Worcester (Massachusetts)

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Explore fine arts, history, and take in a show in Worcester, a medium sized city in Central Massachusetts about an hour's drive west of Boston. Worcester's seven hills and their valleys contain top notch museums, nine colleges and universities, beautiful parks, and food from all over the globe.

Understand[edit]

Worcester was established as a town on June 14, 1722 and as a city on February 29, 1848. It has a population of 172,648 as of the 2000 Census and is the second largest city in New England, behind Boston. Worcester is the home of nine colleges and universities, the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, the Massachusetts Bio-Technology Research Park, and the American Antiquarian Society. Despite their large number, Worcester's colleges and universities have not left much of an imprint on the overall feel of the city--for better and for worse, it is not the least bit a college town. Worcester has a very low rate of violent crime compared to the comparably sized city Providence, Rhode Island. It also has lots of parks, greenspace, small bodies of water, and tree-lined streets.

Climate[edit]

Worcester is one of the snowiest cities in the United States, receiving around 70 inches a year on average. Typically, snowfall is dominated by large, long duration events and the city is usually hit with several noreasters each year and the occasional blizzard. As an older, hilly city, snow removal is very poor and only the main roads will be well cleared. Some side streets may be snow covered for days after a storm.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

  • Worcester Regional Airport (IATA: ORH), 375 Airport Drive, 1-888-359-9672, [1] is serviced by JetBlue. Unless you are coming from Florida, this isn't a particularly useful airport since it only serves vacation destinations and isn't well connected to the city. Logan International Airport in Boston or T.F. Green Airport in Warwick carry the bulk of passengers in the area. There is train service from Boston to Worcester.

By train[edit]

  • MBTA's Framingham Worcester Line [2]: $10 one way. Often takes an hour to an hour and a half, between South Station in Boston and Union Station in Worcester, depending on if on a local or express train.
  • Amtrak, 2 Washington Sq. (Union Station), [3]. There is a daily train from Boston to Chicago that stops in Worcester (it runs direct to Albany, where a transfer is required). This train also arrives from Chicago every day, but Amtrak does not accept boardings at Worcester in the direction of Boston (though you may ride from Boston to Worcester). In most cases, train travel to Worcester is most reliably and conveniently made by travelling to Boston on Amtrak, then on MBTA to Worcester (or vice versa).

By bus[edit]

  • Greyhound Bus Lines and Peter Pan bus Lines, 2 Washington Sq. (Union Station), +1 508-754-1102. Greyhound online, [4], phone +1-800-231-2222].
  • Peter Pan online, 800-343-9999, [5]. Peter Pan website info for Worcester schedules is often unreliable, so it's better to call for information. One-way fares for all buses to and from Boston start at about $8.

By car[edit]

  • Worcester is well served by highways. Interstate 290 runs through Worcester and connects to Interstate 495, Interstate 190, Interstate 395, and Interstate 90 (the Massachusetts Turnpike). Most visitors to the city will arrive by car. Fair warning, traffic on I-90 near Worcester can move very slowly at almost any time of day, especially on holiday weekends.

Get around[edit]

Many of Worcester's points of interest are far spaced from one another. The only practical way to get around is by car (or bike). Public transit in Worcester is focused mainly on commuters. Cabs are no longer inexpensive, and are often more expensive per mile than cabs in other cities. If you're there for more than just a visit, bicycles are available from many used stores and are the best way to get around and explore. Buses in the city usually run every 30 to 60 minutes, with some running only every two hours depending on the route. Fare is $1.50 or $3.50 for an all-day pass. Buses on certain routes are often a half hour or more late, but be at your stop early as they often fly by a few minutes early in order to catch up for previous late stops.

By bus[edit]

  • Worcester Regional Transit Authority, 287 Grove St., [6]. Phone +1 508-791-WRTA

Taxi[edit]

  • Yellow Cab, Phone: +1 508-754-3211.
  • Red Cab, Phone: +1 508-792-9999 or +1 508-756-9000.

