We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Central Square vs. Davis Square

MA
Level Contributor
42 posts
2 reviews
Save Topic
Central Square vs. Davis Square

am moving to the area. Which is a better place to live, Central or Davis Square?

Boston
Level Contributor
2,701 posts
Save Reply
1. Re: Central Square vs. Davis Square

I would say Central, due to better dining and nightlife, a more central location and more diversity in its residents.

It really depends what you want in a neighborhood, though. That's more important for you than what I prefer.

MA
Level Contributor
42 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Central Square vs. Davis Square

Thanks! Central seems like an interesting, eclectic place. How is it on safety? Have heard mixed things....

San Francisco...
Level Contributor
775 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Central Square vs. Davis Square

I second Central, for the reasons mentioned, but I would say that it depends on your lifestyle. Where do you work? Will you drive or take the T/bus? Do you have a family? Do you want to live in a condo building or a house?

In terms of safety, Central in my experience is certainly less safe than Davis, but is overall quite safe. Mass Ave right around the T stop can appear rather sketchy, especially late, but in general the sketchy characters seem fairly harmless.

That said, I do know people that have been mugged in the area. But that could happen anywhere, and Central is a large area with some especially quiet, quaint, nice spots. However, I would be hesitant to live in the "Zone 4" area as it's called, which is near Central off of Main Street.

I live on Mass Ave almost equidistant between Central and Harvard Squares and I really think it's the best place to live in the entire Boston region.

Boston...
Level Contributor
5,909 posts
Save Reply
4. Re: Central Square vs. Davis Square

Central Square/Cambridgeport is a great place to live.

Salvador, BA
Level Contributor
8,202 posts
1 review
Save Reply
5. Re: Central Square vs. Davis Square

I grew up in Central Square and think that Davis Square probably lends itself to a better quality of life these days.

Most of the little privately owned shops in Central Square have closed and you find chain stores now. Some clubs and cafes have closed, as well as quite recently the Japanese grocery store.

The newer arrivals (home owners) often give the poorer life-long residents a hard time over issues like the look of their houses in gentrifying neighborhoods. You can tout diversity (and where IS the working class that used to live in Cambridge?), but when you advise not living in certain parts of the neighborhood...??????

Davis has a lot of great pubs, cafes, shops, ethnic restaurants and music venues, a cinema, is near the bike path, on the Red line T and hosts or participates in some eclectic art events. It's a mixed neighborhood, which you can see at any music event at Johnny D's, which draws it's audience from the community, at the ArtBeat festival or on the bike path on any nice day.

You ought to give it some consideration when looking for a place to live.

San Francisco...
Level Contributor
775 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Central Square vs. Davis Square

"The newer arrivals (home owners) often give the poorer life-long residents a hard time over issues like the look of their houses in gentrifying neighborhoods. You can tout diversity (and where IS the working class that used to live in Cambridge?), but when you advise not living in certain parts of the neighborhood...??????"

I'm not sure if I should take offense to this since I was the one who said I would be hesitant to live in a certain area of Central.

If so (haha), it would be because you used a straw man argument in all but the last section of that paragraph.

Only you have made a connection between diversity and crime, which is most certainly offensive.

MA
Level Contributor
42 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Central Square vs. Davis Square

Good opinions. Will be working in Boston along Redline, btwn Park and MGH/Charles. Am looking to live on the red line, plan to take T to work. We do not have any kids. I don't care much re: apt building vs house.

Do people who live in Davis feel far from the city as well as shopping? I guess it's only ~ 10 more min on the T.....each way.

San Francisco...
Level Contributor
775 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Central Square vs. Davis Square

I think both would be perfect for the situation you have described. If I were you, I'd spend some time in each neighborhood to see which you seem to prefer. Maybe it will even come down to where you can find a better apartment. Best of luck!

Boston
Destination Expert
for Boston
Level Contributor
16,626 posts
1 review
Save Reply
9. Re: Central Square vs. Davis Square

You might want to try Charles River Park, which is located behind the Mass. Geneal Hospital. There are lots of rental units. several amenities, and you could actually walk to work.

AlanM

boston, ma
Level Contributor
997 posts
26 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Central Square vs. Davis Square

I reverse commute between Charles and Davis. It's really quick and easy (about 14 min) but going with the flow the Red Line can be really packed during rush hours. One advantage of Davis is you can get on and get a seat before the Harvard Square hordes descend.

Davis is more laid back than Central but still has a lot of restaurants, stores, and night life. The housing in the area is generally slightly newer and larger, for the same money, than around Central.

But they're both great places.