Best restaurants in Cambridge

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Cambridge

    Giulia

    A half-mile north of Harvard Square, this intimate Italian restaurant opened in 2012 to universal acclaim. Chef Michael Pagliarini's sophisticated, locally sourced creations range from grilled veal with asparagus and wild greens to homemade tortelli stuffed with lamb, sorrel and pecorino cheese. Larger parties can sit family-style at the long oak table where the pasta is rolled out each day.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Cambridge

    Toscanini’s

    People come from miles around for Tosci's burnt-caramel ice cream, which apparently was invented as the result of an accident (you can imagine). Besides the dozens of delicious ice-cream flavors, there is also excellent coffee.

  • Restaurants in Cambridge

    Little Donkey

    Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette's latest culinary venture, this high-ceilinged but cozy brick-walled bistro serves tapas with an international twist. Take raw bar offerings like oysters and ceviche to great heights (literally) on the showy triple-decker Donkey Platter ($135), or order à la carte items like manti (Turkish-inspired meat ravioli), halibut biryani, or black pepper popovers with wagyu steak tartare.

  • Restaurants in Cambridge

    Mr Bartley's Burger Cottage

    Packed with small tables and hungry college students, this burger joint has been a Harvard Square institution for more than 50 years. Bartley’s offers two dozen different burgers, including topical newcomers with names such as Trump Tower and Tom Brady Triumphant; sweet-potato fries, onion rings, thick frappés and raspberry-lime rickeys complete the classic American meal.

  • Restaurants in Cambridge

    Veggie Galaxy

    What does the word 'diner' mean to you? All-day breakfasts? Check. Burgers and milkshakes? Check. Counter seating and comfy booths? Got those, too. A circular glass display case showing off desserts? Yes, complete with tangy lemon-meringue pie. In short, Veggie Galaxy does everything that a diner is supposed to do, but it does it without meat.

  • Restaurants in Cambridge

    Life Alive

    Life Alive offers a joyful, healthful, purposeful approach to fast food. The unusual combinations of animal-free ingredients yield delicious results, most of which come in a bowl (like a salad) or in a wrap. There are also soups, sides and smoothies, all served in a colorful, light-filled space.

  • Restaurants in Cambridge

    Dumpling House

    Midway between Central and Harvard, this bustling spot is the sister restaurant to the Chinatown favorite Gourmet Dumpling House. If you're a fan of soup dumplings, you'll love it here. There are more than a dozen variants of dumplings to try, in addition to many specialties from both northern and southern Chinese cuisine. Service is fast and furious.

  • Restaurants in Cambridge

    Bon Me

    Bon Me started as a food truck that catered to the Kendall Sq crowd, and you'll still see the trucks tooling around town. This little storefront sells the same, simple, fresh, insanely good Vietnamese fare. Choose your dish (sandwich, rice or noodles), filling (chicken, pork or tofu) and extras (edamame, papaya, greens or deviled eggs), then eat up and enjoy.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Cambridge

    Waypoint

    After his success at Alden & Harlow, chef Michael Scelfo turned his attention to seafood and other 'coastally inspired fare.' The wide-ranging menu includes a raw bar, original pizzas, decadent pasta dishes and whole roasts for the table. There is some pretty daring stuff here, so come with an open mind as well as an empty stomach.

  • Restaurants in Cambridge

    Darwin's Ltd

    Punky staff serve fat sandwiches, fresh soup and salads, and delicious coffee and pastries, all with a generous helping of attitude. The limited seating is often occupied by students who are in for the long haul (thanks to wi-fi access). So unless you need to get online, take your lunch to enjoy at JFK Park or Radcliffe Yard.

  • Restaurants in Cambridge

    Alden & Harlow

    This subterranean space is offering a fresh take on American cooking. The small plates are made for sharing, so everyone in your party gets to sample the goodness. It's no secret that the 'Secret Burger' is amazing. Unfortunately, service sometimes suffers when the place get busy, which is often. Reservations are recommended.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Cambridge

    Area Four

    The post-industrial vibe at Area Four is perfect for the high-tech block where it's located (and for which it's named). Doubling as a cool cafe and modern pizzeria, Area Four offers strong coffee and pastries by day, and local brews, sustainable wines and wood-fired pizzas by night. Eat and drink your way around the clock.

  • Restaurants in Cambridge

    Whole Heart Provisions

    Appealing to health-conscious and earth-conscious eaters, this convivial place serves up lunch (or dinner) in a bowl. Choose one of the signature specialties or create your own, then take a seat at the communal tables and dig in. Regulars also love the Sunday brunch, featuring 'huevos' rancheros and yummy pancakes.

  • Restaurants in Cambridge

    Roxy's Grilled Cheese

    What started as a food truck is now an actual restaurant, specializing in exotic combinations of bread and cheese (plus some other ingredients). There are still some food trucks roaming around town, but none of them has a games arcade in the back room.

  • Restaurants in Cambridge

    Hokkaido Ramen Santouka

    This worldwide chain is bringing a bit of Japanese simplicity and subtlety to Harvard Square. Service is pleasant and fast, while the noodles are perfectly satisfying. If you're wondering why the staff occasionally shout out, they are greeting and sending off their guests.

  • Restaurants in Cambridge

    CloverHSQ

    Clover is on the cutting edge. It's all high-tech with its 'live' menu updates and electronic ordering system. But it's really about the food – local, seasonal, vegetarian – which is cheap, tasty and fast. How fast? Check the menu.

  • Restaurants in Cambridge

    Night Market

    This super-hip, seemingly 'secret,' subterranean spot dishes up skewers, noodles and other smallish servings that fuse Asian and other international influences (think carnitas tacos with Thai green curry). There's an interesting beer selection, along with irresistible sake slushies. The combos are fun but not mind-blowing; the clever concept, graffiti-covered walls and spot-on service earn the A+.

  • Restaurants in Cambridge

    Red House

    Formerly known as the Cox-Hicks House, this quaint clapboard house dates to 1802. Reminiscent of an old-fashioned inn, it retains its historic charm with wide-plank wood floors, cozy layout and functioning fireplace. The patio overlooks a quiet corner of Harvard Square – a good summertime spot. Seafood and pasta dominate the menu. Oysters are two for $1 from noon to 5pm.

  • Restaurants in Cambridge

    Friendly Toast

    Some people think that this retro diner is one of the best places to eat breakfast in the country. Decadent delights such as coconut pancakes, six kinds of eggs Benedict, and loads of vegetarian and vegan options have hungry folks lining up out the door for weekend brunch. (Use the NoWait app to avoid the weekend lines.)

  • Restaurants in Cambridge

    Russell House Tavern

    Smack-dab in the middle of Harvard Square, this attractive gastropub has a classy, classic atmosphere, enhanced by good-looking, effervescent patrons. The menu includes a raw bar and a list of intriguing, irresistible small plates, not to mention a well-selected all-American wine list and killer cocktails.