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Dwell360 Guide: Welcome to Needham

Welcome to Needham, a popular suburb of Boston alive with continuous growth. Great schools and a strong sense of community keep this local town among the area’s most desirable places to live. As more buyers flock to purchase homes, we’d like to invite you on a virtual tour of this charming town.

Interesting Facts

  • Needham was first settled in 1680 as a part of nearby Dedham, but split in 1711 to officially become the town of Needham.

  • Needham and Wellesley high schools annually compete in a Thanksgiving football game, the second longest running high school football rivalry in the United States and the longest running such contest on Thanksgiving.

  • Notable personalities that have inhabited Needham include actor John Slattery, founder Jeff Taylor, Olympic medalist Aly Raisman, Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker, and many more.

Finding Good Eats

Needham has a plethora of fabulous local restaurants, shops, and food stands to offer its residents and visitors alike.

  • The Farmhouse: Our favorite Needham resident, John Lynch, says The Farmhouse is his go-to spot for a spectacular meal! Dora Tavel-Sanchez Luz and Gabriel Sanchez Luz are a husband and wife team that have worked for over 35 years in restaurants across Los Angeles, New York City, and Boston. They started The Farmhouse with the intention of creating a farm to table restaurant that sources organic, local ingredients. Guests are treated to superior hospitality, handcrafted cocktails, and elegant ambiance in addition to a changing menu of elegant American cuisine with offerings such as Maine halibut and manila clams, vegetarian risotto, and free bird chicken, to name a few. Make a reservation or walk right in for a meal you’re not to soon forget.

  • Sweet Basil: Crowds of locals flock to Needham’s Sweet Basil for a taste of their upscale Italian dishes with bottles in hand; this restaurant has a popular BYOB (bring your own beer or wine) policy. All parties are treated to complimentary fresh bread and basil pesto before their meal, with some patrons raving that it is their favorite part! Favorite entrees include the rosemary chicken with pancetta, tomato, and asparagus in garlic cream sauce over ziti, handmade ravioli in basil marinara sauce, and the slow braised lamb shank with whipped grits and roasted vegetables. You can also order ahead and pick up a half or full tray of the menu’s best entrees and appetizers, such as calamari or steamed mussels.

  • Volante Farms: Whether you’re looking for plants for your garden or a killer cider donut, Volante Farms is your one stop shop to sample local goods. At its emanation in the 1920s, Volante Farms was a truck farm, selling goods directly from a truck all around Boston. Today, this Needham favorite is home to a huge greenhouse and year round farmstand. Among a plethora of goods from local artisans like baked goods, wines, fine chocolates, meats, and dairy, Volante has a deli serving up fresh sandwiches and a bakery serving up freshly baked bread and pastries. During summer months, an ice cream stand scoops up sizeable portions of Crescent Ridge Creamery ice cream. Pick up a completely cooked meal or veggies and meat to cook at home; any way you choose, Volante Farms will bring a fresh taste to your home that is rarely rivaled in stores today.

  • Needham Junction Ice Cream: Whether you’re looking for a treat, snack, or dairy-centric dinner, Needham Junction Ice Cream is probably one of the area’s best kept secrets. This family run ice cream business is open seasonally out of the Needham commuter train station. The beloved shop offers soft serve and hard ice creams, as well as slush drinks, frappes, flurries, floats, and even ice cream pizza: a brownie base topped with vanilla ice cream, candy, and hot fudge. Before stopping by this stop, be sure to grab cash as they don’t accept cards to help keep costs as low as possible for patrons. Needham Junction Ice Cream is open Monday-Friday 2-9pm and Saturday-Sunday 1-9pm. Don’t miss this delicious stop!

  • Abbott’s Frozen Custard: Beginning with a hard working man named Arthur Abbott, the Abbott’s Frozen Custard franchise has greatly expanded since opening its first shop in Rochester, NY. Today, locations offer up a plethora of creamy scoops of frozen custard, a creamy dessert that differs from ice cream with the addition of egg yolk into the recipe. Whether you’re in the mood for a famous cookie sundae, strawberry milkshake, or root beer float, Abbott’s has plenty of options to satisfy any palate. Check out their Needham location, open daily!

Things to Do

  • CandlepinNeedham Bowlaway: This hidden gem is a Needham favorite for children and adults alike. The Bowlaway features 8 lanes for candlepin bowling, a fun and challenging version of bowling that rivals its competitors. Open bowl prices are $25 for each lane, per hour and shoe rentals at $4. For extra fun, parties can be hosted at the Bowlaway, featuring a competitive package that includes four lanes of bowling, an ice cream cake, trophies for all guests, and more. If you plan on visiting the Bowlaway in the evening, pick a Saturday or Sunday night after 4pm to experience Cosmic bowling, where the room comes to life with blacklights. Check the Bowlaway’s website to see hours and more information.

  • Architrave:  Anyone can click the ‘Add to Cart’ button on Amazon, but the Architrave Toy Store offers an experience unrivaled in today’s market. Stop by this unique store to find high quality wood and organic toys where the customer is valued so highly that price matching is guaranteed. The store offers an interactive area, called the Play Station, where visiting children can utilize toys sold in the store with no pressure on their parents to purchase anything. Accompanying adults will enjoy the complimentary wifi and coffee or tea while they either watch their children play or peruse the shelves. Whether the middle of winter, a rainy day, or you’re just looking for a break from the normal, visit the Architrave for a fun time where you might find some new treasures for the little ones in your life.

  • Needham Farmer’s Market: Every Sunday from 1-4pm during May through November, Needham residents and visitors have the opportunity to purchase local goods at the Needham Farmer’s Market. Vendors set up their tents on the paved area in front of Needham’s Town Hall to market a variety of fruits, vegetables, herbs, seedlings for gardening, pasta, maple syrup, meats, fish and seafood, gourmet nuts, treats, and more. Local artists and musicians can also be found at this weekly event offering their goods and entertainment respectively. For more information on what vendors and performers will be attending each week, take a look at the Farmer’s Market calendar.

  • Newman ElementaryDiscovering Nature in Needham: This town is abundant with opportunities for residents and visitors to get out and enjoy beautiful surroundings.

  • Needham Community Farm: Through the help of local volunteers, the Needham Community Farm works to provide fresh produce to those in need. Their mission is simple: educate about sustainable growing and nutrition, provide food to those in their community who experience food insecurity, and build community through volunteerism. Individuals, groups, and students are all welcome to spend time at the farm with opportunities for those of varying ages. If you’re interested in sticking around for a while, sign up to take a class so you can grow plants throughout a season! If you aren’t fond of getting your hands dirty at all, you can still support the mission by donating here.

Needham is a great place to live; give us a call today so we can find you the best Needham home!

Dwell360 is a residential real estate firm based in Newton, Massachusetts, servicing the cities and suburbs of metro Boston. We are focused on our customers and our experience in the residential real estate market is extensive. Search for homes in Massachusetts and then give us a call.

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Wikimedia Commons User Magicpiano. 2011. The town hall in Needham, Massachusetts [image]. Retrieved from
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Wikimedia Commons User Rene Schwietzke. October 25, 2007. Candlepin Bowling, Pins, Ball, and Lane [image]. Retrieved from