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What to eat along the Minuteman Bikeway

A biker checks for traffic at a Minuteman Bikeway crossing.Lane Turner/Globe Staff

Since the Minuteman Bikeway opened in 1993, thousands of area residents have cycled along the 11-mile path connecting Bedford to Cambridge. They’ve also stopped in cafes, sandwich spots, pizzerias, and creameries for lattes, a slice, or a scoop.

The hottest fueling destinations are in Lexington and Arlington, where the trail never veers far from Massachusetts Avenue. But cyclists can eat well in Bedford and Cambridge too. Forget about packing a lunch, and pull up to any of these bike-friendly stops.


Sweaty bikers don’t want to sit in a high-end restaurant, so casual is a necessity and outdoor seating is a plus. Find both at Prince Street Cafe & Bakery, a three-minute ride from the trailhead. (Cut up Hartford Street to Great Road, and turn right.) “My grandfather started Prince Cafe in the North End in 1929,” says owner Dana Gallo Strayton, who still makes pastries by hand. Grab an espresso and cannolo, or pile on the protein with the breakfast sandwich on Parmigiano focaccia with two fried eggs, paper-thin ham, cheddar, and tomato. For lunch, the Sicilian pizza is fresh and quick. 200 Great Road, Bedford, 781-275-0095,

Nearby, B. Good, one of 25 locations in this local chain, offers beef, turkey, and veggie burgers with hand-cut, “air-fried” potatoes. The restaurant sources local meat and produce from family farms in Massachusetts, Vermont, and Maine. 168 Great Road, Bedford, 781-271-0469,


For bike rentals, Bikeway Source, across from the trailhead, has half-day rentals for $30 and full-day rentals from $40 to $80. Bike trailers for small children are $30 for a full day. All rentals must be returned to the Bedford location. 111 South Road, Bedford, 781-275-7799,


Neillio’s Gourmet Farm offers custom sandwiches, but the turn onto Camellia Place (before Hancock Street) is not well marked. Backtrack if necessary. The Turkey Terrific, with hand-carved roast bird, cranberry sauce, stuffing, and mayo, is a great sandwich to split with a fellow rider. You’ll also find a corned beef reuben panino, or grab a takeout container of chicken salad or Asian noodle salad. Eat at the small bar or go to the Lexington Battle Green just a short ride down the Bikeway. 53 Bedford St., Lexington, 781-861-8466,


Have an underinflated tire or a loose bike chain? When you pass under the Lexington Depot white awning, head to Mass. Ave. At Ride Studio Cafe, the bike tech will fix a flat while you browse the gear and sip cortado (espresso with milk). Iggy’s bread with hummus or granola are some of the snacks. Vegetarian chili is a lunchtime favorite, and growlers of cold-brew coffee are jet fuel to share with a group. “Having the coffee shop allows people to spend time hanging out,” says Patria Lanfranchi, a cafe owner. The place holds weekly group rides, from casual two-hour routes to a multi-day, 100-miler to Provincetown. 1720 Massachusetts Ave., Lexington, 339-970-0187,

At the Ride Studio Cafe, Iggy’s bread with hummus. Lane Turner/Globe Staff

For beer, ride to Vine Brook Tavern for a citrusy Peak Organic Summer Session Ale from Portland, Maine, one of 10 New England brews currently on tap. The salmon burger, with wasabi aioli, shiitakes, and cilantro, pairs well with it. “We hear the clicks of the shoes and we know the bikers are here,” says Marcus Palmer, Vine Brook’s owner. 20 Waltham St., Lexington, 781-863-2012,


You might need a refresher at Rancatore’s Ice Cream and Yogurt, a cyclists’ hangout. This is one of three locations in Joe Rancatore’s micro empire. The mango sorbet is smooth and summery, and the mocha brownie ice cream has a legitimate coffee infusion. “We do a lot of business with recreational bikers, especially families that come in on Saturday afternoon,” says Rancatore. 1752 Massachusetts Ave., Lexington, 781-862-5090,


As bikers roll into Arlington, the choices can be overwhelming. Make it easy by visiting the Kickstand Cafe. Owners Emily Shea and Mark Ostow serve grilled cheese brushed with garlic oil. They also roll their own Vietnamese fresh rolls with tofu and peanut dipping sauce, although Shea says bikers often go for “a big muffin to refuel.” Cyclists can enjoy it all, including smoothies and homemade ginger lemonade, on the outdoor patio. 594 Massachusetts Ave., Arlington, 781-583-6110,

A handmade ceramic mug continues the cycling theme at the Kickstand Cafe in Arlington.Lane Turner/Globe Staff

If you’ve worked up a craving for something seriously smoky, backtrack up Mass. Ave. to Blue Ribbon BBQ for Carolina pulled pork. Or try the Kansas City burnt ends, smoked 14 hours over hickory and oak. Both go well with black-eyed corn, or creamy potato salad. If you can fit it in, a slice of the pecan pie will round out your mid-ride indulgence. 908 Massachusetts Ave., Arlington, 781-648-7427,

A few more calories are yours for the asking at Chilly Cow. Try the dense and creamy mint-cookie frozen custard. For little bikers, Dinosaur Crunch is blue-vanilla ice cream with Oreos and marshmallows. 451 Massachusetts Ave., Arlington, 781-648-4360,


The official end (or beginning, as the case may be) of the Minuteman Bikeway is Alewife Station, but good eats are a short ride away. Follow signs toward Fresh Pond (a great picnic spot) and if you’re tired, stop at Chipotle Mexican Grill for a carnitas burrito with cool guacamole. Soft tacos with organic tofu and roasted chile-corn salsa are a lighter option. The national chain, one of 1,800 worldwide, prides itself on serving responsibly raised meats. 227 Alewife Brook Parkway, Cambridge, 617-500-9373,


For true local fare, keep pedaling toward Fresh Pond and at the second rotary, take Concord Avenue to Hi-Rise Bread Co. Two-dozen sandwiches come on freshly baked bread, and meats are smoked here. “My favorite is the
No. 57,” says manager Sarah Trainer. That’s braised short rib, cheddar, pickled onion, horseradish aioli, and arugula on a baguette. Sit at one of the communal tables (watch out for the strollers) or take your sandwich back to Fresh Pond to picnic by the water. 208 Concord Ave., Cambridge, 617-876-8766,

Baguettes at Hi-Rise Bread Co.

Around the corner, Armando’s Pizza & Subs has been making pies for 45 years. The bearded Red Sox fan who greets everyone with a “What can I getcha?” is Mike Bonavita, founder Armando Paolo’s grandson. Paolo brought crispy pizza from Southern Italy to the North End in the 1950s and moved his shop here 20 years later. Order thin-crust pies or deep-dish Sicilian and forget anything that smacks of gourmet. Bring cash. 163 Huron Ave., Cambridge, 617-354-8275,

Kristi Walker for the boston globe

Lorne Bell can be reached at lorneabell@