Newton on the D Line. The train can be taken into Brookline.
Brookline has no navigable bodies of water along its borders. Therefore one cannot arrive in Brookline by boat. Theoretically one could cross the Muddy River by canoe or raft and in doing so travel from Boston to Brookline via boat... but that would be just plain silly.
Coolidge Corner - A shopping area with much to do. Is the most happening area in Brookline. On C Line, Coolidge Corner Stop.
Brookline Village - A somewhat sleepier historic area with many restaurants. On D Line, Brookline Village Stop.
Washington Square - Local shops and some popular restaurants and taverns. On C Line, Washington Square Stop.
Brookline Hills - Around the high school and across Route 9. Very residential. On the D Line, Brookline Hills stop.
Cleveland Circle - Actually in the Boston neighborhood of Allston-Brighton, but is right on the border with Brookline. Large student population, due to its proximity to Boston College. Has some bars, restaurants pizzerias, but is slightly more run-down than Brookline proper (although gentrifying). The intersection is very confusing, as it is the intersection of three different lines of the T. On C Line Cleveland, Circle Stop. On D Line, Reservoir Stop.
Putterham Circle/South Brookline "Chestnut Hill" - Suburban and residential feel. Putterham Circle has a variety of shops, including market, restaurants, bank, hair salon, gift shop, Starbucks, and others. Does not have access to a train, but the Route 51 Bus can be taken to and from Cleveland Circle.
St. Mary's- Overshadowed by nearby Kenmore Square and the Landmark Center in Boston. The area has a little bit to it. Is On C Line, St. Mary's Stop, On D Line, Fenway Stop.
Pill Hill/The Point - Residential area to the south of Route 9. Ritzy. From this area, one can either walk to the Brookline Hills or Brookline Village stops on the D Line, or take the Route 60 bus.
JFK Crossing - Stretch along Harvard St. with a heavy Jewish influence, from just north of Coolidge Corner to Commonwealth Ave. in Allston.
The primary way to get around in Brookline is to walk. Most places of interest are close together, or if you need to go farther away, a short ride on the MBTA will do it. If you choose to drive, be aware—especially on Beacon Street, where the trolley runs down the middle of the street.
- Hubway, toll-free: +1-855-948-2929, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. A bike sharing service that offers use of 1,300 bikes from 140 kiosks around Boston, Cambridge, Somerville and Brookline. Visitors can purchase a 24-hour ($6) or 72-hour ($12) pass with a credit or debit card; both offer unlimited trips under 30 minutes (longer trips incur expensive extra charges). There are currently four stations in Brookline.
- Larz Anderson Auto Museum, 15 Newton Street, ☎ +1 617 522-6547, fax: +1 617-524-0170. Tu-Su 10AM-5PM. $5/$3 students and seniors, under 6 free.
- John F. Kennedy National Historic Site, 83 Beals St, ☎ +1 617 566-7937. W-Su 10AM-4:30PM. The 1917 birthplace and boyhood home of the 35th President of the United States. A peek into how people lived in 1917.
- The Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard Street, ☎ +1 617 734-2500. A charming, old fashioned movie theatre that plays art house films, as well as some crowd-pleasers.
- Larz Anderson Park, 290 Harvard Street, ☎ +1 617 739-7518. This features an outdoor skating rink, and is the #1 sledding destination in the town. The park is a great place for kids.
- Brookline Golf Club at Putterham, 1281 West Roxbury Parkway, ☎ +1 617 730-2078. Public 18 hole golf course.
Brookline is home to some of the best public schools around. Brookline High School has many famous alumni including Theo Epstein, the current General Manager of the Cubs; Michael Dukakis, former Massachusetts Governor and 1988 Democratic Presidential nominee; Robert Kraft, current Patriots and Revolution owner; Conan O'Brien, TV host.
- The Mall at Chestnut Hill, 199 Boylston St, ☎ +1 617 965-3038. Shopping mall.
- Coolidge Corner, Beacon St. and Harvard St.. "Commercial and cultural Mecca of Brookline."
- Brookline Booksmith, 279 Harvard St (Coolidge Corner), ☎ +1 617 566-6660. Independent book seller.
- J.P. Licks, 311 Harvard St, ☎ +1 617 738-8252. Sure, there are a few JP Licks in the Boston Area, but this one is still worth visiting. Incredible ice cream, cool neon decorations, and coffee when it is warm.
- Clearflour Bakery, 178 Thorndike St, ☎ +1 617 739-0060. M-F 8AM-8PM, Sa,Su 9AM-7PM. Delicious, authentic baguettes and boules, batards and loaves made fresh daily.
