John Harvard's Brewery & Ale House
John Harvard's Brewery & Ale House

John Harvard's Brewery & Ale House

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.johnharvards.com/
  • Phone: 6178683585
  • Hours of Operation:
    Brunch: Saturday & Sunday: 11:30am - 3:00pm Lunch: Daily: 11:30am - 4:00pm; Dinner: Monday - Wednesday: 4:00pm - 10:00pm, Thursday - Saturday: 4:00pm - 11:00pm, Sunday: 4:00pm - 10:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: American
  • Executive Chef: Aldrin Asencio
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Entertainment, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Entertainment: Monday: Trivia, Tuesday: Acoustic Music, Thursday: Live music

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Massachusetts Avenue
  • Public Transit: Red Line T stop- Harvard Square, Cambridge
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: Street Parking. Local Parking Garages
A word from John Harvard's Brewery & Ale House
Real Beer. Honest Food. John Harvard’s is Cambridge’s much-loved craft brewery, serving up great food and a rotating selection of award-winning beers and ales. Located in the heart of Harvard Square, our recently-renovated dining room is a welcoming neighborhood spot any time of day. Our chef has created a menu that features classic pub favorites done to perfection, along with a few creative twists. From our legendary chicken pot pie to our lobster mac and cheese, everything is made from scratch daily. We have plenty of flat screen TVs so you can always catch your favorite game, and our new weekend brunch is soon to become a Harvard Square institution. Large parties are no problem so bring a crowd or just bring yourself; we’ll have a pint of the freshest brew in town waiting for you.
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John Harvard's Brewery & Ale House reviews from OpenTable diners
26 reviews since April 30, 2014
Overall Rating3.7
  • Food3.8
    Service3.5
  • Ambiance3.6
    Noise LevelModerate
87% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
good for groups (13)vibrant bar scene (9)neighborhood gem (6)hot spot (4)late-night find (3)kid-friendly (2)great for lunch (2)great for brunch (1)romantic (1)special occasion (1)scenic view (1)notable wine list (1)fit for foodies (1)Show More
  • Great food/beer, but what service
    Beer2drinkVIP
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    I've been here about 7 or 8 times now, and I've always loved the food and beer they have (even though I can never seem to be there to have any cask ales). But I was shocked and confused while my girlfriend and I sat at a booth for 10 mins waiting for our server to show up. It was half-full, and we could see servers standing around on the side doing next to nothing. I have never had to ask the hostess "who is our server?" for any reason, nevermind because we wanted to have some water and drinks before placing an order. But, food related, get the BBQ tenders as a starter as they are awesome with the beer sampler, and then basically get anything with their BBQ sauce on for dinner. You won't regret that, unless you can't find your server...
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, late-night find, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • good place for casual dinner
    ivey
    Dined on 7/4/2014
    i went there to have dinner with a friend. ordered steak, ribs, chicken wings and beers. overall experience (food+service) was decent. also the location was very close to T station.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Decent food, poor service
    jharvard624
    Dined on 6/22/2014
    This was my third time to John Harvard's and I have no desire to return. The restaurant is always out of several items on the beer and food menus, and the service makes no effort to go beyond the minimum. This most recent visit, we waited at least 5 minutes before getting any kind of attention, waited another 10 minutes for 2 glasses of wine and 2 beers, and had a mix-up with our food. My veggie burger was fine, but definitely not great enough to make it worth another trip. I want John Harvard's to be a great casual spot to take visitors, but I was a little embarrassed by the poor experience.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Abrupt & Spotty Service
    CozyD
    Dined on 6/22/2014
    We were a party of 8, seated for brunch on a Sunday. The place was mostly empty, but it was challenging to get the attention of our server. At times it felt she was deliberately ignoring our pleas of "excuse me!" when she walked by. When we did get service, it was abrupt, unfriendly, and almost forceful. The brunch food we received was, on the whole, unremarkable. When we received the check, it included gratuity, which we expected when with a party of 8. However, when it was split up across multiple cards, she didn't include tip on those bills, which led to an awkward conversation where she told us we were shorting the bill. We worked it out, but it was awkward. Overall, a very underwhelming and unfriendly experience.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Good
    Good
    Dined on 6/20/2014
    Good spot for large parties. Accommodating. Not too loud. Fast service.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • I can't recommend it
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 6/13/2014
    Good food, great service — and one of the loudest rooms I've ever tried to carry out a conservation with.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Good food and great beer...
