Concord offers a variety of dining and food-shopping options in four areas.
The center of Concord MA between Monument Square and the Concord Free Public Library has a number of restaurants and sandwich shops good for everything from a hearty breakfast through a quick sandwich to a tavern supper or formal dinner.
Thoreau Street between Main Street and Sudbury Road in Concord MA is a commercial zone with a half-dozen places clustered around the Concord Depot (train station), 1/2 mile (800 meters, 10-minute walk) southwest of Monument Square.
West Concord, 2.7 miles (4.4 km) west of Concord Center’s Monument Square on the southwest side of MA Route 2 (map), is the other commercial center of Concord MA, with shops, light industry, a library branch, schools, fuel stations and its own Commuter Rail train station (West Concord).
There are also three good restaurants near the Concord Rotary (traffic circle) near West Concord where MA Route 2 meets Barretts Mill Road, Great Road and Commonwealth Avenue.
Look here for all the nicest places to have a picnic in Concord.
On Monument Square in the town center (tel 978-369-9200), fresh, seasonal local ingredients sourced from farms in Concord are featured on the menu here, as are wines from Massachusetts, New England, the USA, and beyond.
The Liberty Restaurant serves a fine gastro-pub menu of creative dishes in its informal dining room, its cozy bar and, most invitingly, on the inn’s broad front porch.
The more formal Merchants’ Row restaurant offers traditional cuisine in a variety of dining rooms, with careful service. Reservations are suggested.
Fiorella’s, at 24 Walden Street (tel 978-341-9999) near the US Post Office, serves traditional Italian cuisine in a convenient location.
This simple but popular combination short-order restaurant and ice cream shop just off Monument Square at 17 Main Street (tel 978-369-9885) serves breakfast, lunch, supper and ice cream in informal surroundings at budget prices. Sometimes you must wait to get a table.
Located at 42 Main Street, corner of Walden Street (tel 978-369-9948), in the very center of Concord’s boutiques, the very informal Main Streets does a brisk business for breakfast and lunch, but calms down for dinner with beer, wine, and live entertainment. Seating is on stools at the counter, indoor and outdoor-deck tables.
A longstanding favorite gourmet shop at 29 Walden Street (tel 978-369-5778) a block south of Main Street across from the US Post Office, the Cheese Shop also sells soups, salads and fresh-cut sandwiches (which are sold by weight, so you can order as much or as little as you like).
At 73 Main Street (tel 978-369-4558) across from the Middlesex Savings Bank and Concord Visitor Center, SallyAnns sells soups, salads, sandwiches and lots of cakes and bakery items.
80 Thoreau (the street address, tel 978-318-0008) is an upscale restaurant serving high-quality New American Cuisine dinners upstairs in the Concord Depot building. Fine cuisine, healthy (ie, not huge) portions, attentive service, a good dining experience at prices to match. The bar/lounge scene is popular as well. Open for dinner only, inside or out. Closed Sunday.
Also in the Concord Crossing complex at No. 10, Chang An (tel 978-369-5288) is a full-service Chinese restaurant with an inexpensive daily luncheon buffet and a separate bar.
At 105 Thoreau Street across from the depot (tel 978-776-6631), Karma features a menu of Asian/Fusion dishes derived from Chinese, Japanese, Korean and other culinary traditions. Dine inside or out.
At 71 Thoreau Street (tel 978-369-7053) across from the depot, it’s the place for good pizza, calzones and sandwiches. The windowed dining area is simple but bright, clean and inviting.
Simple pizza shop at 58 Thoreau Street, corner of Belknap (tel (978) 369-0938), producing brick oven pizzas, pasta, sandwiches, salads, wraps and appetizers, mostly for take-out, though there are a few tables.
This small grocery store at 73 Thoreau Street (tel 978-369-5555) across from the depot, at the corner with Middle Street, sells sandwiches, salads, cheeses, breads, crackers and wines. The Country Kitchen sandwiches are fresh-cut.
Across the railroad tracks from the depot on the southwest side in the Concord Crossing complex (No. 26), Farfalle (tel 978-369-2900) serves breakfast, light lunches and suppers, sells Italian foods, and has a good selection of wines.
On the northwest side of the depot building at 68 Thoreau Street (tel 978-341-0000), this little cabin of a place sells gigantic ice cream cones and dishes. Unless you are ravenous and can afford to put on pounds, order a kiddy-sized cone. It’ll still be huge.
At the railroad crossing, 159 Sudbury Road (tel 978-287-0183), corner of Thoreau Street, this cozy Starbucks has dark roast coffee concoctions, too small a parking lot, and you can only turn right when exiting it. Park on Thoreau Street northwest of Sudbury Road—it’s less hassle. I assume you know the beverage.
Cater-corner to Starbucks across the intersection with Sudbury Road at 117 Thoreau Street, Dunkin’ (tel 978-371-0949) has medium-roast coffee, the usual breakfast pastries and sandwiches, and a more comfortable parking lot than Starbucks’.
A natural foods grocery store and deli counter, you can feel good about the fresh and packaged comestibles you buy at Debra’s, 98 Commonwealth Avenue (tel 978-371-7573).
A bakery-café right beside swift-running Nashoba Brook at 152 Commonwealth Avenue (tel 978-318-1999), they bake the best bread in Concord and make great sandwiches from it. You can also get breakfast and special-treat pastries, soups and other light meals. Sit indoors in the light, high-ceilinged former factory building, or outside beside the bubbling brook.
