Cambridge and Boston are havens for food lovers. There are many options to please a variety of palates, including offerings for special diets. If you have problems deciding where to eat, think about a country whose food you've always wanted to sample, then see if there's one in the Boston area. There almost certainly is!
A note about smoking: Local ordinances prohibit smoking in many eating and drinking establishments.
Wifi is not particularly common at restaurants and bars around here. Some coffee shops have it, as do local libraries and a few restaurants.
$ - dirt cheap (under $5)
$$ - cheap ($5-15)
$$$ - moderate ($15-25)
$$$$ - upscale (over $25)
Near Harvard Law School
- Three Aces pizzeria,($) corner of Massachusetts Avenue* and Everett St. (1613 Mass Ave., 2.5 minutes north of HLS)
- cholesterol and trans-fat have a bouquet all their own.
- Montrose Spa ($) sandwiches and convenience store, on Massachusetts Ave. about 3 minutes north of HLS
- Boca Grande Taqueria ($) - 1728 Massachusetts Ave, (just 5 min north of HLS 617) 354-7400.
- Good Mexican food served cafeteria style, up Mass Ave from HLS.
- Cambridge Common ($$) bar and eatery, on Massachusetts Ave. just 5 min north of Harvard Law School
- Chinese food truck ($)
- Yummy, inexpensive, and fast. Should be parked on Oxford Street on Friday and possibly Saturday in the late morning and early afternoon. Menu courtesy of Harvard experimental physics grad students.
* Locals refer to "Massachusetts Avenue" as "Mass Av" (which rhymes with "pass have").
In Harvard Square
- Pinocchio's ($) - 74 Winthrop St.
- Great pizza for pretty cheap--get the 2 slices for $4 deal! The house specialty is Sicilian, but the Neopolitan is also good. Someone recommends the tomato basil. Someone else recommends the artichoke. Open late.
- Felipe's Taqueria ($) - The Garage.
- Decent Mexican food for dirt cheap in "the Garage" in Harvard Square.
- Flat Patties ($) - The Garage.
- Owned by the same people at Felipe's, this place sells cheap and delicious (read: greasy) burgers in the Garage.
- Grendel's Den ($) - 89 Winthrop St.
- In Harvard Sq. down JFK (next to Peet's Coffee and Tower Records). Cheap (as in 1/2 price) food with the purchase of a beverage and drinks during Happy Hour. For people who like beverages, that's a great deal! Noisy, busy, hoppin' atmosphere.
- Mr. Bartley's Burger Cottage ($$) - 1246 Massachusetts Ave
- Crowded, noisy, and locally beloved--prize-winning burgers (and veggie burgers too), lime rickeys, frappes, onion rings, and sweet potato fries. Cash only and be warned, they have no toilets, and the service is atrocious (burgers are still fantastic).
- Best of several food court choices in the Garage (actually an indoor mini-mall) with New England clam chowder much better than Legal Seafood's, plus other comfort foods and "wrap" sandwiches. Public toilets in the basement here. Corner of JFK and Mount Auburn Streets.
- Au Bon Pain ($) - 1360 Mass Ave., 617-497-9797
- Cafeteria-style with lots of options, like sandwiches, wraps, and salads, available. It's good for tea and coffee, too. Be warned that there are about 6 "ABP" locations all over Cambridge, so if you plan to meet somebody there, specify which one! The main Harvard Square one has a terrace great for people-watching and playing chess.
- Border Cafe ($$)(Mexican food), 32 Church Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 · (617) 864-6100
- John Harvard's Brew House, ($$)33 Dunster Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 · (617) 868-3585
- Charlie's Kitchen ($$), 10 Eliot Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 · (617) 492-9646
- Known for burgers, beers, noisy bar, and open late. Sometimes can get Charles Hotel wifi.
- Greek Corner ($), near 10 Eliot Street, in Harvard Square
- Darwin's Ltd ($), awesome sandwiches for about $6. On Mt. Auburn St.
- Moody's Falafel Palace ($)
- A wonderful Middle Eastern treat just off Mass Ave in Central Square. It's cheap and it's open late. Vegan and vegetarian fare.
