When most people think of Kendall Square, they likely think of MIT and the booming biotech industry. Rightfully so. In recent decades the neighborhood has transformed in to a thriving hub of innovation and cutting-edge research.

But make your way to One Kendall Square to discover a delightful concentration of some of the best comfort fare in the area. Whatever your version is – mac and cheese, French toast, matzah ball soup or fried chicken – you can find it here.

Chicken And Waffles From The Friendly Toast
Audrey Wang
Highway Strawberry At The Friendly Toast
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Buff Mac At The Friendly Toast
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Lobocado Toast At The Friendly Toast
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JD's Taco After Party At The Friendly Toast
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Barbacoa Benny At The Friendly Toast
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Lemon Curd Your Enthusiasm At The Friendly Toast
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Breakfast Ramen At The Friendly Toast
Audrey Wang
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The Friendly Toast

Its breakfast, lunch and dinner, all day, every day at The Friendly Toast. And their menu is chock full of incredible comfort food mash ups. The Breakfast Ramen, a steamy bowl of fresh ramen noodles in a spicy red curry broth, comes with two poached eggs and Gochujang glazed bacon. The “Buff Mac,” macaroni with buffalo cheese sauce, is brimming with grilled chicken, diced tomatoes, and blue cheese crumbles.

The Toast will donate 20% of all dinner sales on a Wednesday of your choosing to your cause. Ask a manager for more details on how to apply.

1 Kendall Square B3101, Cambridge, 617-621-1200, thefriendlytoast.com

Reuben At Mamaleh's
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Lox Sandwich At Mamaleh's
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Mamaleh’s Delicatessen

Mamaleh’s is an American-Jewish delicatessen that’s got the meats, the homemade meats. In fact, all their bread, pastrami and corned beef are all made in house. And their Reuben sandwich and the matzah ball soup will hit the spot every time.

You can dine in, buy ingredients to take home, shop, or even get catering. Head in for a quick meal, and buy some for the meal after that, and the meal after that…

1 Kendall Square 300, Cambridge, 617-958-3354, mamalehs.com

Rack Of Lamb With Vadouvan Spiced Fregola And Nettle Puree
Meghan Smith
Lobster Ravioli
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Catalyst Restaurant
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Pan Roasted Blue Cod With Bacon, Mussels And Clams
Meghan Smith
Molecule-Inspired Decor
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Multiple Dishes
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Chicken Liver Mousse With Homemade Mustard
Meghan Smith
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Catalyst

Catalyst embraces its proximity to MIT, with molecule-inspired décor and floor-to-ceiling windows. Their bar is a great spot leave your fate up to the skilled mixologists.

The menu focuses on elevated versions of American comfort food, with just a touch of New England. Like the chicken liver mousse with homemade mustard, or the pan roasted blue cod with potatoes, mussels, and local clams.

Chef and owner William Kovel is passionate about serving simple food in a modern atmosphere. He embraces fresh local ingredients to create the uncomplicated and satisfying dishes.

300 Technology Square, Cambridge, 617-576-3000, catalystrestaurant.com

The Smoke Shop BBQ's Famous Wings At The Smoke Shop BBQ
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House Salad At The Smoke Shop BBQ
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Ribs At The Smoke Shop BBQ
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Sunsetta and Sparkling Rosé Sangria At The Smoke Shop BBQ
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The Smoke Shop BBQ

The Smoke Shop BBQ has all the best BBQ specialties from the South on one menu. The Mac & Cheese Bites with house made bacon and spinach are a must. And the bar wings, slathered in agave honey and pit spices, give the rest of the appetizers a run for their money. Smoke Shop’s manager Ben de Mauriac tells customers “if you don’t like them they’re free.”

But it's the Smoke Shop's baby back ribs that are to die for. They come with a variety of sides like pickles, coleslaw, pickles and an unforgettable cornbread.

1 Kendall Square, Cambridge, 617-577-7427, thesmokeshopbbq.com

The Lake Havasu Cocktail
Meghan Smith
The patio at State Park
Meghan Smith
The bar at State Park
Meghan Smith
Meghan Smith
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State Park

State Park is ready to welcome you with open arms… and plenty of fried chicken. Spice things up with Tobasco honey, or the Nashville hot. Other creative comfort food options include a vegan Sloppy Joe, and the “Shish-eetos”- shishito peppers with cheddar dust and lemon.

State Park also has fun cocktails, like the Official State Park, made with Miller High Life, Rittenhouse Rye, Braulio Amaro and lemon. You can enjoy it even more knowing that a dollar of each cocktail sale goes to the National Park Service.

1 Kendall Square, Bldg 300 Lower Level, Cambridge, 617-848-4355,statepark.is

Enjoy even more Kendall Square bars and cafés: