East By Northeast
East By Northeast

East By Northeast

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.exnecambridge.com/
  • Phone: 617-876-0286x
  • 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
East By Northeast reviews from OpenTable diners
52 reviews since June 24, 2014
Overall Rating4.1
  • Food4.3
    Service4.2
  • Ambiance3.9
    Noise LevelModerate
70% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (39)neighborhood gem (30)special occasion (17)romantic (15)hot spot (6)good for groups (4)notable wine list (1)vibrant bar scene (1)Show More
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 34 ratings-only reviews submitted since June 24, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.3
    • Food4.5
    • Ambiance3.9
    • Service4.2
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 350 reviews are from the East By Northeast reviews archive.
  • 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 2009
    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.
  • Excellent, creative and inexpensive
    Jered
    Dined on 4/10/2014
    What more could you ask for? Modern twists on traditional Chinese preparations with fresh and seasonal items and friendly service. Always delightful.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great experience, listed as
    Hot4FoodVIP
    Dined on 4/5/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • great food but horrible policies
    bayleafcommVIP
    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...
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Tiny portions even for tapas
    magnoliastreet
    Dined on 4/4/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • An Excellent Find
    datenite
    Dined on 3/7/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.