- Hi-Fi Pizza ($) - 496 Mass Ave., 617-492-4600
- Down the street a bit, near the rock clubs. Open late. Cheap pizza, nothing special, affectionately known to those who frequent the rock clubs.
Moved from Venue page:
- Anna's Taqueria (Mexican food), Various locations
Porter T Stop
(The Porter T Stop is the subway stop right after Harvard towards Alewife.) There's Shaw's ($), a supermarket with sandwiches and deli service, across from the parking lot behind Uno's Pizza ($$$). (Shaw's is being remodeled to look like an Albertson's.)
- Audubon Circle (Hamburgers), 838 Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02215 · (617) 421-1910
- Pour House ($) - 907 Boylston St. in Boston, 617-236-1767
- On Saturday nights, they have amazing (huge!) half-off burgers starting from 6 PM. Get there early to avoid the rush!
- T's Pub, 973 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215 · (617) 254-0807
- Redbones BBQ (next to Cambridge), 55 Chester Street, Somerville, MA 02144 · (617) 628-2200
- Cafe St. Petersburg (Russian Food), 57 Union Street, Newton Center, MA 02459 ~ 617-467-3555 http://www.cafestpetersburg.com
- Le's (Pho Pasteur) ($$) - 35 Dunster Street, 617-864-4100
- This nice little place in Harvard Square's "Garage" makes the best beef and chicken noodle soups. As of May, 2006, the owner has changed this Vietnamese restaurant's name to "Le's", but most locals still think of it as Pho Pasteur.
- Changsho ($$$) - 1712 Mass Ave, 617-547-6565.
- Elegant Chinese food and exotic martinis, not far from the Law School. They can usually accommodate large (10-20 people) groups at big, round tables.
- Smile Thai ($$), 9 Tastes ($$), and Spice ($$)
- Three yummy and relatively similarly priced Thai restaurants in Harvard Square. Smile Thai on Eliot Street offers free wifi. 9 Tastes is on JFK Street. Located downstairs, it is not wheelchair accessible. Spice, a delicious pad thai joint, is at 24 Holyoke Street.
- The Hong Kong, aka the Kong ($$)
- Another Harvard Square staple. Cheap (and j means that in both ways) Chinese food. Known for its scorpion bowls--very large bowls of mixed drinks good for everyone at the table--and being open late. One retired drinker tells us there are 20 shots of booze in a scorpion bowl.
- In Central Square. Good food.
- Wang's at 509 Broadway in Magoun Square in Somerville ($$)
- Wang's is popular because it's good, inexpensive Chinese food, it's open late, it has non-traditional stuff on the menu, it boasts some of the best dumplings on this side of the Charles River, and they deliver. (Did I mention that Wang's delivers?)
- Chinatown in Boston (someone please add Chinatown restaurants?)
- Chau Chow City ($$) at 83 Essex Street is well-known for its dim sum on Saturdays and Sundays and for being open late at night.
- Fire + Ice ($$ lunch/$$$ dinner) - 50 Church St, 617-547-9007
- A great fusion Mongolian grill style restaurant in Harvard Square. Flat rates include unlimited grill trips. Extremely yummy. 
Many restaurants in the Boston and Cambridge area offer vegetarian and vegan options. Don't despair at the few listings under this heading.
- Veggie Planet ($$) - Just off Church St. at 47 Palmer St., (617) 661-1513
- Has a diverse vegetarian and vegan menu (translated: they don't serve meat), including excellent pizzas. (Yes! They have vegan pizza. Ask for vegan cheese when you order.) Delicious stuff.
- Addis Red Sea Ethiopian Restaurant ($$) - 544 Tremont St. Boston, (617) 426-8727
- Amazingly authentic Ethiopian dining experience located in the Back Bay (Take Red line to Downtown Crossing, then Orange line to Back Bay--bit of walking required, draw yourself a map!). Highly recommended and cheap!
- Asmara ($$) on Massachusetts Avenue in Central Square
- Closer than Addis Red Sea and almost as tasty, this Eritrean restaurant boasts a pleasant and quiet atmosphere. Vegetarian offerings, family-style eating.