- Anna's Taqueria, 1412 Beacon St #1, ☎ +1 617-739-7300. AND 446 Harvard St., Phone: +1 617-277-7111. Has a cult following. Great for some of the most authentic Mexican food anywhere in the United States. Very cheap and fast, and made right in front of you.
- Boca Grande, 1294 Beacon St (at Pleasant Street), ☎ +1 617 739-3900. A rival to Anna's for Mexican food.
- Coolidge Corner Clubhouse, 307 Harvard St., ☎ +1 617-566-4948. Mon-Fri: 11:30AM-1:30AM; Sat-Sun: 8AM-1:30AM;. Serving the community for over three decades, The Coolidge Corner Clubhouse is a Cozy sports bar with tons of televisions and a large selection of domestic and imported beers. Their food and drinks include 36 Microbrews on tap, Boston's largest Martini Menu, a huge dinner menu including 50 different sandwiches, 20 different Mexican food items, 30 different appetizers, over 40 different salad options, and a brunch menu that offers 18 items to choose from. The Sandwiches, named after Boston sports icons, include a Roger Clemens grilled chicken sandwich with broccoli, honey mustard and melted cheese. Also has 20 HDTV's and shows every NFL Game. Kitchen is open until 1:15AM. $8-15.
- Pino's Pizza, 1920 Beacon St (in Cleveland Circle), ☎ +1 617 566-6468.
- Emack & Bolios, 1663 Beacon St (in Washington Square), ☎ +1 617 731-6256. Su-Th 11AM-11PM, F,Sa 11AM-11:30PM. Ice cream joint is a popular hang out.
- Brookline Family Restaurant, 305 Washington Street (in Brookline Village), ☎ +1 617 277-4466. Daily 7AM-11PM. Great Turkish food for cheap. Definitely try the donar kebab sandwich. Dinner entrees are $10-15 but can easily serve two (or provide one person two or three meals worth of leftovers) and you can really fill up on the bean salad (fasooleeye piaz) and bread that are served with all meals. Go when you're hungry!
- Michael's Deli, 256 Harvard St (in Coolidge Corner), ☎ +1 617 738-3354. Go for the corned beef sandwich or the excellent egg and cheese bagels.
- When Pigs Fly, 1378A Beacon St (Coolidge Corner), ☎ +1 617 232-1077. 10AM-7:30PM; 7 days. Old-world, artisan breads.
- Seven Subs, 1 Centre St (Coolidge Corner), ☎ +1 617 232-7070. Mon - Fri 11AM-9PM, Sat - Sun 11AM-5PM. Takeout sub shop.
- Chef Chows House, 230 Harvard St (Coolidge Corner), ☎ +1 617 739-CHOW (2469). Sun - Thurs 11:30AM-10PM, Fri - Sat 11:30AM-11PM. Chinese restaurant.
- Bottega Fiorentina, 313B Harvard Street (Coolidge Corner), ☎ +1 617 232-2661. Mon - Sat 11AM-8:30, Sun 11AM-6PM. Affordable Italian.
- Cutty's, 284 Washington St, Brookline, MA 02445, ☎ +1 617 505-1844. Small, but very popular sandwich shop. Quality ingredients, the portions aren't huge, but you probably won't leave hungry. Most sandwiches are pressed, but not quite paninis. Also a good place for coffee.
- OTTO (Otto's Pizza), 289 Harvard Street, ☎ +1 617 499-3352. OTTO is a bustling restaurant with excellent food and service.The waiters and waitresses always greet you with a warm smile. It can get busy on weekends, so going there on weekdays for lunch or dinner is best.
- Golden Temple, 1651 Beacon St (Washington Sq.), ☎ +1 617 277-9722. Offers fancy Chinese food with valet parking, and easy access to the MBTA public transportation.
- Rod-Dee Thai Cuisine, 1430 Beacon St, ☎ +1 617 738-4977. Amazing Thai food. Seriously. There is a lot of Thai food in Boston but this unassuming restaurant, busy most of the day, may be the best out there. Only a couple of tables, so plan on taking out.
- Zaftigs Delicatessen, 335 Harvard St (Coolidge Corner), ☎ +1 617 975-0075. 8AM-10PM. Non-Kosher, "new Jewish"-style restaurant.
- Fugakyu, 1280 Beacon Street (Coolidge Corner), ☎ +1 617 734-1268. Some of the best sushi in town. It truly lives up to the meaning of its name, "house of exquisite excellence." Don't worry about bringing people who don't like sushi, as they have an extensive menu (many pages) of cooked food and appetizers including shabu-shabu, tempura, katsu, sukiyaki, teriyaki, along with plenty of vegetarian options. There are many private dining rooms for 4 to 20 people that can be requested at the door for smaller parties - reservations are only made for larger groups, along with a large number of open-floor tables.
