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East By Northeast
East By Northeast

East By Northeast Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.exnecambridge.com
  • Phone: (617) 876-0286
  • Hours of Operation: Dinner: Tuesday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm, Sundays: 5:00pm-9:30pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Chinese
  • Executive Chef: Phillip Tang Chef/Owner
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Beer, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Wine

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Norfolk Street
  • Public Transit: On the train - Central Square "T" stop is the closest...then it is a short walk down Prospect Street to Cambridge Street where you make a right onto Cambridge Street and we are three blocks down on the right.

    One the bus - The 69 bus stops right in front of East By Northeast
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: There are metered spots along Cambridge Street (meters turn off at 6:00pm). Additionally there is free two hour parking along Webster Street, a public parking lot behind Muqueca Restaurant at 1008 Cambridge Street, those meters are until 8:00pm.
A word from East By Northeast
East by Northeast reflects the Chinese-style food we serve with a focus on New England’s palette of local ingredients. Offering something both familiar and exciting, we look to the past with recipes rooted in tradition and to the future by giving those recipes a fresh perspective. Despite harsh northeast winters, we will strive to support local farms, above all committing to sourcing the best-quality ingredients. Respect for the products, culinary traditions, and the customer are our highest priorities.Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
  • Diners' Choice WinnerNeighborhood Gem
Diner Reviews
  • "Although the food was tasty, the portions are minuscule and pricey for what you get. I would much prefer a regular pan Asian restaurant."
    Dined on 7/25/2014
  • "They steer you towards the 5 course and we both found it to be way too much food. Stick with 3 dishes, four if you're hungry. I liked everything a lot except the crispy short noodles which were really odd and unappetizing."
    Dined on 7/25/2014
  • "You will not recognize any favorites on this menu, but the chef's preparation of a wide range of ingredients turns out well. I suggest giving the 5-plate sampler a try."
    Dined on 7/22/2014
  • "The most memorable part of my East by Northeast dinner was the flavors. It's tapas style, so you get to try many different dishes. Everything, from the oolong iced tea to the corn soup to the beef cheek noodles, had its own intense and distinct flavor. If you don't like strong tastes, you might not be happy-- but I loved it and felt like I was trying many foods for the first time, even though the ingredients were familiar."
    Dined on 7/11/2014
  • "We all had the 5 course chef's tasting and it was delicious. I had the vegetarian version, which was great. The number 5 drinks was tasty too!"
    Dined on 7/11/2014
  • "East By Northeast is not only a creative with it's inspiring food, but also in the decor. I have yet to have something on the menu I do not like. The staff is great. Everyone is super friendly and has a great sense of humor. I would recommend this place to anyone. Love it here."
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "The food is fresh and unusual-the "local" meets "asian style" goal is met-and delicious. Service is enthusiastic and informative. Lots to share and enjoy. Small restaurant but big choices of food and drink."
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "The food was good and the service fine but the restaurant smelled like a recently cleaned bathroom. The tight spacing also meant that one is subject to dining with one's neighbors which in our case meant a loud, obnoxious diner. The bar and wine list was also quite limited. The chefs had no interest in deviating from the menu."
    Dined on 6/15/2014
  • "Extremely friendly and knowledable staff make this a hidden gem - the hostess for the evening knew us through our open table reservation and came right to the table to welcome us and chat food for a bit - she was so friendly and guided us through the menu recommending popular items. Nothing better than restaurant gossip from an insider - terrific. Great small plates - Loved every bite with the asparagus sald a standout winner."
    Dined on 6/14/2014
  • "Outstanding food. A friend from California pronounced it the best food of his life. I've been twice and will absolutely return . . . with friends for a great dining experience and alone to savor the extraordinary food. I'm really impressed by the mingling of tastes, textures, colors with a finesse that can't be faked. I have friends who own a restaurant out of state and I'm going to encourage them to come to Cambridge just for this restaurant."
    Dined on 6/12/2014
  • "We had been hearing about East by Northeast from friends and were anxious to try it. There were some very tasty and inventive dishes - especially a nettle potato soup and noodle dish with various mushrooms. But our server was a bit gruff and provided little guidance. Especially as she failed to warn us that the "tappas size" portions were quite filling when it came to the noodle dishes and did not suggest we order less of them. One of the noodle dishes, the Dan Dan, felt drowned under the weight of its heavy sauce. "
    Dined on 6/7/2014
  • "Second time here and loved it again. Can't wait to come back!"
    Dined on 5/31/2014
  • "Continuously creative, inventive and absolutely delicious food. WE've been coming to EXNE since it opened and we are always amazed and delighted by new food combinations, while still enjoying some of the signature dishes. Whatever else we order, pork belly sliders are always a must. And the wait staff is great. We love Blayne who always gives us a warm hello!"