Because of the population of Brazilian people, there are many Brazilian restaurants.
- Cafe Belo in Somerville and the Midwest Grill east of Inman Square are Brazilian barbecue places--ideal for carnivores! Both have buffets with traditional Brazilian side dishes. Yum!
- There are many Brazilian places along Cambridge Street east of Inman Square, including one really fabulous place I want to stick on the wiki, but whose name j has completely forgotten.
- Punjab (Indian), 473 Massachusetts Ave., Arlington, MA -- (781) 643-0943 Punjab
- Said by a former co-worker from India to be one of the best in the Boston area. Reachable by 77 bus from Harvard
Because of the population of Portuguese people, there are many Portuguese restaurants.
- Atasca ($$$)
- Sunrise Cafe ($$)
- Portugalia ($$$)
- On Cambridge Street east of Inman Square in Cambridge, this Portuguese restaurant offers fabulous food.
Heh. Since no one put breakfast places on the list, I guess no one eats breakfast around here ...
- The Greenhouse right in Harvard Square at 3 Brattle Street offers breakfast (perhaps later than traditional breakfast hours) and lunch fare. ($$$)
- Au Bon Pain has pastries, tea, juice, and coffee. ($$)
- Lee's Beehive on Church Street in Harvard Square ($)
- This small restaurant is open very early and offers cheap breakfast food.
- This small restaurant on Massachusetts Avenue (and JFK St.) in Harvard Square has bagels, cream cheese and spreads, bagel sandwiches, juices, etc.
- Ihop out a bit at 1850 Soldiers Field Road, Brighton ($$)
- While it isn't easy to get to Ihop on public transit, it is open late and offers cheap eats at all hours.
- Dunkin' Donuts is all over the place ($)
- They sell bagels, donuts, muffins, and breakfast sandwiches, as well as coffee.
- Chau Chow City, China Pearl, or Emperor's Garden in Boston for dim sum on the weekends (more info above) ($$)
- Changsho might do dim sum on the weekends (more info above) ($$$)
- The Phoenix Landing on Mass Ave in Central Square ($$)
- While 10 am might be too early for beer for some, try this pub's Irish breakfast. It's one of the best in the area. They also serve omelettes and other breakfast food, lunch, dinner, and such.
- Henrietta's Table in the Charles Hotel supposedly offers one of the best local brunches in Harvard Square. People have said it's worth the price.
- Weekend jazz brunches are fairly common around here.
- Upstairs on the Square in Harvard Square ($$$$)
- Legal Seafoods in the Charles Hotel ($$$$)
- and the new place in the Galleria. ($$$$)
- and the old place on Main St near MIT ($$$$) unless you order fish and chips from the take out window($$)
- Casablanca, though eating tapas and mezze in the bar isn't so ($$$$)
- Harvest ($$$$)
- Henrietta's Table ($$$$)
- In the Charles Hotel in Harvard Square, this fine restaurant offers fabulous American food served family style.
- Rendezvous ($$$) - 502 Massachusetts Avenue 617-576-1900
- Entrees from 25-30 dollars. Nice atmosphere and a fun place to eat in Central Sq.
Among the best restaurants in Boston are:
- L'Espalier, 30 Gloucester St, Boston, MA 02115 · 617-262-3023
- Aujourd'hui, 200 Boylston St, Four Seasons Hotel, Boston, MA 02116 · 617-338-4400
- Blue Ginger, 583 Washington St, Wellesley, MA 02482 · 781-283-5790
- Icarus, 3 Appleton St, Boston, MA 02116 · 617-426-1790
- IL Capriccio, 888 Main St, Waltham, MA 02451 · 781-894-2234
- Meritage, 70 Rowes Wharf, Boston Harbor Hotel, Boston, MA 02110 · 617-439-3995
- Mistral, 223 Columbus Ave, Boston, MA 02116 · 617-867-9300
- No. 9 Park, 9 Park St, Boston, MA 02108 · 617-742-9991
- The Bristol, 200 Boylston St, Four Seasons Hotel Boston, Boston, MA 02116 · 617-351-2053
- The Federalist, 15 Beacon St, XV Beacon Boutique Hotel, Boston, MA 02108 · 617-670-2515
- Is dessert your dinner? Try Finale (Harvard square) ($$$)
- or Burdick's Chocolate (Harvard square) 52 Brattle Street.
