Dining/ Restaurants/ Reviews/ Travel

An Urban Oasis In Cambridge


Life Alive’s snowy exterior on a winter day.

Life Alive is creating a local revolution in food through nourishing the vitality of a fast-paced city. Seated just across the river from Boston’s quick-living urban splendor and walking distance from Harvard University’s main campus, the Cambridge-location of this urban oasis and organic café feeds some of the world’s leading changemakers and greatest minds.

Life Alive’s friendly staff and vibrant menu of nourishing eats.

This plant-based restaurant is built upon an ethical foundation that is evident in its every element of action. Its operation is motivated by empowerment of eaters, cognizance of food choices, quality of ingredients, integrity in interactions, compassion for the global environment, equity in social circumstance, passion for pleasure of taste, and joyfulness for the taste of life. These core values inform their purchasing practices, their art of cooking, their delight in serving, and their sustainable food waste management.

Life Alive is a beautiful escape from bitterly-cold New England winters.

Through the power of ingredients placed on their plates, Life Alive allows its community to thrive. The restaurant favors local farmers and artisans over Big Ag in sourcing their premium products. Moreover, the restaurant creates an atmosphere for open exchange through its inviting ambiance. Bitterly cold New England winters can be enjoyed over the warmth of a Chaga Turmeric Chai that is expertly paired with the sounds of local musicians and fruitful discussion among friends.

“The Innocent” warm grain bowl at Life Alive.

The café inspires and enables healthy, impactful conversation through nourishing its clientele. A delicious selection of vegan, vegetarian, raw, macrobiotic, and gluten-free warm grain bowls, grilled wraps, and satisfying salads are always freshly available. Each of these creatively-named meals are brimming vibrant and bright with high-quality bites of uniquely nutritious ingredients, including flax, Nama Shoyu, olive oil, sea vegetables, and dark leafy greens. My go-to is The Innocent, a lush dish of sweet corn and quinoa rice pilaf generously doused in nutritional yeast that is a vegan comfort food reminiscent of childhood mac’n cheese.

The “Shakti Alive” smoothie at Life Alive.

Every dish can be coupled with one of many luscious smoothies, jubilant raw juices, or superfood concentrate shots. My personal favorite is the Shakti Alive, a sweetly spicy and smooth blend of turmeric, candied ginger, tiger nuts, dates, goji berries, banana, squash, coconut oil, chia, almond milk and a zest of black pepper.

Life Alive visionaries serve up food therapy. Pictured: “The Undon Miso Masterful” warm bowl.

Life Alive visionaries are firmly grounded in the notion that food is healing, nurturing, and preventative medicine. Their global fusion flavors allow happy eaters to derive both therapeutic energy and divine pleasure through their original tastes. And of course, these slow foods expertly engineered for quick delivery to the fast-paced Bostonian.

Save room for dessert: a vegan chocolate truffle at Life Alive.

Lastly, through planting key seeds for local goodness, Life Alive sets an example for healing the global environment. Reliance on a well-researched blend of local, seasonal, and organic produce in addition to their commitment to composting, recycling, eliminating food waste, and providing biodegradable packaging make their brand laudable and worthy of emulation.

Life Alive is not merely worthy of praise, but it is a café that I hold to a gold standard in rating plant-based dining. This urban oasis is truly making a mark on global sustainability, in its local community, and in its eaters’ happily nurtured bellies.


About the author: Lacey Gibson is a global health researcher, a food writer, and a Vinyasa yoga teacher. She recently graduated with a Masters of Science in Global Health Population from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Here, she also served as a Food Literacy Project Fellow, coordinating community events to inspire education of the food system. Prior to her Masters, she graduated in 2015 with a BA/BS in French and Physiology from Southern Illinois University, where she also competed as an NCAA DI track/cross country runner. Throughout her career, Lacey’s work has been published in academic journals, such as the Journal of Wine Research and the International Journal of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities. She is also a regular contributor to writings for a wider wellness-interested audience, such as UNDO OrdinaryI Am Woman Project, and Skin In The Game. For a full taste of her writing style, keep up with her here.  

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