First Printer
First Printer

First Printer

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.thefirstprinter.com/
  • Phone: 6174970900x
  • Hours of Operation:

    Lunch: Monday – Saturday: 11:30am - 3:00pm;
    Midday Bar Menu Everyday 3:00pm - 5:00
    Dinner: Monday – Sunday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm,
    Late Night Menu Sunday - Wednesday 10pm -12am Thursday - Saturday 10pm - 12:45am
    Brunch Sunday 10am - 3pm
    The Bar is Open Sunday 10am - 12am Monday - Saturday 11:30am - 1 am
  • Payment Options: AMEX,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Seafood, Contemporary American
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Massachusettes Ave and Mt. Auburn
  • Public Transit: Harvard T stop Red line
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: Several garage lots in the area along with meter parking.
A word from First Printer

We are located in Harvard Square steps from the Red Line on the site where Stephen Daye, the first printer in British America lived. First Printer Restaurant offers an elegant yet simple gastropub featuring American classics, fresh New England seafood and yummy vegetarian options. The restaurant is decorated with antique type cases, printing paraphernalia and newspapers dating back 300 years. Our dining room seats 95 and includes many handcrafted mahogany booths, an 18 seat full bar and a private gathering room in a converted bank vault. Please check out our ever-evolving menus at www.thefirstprinter.com.

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First Printer reviews from OpenTable diners
43 reviews since May 21, 2014
Overall Rating3.8
  • Food3.8
    Service3.8
  • Ambiance3.6
    Noise LevelModerate
77% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (17)great for lunch (14)good for groups (12)fit for foodies (10)vibrant bar scene (9)late-night find (5)special occasion (4)kid-friendly (4)great for brunch (4)romantic (2)hot spot (2)Show More
  • Exhausting noise but great food
    CityLady19
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    Our party of 5 on a Friday night loved our dinners but had to shout over them at each other. Couldn't hear the waitress, but she took great care of us. The Mediterrean plate, pork chop, and lamb shank are fabulous. I would like to return, but my husband said, "no way, much too noisy." Maybe a I'll try lunch time alone. It's too bad there is no sound absorption anywhere, because everything else is great.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Much ado for Harvard Square!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 9/9/2014
    Went for lunch with a young couple and their 2 children. The restaurant is definitely kid friendly and very accommodating to families. The adults all had wonderful cocktails and we enjoyed a nice, delicious , leisurely lunch. Ask for Karen since she was terrific! Order the beet salad if you can.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Lackluster
    Jaiy
    Dined on 9/7/2014
    The food I order (game hen- but turned out to only be chicken) and stuffing was very salty. The stuffing was so very salty I left most of it on the plate. My friend ordered a burger that was very good however the waitress didn't ask how he wanted the egg and it was very runny. No big deal- but I'm sure he would have preferred over medium if offered, don't know why he didn't think to ask. The restaurant was fairly empty on a Sunday night, yet the food took the time you would expect to wait on a busy Saturday. Waitress was pleasant.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Perfect place to meet old friends
    gothere
    Dined on 9/2/2014
    I've been to First Printer 4 times, and I was pleased with the service and food each time. I chose it to meet two old friend because the food is good and reasonably priced. Moreover, the noise level makes it possible to have a conversation. I had the half sandwich and soup (half lobster roll and NE clam chowder). Both were exceptional. My friends enjoyed the Cobb and Caesar salads too. I'll be back!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Adequate but unexciting..
    JayBee
    Dined on 8/28/2014
    Rather quiet on an (elsewhere) busy evening... OK menu, but service rather slow. Reasonable prices and friendly staff.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Could be better
    ChrisS
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    Hoping for a little better food when we came here. Appetizer came out with meals, not before. Meals were ok but not great. Beers were fine, wine list not inspiring. Passed on dessert.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • SUPERIOR
    TTop
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    I would highly recommend First Printer as unique and a wonderful experience.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Loved it!
