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Cambridge - Good Eats near Harvard Square to recommend?

Cambridge - Good Eats near Harvard Square to recommend?

Aug 8th, 2009, 05:27 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 221
Cambridge - Good Eats near Harvard Square to recommend?

Hi Fodorites,
Hoping to get your helpful advice on this.

Looking for some good dining options, and staying near Harvard Square. Hoping for some places that aren't too 'over the top' pricey.

It's been a while since I lived in Boston (as a student). Needless to say, only went to the cheapest places then, when I wasn't cooking Ronzoni at home. So not as familiar with the 'grown up' dining options., especially in Cambridge

Hoping you can recommend some yummy options. Italian (mmm, homemade pasta), English, American, Southern, Eclectic, Cajun, Greek, French, Seafood, Mexican, etc. Looking more for dinner, but am sure will need some lunch type and cafe options as well.

Really appreciate your help with figuring this out. Thank you for taking the time to share.
LOTRHP is offline  
Aug 8th, 2009, 06:59 PM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 131
Henrettas Table in the Charles hotel is excellent. Julia Child used to be a frequent guest there.
For casual fare, there is the well known Bartley's for burgers (definitly a lunch thing).
Suzette85 is offline  
Aug 8th, 2009, 07:03 PM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 2,829
Good reasonably priced options close by or in Harvard Square include:

-Mr. Bartley's Burger Cottage (burgers and other comfort food)
-Tamarind Bay, Tanjore, or Cafe of India (Indian)
-Dolphin Seafood (seafood)
-Darwin's (sandwiches)
-Le's (Vietnamese)
-Rendang (Malaysian)
-Casablanca (Mediterranean/American)
-Charlie's Kitchen (bar food)
-Daedalus (American)
-Hi Rise or Cafe Algiers (coffee and dessert)
-Zoe's (Greek/American diner type food)
-Flat Patties (burgers/sandwiches)
-Felipe's (Mexican tacos, burritos, etc.)
-B. Good (healthy fast food)
-Herrell's (ice cream)
-more expensive options include Harvest, Rialto, Henrietta's Table, Upstairs on the Square, Sandrine's

If memory serves, Harvard Square is not a place for decent Italian, English, Southern, Chinese, or Japanese.

You can head out to Porter Square or Central Square for other possibilities.
bachslunch is offline  
Aug 8th, 2009, 07:26 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 41,832
There's also a Legal Seafood opposite Henrietta's kitchen
cigalechanta is offline  
Aug 8th, 2009, 07:29 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 41,832
If you get to Central Square,
Mary Chen for Chineese,
The Rendezvous for more $ but worth it.
cigalechanta is offline  
Aug 9th, 2009, 02:59 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,168
We moved to Cambridge exactly 30 years ago this weekend. Sigh! Where did the time go?

Of the places mentioned, the following were around then:

Casablanca (CasaB's in those days and mostly a bar)
Dolphin Seafood
Herrell's (Steve's Ice Cream then)
Legal Seafood (Inman Square only)

The only place we could afford to eat (we were very poor while my wife was in grad school) was Dolphin Seafood, and we could only afford to eat there twice in two years! It was great value then, and it is great value still, in its slightly enlarged space. Now we can afford to eat anywhere, but we still go back to Dolphin when we are in Cambridge.

My very favorite place to eat in Cambridge, though it is in Inman Square, a bus or taxi ride from Harvard Square, is the East Coast Grill. Chris continues to turn out complex and delicious food under a very simple theme. We ate there for years after it opened, dropping out for a while after we moved to Nantucket, and we continue to eat there with great pleasure again when we are in town.

Cigalechanta, do you remember when Mary Chen's closed for several years and then reopened across Mass Ave? Panic at the closing, intense rumors on the internet before reopening! You make a great suggestion for a place most visitors would not find. When they take our order at Mary Chen's, I usually just point to whatever other people around me are eating, but they have the most amazing eggplant I have ever eaten.
Ackislander is offline  
Aug 9th, 2009, 05:51 AM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 2,829
Am thinking "Mary Chen" here is actually "Mary Chung's." (Years ago, there was a Joyce Chen in North Cambridge). Mary Chung's is the best spot for Chinese food in Cambridge, too, with a specialty in Szechuan -- it's in Central Square. Royal East, also in this area, is hit or miss but can be OK. Qingdao Garden, way up North Cambridge getting towards Arlington, is very good and Chinatown-level authentic. Changsho is north of Harvard Square and does very good, if more Americanized, Chinese food and has an all you can eat lunch buffet.

Avoid Yenching Palace, Hong Kong, New Asia, and Lucky Garden, all of which are terrible. The first three are in Harvard Square, too. Hong Kong, in fact, may dish up the worst Chinese food in Greater Boston.
bachslunch is offline  
Aug 9th, 2009, 06:27 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 3,125
Second the recommendations for Casablanca and Tamarind Bay.

For more upscale places in the square, you will do well with both Harvest and Sandrine's. I think you can eat fairly reasonably priced at Sandrine's too.

Chez Henri is a long walk, or short cab ride and is wonderful.
(there is a free restaurant shuttle from the garage at the Charles hotel that goes to some of these slightly out of the square Cambridge places. I'm pretty sure it goes to Chez Henri and Craigie on Main and probably some others, you might check it out).

One more, not mentioned here, I had a very good meal at Grafton Street, sort of upscale pub/comfort food.
china_cat is offline  
Aug 9th, 2009, 06:28 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 3,125
I should have said... Craigie on Main is worthwhile if you are looking for a splurge night out. It's expensive, but considered one of the best restaurants in Boston/Cambridge right now. It's French.
china_cat is offline  
Aug 9th, 2009, 08:05 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 41,832
bach, I stand corrected, it is Chung.

We must not leave out Salts, also on Main Street.

Aikislander, yes I remember but do you remember when Legal had one place with a fish market and you had to pay in advance
because so many students and others would leave without paying.
cigalechanta is offline  
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