    BostonLocal
    Dined on 5/15/2014
    Everhthing was good, but the quality ofthe winter salad that i ordered could have been better and bigger...
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • the nachos
    hungryVIP
    Dined on 5/5/2014
    The pulled pork nachos never disappoint. I have never had a beer or food item here that I didn't like. But the nachos. Seriously. Get them.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 18 ratings-only reviews submitted since April 30, 2014
    • Overall Rating3.8
    • Food3.7
    • Ambiance3.6
    • Service3.7
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • The following 40 reviews are from the John Harvard's Brewery & Ale House reviews archive.
  • Saturday Brunch
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 3/29/2014
    We met with our daughter and her boyfriend for bunch at 11:30. We were the first party to be seated, and were greeted with solid service, great food, and nice atmosphere. NICE JOB
    Special Features:
    great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Winter Refuge
    Mystic
    Dined on 3/26/2014
    Hot lunch on a cold and windy "Spring" day accompanied a tasty craft brew. The fish and chips were very good and accompanied by a delicious cole slaw. Not as crowded as when we've been there after a football game, non the less a cheerful spot.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Perfect for the gathering
    6nen1kumi
    Dined on 3/22/2014
    This is the third gathering for our group and every single time we really enjoyed this place. Staffs are always very friendly and provide us a comfortable space to gather.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food, great atmosphere
    Vincent
    Dined on 2/16/2014
    Food was fantastic, the nachos were massive and delicious, and my burger was cooked perfectly! The service was on the slower side, but it was packed that night, with waits upwards of an hour so it was understandable. Will definitely be going back again!
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, late-night find, hot spot, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good affordable food in Harvard Sq.
    ScottVIP
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    Came here on Valentine's Day with my wife. They had a special menu, but we both ordered off the regular menu. One of the last affordable restaurants in this neighborhood (oh, how I miss the old, pre-gentrification Harvard Square). Plenty of vegetarian choices on the menu. Nice ambience. Didn't drink this time but I have on previous visits and the house-brewed beer is excellent. For my money, this is the best place to go in the Square if you're with a large/mixed group, and aren't on an expense account. We'll be back.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • v-day prix fixe menu
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    came here for v-day day. loved the fact they were prepared for, and offered in the first place both prix fixe and regular menus. i got the prix fixe, my partner the regular menu. they times the courses well. his app coming with my second course, his entree with my entree etc... my entree was perfectly done, and full of flavor while the prosecco and strawberry risotto second course lacked a strong enough flavor of either of these things that had i not known what i was getting, i would have though it a well done risotto with a strawberry garnish. all of the beers were paired perfectly though and over all it was a great experience and an awesome display of the kitchen's talents as well as the persons who did the beer pairings(beer sommelier?)
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, vibrant bar scene, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Just what I needed...
    Tracey
    Dined on 2/7/2014
    The John Harvard Brewery is near my place of business and a group of us went for lunch. First, of all even though there are many fine restaurants in Harvard a Square there are not too many that a group would all agree to go to for a variety of reasons. First the greeting by the host was very nice since he offered us a choice of sitting in the dining area or pub. This is a large restaurant with a real diversity of dining selections. I had a selection from the classics, a creamy delicious chicken pot pie. My co-workers had fish and chips, clam chowder and a eye catching salad. The service was excellent.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • great beer and burgers-- what
    burgerlover
    Dined on 1/24/2014
    great beer and burgers-- what more can you ask for! Also has more upscale options, so it can satisfy everyone.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, vibrant bar scene, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, hot spot, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Unexpectedly good
    DiningoutVIP
    Dined on 1/11/2014
    After reading several of the on-line reviews, I might have had second thoughts about trying the restaurant, a promotion at a Harvard Basketball game actually including on-site offerings, made the difference. The service was good, but the restaurant was slow except for a large crowd in the bar, perhaps it was the Patriots game that caused the crowd to be smaller in the dining area. I tried a couple of items, both of which were very good. My waiter suggested several options, and the portions were large and priced as to be affordable.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, vibrant bar scene, late-night find, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great spot in Harvard Square
    BusyWorkMom40s
    Dined on 1/7/2014
    We went on early side 6 p.m. dinner with friends and kids. It was friendly, fun atmosphere and good food. Hostess and wait staff were very nice and friendly and efficient.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, vibrant bar scene, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • New menu?