    Steph
    Dined on 7/20/2014
    What a cool atmosphere! The restaurant is upscale and funky, yet I felt as if I were sitting in a Ben Franklin-era printer's shop! The food was fabulous and the portions were quite large for a restaurant of this style. I expected small, artful meals that left me hungry but it was just the opposite. The food was creative, delicious, very filling and I would go back in a second! Also, as a vegetarian, I was thrilled to have more to choose from than usual and the options were just as interesting as the non-vegetarian options. The service was an A+ and it was a great place to relax and talk. Highly recommend it!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Surprised - so good!
    PattyVIP
    Dined on 6/14/2014
    We had always walked by this place and never realized it was a restaurant but we were pleasantly surprised! They have a great menu, so much so that we had a hard time deciding what to eat, and everyone in our six person party loved what they got!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Place
    KCM15VIP
    Dined on 6/7/2014
    How did I not know about this place in Harvard Square? It's a great location close to the "T", the menu had lots of options and price points and service was friendly and great. Will definitely return.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Very good food and great atmosphere
    s1010
    Dined on 5/23/2014
    My husband ordered the beet salad and ate most of it before I tasted it. It seems like someone in the kitchen added salt to the beets twice. As the waitress was clearing the table, I mentioned that she should tell the chef that the salad was too salty. She apologized and since it was mainly eaten didn't offer to do anything about it. Shorty after she came back and said the chef had tasted it and agreed it was basically inedible and said that they would take it off the bill. We really like the atmosphere, but we were trying to make a 7:00 show and were eating early. There were only a few other patrons at that point. It seems like a fun place for drinks and the other food we ate was very good.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 32 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 21, 2014
    • Overall Rating3.8
    • Food3.8
    • Ambiance3.7
    • Service3.6
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 162 reviews are from the First Printer reviews archive.
  • Nice gourmet sandwiches
    LDSPVIP
    Dined on 5/18/2014
    Quick service and very diverse menu. We unfortunately chose the seasonal root vegetables side dish (cubed parsnip, carrot, and something else), but it was very oily and not cooked enough - however what we tried was tasty, and I had the duck sandwich with a side salad, which was served on a sweet, toasted roll with arugula and a fig jam. Delicious! Coffee has improved, but bar drinks were still too sweet (and one had a handful of blueberries floating in it. ?? Would return, as we haven't made it to dessert yet...
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • It's too loud in here!
    Shell
    Dined on 5/17/2014
    The food and service were good, but I made this reservation to meet up with a smallish (8 people) reunion group. It was very loud and difficult to have a conversation with one or two people. Having a table-wide conversation was out of the question.
    Special Features:
    late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Hidden Cambridge Gem
    Baja
    Dined on 5/16/2014
    I've been here many times - never disappointed. Food is great, service is better! very great atmosphere. Great beer choices on tap.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Easy to find - feels airy/uncrowded
    LDSPVIP
    Dined on 5/16/2014
    We had the duck sandwich with fries, the pappardelle with beef, a raspberry lime rickey and a Guinness. The food was gray - the drinks were OK. We were seated immediately and even though the bar area was busy and the booths full, we didn't feel crowded or drowned out by loud ambiance. Great, simple decorations and a very high ceiling - would definitely plan to go back immediately. Right in Harvard Square, behind Au Bon Pain.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Disappointed
    Dissapointed
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    I dined at First Printer this past Sunday for Mother's Day. I was disappointed with my experience. We were initially frustrated that we couldn't order off of the lunch menu, which was available at 2, 30 minutes after out arrival. I completely understood however, and the server went out of her way to ask the chef if we may order salads. From there though, our wine glasses were dirty, we were never offered another beverage after the server neglected to bring us iced tea. It was only after we said something that she announced you were out of iced tea. I ordered a make-your-own omelette, which had none of things I asked for. The server was friendly and sweet, but I was overall pretty disappointed in the experience for such a special day.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • great brunch w/ kids
    mitzoomie
    Dined on 5/4/2014
    Second time with our 5 year old. Staff is friendly and food is right-on! Great location in Harvard with plenty to do.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Pleasant Surprise
    arlingtongirl
    Dined on 5/2/2014
    Received a gift card and decided to try First Printer. The place was active and we were warmly greeted at the door. Our waiter was terrific! He clearly new the menu and the preparation of the items. At our request, he made suggestions on favrorite menu items. We started with the musssel appetizer that was delicious. Fresh mussels in a buttery broth with tha thick piece of toasted bread. I had the burger with add on including the jalapenoo relish and I must admit it was one of the best burgers that I've had in a long time! We will be back...