See[edit]

There is a surprising amount to see in Worcester. Many travelers might only consider it worth a day trip, but this would be mistaken. The Worcester Art Museum alone is big enough to occupy an entire day. Leaving aside the city's museums, you may still want to take a stroll through one of the city's historic parks or college campuses.

Museums & Galleries[edit]

Worcester has a museum for everyone. In addition to the Worcester Art Museum, there is an interesting little history museum and a science and nature center that is great for kids. The Museum of Russian Icons is in nearby Clinton.

  • Worcester Art Museum55 Salisbury St +1 508 759-4406. W-Su 11AM-5PM, Th 11AM-8PM, Sa 10AM-5PM. Plenty of great exhibits! Also free on Saturdays before noon. Lots of great art here! $10, students and under 17 free.
  • Worcester Historical Museum30 Elm St +1 508 753-8278. Tu-Sa 10AM-4PM, Th 10AM-8:30PM. Small museum in a beautiful old building that presents the city's history. Also has a room dedicated to the "smiley face," which was invented in Worcester.
  • Salisbury Mansion40 Highland Street, Worcester, MA 01609 +1 508 753-8278. Historic house museum that is part of the Worcester History Museum. Admission to the house is included in admission to the history museum, just keep your ticket and present it at the mansion. Former home of the Salisbury family, once the wealthiest in the city. The house is now the oldest structure in the city, having been built in the 18th century.
  • Sprinkler Factory38 Harlow St, Worcester Ma. Gallery and artist studio that showcases local artists

Landmarks[edit]

Architecture buffs and photographers will appreciate Worcester's collection of historic buildings and monuments.

  • Worcester Union Station, 2 Washington Sq. Worcester's pride and joy. This amazing work of art dates back to the glory days of rail roads, tycoons, and Worcester's position as the home to Pullman's Dining Car Company. Abandoned in the 1970s, it was revived to its original glory in 2000 after a $32 million campaign to save the station. Notice the turn of the century relics as you walk in (such as marble walls and thirty foot ceilings).
  • Massachusetts Vietnam Veterans' War MemorialSkyline Drive, Green Hill Park (http://www.massvvm.org/map/). daytime. Dedicated in June 2002, it is located on Skyline Drive at Green Hill Park in Worcester. The 4-acre location includes a pond, walking paths and the Memorial. A place to provide a dignified, quiet, natural location for reflection and learning. The Memorial is designed in three sections called places. These consist of the PLACE OF FLAGS, PLACE OF WORDS and PLACE OF NAMES. The PLACE OF WORDS shows text from letters written home by some of the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines who died in Vietnam. The PLACE OF NAMES proclaims in stone the name of each and every Massachusetts resident who died in combat or as a result of wounds received while in action in Vietnam. Free.
  • Bancroft TowerBancroft Tower Rd, Worcester, MA (Drive to the top of the hill). A folly built to commemorate the achievements of George Bancroft by Worcester's richest man at the time, Stephen Salisbury. Bancroft Tower sort of looks like it belongs in an old castle. Located in a wooded park at the top of a hill. Usually the interior of the tower is closed to the public, but occasionally it is open and the view from the top looks out over all of Worcester.
  • Worcester Common. Worcester, like many Massachusetts towns and cities, has an historic town common at its center. Worcester Common was created in 1669 and was originally 20 acres. They city's development has since shrunk that to 4.4 acres. Worcester Common is undergoing a renovation to add newer and bigger sidewalks in addition to more seating areas.
  • Worcester City Hall455 Main St., Worcester, MA 01608. Worcester City Hall is a sight to see in its own right. Built in 1898 at the height of Worcester's industrial prominence, City Hall was built in the Italianate style and has an imposing granite exterior.
  • Burnside Fountain, located on the south side of the Worcester Common, is known to locals as "The Turtle-Boy Love Statue". The fountain features a boy and a turtle engaged in what any reasonable observer would have to conclude is an obscene -- or at least nonconsensual -- act. Not many, if any, people know what it truly represents, so judge for yourself.
  • Soldiers' Monument (Worcester Common). 60 foot monument built in 1874 in honor of Worcester's Civil War dead.