    Dined on 5/27/2014
  • "My husband and I enjoyed the 5 Course Fixed Price Chef's Choice Option. Each course was a visual work of art as well as being an interesting and delicious combination of flavors. Some of the courses were small dishes but the total dinner was the perfect amount of food for me. The service was great. Overall, it was a fun evening."
    Dined on 5/24/2014
  • "We went to East by Northeast for a date night. My wife and I had the 8 course tasting menu, and we were delighted with the creativity of the flavors and the variety of the different dishes. We loved all the courses - although we would have gladly taken another savory dish instead of the dessert course that was not in the same league as the rest of the meal. Our only complaint was that portion sizes were very small, and courses came out two at a time so it felt a little rushed. But this could be fixed - so we will certainly try it again."
    Dined on 5/20/2014
  • "Missing the white rice, and good service. We a party of two ordered the prefixed 8 course menu, we shared all the time what it was a single meal for one. The $ 90 menu, the flawless cocktails, plus the 20% tip, seem to be too generous for the quality of the place."
    Dined on 5/14/2014
  • "We booked this reservation after having a delicious meal with friends a few months back. I took my parents for a mother's day dinner and the service was terrible. We felt rushed from start to finish."
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "I eat at ExNE fairly often but had yet to attend one of their special, regional dinners, and it was great! I'm not surprised - everything Chef Tang does is superb, and I can't wait for the next one!"
    Dined on 5/1/2014
  • "The food was okay. I found a hair in one of my plates. The portions are small. Expensive for what it is. I would not recommend. "
    Dined on 5/1/2014
  • "Loved the asparagus and watercress salad, the pork sliders, and the scallion pancakes. The waitress was wonderful."
    Dined on 4/22/2014
  • "ExNE was fantastic, as usual. Our waitress, Blair, was fantastic, as usual. And make sure you ask for the off-menu, chef's special frittata! Fantastic! "
    Dined on 4/19/2014
  • "It's fun to be surprised by what is being served on the tasting menu, and with small dishes one feels comfortable from beginning to finish. Can't wait to put the chef to the test another time!"
    Dined on 4/17/2014
  • "What more could you ask for? Modern twists on traditional Chinese preparations with fresh and seasonal items and friendly service. Always delightful."
    Dined on 4/10/2014
  • "Great experience, listed as Chinese and there is certainly an Asian current through the menu but much more imaginative and creative than I had expected. Dishes are tapas size, I went for four and was very, very full at the end. The today special of cured duck and duck liver pate in Chinese pancake was fantastic, shrimp dumpling steaming with rich almost lobster bisque taste and the spicy beef shank with broth and noodles heart warming comfort. Highly recommended!"
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "I have been a restaurant publicist in this town for over 15 years..I have NEVER until Saturday night been asked to leave bc a reservation for my table (there were other open tables I might add) had arrived...um...WHAT? And this after less then 2 hours..as if that would even make it ok...I will NEVER go back..plus I thought there weren't enough courses of "substance" on the tasting..course 1 salad...course 2 a piece of bread with some chopped turnip? The bread/cake should have accompanied the salad..in any event..in a street in a town with a TON of restaurants within walking distance, this is a BAD policy to have..."
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "The menu was limited, but just about everything on it sounded good. The place is neat and only has 12 or so tables. We had a reservation for 4 people, and still had to wait about 30 minutes. There is no area for waiting and we were stuck outside in the rain. We had to double our order on many things because the portions were so small. I love tapas and eat tapas portions regularly, but these were much smaller. Anything that came on a bun or biscuit was served as 2 pieces. It would have been nice if the waitress would have asked (as many tapas places do) if we wanted to order double since we clearly were a party of 4. But instead we had to wait another 15 minutes for a second order so that everyone could try things."
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "A server in another restaurant, named this place when asked for his current favorite eatery. We chose the 8-item chef-chosen tasting menu, which was fabulous. It was so good we look forward to returning with friends and family. I'd give them even more than 5 stars for the service, which was spot-on! Our server was informative, knowledgeable and attentive in a lovely understated way. All servers pitch in, and as one would slide by our table, she would pick up unused plates and glasses making sure our small table never felt crowded. This restaurant is small but the tables are artfully arranged and the décor is lovely. It never felt crowded, but there were no loud or boisterous patrons on our visit - thankfully. We'll be back!"
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "I love going to East x Northeast. I am never disappointed or bored with this warm, cozy dinner place in Inman Sq where the chef, Philip Tang, continuously creates new dishes with fresh and seasonal local produce, meats and spices that never fail to satisfy. The dishes have their roots in traditional Chinese but like jazz, there's a lot of improvisation to keep it lively. I like the fact that the dishes are smaller than most more traditional Chinese restaurants, so one can try more things on the menu at a given meal---mostly because everything on the menu seems like it will be so interesting that I don't want to pass up the opportunity to try it all. The regular menu and the tasting menus are all consistently great, as are the cocktails."