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Lunch, Late-Night Find, Neighborhood Gem, Hot Spot, Vibrant Bar Scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Brunch
    Babs10VIP
    Dined on 4/27/2014
    Food was excellent, as was service. A very lively crowd, noise level very high. Have been there for lunch, and food and service also excellent.
    Special Features:
    Great for Brunch, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Drastically Overpriced
    luv2dine
    Dined on 4/26/2014
    No wonder this place is going out of business. Food is way overpriced, drinks aren't nearly the quality implied by their >$10 charge.
    Special Features:
    Good for Groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great ambiance and food
    BJjj
    Dined on 4/25/2014
    Create ambience and food. Excellent drinks. Waitress could have been a little more attentive.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Better than expected
    AllillA
    Dined on 4/20/2014
    Spent the night in Boston and decided to go to Cambridge because Boston was so busy for the Marathon... So glad we did. We found a gem... Without a doubt they serve the best chicken wings we have ever had. Not sure if they deep fry then bake, bake the. Deep fry, but what ever they do they do it right. Not over sauced, perfect spice. We also had fish and chips and flatbread... All exceeded our expectations. Liked it so much, we went back the next day for lunch.
    Special Features:
    Great for Brunch, Good for Groups, Great for Lunch, Late-Night Find, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OnlytealfoodVIP
    Dined on 4/20/2014
    Nice friendly welcome. Everything was very good except our waiter forgot to put our order in. Manager explained and offered fresh fruit for the table but brought it with the meal?
    Special Features:
    Great for Brunch, Fit For Foodies, Great for Lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2011VIP
    Dined on 4/19/2014
    I went with a group of four. Everyone loves what they had. The chicken and waffles were a particular favorite, but I enjoyed my duck sandwich too
    Special Features:
    Neighborhood Gem, Hot Spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice casual place
    Spoutnika
    Dined on 4/11/2014
    Looking for an easy going place to have a bite after a play or a film, this is it. Pub fare and New England classics at reasonable prices. Nice Cobb salad!
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • This was a return trip to
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008VIP
    Dined on 4/11/2014
    This was a return trip to First Printer. We had reservations and were seated promptly. Although the service, waitstaff and food were very good it was just too noisy to really enjoy. A party was taking place in the bar area which is, as in most restaurants, part of the large dining room. The waitstaff was extremely apologetic but there was really nothing to be done. We will try again but earlier in the week. An appetizer was served seconds before the main meal and was impossible to enjoy. Thankfully, after a comment, the waiter did not charge us for the appetizer.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Delicious!
    ChoosyDinerVIP
    Dined on 4/6/2014
    Great find.. brunch ranging from light, fluffy farm fresh omelets to delicious sandwich fillings on home made brioche buns. The Duck was amazing. Friendly service, lovely ambiance, historic building.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Took another new diner there
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 3/26/2014
    Took another new diner there for dinner. She was 21 years old and loved all of it. We shared the mussels and we each had the lamb chops. Great service by Mike. A good time was had by all! Thank you!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great for Dates
    BuffaloKid
    Dined on 3/15/2014
    Really great date night spot; the cocktails and wine list are great, and the food is really well thought out and crafted.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Trapped in the Vault!
    Jeremy
    Dined on 3/7/2014
    Went with my girlfriend for dinner on a Friday night. Restaurant was pretty full so we were seated in the Vault which was cool although it seemed we may have been a little forgotten about a couple times since sitting in there removes you from view of pretty much the entire restaurant. Ordered the charceuterie board which was fine, but a little underwhelming for the price and in comparison to some others we've had in the Cambridge area. Entrees were GREAT however as we got the chicken and waffles (which we done perfectly) and cobb salad with fried pork belly. A very tasty meal overall, and the only drawback was feeling a little isolated sitting in the Vault area. Would definitely recommend for a couple looking for night out.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Pretty standard pub type fare.