Parks[edit]

  • Hadwen Arboretum950 Main St, Worcester, MA 01610 +1 508 793-7601. Century-old trees & 40 plant species share space at this campus woodland offering trails & a garden. Part of Clark University.
  • City Parks. The city boasts many parks for the enjoyment of residents and visitors from the largest Green Hill Park to Elm Park and Institute Park which hosts many outdoor concerts during the summer season.
  • Elm Park284 Highland St, Worcester, MA 01602. The grand old lady of Worcester parks. The land the park sits on was purchased by the city in 1854 making it one of the first purchases of land to be set aside for a public park in the U.S. The park is currently undergoing renovations, but the old iron bridge over the pond in the middle has been restored.
  • Institute Park (Salisbury St between Park and Grove). Sweeping park overlooking Institute Pond, built on donated land in 1887. Holds many festivals and concerts throughout the summer.

Colleges[edit]

Worcester is home to many colleges and universities. A lot of the campuses are newer, with fairly dull contemporary architecture. However, the city's three oldest private institutions are quite pretty. Look for lectures open to the public at all three while you're in town.

  • College of the Holy Cross1 College St, Worcester, MA 01610. Worcester's oldest and prettiest institution of higher education. Explore the warren of old brick buildings perched on a hillside overlooking the city.
  • Seelos Theater (Bottom of the campus). This theater shows a selection of oscar nominated and blockbuster movies once a week during the semester for free. Open to the general public. In fact, most of the audience is usually non-students.
  • Cantor Art Gallery. Campus art gallery showing both historical and contemporary works for the benefit of the community.
  • Clark University950 Main St, Worcester, MA 01610. Clark University maintains a scenic campus in the heart of Worcester's Main South Neighborhood.
  • Worcester Polytechnic Institute100 Institute Rd, Worcester, MA 01609. The older parts of this campus are perched on a ridge line between Highland Avenue and Institute Park.

Do[edit]

  • Central Rock Climbing Gym299 Barber Ave. M-F 10AM-10PM except Th 10AM-11PM, Sa 9AM-10PM, Su 10AM-7PM. Central Massachusetts' largest indoor rock climbing gym with around 14,000 square feet of climbing area, and climbing walls from 15 to over 40 feet. Though many hardcore climbers frequent the gym, the terrain difficulty ranges from beginner to expert, and there is a separate beginners area and a wall just for kids also. Don't worry if you've never climbed before, this place is super welcoming and the staff is great! A small retail shop near the main desk sells climbing accessories and clothing. Upstairs there is a lounge area complete with free wifi, and a yoga room that can be used for stretching when yoga classes are not practicing. Waiver forms are needed for anyone who wants to climb, and minors need a parental signature. Memberships are available, but day passes for are $14 for adults, $12 for students. They also offer early bird specials before 2PM. If you're only interested in bouldering, its $10. Shoes, harnesses, and chalk can all be rented at the front desk..
  • Broadmeadow Brook414 Massasoit Rd, Worcester, MA 01604 +1 508 753-6087. Hike the well marked trails in the largest urban wildlife refuge in New England.

Festivals[edit]

