Main Streets: Hingham, MA

This scenic suburb south of Boston can be reached by boat from Boston’s waterfront or commuter rail from South Station. By highway, Derby Street is just off Route 3, an outdoor mall with high-end franchise stores and restaurants, but the historic heart of town can be reached by following Route 228 as it winds past old captain’s homes and impressively manicured lots and farmhouses before arriving where North, South and Main streets intersect.

The Snug (116 North Street; snugpub.com) is the local pub that actually waits for your Guinness to settle—on weekend nights it’s packed and on Sundays local musicians drop in for a traditional Irish session. Just down the street, Tosca (14 North Street; toscahingham.com) is a special-occasion spot with fine Italian dishes and a warmly lit, brick-walled atmosphere inside the circa 1910 Granary Marketplace. Across the street, Stars on Hingham Harbor (2 Otis Street; starshingham.com) typically has a wait for weekend brunch, but offers casual American cuisine for every meal of the day, and the newly renovated bar attracts a crowd at night for live music and an extensive microbrew selection. Square Cafe’s (150 North Street; thesquarecafe.comupscale French bistro setting makes you want a glass of wine with your meal, you’ll most likely need a reservation on busy weekend nights.

For morning brews, stop into Brewed Awakenings (19 Main Street; 781-741-5331) in the heart of downtown, or if you prefer a water view, Redeye Roasters (3 Otis Street; redeyeroasters.com) is right on the harbor. Feeling generous? Coffee Corner (55 Water Street; 781-749-0887) has a pay-it-forward program, you can buy a coffee for someone who can’t. Hingham has an active downtown association composed of business owners and residents, who are making an effort to attract more people to the area through events such as a Fourth of July parade, ArtsWalk in the fall and Christmas in the Square (an event that attracts thousands as Santa makes his entrance atop a fire truck).

For 15 years, South Street Gallery (149 South Street; southstreetgallery.com) has been displaying the work of New England plein-air artists, hosting gallery openings, artist lectures and also offering framing and appraisal services. Nona’s Homemade Ice Cream (19 Main Street; nonasicecream.com), another longtime downtown staple, is known for their homemade creamy flavors inspired by local landmarks such as Hingham Harbor Sludge and Heath Bare Cove Crunch.

“We wanted a shop where people could come and be convivial about food and all things cheese,” that’s according to Bloomy Rind (21 Main Street; bloomyrind.com) owners Robert and Mary Gonsalves. More than a place to assemble a delicious cheese board, the shop has sandwiches and salads for the foodie and the health nut. Speaking of which, Lido (60 South Street; lidojuice.com) and Green Light (35 Station Street; thegreenlighthinhgam.com) are the downtown smoothie joints.

Shopping anyone? Chel Bella (66 South Street; chelbella.com), owned by mother-daughter team, Karen and Christina Reale, stays ahead of the fashion curve for you. Trellis Home (28 South St #1, Hingham; trellishome.comwill inspire you to add a pop of color to every room in your house.

Built in 1852, the Loring Hall Theater has been a local theater since 1936, (65 Main Street; 781-749-1307).  Closer to the harbor, yellow, red and blue colonial homes proudly remind visitors of the Hingham’s historic roots. Even Eleanor Roosevelt was taken by this coastal town’s charm, dubbing it ‘the most beautiful Main Street in America.’ Come see for yourself.

Photograph by Albie DiBenedetto

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