    Dined on 3/6/2014
  • "Was at NxNE for my anniversary - had been once before and enjoyed the food. This trip out my partner and I decided we'd go for the 8 course tasting menu. Pros - the food was tasty (though overly salty at times), the portions were very large for tasting portions, and at $45 each, it was definitely a good value. Cons - the huge con was the service. While we were there, there were at least 3 - 4 tables open at any given time (out of maybe 12 tables, tops), on a Tuesday, starting at 8pm, so absolutely not busy. However, we had, at times, *3* dishes of the tasting menu on our table at once. Felt rushed and very unwelcome. Barely any description of the food from the staff. The food was good but not good enough for a third visit after that."
    Dined on 2/25/2014
  • "We were there for Ramen noodle Wednesday night-Incredible, including the soft boiled egg!The mix of flavors explode in your mouth. Nice beer list. The brussel sprouts were divine, and the citrus salad was like dessert. This place is a gem. Don't miss this one."
    Dined on 2/19/2014
  • "This place is a true gem. Their vegetarian tasting menu is very unique and me and my wife loved it."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "I've been visiting EXNE for over two years now and I am always so impressed from start to finish. I have never had a drink, dish, or dessert that wasn't layered in flavors - although because of this, it's good to ask for pairing recommendations (drinks with food), or what order the dishes you're looking at will taste best in so you don't overpower any one thing. The house manager Blaine is super helpful (and hilarious!) - she's passionate about the dishes they make and she always knows what can and can't be made vegetarian. I've only ever eaten as a party of two and have always been happy splitting four to five dishes. And it's always busy, but I've never not been able to get in (which is great considering its smaller size)."
    Dined on 2/12/2014
  • "I fall in love with this charming spot each time I go. It's hard to pick a favorite with some many wonderful and surprising dishes. I went recently for Wednesday ramen that was amazing and ended up ordering several dishes to start off because I couldn't help myself. Well worth indulging. And don't miss out on the cocktails, they are as creative and amazing as the food. The service was fantastic - friendly, helpful and attentive."
    Dined on 2/12/2014
  • "So we love ramen; and have tried most of the options out there in boston. Uni's late night, Gucci's, Yume Wo Katare. When East by Northeast, already a favorite restaurant, announced that they would be doing ramen Wednesdays we were there on the first night. It is BY FAR the best ramen I've had. Ever. They use a mixture of pork and seafood broths, pork confit, and monkfish liver butter, which sounds gross but is anything but. You're out of luck if you want the ramen other ways but if you'll eat it all, go!"
    Dined on 2/12/2014
  • "The new Wednesday ramen is the best I've had in Boston. A must try. The other dishes are phenomenal, as well: the new pork shoulder on a biscuit? Amazing. The scallion pancakes? I could take those home in a bucket. Love this place, and the staff is delightful."
    Dined on 2/11/2014
  • "We got the tasting menu and it was excellent! All the dishes were amazing, the service was excellent and the ambiance great for 3 friends getting together to catch up!"
    Dined on 2/8/2014
  • "I came here with a party of 7 and we all ordered the tasting menu. It was a treat, each plate small but special, and by the end we felt sated but not overstuffed. The waitstaff went above and beyond, going so far as to bring me a plate of pork buns when I jokingly complained that everything seemed vegetarian. Highly recommended."
    Dined on 1/31/2014
  • "The menu was small but had so many options and I love small plate, sharing styles. I usually don't seek out asian cuisine but I can't wait to get back to ExNE. The venue is small, feels like a New York or South End spot. Prices are definitely reasonable. The service is on par too, they take care of you! Also, they accept reservations which is great."
    Dined on 1/28/2014
  • "Drawing on his Chinese roots, chef Philip Yang has created something new and wonderful! Traditional ingredients take on altogether new identities. His small tapas-like servings are "almost Dim-Sun" -- but very different from the usual Chinatown variety. Yang's creations are bursting with flavor, often unconventional or unpredictable but always delicious! Favorite dishes include Scallion Pancakes (with braised beef cheeks in roasted garlic sauce), Lamb Croquettes (or anything Yang does with lamb!), Beet Salad with Miso Sesame Dressing, Eggplant "Sandwich" with Daikon and Shao-bing bread and Chili-Peppercorn Aioli, Spicy Cumin Potato Chips ... and more! There are two tasting menus: 5-course is an adequate meal; 8-course is a grand banquet!"
    Dined on 1/28/2014
  • "Rich flavors, small plates, cozy space, QUIET, Asian-fusion themes, not too $$$. Consistently excellent and trustworthy food. Thank you, E x NE !!!!!!"
    Dined on 1/26/2014