  • First Night Worcester, Dec. 31-Jan 1. Usher in the new year. Cultural events throughout downtown. Fireworks. Children's parade. International food court [7]
  • Worcester St. Patrick's Day Parade, Mid-March. Park Ave. One of the largest Irish Parades in the state.
  • Albanian Festival, early June, alternating odd numbered years, St. Mary's Albanian Orthodox Church. Largest Albanian festival in the country [8]
  • Grecian Festival, early June, alternating even numbered years. St. Spyridon Church. One of the largest Greek Festivals in New England with over 25,000 attendees [9]
  • Summer Nationals, July 4 weekend, hot rods and fancy cars take over Green Hill Park and downtown Worcester.
  • Italian Festival, mid-August, Mt. Carmel Church. Very popular annual festival in the city (which did not happen in 2007).
  • Latin American Festival, Mid-August, City Hall, Downtown Worcester. One of the largest Latin American festivals in New England.
  • Pet Rock Festival, early September, held at Quinsigamond Community College. Largest non-profit animal benefit in New England. Held annually to make money for shelters and other animal related services. "They can't talk so we will." www.petrockfest.com
  • StART on the Street, September, Park Avenue. Huge street festival featuring over 200 local vendors and artists, food, and live music and performance art. According to the organizers, the 2009 festival was attended by 25,000 people. [10] StART also holds StART in the park (spring) and StART at the Station (Christmas time).

Sports and Outdoors[edit]

  • New England Surge. DCU Center. Mar-Jun. Professional Indoor Football. Inaugural season in 2007.
  • Worcester Sharks. DCU Center. Oct-Apr. American Hockey League. Development affiliate of the NHL's San Jose Sharks.
  • Worcester Tornadoes. Fitton Field. May-Sep. Playing baseball in the Canadian-American League, they began playing in Worcester in 2005 and won the Canadian American Championship against Quebec in just three games. People seem to love the Tornadoes.
  • Worcester Green Hill Municipal Golf Club2 Green Hill Av +1 508 799-1359. Apr-mid Dec. 18 hole, 6487 yds, Par 72, CR-70.4, S-122. Public.
  • Worcester Fencing Club, 243 Stafford Street

[11].

Arts and Theater[edit]

  • Music WorcesterMechanics Hall, 323 Main St +1 508 754-3231. Presenter of the Worcester Music Festival(the oldest Music Festival in the United States), the International Artist Series and the Mass Jazz Festival.
  • Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts2 Southbridge St, toll-free: +1-877-571-SHOW (7469). Restored downtown theatre staging professional touring productions and national comedians and musical acts.
  • ArtsWorcester660 Main St +1 508 755-5142. Organization which promotes art programs and exhibitions throughout the city. Schedule available.
  • Massachusetts Symphony OrchestraTuckerman Hall, 10 Tuckerman St +1 508 754-1234. Massachusetts Symphony Orchestra's annual activities include the admission-free Summer Concert Series in Worcester's Institute Park as well as symphonic and 'pops' performances in Worcester's Tuckerman and Mechanics Halls before audiences numbering in the thousands.
  • Seven Hills Symphony, a community orchestra affiliated with the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, has concerts occasionally throughout the year.

Entertainment Arenas[edit]

  • DCU Center50 Foster St +1 508-755-6800fax: +1 508-929-0011. Over 14,000 seat arena. Convention facilities, concerts, trade shows, sporting events.
  • Hanover Theatre554 Main St +1 508 770-0101. This 2300 seat theater finished renovations March 2008
  • Mechanics Hall321 Main St +1 508 752-5608. Pre Civil War era Concert Hall. Grand Hall seating 1,600. Concerts(classical,jazz,popular music),lectures,business meetings.
  • Tuckerman Hall10 Tuckerman St (corner of Salisbury St. and Tuckerman St.),  +1 508 754-1234. Neo-classically-designed, triangular-shaped building, located next to the Worcester Art Museum, contains a breathtaking 550-seat main hall adorned with magnificent plaster detail and ornate gold leaf. A pristine circular auditorium seating 200 and six fireplaced turret suites, each with a different architectural motif including Colonial, Dutch, Moorish, and Renaissance revival styles.
  • Palladium261 Main St +1 508 797-9696fax: +1 508 791-7101. Concerts (popular,rock).

Learn[edit]

Worcester boasts a fair number of high schools, colleges and universities in its region.