Farm-to-table bistro pub with its own craft beers and produce from its own Concord farm, at 84 Commonwealth Avenue, corner of Beharrell Street (tel 978-212-3585).
Neighbor to the West Concord train station at 24 Commonealth Avenue (tel 978 254 1435), Woods Hill Table is an organic “pasture-to-plate” bistrot open for dinner only, closed Tuesday.
In the former West Concord Depot train station building at 20 Commonwealth Avenue (tel 978-371-9282), right next to the railroad tracks, the Club Car is an old-time atmosphere place for breakfast or lunch.
At 2 Church Street (tel 978-371-9030), corner of Commonwealth Avenue, sells fish, clams and lobsters to cook at home, but also simple fish dishes and chowders to eat in the store or at tables outside.
This locally-famous bakery-café at 59 Commonwealth Avenue (tel 978-369-7644), corner of Church Street, very near the West Concord train station, has exquisite cakes, pastries and other bakery treats, as well as coffee, teas, sandwiches and light meals. Eat inside or outside.
This popular coffee-and-doughnut shop is at 1191 Main Street (tel 978-287-4100), very near the West Concord fire station and opposite the small West Concord Plaza shopping center.
Large, popular Italian restaurant and bar at 768 Elm Street just off the Concord Rotary (tel 978-371-0030). Traditional Italian dishes, efficient service, loyal clientele, numerous dining rooms. Closing for good in September 2023, alas.
Three Asian restaurants in one small building next to Pappa Razzi at 794 Elm Street (tel. 978-369-8114 for Chinese, 978-369-8856 for Japanese). Asian Gourmet is Chinese, Sushi House is for Japanese sushi and bento dinner boxes, Hibachi is where the Japanese chef cooks in front of you. Good food, good value, good service!
Here’s where to find a quiet spot to have your picnic, where to fill your water bottles, and locations of public toilets in Concord, Massachusetts:
Note: some of these locations have no trash or recycling receptacles. Be prepared to carry your trash and recyclables with you until you can dispose of them properly.
The Visitor Center (tel 978-318-3100) has public toilets (open all year), a water fountain, visitor information (open 10am to 4pm in summer), two picnic tables, benches, and bike rack at 58 Main Street between the Bank of America and Middlesex Savings Bank in the very center of town.
Small verdant centrally-located park at 15 Lowell Road, with a small bench (no table; water & toilets at nearby Concord Visitor Center.)
Several picnic tables on a grassy area with trees (no water) at 138 Keyes Road. Toilets & water in the nearby Concord Visitor Center.
Look behind (on the river side) of Minute Man National Historical Park’s North Bridge Visitor Center (Buttrick Mansion on Liberty Street) to find these shaded café tables with views of the Concord River. Picnic tables are nearby beneath the great old trees. Water fountain and toilets are in the Visitor Center. Other picnic tables (some with shade) are on the grass lawn of the parking area at 31B Monument Street, near the Robbins House.
Large park with sports fields, children’s play area, picnic tables in both sun & shade, water fountain & toilets at 90 Stow Street.
If you arrive in Concord on the MBTA Commuter Rail train from Boston, the Thoreau Street Pocket Park is just across Thoreau Street from the Concord Depot (train station). It’s not the best picnic spot, but you can fill your water bottle here before walking to the town center.
On the shore of Fairyland Pond in Hapgood Wright Town Forest near the intersection of Thoreau and Walden streets is a shady council circle of benches with views of the pond. No services, but a beautiful, tranquil setting. Insect repellent recommended in warm, moist weather.
Nashawtuck, Algonquin for “meeting of the rivers,” was the name used by indigenous people for the spot where the Sudbury and Assabet rivers join to form the Concord River. A grassy area and a bench are accessible via the Lowell Road Boat Ramp near the Lowell Road bridge over the river. No services, but views of the rivers and of Egg Rock, the site of the indigenous village across the water. Insect repellent recommended in warm, moist weather.
Picnic tables were removed from Walden Pond State Reservation at the onset of the COVID19 pandemic. As of April 2023, they have not been replaced. Bring your own chairs or beach blanket. There are a few log benches near the Visitor Center next to the parking lots. Water fountain & toilets by the swimming beach, and in the Visitor Center.
The small, shady park at 1228 Main Street, corner of Commonwealth Avenue next to the West Concord Depot (train station), has numerous benches.
The small park at 44 Commonwealth Avenue, corner of Church Street, across from Concord Teacakes, has benches and a drinking water fountain & water bottle filler.
The West Concord MBTA Commuter Rail train station has benches by the tracks, some with shade. Water at nearby Mandrioli Park. Toilets for Club Car Cafe Customers.
Concord's smaller library branch at 1322 Main Street (MA Route 62) at Pine Street, just up the hill from the West Concord commercial district, offers benches, a few tables with chairs, indoor toilets and drinking water. Library hours & directions.
Several small tables, chairs and benches between Nashoba Brook Bakery and the pedestrian bridge over the brook; little shade. Toilets & drinking water inside for Bakery clients.
Sheltered tables at Rideout Park
A large park with sports fields, water fountain, toilets, open-air and sheltered picnic tables only a six-minute walk from the West Concord Depot (train station) along Commonwealth Avenue and Laws Brook Road (GPS: 75 Laws Brook Road).
Steps from bustling West Concord, but you'd never know it here!
The Sudbury, Assabet & Concord River Council has a shady picnic spot and canoe launch point at 36A Baker Avenue, north of the intersection with Main Street: two picnic tables; no other services.