For ice cream, you have a bunch of great choices including
- Herrell's Ice Cream (15 Dunster St) where they specialize in smooshing various kinds of crushed nuts or candy into the flavor of your choice.
- Toscaninis Ice Cream (1310 Massachusetts Avenue and 899 Main Street) with some surprising flavors (cinnamon? vegan ice ... cream?). Good coffee and hot chocolate, too.
- Ben and Jerry's (inside the "Garage", corner of JFK and Mt. Auburn), delicious smooth ice cream that wants to save the planet.
- Boston Tea Stop: 54 JFK St., (617) 945-0017
- Great selection of bubble tea and mochi. Also, there's free wireless and lots of board games!
- Au Bon Pain (Harvard square)
- Peet's Coffee: 100 Mount Auburn Street (next to the small park), (617) 492-1844
- Tealuxe: 0 Brattle St., (617) 441-0077
- Over 80 different teas that they will custom brew for you. They have three daily brews "on tap" ($1.25 and you get one refill). Ask for a (glass) mug. They also have iced and bubble teas.
- Dunkin' Donuts (Harvard square) (Don't laugh: they supposedly have really good coffee and are a Boston area institution)
- Starbucks: In the Garage and 31 Church St.
- Algiers: 40 Brattle St.
- Dado Tea on Church Street or on Mass Ave east of Harvard Square
- Smoothie Station: located down in the Harvard Square T Stop mezzanine (accessible only from Out of Town News entrance)
- The Smoothie Man makes amazing smoothies for ~$5 that are well worth the money, especially when it's hot out! All fresh fruits. Best smoothies in Cambridge.
Lots of pubs might serve food as well as drinks.
- Up Mass Ave from Harvard Law School, Cambridge Common (the restaurant, not the green space) has a good selection of brews and a full menu. It's loud. Sometimes, it can accommodate large groups on short notice. It often has sports on the big screen televisions.
- On JFK Street in Harvard Square, this bar is the sister of a well-known local pub, Grafton Street, and offers a modern atmosphere and full menu.
- On Mass Ave on the eastern end of Harvard Square, this bar is a good place to go in the late afternoon and early evening. Sit in one of the big windows and watch the pedestrians stroll by. It offers some Irish fare, a full menu, and a good selection of drinks. It's well-known locally.
- Cambridge Brewing Company ($$)
- Located near Kendall Square, CBC produces some nice brews and serves a full menu.
- see above
Lots of Irish pubs are in the Boston area. Check some out for an Irish breakfast, shepherd's pie, and good stouts.
Probably far more practical than breakfast =P
- Felipe's Taqueria ($) - The Garage
- Decent Mexican food for dirt cheap in "the Garage" in Harvard Square. Open until 2 AM (or they run out of food) on Thurs. through Sat.
- Pinocchio's ($) - 74 Winthrop St.
- Great pizza for pretty cheap--get the 2 slices for $4 deal! The house specialty is Sicilian, but the Neopolitan is also good. Usually open until 2 AM on weekends.
- Flat Patties ($) - The Garage.
- Owned by the same people at Felipe's, this place sells cheap and delicious (read: greasy) burgers in the Garage. Open until 2 AM (or they run out of food).
- The Hong Kong ($$) - 1236 Massachusetts Ave. (near the bookstore)
- Warning: only eat here if you're really desperate for food. There's a decent bar upstairs, but the Chinese food here is fairly sketchy. However, they are open until 3.
- IHOP ($$) - 1850 Soldiers Field Road, Brighton
- Open 24 hours, but kind of hard to get to.
- 7/11 (40 JFK St.) and CVS (On Mass Ave. right across from the T stop) - These two not-real-food places are open 24 hours in Harvard Sq. They are good for drinks, snacks, and microwaveable food when you're really desperate.
Do you want to find a particular kind of restaurant or food while you're here? Put a request here or on the talk page. Perhaps someone can help you.