  • Assumption College, 500 Salisbury St., [12].
  • Becker College, 61 Sever St., [13].
  • Clark University, 950 Main St., [14].
  • College of the Holy Cross, 1 College St., [15].
  • Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, 19 Foster St., [16]
  • Quinsigamond Community College, 670 West Boylston St., [17].
  • University of Massachusetts Medical School, 55 Lake Ave N, [18].
  • Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), 100 Institute Rd., [19].
  • Worcester State University, 486 Chandler St., [20].

Buy[edit]

Despite being the second largest city in New England, Worcester is not a shopping mecca. There is one small mall in the city that's of no interest to travelers. Downtown used to be home to many department stores and then a large indoor mall. The mall has since been torn down and the department stores are gone. There are three malls in the suburbs of Auburn, Millbury, and Berlin, but these also aren't of much interest to the traveler. Worcester does have a few interesting stores to check out though. Be warned: there isn't a main shopping district, these are spread throughout the city.


  • That's Entertainment244 Park Av +1 508 755-4207. If you have any interest in comic books, sci-fi, horror, fantasy, roleplaying, etc., check this out.
  • Hung Thinh Oriental Market15 Parker St. Sells whole, frozen durian.
  • FYC (Fuck Yea Center), 420 Pleasant St (the old HBML). Cool punk/skate shoppe, sells good records, skateboards, t-shirts, DVD, VHS, cassette tapes, mixed cassette tapes, skate decks (local and int'l), trucks, wheels, bearings, pants, hats, mystery boxes, etc. There's a quarter pipe inside (!) and they do lots of cool events on the regs.
  • Crompton Collective138 Green St, Worcester, MA 01604 +1 508 753-7303. Huge and eclectic consignment shop in the basement of the old Crompton Loom Works.
  • Bahnan's International Marketplace344 Pleasant St, Worcester, MA 01609 +1 508 796-5365. Mediterranean grocery store where you can stock up on hard to find items or buy feta in bulk.
  • Grime356 Shrewsbury St, Worcester, MA 01604 +1 508 755-5055. Hip new and used clothing boutique on trendy Shrewsbury St.
  • Alexis Grace Consignment7 Harrison Street, Worcester, MA 01604 +1 508 799-4700. Consignment shop located in a renovated mill building in the Canal District.
  • Trunk & Disorderly122 Main Street, Worcester, MA 01603 +1 508 459-1049. Funky downtown consignment shop.
  • Birch Alley19 Harrison St, Worcester, MA 01604 +1 508 753-1434. Unique home decor shop in the Canal District

Eat[edit]

Worcester provides a dining experience to suit all tastes. Everything from massive, opulent fine dining restaurants to "is this even a restaurant?" holes in the wall can be found here. Major global cuisines (Chinese, Indian, Italian, Mediterranean, Mexican, Thai, and Vietnamese) are quite common. You can even find Afghan, Salvadorian, and Polish food scattered around the city. Shrewsbury St. is the city's emerging "Restaurant Row," where you will find the greatest concentration and variety of dining options.

Inexpensive[edit]

Worcester is full of cheap places to eat. Most of these will get you a meal for under $10.

