Six Spots to Shop, Snack, and Spin in Downtown Roslindale

Not quite city life but not fully the ’burbs, this charming Boston neighborhood boasts boutiques and eateries worthy of downtown but with a laid-back, small-town vibe.

Fresh loaves and pastries at Fornax Bread Company. / Photo courtesy of Fornax Bread Company

1. Fornax Bread Company

Chances are if you’ve enjoyed a particularly delicious baguette or slice of multigrain at a Boston restaurant, Fornax baked it. But only those who swing by the company’s casual lunch spot get to savor its freshly griddled sandwiches, pizzettas, and salads. Sit down for a cozy meal and leave with loaves of bread (be sure to check the online baking schedule to ensure your favorite olive boule is fresh out of the oven) and pastries for later.

27 Corinth St., 617-325-8852,

A selection of blues at Boston Cheese Cellar. / Photo by Jim Brueckner

2. Boston Cheese Cellar

Get everything you need for a cheese plate to impress at this unassuming shop, where friendly staffers help demystify the killer selection of fromage (think: classic stinky wedges such as France’s Époisses and Scotland’s Fat Cow). They’re also eager to help point you toward accoutrements like crackers, olives, and other specialty items on the shelves—as well as share plenty of samples.

18 Birch St., 617-325-2500,

Colorful baubles at Birch St. House & Garden. / Photo by Jim Brueckner

3. Birch St. House & Garden

Don’t be fooled by the name: Located just shy of Birch Street, this boutique is more gift shop than home-décor emporium. Vintage finds, such as a colorful ceramic vase discovered on a recent visit, mingle with plush toys for kids and whimsical handmade accessories. You can browse plenty of practical gifts, too, including graphic zippered pouches with motivational messages to keep your angsty tween organized.

760 South St., 617-323-3269,

4. Joanne Rossman

A fixture on the city’s art scene for years, Rossman sold her own apparel at Barneys New York and the now-shuttered Louis before opening this shop chock-full of objets that demonstrate her exquisite taste. That means you’ll find milk soaps from Portugal, art tomes like John Derian’s Picture Book, and even a kinetic sailboat sculpture for kids.

6 Birch St., 617-323-4301,

Shopkeeper Joanne Rossman. / Photo by Jim Brueckner

5. Distraction Brewing Co.

The verdict is in—Rozzie likes craft beer. Locals flock to the Roslindale Substation for a beer hall run by beloved local brewery Turtle Swamp, and now they’ll have a new taproom around the corner thanks to Distraction Brewing, which is opening its doors this summer. Launched by three friends with a passion for home brewing, the outpost will start off pouring six beers, including locally inspired offerings such as the “RoslinPale” and “Parkway Porter.”

2 Belgrade Ave., 617-977-4537,

6. Lyfe Cycle

Before this boutique cycling studio opened in March 2016, Rozzie residents didn’t have a local spot to spin their wheels. Today the all-female team of instructors, led by owner and Ironman triathlete Erica Soma, teach a handful of classes both on and off the bike to build strength and endurance. And with a $20 drop-in price, it’s easy to stop by whenever the mood strikes.

4155 Washington St.,