Malden is the Best!
Updated: Sep 15, 2021
Photo Credit: Rebecca Taplin
The City of Malden is hot, and not just because it’s summer. Over the past few decades, community members and public officials have worked successfully to develop it into an alluring city with much to offer its residents and visitors. With home and rent prices skyrocketing in other Boston suburbs, we’d like to showcase this cosmopolitan, foodie-friendly, and lively city.
We have to start way, way back in order to do this right.
The land where Malden sits is the territory of the Pennacook People. The Puritans forcibly removed the Pennacook People from these lands. We acknowledge the stewardship and legacy of the Pennacook, who cared for the land until they were prohibited from doing so. We have made a donation to the Massachusetts Center for Native American Awareness as part of this land acknowledgment.
Now let’s breeze through the next 400 or so years, shall we?
Malden, which once encompassed parts of what is now Charlestown, Somerville, Everett and Melrose, was among the earliest supporters of the Declaration of Independence. The community was active during the Revolution, and you’ll see many commemorations of this and other wars throughout the city. Malden also hosted the original location of the Converse Rubber Shoe Company in 1908, and turned out the first pairs of “Chuck Taylors.”
Unlike in the 1600’s, Malden currently welcomes everyone. As with Boston, several waves of immigrants arrived in Malden and worked as both skilled and unskilled workers, and brought their cultures with them. Today, about half of Malden’s 66,000 residents were born in the United States, while the other half were born elsewhere.
Part of Malden’s allure lies in its proximity to the MBTA’s Orange Line trains, the commuter rail and buses, as well as to Routes 93 and One. You can get anywhere from Malden with very little fuss!
The “feel” of the city
Malden’s incredible diversity makes it an attractive place to live. This city is lively with the bustling of people making their way to work, school, and play. Similar to Cambridge, Malden is a city of neighborhoods, each with its own personality. A walk down the street rewards you with a variety of home architectures, from high-rise apartments to triple-decker homes. The Malden Public Library, pictured above, was designed by renowned architect H. H. Richardson, who also designed Trinity Church in Boston (ooh la la, fancy!). You may even run into Malden’s mayor, Gary Christenson, picking up trash on his way to work (he’s been doing it for years, and even went viral on Reddit a few years ago when someone posted a picture of him there). Malden feels vibrant, busy, and most importantly, welcoming.
Scroll down for our favorite restaurants and things to do, or take a moment to read our analysis of Malden's housing market below.
Housing info for year-to-date
Single Family Listings:
Average living area in square feet: 1,684 (Malden has many small houses)
Median sale price: $600,000
Median sale price per square foot: $372
Average living area in square feet: 990.5 (Larger than Boston or Cambridge)
Median sale price: $385,000
Median sale price per square foot: $412
Multi Family Listings:
Average living area in square feet: 2,625 (Many were once converted single family homes)
Median sale price: $810,000
Median sale price per square foot: $318
A few numbers for you
This graph shows that prices are indeed on the rise in Malden.
The table below lays it out even more clearly: In the last 4 years, buyers have doled out nearly $100 more per square foot of living space in Malden. And compared to the listing price, buyers are offering about 6% over the asking price. This tells us that Malden is in demand and house hunters are willing to go above listing price to purchase a home there.
2021 (to date)
Listing $/Sq. ft.
Original Listing $/Sq. ft.
Sale $/Sq. ft.
From fish and chips from Ireland, to pho from Vietnam or injera from Ethiopia, Malden boasts scores of restaurants showcasing cuisines from all over the world. Foodies can try a different restaurant every week, delight in the unique offerings, and never run out of choices. Some of our favorites are listed below. And if you just want some injera (a soft, pancake-like Ethiopian bread), pop into the convenience store next to Habesha and grab a freshly-baked batch. Stop by India Bazaar for some fragrant spices, or Baba Supermarket for some pomegranate molasses and make this muhammara recipe that will brighten your day. .