  • Coney Island Hot Dogs158 Southbridge St +1 508 753-4362. Open W-M. (best hot dogs, best sign) If you go to Coney Island, make sure you go into the bar. The bartender will get you your hot dogs and beer, letting you skip the line.
  • Long Island Hot Dogs68 Stafford St +1 508 753-9223. (best burger) A true diamond in the rough. A real greasy spoon dinner hidden in a stripmall.
  • New England Roast Beef33 Park Ave +1 508 756-1991. Great roast beef; however, their hours are more limited than many of Worcester's dining options.
  • Corner Grille806 Pleasant St Worcester, MA 01602 +1 508 754-8884. Popular thin crust pizza place located on the city's west side.
  • Belmont Vegetarian Restaurant157 Belmont St Worcester, MA 01608 +1 508 798-8898. One of Worcester's most consistently loved restaurants. Don't let the seemingly sketchy location scare you away. If anything happens, the hospital is just down the street.
  • Sol of Mexico538 Pleasant St, Worcester, MA 01602 +1 508 756-2660. Barebones authentic Mexican cuisine. Very simple menu, but well executed. Also has a lime green tin ceiling
  • Soc Trang Express118 Cambridge St, Ste 6, Worcester, MA 01603 (508) 890-8783. Don't be put off by the strip mall location and shabby interior. Soc Trang is one of Worcester's best kept secrets, offering authentic Vietnamese food that branches out from your typical pho for low prices.
  • Wooberry141 Highland St, Worcester, MA 01609. Located a short walk from WPI, you will find Worcester's standard for frozen yogurt. Wooberry is not self serve, you don't pay by the pound, and there aren't 30 flavors. What you do get is a quality product.
  • Belsito's305 Plantation St, Worcester, MA 01604 (508) 756-3850. Tiny Italian deli serving cheap, but high quality subs in a quiet residential neighborhood. There's only a handful of tables and it is cash only, but certainly one of the better options for a cheap lunch.

Bakeries[edit]

Worcester is packed with neighborhood bakeries. Most people probably have a tribal loyalty to whatever their favorite is. You can find places that have been around for generations and hark back to the city's industrial heyday as well as newer, trendier spots.

  • Birch Tree Bread Company138 Green St, Ste 5, Worcester, MA 01604 +1 774 243-6944. Huge new bakery located in the Crompton Loomworks above Crompton Collective. Coffee, baked goods, hardwood floors and comfortable chairs.
  • Crust Artisan Bakeshop118 Main St, Worcester, MA 01608 +1 508 795-1012. A small bakery owned by the same people as Worcester's famous Armsby Abbey. Limited, but well crafted selection. They do offer coffee to go, but no espresso drinks.
  • Crown Bakery & Cafe133 Gold Star Blvd, Worcester, MA 01606 (508) 852-0746. Without a doubt the city's most popular bakery. A veritable Worcester institution. Crown has a huge selection of pastries and cookies. They also serve sandwiches for lunch. Crown has less of focus on bread and is mainly known for its sweets.

Breakfast[edit]

For breakfast the wealth of diners opens up and it is near impossible to choose. Here are some of the most cool and comfy:

  • Corner Lunch133 Lamartine St +1 508 799-9866. (A famous DeRaffelle diner.)
  • Parkway Diner148 Shrewsbury St +1 508 753-9968. Well known local diner. Also has a bar.
  • Jeans Place136 Cambridge St +1 508 753-9466.
  • Annie's Clark Brunch (formally known as Wendy's). Regulars are allowed a tab.)
  • Boulevard Diner155 Shrewsbury St +1 508 791-4535. A favorite among college students, open 24 hours.
  • Gold Star Restaurant68 W Boylston Dr +1 508 852-7900. Diner located between the Greendale and Indian Lake neighborhoods
  • Shaker's Cafe296 Hamilton St Worcester, MA 01604 (508) 797-5550. Very small diner with a Mediterranean twist. Known for their "Lebanese Breakfast" of eggs scrambled with lamb, but they also have a standard American diner menu. The space is a little worse for wear, but you could argue that adds to the ambiance. Cash only.

Mid-range[edit]

Some of the most popular restaurants in the city are in the $10-$20 price range.

