John Harvard's Brew House: There's more to Harvard than just a university!
Located only a short walk away from campus, the Cambridge John Harvard's Brew House is a great place to go for lunch, dinner or to start the evening off with unique tasty beer! On top of its five regular brews (John Harvard's Pale Ale (Silver Medal 2000 Real Ale Festival), All American Light Lager, Nut Brown Ale (Gold Medal 2002 Real Ale Festival), Dry Irish Stout and Old Willy India Pale Ale), John Harvard's Brew House also offers great seasonal brews. But it's not only about beer - food's pretty good too and is offered at a great price, and even if the place is surprisingly big, there's still a great student joint atmosphere.
Favorite Dish: I ordered the hummus platter and it was delicious!
- Beer Tasting
- Study Abroad
Central Kitchen: Mussels and Cheese plates
The menu at Central Kitchen changes regularly (although you can ALWAYS order the steak) but the quality is always the same. I have never had a meal I didn't love here. At first glance the menu seems limited (there are only 5 or 6 appetizers and 5 or 6 entrees plus the specials) but you can order anything and expect a great meal.
The restaurant is upscale casual, cozy and elegant, but space is limited. This restaurant is on the more expensive side but the quality matches the price. Entrees usually range from $15 to $26. I usually spend about $60 p/p (wine, appetizer, dinner, tip).
Favorite Dish: There is always a good cheese plate and the oysters are great too. The mussels are fantastic.
Hi-Rise Bread Co.: Great place for lunch!
Hi-Rise Bread Co. is located on Brattle St., a short walk away from Harvard Square. We happened to walk passed it on our way to the Longfellow National Historic Site and decided to go back there for lunch. This little cafe is located in the Dexter Pratt House, also known as the Blacksmith House since it was immortalized as such by Longfellow in his poem "The Village Blacksmith". It is first and foremost a bakery, but on top of all the delicious baked goods you'll also find an interesting lunch menu. There's a wide selection of sandwiches, all made on freshly baked bread, and salads. You can eat inside or outside - inside offers a nice, 19th century school type of atmosphere, while outside there is a large sunny patio with just the right amount of shade. A great option if you're looking for a fresh, healthy lunch!
Favorite Dish: I ordered the chicken curry salad and it was delicious! It came to about $10 with my drink, which I thought at first was a bit much for a cafe, but it was so good and I was so stuffed when I finished it that it truly was worth the price.
Sabra Grill: Falaaaaaffffelllllll
This is a tiny take out restaurant with maybe 3 tables. However it's in Harvard square so on a nice day you can grab some great food and sit out on the bricks in the sun and enjoy. What I love most about this place is that the guy running it always sings the name of what you order. Falaaaaaffffelllllll! Shawwwwaaaaarmaaaa! The staff is friendly and the food is always good. A bit of a line can build up at times but, in my opinion, it's worth the wait.
Favorite Dish: The shawarma salad is excellent (order it with extra hummus) and the chicken is crispy. I absolutely love the special roll up too (w/ eggplant, zucchini, tahini, onions, etc. in a grilled roll up).
MARRAKESH: EATING WITH YOUR HANDS
I've only been here once and I thought the food was good. Moroccan items are displayed around the restaurant & in the back room carpets line the floor so that you can relax in a traditional Moroccan setting while you eat.
Favorite Dish: The mint tea is refreshing & warms your heart. Try the Chicken Bastilla and the Lamb Couscous.
Fire and Ice: A funky grill
I love Fire and Ice. Here is the deal: they have large circular grills. You pick your meats, veggies and sauces and the chef grills them before your eyes. Well worth the wait and the funky interior will garauntee a good time is had by all.
Favorite Dish: chicken, veggies and a ginger sauce.
The Border Cafe: Awesome Tex-Mex
The Border Cafe is the stuff of Legend. No trip to Harvard Square is complete without stopping here. The food and service are top notch, as is the people watching. There is usually a wait, but well worth it.
Favorite Dish: too many to mention. Put it this way, I have never been disappointed.
Cuchi Cuchi: World Wide Tapas
A sister restaurant to the oh so fabulous Dali, Cuchi Cuchi draws you in with it's atmosphere. It embodies a sort of old Hollywood luxury with it's warmth, eclectic decor, and a carefree attitude. The owners obviously took great care in designing every corner. The bar is especially inviting and seems to call for lovely girls sipping martinis.
Dress is casual elegance so, as usual, dressing up jeans is acceptable. There will usually be a wait for this restaurant especially on weekends so get there as soon as you can and cozy up to the bar for a while.
They also host Diva nights for the ladies monday - thursday. Check it out on their website.
Favorite Dish: The menu is tapas style with dishes chosen from all over the world. You'll find variations of popular Italian, Russian, French, and Spanish dishes and much more. The cocktails are also delightful and you might find yourself trying out a few too many.
As far as dishes go everything was delicious, but I particularly recommend the Grilled Eggplant Napoleon, Brie en Croute, and Bliny and for dessert the French Banana Bread Extravaganza. I think the only thing I didn't care for was the Seared Tuna. There is a $20 per person minimum for food.
John Harvard's: Great brew, great atmosphere!