This upscale coffee and pastry house is the brainchild of three friends originally from the
Republic of Moldova. Their coffee is roasted locally and is painstakingly prepared, and
their signature pastry, the bikeeny, is handmade with a variety of fillings. Yum!
Located right next to the Malden Center T stop, DK is best known for their authentic Chinese food, particularly their ridiculously tasty soup dumplings. They even have an “XXL” one that you need a straw to consume!
Korean deliciousness. The name means “Auntie’s House,” and they specialize in comfort foods, such as Korean BBQ pork belly, bibimbap, and tofu soups. You can get your food truly spicy, too, if you’re into that.
Ethiopian food served in a family-friendly dining room, with a bar. First timers, try the Habesha Special for their best vegetables on a huge portion of injera, and tack on a doro wat if you want a meat option.
This Irish pub has been here for 20 years, and it hits all the right notes to stick around. The inside is spacious, the burgers and fries are tasty, and you can still order shepherd’s pie and fish & chips. They do trivia and open mic nights, too!
A family-friendly pub with fun twists on traditional American comfort food. And fabulous cocktails and mocktails. Their pickle-brined fried chicken sandwich is mouthwatering, and their big salads will fill up the hungriest herbivore out there.
If you haven’t tried pho, a hot Vietnamese soup with noodles and fresh greens, this is the place to go. And if you have tried it, come here and tell us what you think! They also serve “clay pot” style rice bowls, and their drinks are creative and yummy.
Fun things to do
Malden is right on the Orange Line, so it’s easy to get into Boston for fun and culture. In addition, the Encore Casino is in Everett, just a few miles away, for your gambling pleasure. But if you want to stay in Malden proper, there’s something for just about everyone.
The only U.S. location of this Swedish room-escape adventure is right in Malden center. We wrote a blog about it, so read more here.
Beloved illustrator and author of dozens of "how to draw" books, Malden native Ed Emberley has inspired millions to make lions out of fingerprints, and dragons out of Os and Vs. Take a walk to the David R Fitzgerald Park and marvel at this mural painted by local high schoolers.
Browse the aisles and shelves of this location of New England Comics and pick up the next in your favorite comic series. They also sell action figures and collectibles, too.
Bowling alley, bar, club, restaurant, pool hall and arcade all in one spot. It’s pretty epic. They have Atomic Bowling (where they turn out the overhead lights and turn on the black lights, and add loud pop music to boot), leagues, and even live music.
Open skate times as well as lessons and hockey games are available year round.
As we write this, Coronavirus is still raging in the U.S. and the delta variant has arrived. If you’d prefer to spend time outside, or you’re simply an outdoors-y person, Malden has plenty to offer.
Affectionately known as the “Bike to the Sea” trail, this bicycle and walking trail spans nearly 12 miles and runs from Everett to Lynn, passing through Malden, Revere and Saugus on the way.
Walking trails, Tai chi, fishing, and seasonal events are all on offer in this roadside oasis.
Though technically in Saugus, the MAA supports anglers by teaching the art of fly fishing and fly tying; their mission includes providing these services to veterans, as well.
“The Fells” comprises 2,575 acres of land across Malden, Medford, Stoneham, Melrose, and Winchester, and is free to the public. You’ll find woods, wetlands and watersheds at countless locations. We love Sheepfold for dog owners, the Skyline Trail for experienced hikers, and kayak rentals from Spot Pond for everyone.
In addition to all the woods around Malden, there are two dog parks, as well. Pine Banks is near a wooded park, sports fields, and a running track. Trafton Park is located near a playground close to Malden Center.
Learn (or help your neighbors learn)
The ILC offers free English language lessons, publishes stories about the contributions of immigrants, and researches the effects of immigrants. Attend classes if you want to learn English, or volunteer your time to assist in one of their classrooms.
NEHA is the only accredited school in the Boston area to train people in cosmetology, barbering, and manicuring in one place. Apply to earn your place in the beauty industry, or pay drastically reduced prices for their services, which include cuts, coloring, braiding, extensions, mani/pedis, and even facials.