- The Fireplace, 1634 Beacon Street (Washington Square), ☎ +1 617 975-1900. Creative, modern American cuisine, with excellent, often locally-sourced ingredients. Live music on Wednesday and Thursday nights. Good, all-American wine list in keeping with the menu. Outdoor seating is available during the warmer months, great for people-watching.
- Taberna de Haro, 999 Beacon Street, ☎ +1 617 277-8272. Spanish Tapas at St. Mary's.
- Rani Indian Bistro, 1353 Beacon St, ☎ +1 617 734-0400. A distinct step above the usual Indian restaurant. Delicious.
Harvard St. between Commonwealth Ave. and Beacon St. is a heavily Jewish neighborhood: the majority of the kosher restaurants in the Greater Boston area can be found here. These restaurants are best accessed by the 66 bus, although they are within walking distance from the Harvard Ave. stop of the B branch of the Green Line and the Coolidge Corner stop of the C branch of the Green Line. Keep in mind that like all kosher restaurants, these restaurants are closed Friday night and only open late Saturday night (if at all on Saturday) due to the Jewish Sabbath.
- Jerusalem Pita and Grill, 10 Pleasant St, ☎ +1 617 739-2400.
- Kupel's Bakery, 421 Harvard St, ☎ +1 617 566-9528. Not a restaurant, but good for a bagel or a light snack.
- Rami's, 324 Harvard St, ☎ +1 617 738-3577. A falafel place run by Israelis: has some of the best falafel in the area, with a warm staff who are happy to offer samples and conversation. There are a few tables that fill up quickly at peak times.
- Ruth's Kitchen, 401 Harvard St, ☎ +1 617 734-9810.
- Taam China, 423 Harvard St, ☎ +1 617 264-7274. Glatt kosher Chinese food: don't expect to see any pork-fried rice on the menu here.
- Matt Murphy's Pub, 14 Harvard St, ☎ +1 617 232-0188. Consistently rated as "Best Irish Pub" by several local publications, this Brookline spot (ride to Brookline Village on the 'D' Branch of the Green Line - about 20 minutes from downtown Boston) boasts fantastic Irish food miles removed from standard pub fare and bartenders and waitstaff with genuine brogues, as well as live music.
- The Publick House, 1648 Beacon St (in Washington Square), ☎ +1 617 277-2880. Has great food and a huge selection of artisanal beers on tap and in bottles. Get your hard to find European beers and domestic micro-brews here. Come for the beer, stay for the mac and cheese and the Belgian-style frites.
- Washington Square Tavern, 714 Washington St, ☎ +1 617 232-8989.
- Holiday Inn Brookline, 1200 Beacon St, ☎ +1 617 277-1200. The Holiday Inn hotel in Brookline, MA offers an indoor heated pool, fitness center, business center, hotel bar & lounge, and event facilities.
- The Beech Tree Inn (Brookline, Massachusetts B & B), 83 Longwood Avenue, toll-free: +1-800-544-9660. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 11AM. The Beech Tree Inn Bed and Breakfast offers 10 guest rooms in the outskirts of Boston. The inn is just a short tram ride from many of the cities events and activities. Rooms:$89-179.
- The Best Western Terrace Inn, 1650 Commonwealth Ave., ☎ +1 617-566-6260. Free parking.
- The Bertram Inn, 92 Sewall Ave, toll-free: +1-800-295-3822. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. Pet Friendly!
- The Samuel Sewall Inn, 143 Saint Paul Street, toll-free: +1-888-713-0123. Known for its warm, comfortable ambiance and spacious guest rooms, it's 14 Victorian-era rooms offer guests a relaxing respite outside of Boston's busy city center.
Greater Boston uses 10-digit dialing. This means you need to include the area code whenever you are making a call. The standard area code is 617, but some phone numbers, especially cell phones, use the new 857 overlay.
The town is incredibly safe, with an impressive police presence. Pedestrians entering Brookline for the first time from some of rowdier sections of Boston that border the town often speak of a noticeable change in atmosphere; there are fewer drunks and homeless people, more police, and the beer cans and cigarette butts that line the sidewalks of neighborhoods like Allston disappear. The town works very hard to keep it this way and police can be aggressive. Police in Brookline will often annoy the local high school and college populations for "rowdiness."
|Routes through Brookline|
|END ← Allston-Brighton ←||W E||→ Fenway-Kenmore → Merges with main Green Line|
|END ← Newton ←||W E||→ Fenway-Kenmore → Merges with main Green Line|
|Worcester ← Newton ←||W E||→ Boston → Ends at|