    Tony
    Dined on 2/21/2014
    Pretty standard pub type fare. I was in a parrty of 5 and everyone seemed pleased with their meal although personally, I would pass on their calamari. My cheeseburger was a little undercooked, which was fine with me, but if it matters a lot to you, maybe emphasize that for the server. You're a block from Harvard Square so obviously it's a young crowd, good vibe. I think WYSIWYG for the most part. I would go there again.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, hot spot, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Perfect place to catch up
    KWD14
    Dined on 2/16/2014
    Perfect place to catch up with a long time friend. Didn't feel rushed to move along. The booths allowed for conversation and privacy. I'll be back.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice ambience, delicious meals
    shimmer14
    Dined on 2/15/2014
    We met a friend from Pasadena on Saturday. All three of us enjoyed our meals. The Asian noodles were a terrific blend of flavors. One person had the scrod and that was delicious as well.. Service was excellent. It was a great spot to relax and catch up with an old friend. Also convenient to the square and parking garage!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, vibrant bar scene, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • I've been to the Printer before
    firsttimer
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    I've been to the Printer before and had a great time so I figured I'd come back. It's been a few months since the first visit but the two visits were night and day. The food and drinks were still very good but the service was not so much. We were seated by the door and unfortunately people could not understand the concept of not holding the door open for no reason at all in 10 degree weather (not the restaurants fault). The server we had visited the table 3 times, The initial order, a drink order after the meal was finished, and to bring the check. We never got checked on besides that even though we wanted the wine list back to make another order. It was disappointing to say the least. I might give it another chance but not anytime soon.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Dissapointing
    FattyLambChops
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    I took my girlfriend here for Valentine's day knowing she loved the salmon she ordered last time we were there. The menu, however, had been changed to something much less like fine dining and much more like bar food. Fish and Chips, wings as an appetizer... Not what I was expecting. She ordered the lamb chops and I ordered the seafood linguini. The lamp chops were 90% fat and bones, 10% actual lamb. The seafood linguini must have had 2 sticks of butter in it. Neither was good. Neither plate was finished. We left in awe of how bad the food was, especially for the price I paid. Needless to say, we are not going back.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Nice atmosphere, food was OK
    jtutts
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    We tried this place on Vday day. The location is ideal and the menu looked good. The inside of the restaurant has a nice feel to it. The decor goes well with the Harvard square feel. However, the food was only OK. My bf got stuffed pork chops and when he cut into it, the inside was pink. We asked the waitress as politely as possible if she could check with the cook. The cook confirmed his meat was not completely cooked. Once the meal was brought back out (about 10 or 15 mins later) the pork chops were delicious! The manager came out to apologize and gave us complimentary cocktails so it all worked out. Mistakes happen. I had a spinach salad which was only OK. We probably wouldn't run back here but it was still an enjoyable night.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Way downhill...
    guido
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    When First Printer opened we liked it a lot. Nicely creative menu with interesting modern takes and great choices for both the Primal fan and the vegetarian/vegan. The new menu has very little for the one vegie choice, nothing vegan and the meat choices are much more boring. Presentation wasn't great and the dishes were uninspired. The wine list is limited in selection and of low quality. Very disappointing.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Nice spot for dinner
    diner123
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    First Printer was a nice place to head for Valentine's Day dinner. The staff was courteous and the noise level was quite reasonable. The menu is overpriced for what you get but then again it is located in the heart of Cambridge, half a block from Harvard Square.
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food but poor service
    quiche
    Dined on 2/8/2014
    Thought the food was better than expected but the service lacked a bit. The waiter needed to be flagged down every time we wanted another drink and dropped the bill off with out asking if we wanted dessert. Somewhat of a turnoff as we always want dessert. But overall it is a cool atmosphere.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Menu nor wait staff told us
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 2/8/2014
    Menu nor wait staff told us that something was spicy.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate