East By Northeast
East By Northeast

East By Northeast

  • 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
See all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
East By Northeast reviews from OpenTable diners
51 reviews since July 30, 2014
Overall Rating4.2
  • Food4.2
    Service4.3
  • Ambiance3.9
    Noise LevelModerate
83% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (41)neighborhood gem (32)special occasion (15)romantic (14)hot spot (6)good for groups (5)vibrant bar scene (2)notable wine list (1)late-night find (1)Show More
  • Want the old menu back!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 11/25/2014
    The menu changed the day we went for dinner. It was disappointing because we made our reservation after checking out their previous menu which had a lot of selections and interesting dishes. It looks like now they are trying to jump on the ramen/noodle boom. The noodle dish was so so. They should have stuck to what they had and did well...
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Amazing food!
    mhw929
    Dined on 11/20/2014
    I have been wanting to try this place for a long time now. I'm not sure what took me so long except it's across the river (which somehow seems so far), plus I work in Chinatown, so I felt like I could get good Asian food any day. I was so wrong; I shouldn't have waited this long to try East by Northeast! This place is amazing! Each dish is delicately balanced with unique flavors. The pork belly bun is delicious! The bread is fresh and soft and made daily. This place strikes a good balance of interesting twists on standard asian cuisine that will satisfy a foodie, but at the same time the food and atmosphere is casual, comfortable and accessible. They specialize in small plates, but after 6 shared dishes between 2 of us, I was completely stuffed. I highly recommend this place. I know I will be back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Re-invented Small Plate Asian
    KevinB
    Dined on 11/19/2014
    Some of the tastiest small plates I've ever eaten. While it bills itself as Asian, this restaurant really makes its own way with only a slight nod to its Asian reference points. Still, as long as you ignore what you think you know about standard recipes, you'll enjoy the food.. Our table ordered twenty small plates for four people and ate well. Most of the dishes were outstanding, a few were merely good -- but that's a great score for any restaurant. As always with small plates, you pay more than you might with standard service. Our server was smart, efficient, and easily able to handle a bunch of self-professed "amusing" diners. We never lacked for anything.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Memorable birthday meal
    kelber
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    We were celebrating a friend's 40th birthday and it was certainly a night to remember. Since we couldn't decide from the many delicious-sounding dishes, we let our server, Blayne, make all the choices for us. A very good decision, indeed! Everything she brought to our table was outstanding. So many unique flavors and combinations - and the tapas-size portions means you can sample an incredible array of dishes. Cocktails are inventive and delicious, beer selection is awesome (didn't do wine, so can't comment). Can't wait to go back. And so glad we bought some house-made hot sauce to go - it's amazing on anything and everything.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • 5 plate prix fix
    Readbridge
    Dined on 11/4/2014
    Three guest dinner out with omnivorous visitor from NY. Nice intimate restaurant, excellent service, amuse bouche. Small plates format, nice variety. Edeme / bean salad exceptional, toasty pot stickers, nice toasted clams, and rabbit fritters, dessert was beautifully balanced end. All guests were able to consumer the 5 plate dinner easily.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Didn't meet expectations
    BBach
    Dined on 10/19/2014
    We've been to East by Northeast before, and liked it. This time wasn't quite as good as previously. My wife ordered two plates, and I ordered three. It was clear that they were separate, not shared orders. She got her two plates, and eating slowly, finished them both off while I sat and watched. Some more time went by and I asked our waitress about my plates, and she explained that the hot dishes I'd requested were made to order and took more time. However, I suspect that she'd forgotten my order or it had gotten lost, since the three people at the table next to us had been seated at least 10 minutes after us, and were all finishing their plates, hot and cold, one of which was the same as one I'd ordered. So they had ordered something I had more than 10 minutes after me, and had finished it before I even received mine. The food was very interesting, but I thought there was way too much sauce on the thai basil calamari pasta. The homemade pasta was awesome. The sauteed mushroom dish with edamame was also really interesting, but way too salty. And I am NOT super picky about my food; I'm not prone to nitpick little things. I will eat almost anything (except lima beans and scallops - allergy), and was raised on finishing my plate by my depression era parents. It's rare that I won't finish my dinner. I could not finish the mushrooms, however because of the saltiness.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Small plates
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012VIP
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    We always enjoy letting the server recommend and bring over whatever plates she thinks will be to our liking. We enjoyed the savory dishes. The tofu, beet, and pickled vegetable combo was great. The pork belly buns are always the way to go. The Thai Calamari noodles had a lot of flavor (even if the calamari was hard to find). The dessert, however, left something to be desired. The miso cake was dry and the buttercream didn't do enough to moisten it. We hadn't been in a while and it is the type of place we go back to a couple times per year.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Some hits and misses
    99jenniferVIP
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    We tried the 5 course tasting menu. There were some items that were pretty good or very good but some not so good. One of the course was a bit too spicy for me also. The dessert course was most disappointing and was not very good. Overall, it was decent but pretty overpriced for what you got as the 5 course we're pretty small. I might go back to try their full menu where I make my own choices
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Disappointing
    AnomymusVIP
    Dined on 9/17/2014
    We read about this restaurant in Time Out and were disappointed.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • ExNE
    LJT1
    Dined on 9/3/2014
    Combining seasonal local ingredients and Chinese concepts, creates food both familiar and new.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Decent - Could be really good!
    NewtoMass
    Dined on 8/27/2014
    Service was excellent, ambiance is cosy and 'neighborhood-y' and menu seemed very interesting and inventive and was looking forward to a really good meal. Sadly, felt that all dishes except for one fell a little flat, just essentially seemed under seasoned across the board. Every dish was good, but not one had that little extra kick in terms of taste. Especially given the whole small plates menu and the prices it was a bit of a let-down.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Limited menu
    M2awghypo
    Dined on 8/13/2014
    My problem is that the food options was very limited and was not really Chinese at all so we had to leave at the end
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Fun, Fresh & Exiting
    DeepsThoughts
    Dined on 8/12/2014
    Been here three times - twice in the same week when we first discovered this place, actually. If we lived closer to Cambridge, we would be here more often. Food has been absolutely phenomenal every time. So much freshness, unique ingredients and combinations and flavors and service is outstanding. Also - albeit a small list, the cocktail options are very refreshing and perfect balanced. The amount of food you get with the multi course prix fixe menus is a welcome surprise. We have friends who are vegetarians and find it hard to find places that have truly tasty, modern and fresh options and we will totally be back to bring them along sometime soon. Love this place.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Inventive and tasty
    mhpif
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    Loved everything about the 8 course tasting menu. Each dish left you wanting another bite which certainly is the measure of a great meal. Picture classic New England ingredients prepared in ways you would not dream up on your own yet very accessible at the same time. Can't wait to return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Interesting but some dishes missed
    CarlVIP
    Dined on 8/3/2014
    The creamy colored walls and decor in the fairly small room create a nice atmosphere conducive to conversation. We ordered the 5 course chef's menu. As was the case the last time I ate there, the first two dishes were great. Bluefish salad and then zucchini pancakes. But the "main" dishes #3 and #4 did not work well. The lamb sausage was unappealing in taste and texture despite a nice plum sauce with it. Then Asian noodles which seemed to be an attempt to get some sweet taste were way too sweet, and the portion was too big which reinforced the feeling that the taste was off and the texture a little too sticky. This restaurant takes chances and obviously cares a lot and tries hard, but both times I have eaten there some dishes have missed .
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • favorite Chinese!
    alicelittle
    Dined on 7/30/2014
    The intricate flavors of Chinese cuisine combined with local, seasonal ingredients. You will not find better or more eclectic flavor combinations in Boston! Service is always impeccable. Cocktails are imaginative and compliment Chinese flavors.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 35 ratings-only reviews submitted since July 30, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.3
    • Food4.4
    • Ambiance3.9
    • Service4.3
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 357 reviews are from the East By Northeast reviews archive.
  • Asian tapas
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 7/30/2014
    This is definitely a new concept. It reminded us of dim sum, but much more flavorful. Each dish was unique in texture, flavor and color. We will definitely return for another dining exoerience
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Mini tapas
    Swinkie
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    Although the food was tasty, the portions are minuscule and pricey for what you get. I would much prefer a regular pan Asian restaurant.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Goosey
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Different meny works well
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 7/22/2014
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Amazing flavor
    s2y3
    Dined on 7/11/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Chef's tasting
    Eire7777VIP
    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!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great Food & Staff
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 7/5/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • unique food outing
    terryh
    Dined on 6/21/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • ExNE remains the bomb diggity
    thunderbeastVIP
    Dined on 6/19/2014
    This place never disappoints. I could eat here everyday : ) Scallion pancakes are always on point. The crispy rice noodles are unique and amazing Chinese gnocchi, the sauces are complex and rich. Every sandwich floats on a cloud of homemade buns. The seasonal vegetable dishes are consistently fresh and bright (especially in summer!). Don't miss this place!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Overrated
    ComptoirVIP
    Dined on 6/15/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great Food - Friendly Staff
    DaveVIP
    Dined on 6/14/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Better than excellent
    cambridgefoodie
    Dined on 6/12/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fine But No Fireworks
    Rosie24
    Dined on 6/7/2014
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Creative food and awesome service!
    FoodFanaticVIP
    Dined on 5/31/2014
    Second time here and loved it again. Can't wait to come back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fantastic!
    MyrawheelerVIP
    Dined on 5/27/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fun Evening
    LburgMom
    Dined on 5/24/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • delicious but rushed
    OrionVIP
    Dined on 5/20/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • No different from a real chinese
    Franqo
    Dined on 5/14/2014
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Good food, okay service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009VIP
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Cuisine of Southern China
    GunnsOfFunVIP
    Dined on 5/1/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Romantic, special occasion, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Bad experience
    RP012
    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.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Yummy
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 4/22/2014
    Loved the asparagus and watercress salad, the pork sliders, and the scallion pancakes. The waitress was wonderful.
    Special Features:
    Romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Superb food, superb food
    GunnsOfFunVIP
    Dined on 4/19/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, special occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Hot Spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Unpretentious and original
    Marmoura
    Dined on 4/17/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Romantic, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.