Local Gems: Natick

Hooray, it's Local Gems time! Today's Natick recommendations come from my friend Jodi Grundig, mom of two and editor of Mom's Favorite Stuff and Family Travel Magazine. Thanks for sharing these 10 local gems in Natick, Jodi! And be sure to check out the Arlington Center, Back BayBeacon Hill, Coolidge Corner, Huron Village, Easton, Jamaica Plain, Lexington, Medford, Watertown, and Wellesley features!

From Jodi:

Although it’s commonly referenced as the home of the largest mall in New England, this town 15 miles west of Boston is home to a thriving community as well as many hidden gems. From locally owned shops and restaurants to several outdoor attractions, Natick has so much to offer. Here are 10 of my favorite local gems:

1. Tilly and Salvy’s Bacon Street Farm. This small grocery shop maintains an old-fashioned, small-town vibe while offering local produce, meats, baked goods, and traditional grocery items. Seasonal offerings include Christmas trees, pumpkins, and outdoor plants.

2. Casey’s Diner. This 10-stool diner located on the fringes of downtown Natick is on the National Register of Historic Places. It still offers the same delicious steamed hot dogs that made it a Natick institution.

3. Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary. Broadmoor, one of the Mass Audubon wildlife sanctuaries, is a great place for a family hike. Marked trails are easy to follow. The sanctuary also offers educational programs and workshops.

4. The Natick Community Organic Farm. The Natick Community Organic Farm is truly one of the hidden gems in Natick. This nonprofit, certified organic farm is home to many farm animals and offers complimentary admission during daylight hours.

5. The Center for Arts in Natick. Housed in a former firehouse, this nonprofit arts organization presents kid-friendly and adult shows throughout the year.

6. Oga’s Japanese Cuisine. Don’t let the strip-mall location fool you. This Japanese restaurant is easily one of the best in the state.

7. Five Crows. Located in Natick Center, Five Crows offers a selection of handmade gifts from a variety of artists in the area.

8. Uni-T. Local artist Eujin Kim Neilan owns this independent shop, one of the few located in the Natick Mall. Along with Eujin’s work, the shop also features products from about 50 local artists.

9. Lola's Italian Groceria. This locally owned shop offers delicious pasta and sandwiches as well as Italian grocery items and an impressive gluten-free selection.

10. Park Street Ice Cream. Tucked away alongside Natick Common is the Park Street Ice Cream Shoppe, a shop that’s been in business for more than 30 years

Thanks for sharing, Jodi! If you have other Natick favorites, feel free to share in the comments below. If you'd like to pen a Local Gems guest post, contact Christine at editor@bostonmamas.com to check on availability.

Image credits: all images via linked websites or associated Facebook pages.