A happening place with great atmosphere, John Harvard's brew pub is a favorite with the locals and the college crowd. They brew their own beer, and do a good job of it. The food is also good, and reasonably cheap. Located just a few steps from Harvard Square, the location is conveniently close to the Harvard Square T stop.
Favorite Dish: The calamari appetizer is large, and tasty, and goes well with many of the home brews that the pub has to offer!
- Study Abroad
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
The Border Cafe: Cheap Tex-Mex heaven!
The Border Cafe is a very popular restaurant in Harvard Square. It serves tex-mex food at reasonable prices, catering the students and locals alike. The free salsa and chips can't be missed!
If you're not planning on drinking alcoholic beverages, you can generally get seated faster during crunch times.
This remains by far my favorite restaurant in the greater Boston area.
Favorite Dish: It's not on the menu any more, but I have had them make it for me anyways....blackened chicken quesadilla. Blackened chicken, oodles of cheese...who could ask for more?
- Family Travel
- Study Abroad
FIRE + ICE: Create your own meal
The original FIRE + ICE is located in Harvard Square, it opened in 1997.
FIRE + ICE offers a unique interactive dining experience. You create your own meal, first grab a bowl and select from meats, seafood, pastas, and vegetables. Next head over to the sauce station, there's about 10 different choices. Now bring bowl and sauce to the huge round grill and watch chefs cook up your masterpiece. You can make as many trips up to the grill as you want.
Dinner and lunch come with warm tortillas and rice. There's also a salad bar and a hamburger bar.
Favorite Dish: Sunday Brunch is great. You can make the hugest pancakes I've ever seen. You can also make omelettes and there's bagels and other brunch type food. The regular selection of meats, seafood, pasta and vegetables is also available.
Drinks Try the fire or ice bowl.
BRING APPETITE It's all you can eat, so eat all you can!
- Food and Dining
- Study Abroad
Grafton Street: Harvard Square Staple
Grafton Street is my "go to" place when looking for a good place to eat in Harvard Square. The menu is varied and large and I've always enjoyed what I've had there. The decor is lovely with dark wood, great lighting, and a beautiful bar. It's also pretty large, so getting a table there shouldn't pose a problem.
Favorite Dish: I've had a wonderful salad, a lovely scallop and sausage dish, but I was just there for brunch and had some really tasty Huevos Rancheros. The place was hopping with holiday get-togethers, the food was tasty, and the company was great!
- Food and Dining
- Beer Tasting
- Wine Tasting
FIRE & ICE: EATING WHAT YOU LIKE
This is a different kind of restaurant where you can choose exactly what kind of food you want to eat. Different food sections are spread out & you can choose exactly what kinds of food & veggies you want. Complement that with a sauce of your liking & voila! You are on your way....to... the LARGE round cooking slab. There, your food is cooked while you wait & observe the process.
This is an all-you-can-eat establishment, but not really like a buffet since nothing is cooked until you give your bowl to the chef.
It's an interesting experience & reminds me of Mongolian grill.
Favorite Dish: There are various kinds of meat (chicken, meat, lamb, pork, beef, sausage, etc), veggies (broccoli, pea pods, carrots, zucchini, etc), & seafood (fish, clams, scallops, etc). You can add pasta if you like. The sauce bar includes features like ginger lemongrass, mushroom marsala, and Tahitian honey glaze. There is also a salad bar.
Dali Restaurant: Tapas and Sangria
Dali is an amazing little tapas restaurant with a friendly ambiance that swallows you up right as you step in the door. The décor and lighting are rich and dark and it’s just a lovely and fun place all around. The staff and crowd are both very welcoming and it's perfect whether you're a group looking for a lively night or a couple on an intimate date.
There is a great selection of hot and cold tapas which are very reasonably priced for the quality. They also have a late menu for the bar and a few heartier dishes if that’s your thing. Believe me though, the tapas are more than enough. They don’t serve hard liquor here (just beer, wine, and after dinner drinks) but you’ll be drinking the sangria anyway because it’s excellent. I recommend getting a porron, a communal drinking bottle of white wine or cava. It can get pretty lively and it's a lot of fun when people start cheering you on as you drink.
Favorite Dish: It's hard to choose favorites when everything is so good but I particularly like the Faisán a la Alcántara (pheasant), Lomito al Cabrales (pork tenderloin), and Ravioles de Mariscos (lobster/crab ravioles).
Cambridge, 1: Fabulous Pizza!
This is one of those places you pass by and never quite know what they're serving. Once, late for a concert, we opened their door only to be told the waiting list was an hour long. Months later, we returned, only to discover that it was pizza that had the crowds coming. But more on that later. This isn't some cheesy pizza joint, however: the decor is hip, but very laid-back, and the people watching is a cut above even the toniest Pizza Hut. The menu is short, and everything on is seriously tempting. Best of all, the whole deal won't set you back anything like as much as the Euro-trash joints elsewhere that focus more on your wallet than their food.
Plus, they also have a very interesting beer and drink menu. Seems like there's something for everyone.
Favorite Dish: The pizza, silly! They do ultra-thin crust pizzas laden down with unusual goodies: bolognese sauce, for example, or arugula, or, best of all, rosemary and potato. We argued over the last slice of that order...
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