Black Sheep Bagel Cafe: a busy college student's dream dining spot

A patron exits the Black Sheep Bagel Cafe, located on John F. Kennedy Street in Cambridge, Mass. on Friday, April 7, 2022.

Tucked in the heart of Harvard Square, a five minute walk from the Harvard MBTA Station, sits Black Sheep Bagel Cafe, which has been there since 2018. They were able to weather and make it out of the worst of the pandemic and are a thriving, cute cafe. After descending a couple stairs, the white brick cafe with benches, green ferns and twinkle lights is a pleasant, calming greeting. The inside of the cafe is decorated in a modern rustic style with hardwood floors, golden oak wood and metal chairs, long community tables and white walls and plants that mirror the outside aesthetic.

While both the indoor and outdoor seating areas are aesthetically pleasing, it’s hard to find a seat, especially during the breakfast and lunch rush. If there is a seat open, it’s a very close eating space and might make those who are cautious about eating in public due to COVID-19 feel uncomfortable. Two blocks away from Black Sheep Bagel Cafe is the John F. Kennedy Memorial Park, with field space for a picnic blanket, picnic tables and benches, making it the perfect solution to the small seating space inside the cafe.

The best things about Black Sheep Bagel Cafe are definitely their bagel and cream cheese options. Their za’atar bagel with fresh jalapeno cream cheese is mouth-wateringly delicious. It’s the perfect blend of spiciness, nuttiness and creaminess that makes it irresistible. Their cajun spice bagel with scallion cream cheese and asiago cheese bagel with veggie cream cheese are also scrumptious choices. Looking for a sweeter option? Try their whole wheat bagel or plain bagel with cinnamon honey butter. The sweetness is more subtle and light, but, nonetheless, pleasantly melts in one’s mouth. They also have a list of sandwiches that their bagels can be turned into. Their Breakfast BLT sandwich, which is made with maple bacon cream cheese, lettuce, tomato and bacon bits, would be perfect on a sea salt or everything bagel. For those who are gluten intolerant but still enjoy a good bagel, they offer plain, everything and sesame bagels as an alternative. On weekends, they sell poppy seed bagels and rosemary sea salt bagels along with the rest of their menu; these options make braving weekend traffic and tourists small issues.

They have a full espresso bar with several beverage options. Their iced café con leche is made of whole milk, coffee and brown sugar. While it is a pleasant combination, this drink is for those who prefer sweeter, lighter coffee beverages; it won’t satisfy the espresso lover because of its weak coffee flavor. For those who like a bigger caffeine kick, try their americano or latte. For those who prefer tea, they have a chai latte that’s worth trying. All of these beverages can be ordered hot or iced.

Black Sheep Bagel Cafe also offers other events outside of their cafe hours. On Mondays at 4:30 p.m., they transform their space into a yoga studio and host a free vinyasa yoga class. This is a fun event worth trying out, especially to make like-minded, yoga enthusiast friends. They’ve also turned their space into a venue for live music shows—some are free, some are ticketed—and invited different artists to perform. Being in a college town, it’s a great space to meet other college students at nearby colleges while supporting local restaurants and trying new things.

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