  • Boynton Restaurant117 Highland St +1 508-756-8458. Popular hangout near the WPI campus. Huge beer list and well known for burgers
  • O'Connor's Restaurant & Bar1160 West Boylston St +1 508-853-0789. Huge Irish pub located on the outskirts of the city.
  • The Armsby Abbey144 North Main St. Worcester's flagship farm-to-table restaurant is frequently chosen as the best restaurant in the city. The menu changes with the seasons and much of the meat and produce is sourced from New England. The interior is filled with dark wood and a large bar. The bar itself is a reason to come here as it has one of Worcester's best curated selections of beer and a respected cocktail selection.
  • VIA Italian Table89 Shrewsbury St Worcester, MA 01604 +1 508 754-4842. Worcester's biggest and probably fanciest Italian restaurant. Very close to Union Station.
  • Mare E Monti Trattoria19 Wall St Worcester, MA 01604 +1 508 767-1800. Italian restaurant on a residential side street that is rapidly gaining a following.
  • Pomir Grill119 Shrewsbury St, Worcester, MA 01604 +1 508 755-7333. Family owned Afghan restaurant.
  • Smokestack Urban BBQ139 Green St Worcester, MA 01604 +1 508 363-1111. Worcester's biggest and best known BBQ joint also has a large beer selection and outdoor seating in the heart of the Canal District.

Splurge[edit]

Worcester's fanciest dining establishments will set you back at least $20 and probably more than $30 per person.

  • 111 Chop House111 Shrewsbury St +1 508 799-4111. Worcester's fanciest steakhouse. If you want to blow your budget, eat here.
  • The Flying Rhino Cafe and Watering Hole278 Shrewsbury St +1 508 757-1450. Much more excellent than the name suggests.
  • Sole Proprietor118 Highland St Worcester, MA 01609 +1 508 798-3474. Large and popular seafood restaurant, one of the city's fine dining standbys
  • Baba Restaurant and Sushi Bar309 Park Ave Worcester, MA 01609 +1 508 752-8822. One of the city's most popular sushi spots. More expensive than most, but also very highly rated.
  • Bocado82 Winter St +1 508 797-1011. Tapas and wine bar located in a restored mill building.
  • Nuovo92 Shrewsbury St, Worcester, MA 01604 (508) 796-5915. Upscale Italian restaurant. Sometimes has a piano player in the lounge.
  • The People's Kitchen1 Exchange Pl, Worcester, MA 01608 (508) 459-9090. New American cuisine with a simple, but frequently changing menu. People's Kitchen does use some gimmicks and the presentation of the dishes is a bit pretentious, but it doesn't distract the quality of the food. The restaurant is quite large, but you won't really notice since there are so many different small dining rooms. The ambiance isn't as nice as the prices would suggest.

Drink[edit]

Worcester has a lot of bars as a result of its large college population. Unfortunately for the traveler, this makes many of them feel rather samey. For anyone interested in the raucous college set, the Blackstone Canal District is a good place to look, especially Water St. Still, with this many bars there are some unique and interesting spots that tipplers should explore.

  • Vincent's49 Suffolk St. Where else can you get meatball subs and $2 Gansetts served by shirt and tie wearing bar staff? Usually has live music and there is a "patio" out back.
  • Lucky Dog Music Hall89 Green St. Live Music and drinks
  • The Dive Bar34 Green St. Not actually a dive bar, despite the name and appearance from the outside. Inside you will find a dark, intimate atmosphere with a well curated selection of mostly American craft beer. The interior is decorated with diving paraphernalia (get it?) and there is a back porch lined with hop trellises/drink shelves to enjoy in the warmer months.
  • The Armsby Abbey144 North Main St. Frequently wins the award for Worcester's best bar. Big and always changing selection of craft beer from all over the world.
  • Ralph's Chadwick Square Diner148 Grove Street (90 Prescott Street). 4PM-2AM everyday. Legendary Rock Nightclub! Entertainment every night. Located on an unpaved drive behind an old factory building north of downtown. Look for the big neon "Ralph's" sign. There is actually a diner car here. Inside you can get a burger, hot dog, or chili. Emphatically not a craft beer bar. $2 Gansett drafts are the mainstay here. The main bar area is filled with ridiculous decorations, including a coffin.
  • Hotel Vernon. Kelly Square. $1 drafts (gansett, bush, pabst), pool, darts. A backroom decorated to look like the inside of a ship ("The Ship Room). Located beneath a "rooms by the week" hotel. Had a speakeasy in the basement during the Prohibition, still partially intact.


  • Guertin's, Off Canterbury Street. Beautiful woodwork, $1.50 drafts.
  • 'English Social Club, Camp Street. This is a members-only social club, so they are exempt from the regulations that ban smoking in all Worcester bars. Friendly folks.
  • Nick's Bar124 Millbury St, Worcester, MA 01614 (508) 753-4030. Nick's might be the classiest bar in the city if you ignore the location in one of Worcester's seedier areas. Not a great beer bar, but they are known to have good/strong cocktails. Staff is formally dressed and there is a great lounge for listening to Jazz music. Lots of wood.
  • The Citizen1 Exchange St, Worcester, MA 01608 (508) 459-9090. Worcester's only dedicated wine bar. Located in the heart of downtown across the street from the DCU Center.

A number of restaurants mentioned in the eat section also have good bars. The Boynton has one of the largest selections of craft beer in Worcester. O'Connors is a popular Irish pub with an decent beer selection. Smokestack Urban BBQ also has an extensive beer selection and outdoor seating. Bocado has a large wine selection and is known for their sangria.

Breweries[edit]

Worcester should probably have more breweries than it does. Two is not a great showing for the second largest city in New England. However, Worcester gets the most out of its two existing breweries, both of which are incredibly popular and make beer the city can truly be proud of.

  • 3Cross Brewing26 Cambridge Street, Worcester, MA 01603. Worcester's newest brewery. Only open for growler fills, samples, and pints on Friday evenings and Saturday afternoons. If you want to try all their offerings, be sure to go on Friday as they frequently sell out of beers on Friday night.
  • Wormtown Brewery72 Shrewsbury St. Unit 4, Worcester, Massachusetts (774) 239-1555. Worcester's award winning brewery, 2014 Grand National Champion at the U.S. Open Beer Championship. Just moved to a bigger space with a dedicated taproom. Known for their aggressively hoppy IPAs .

Coffee[edit]

Worcester is not a coffee drinkers mecca. There aren't many non-Dunkin Donuts options to begin with and those that do exist probably won't excite anyone from Seattle, yet there are a few places with a decent atmosphere where you can get your fix.

  • Bean Counter Coffee Bar & Bakery113 Highland St, Worcester, MA 01609 +1 508 754-3125. Worcester's most popular coffee shop located on bustling Highland St. Very close to WPI's campus.
  • Acoustic Java932 Main st, Worcester, MA 01610 +1 508 756-9446. Funky coffee shop on the door step of Clark University. Good quality beans and some light food options. Vegan friendly.
  • NU Cafe335 Chandler St, Worcester, MA 01602 +1 508 926-8800. Large cafe with tons of coffee and smoothie options down the street from Worcester State University. Also serves a few draft beers and wine. There is a light food menu (salads, sandwiches) as well.

Oddly enough, two of the better places to get a coffee in Worcester aren't primarily coffee shops. Crust Artisan Bakeshop located downtown serves Northborough's Armeno Coffee Roasters, although they do not have an espresso machine. Birch Tree Bread Company is a huge, brand new bakery located in the old Crompton Loomworks building that also has good coffee options and an espresso machine.

Sleep[edit]

  • Beechwood Hotel363 Plantation St +1 508 754-5789fax: +1 508 752-2060. 2 miles from downtown, near all major business centers and universities. Worcester's fanciest hotel. >$170.


  • Hotel Vernon, Kelly Square. In a pinch? $100/week, bar downstairs.

Go next[edit]

Worcester is in the center of New England and within reach of many of its destinations.

Routes through Worcester
Becomes I-395.svg ← Junction I-90.svgAuburn  W I-290.svg E  ShrewsburyMarlborough
FitchburgSterling  N I-190.svg S  Ends at I-290.svg
SpringfieldAuburn  W US 20.svg E  ShrewsburyBoston
Ends at I-290.svg  N MA Route 146.svg S  MillburyProvidence


42.26884300; -71.80377400Map mag.png
This city travel guide to Worcester is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page