    Lindags
    Dined on 12/31/2013
    We've been to this restaurant before and the menu now seems more limited.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Menu has changed -- and for
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 12/18/2013
    Menu has changed -- and for me and one of my friends -- not for the better. I have to eat gluten free and just two items (if I remember correctly) were labeled GF: clam chowder and an artichoke dip. Waitstaff said that she could work with me on any other dishes. Then why go to the trouble of labeling just the two items? Made no sense. My friend is vegetarian and thought that the current menu offered fewer choices than before.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • just ok
    ljlblueVIP
    Dined on 12/8/2013
    Not some where I would go again. I had a chicken blta. It was more like a lt. All you could taste was the lettuce and tomatoe. The chicken was hardly present and there was no flavor.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Upscale Pub in Harvard Square
    Ackman
    Dined on 11/6/2013
    I met a couple of out of town busness colleagues for dinner and chose John Harvard's for it's location and menu as one of our diners was fairly picky. We had reservations for 6:45PM on a wed night and found the restaurant to be fairly quiet with quite a few empty tables. The service was great and our waitress was very friendly and attentive. I had a locally brewed lager beer which was excellent while my colleagues chose wine from a limited list of options. I ordered Steak Frites which I found to be average at best. My colleagues had Hanger steak and I did not hear any complaints. Would go again for convenience, location and service but food is just OK.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good beer, good food, welcoming
    Meadowstream
    Dined on 10/27/2013
    John Harvard's is always on our list of places to consider. It is located at the old 33 Dunster Street and the stained glass windows of Watergate figures and Bobby Orr still grace the place, along with dark wood, a long bar, deep dining room, and some beer equipment. It is a great place for good beer (the IPA was particularly good this last time) and very good food. The salads, and the comfort food like chicken pot pie, are outstanding. Our whole family loves it, but it is a place I can bring a customer or partner as well.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, kid-friendly, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Had a group of 8. Reserved
    Craftbeerorbust
    Dined on 10/12/2013
    Had a group of 8. Reserved a table for 6:15pm before a ghost tour. 2 of the group ran pretty late but the waitress allowed to put their orders in and they got there just after their food showed up, which was cool. Service was relatively quick. My only problem is my burger and fries were warm...as if they had been waiting to be run for a while. Love this place, love the beer(IPA for the win), but I didn't love the food and while I have been there for beer before, this was my first time trying the food. Maybe it was due to the fact that we had a large party because it wasn't very busy when we arived. I will be back and hopefully it is a better food experience.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, vibrant bar scene, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Nice find in Harvard Square!
    lossmgt
    Dined on 10/11/2013
    We had a party of 14 for a late afternoon dinner prior to a show. They did a great job communicating with me & accommodating such a large group. Would certainly go directly to this restaurant when I'm in the Harvard Square area again!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A group of 9 of us for dinner.
    mookie24
    Dined on 10/5/2013
    A group of 9 of us for dinner. Had reservations for 6:30 and was seated right away upon arrival. Great food and the service was great too. J H is always a happening place in Harvard Sq, especially on the wkends! Good drink menu as well.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, vibrant bar scene, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • pub grub is so-so
    mostlyinmarblehead
    Dined on 9/17/2013
    Have been to JHBP many times, usually around the w/e of Head of Charles in Oct and it's always been good enough. But went the other night to celebrate my daughter's 19th BD (she's a student at NEU) & was disappointed by the food. Lobster Mac N Cheese was useless. It's cheese sauce was very thin & there was NO lobster to speak of. The red specks in the sauce were either tomato or red pepper chunks. Over all this dish rates a D-. Other dishes at our table were only so -so. Service was a bit sloppy. I guess food is not the reason most people go to JHBP. It's the rathskeller atmosphere for large college crowds& all the home brewed beer.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Harvard Square staple
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009VIP
    Dined on 9/3/2013
    The house-brewed beer was pretty good and the food was serviceable--nothing at all special, but adequate. We were a large group, which they accommodated without any difficulty at all. The service was very friendly and patient (most of the people in our group barely spoke English). It's not fancy but it is a reliable place for beer and burgers.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Birthday success
    Pagg
    Dined on 9/2/2013
    John Harvard's did a great job taking care of my rowdy birthday party crowd.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good meal
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 7/26/2013
    We were there with 3 adults and 3 children. The food was good. Came in a timely manner. Table server was not attentive.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Middle of the Road
    GlenVIP
    Dined on 7/20/2013
    Very attentive service providing average food and average beer.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good time service was ok
    Visiting
    Dined on 6/13/2013
    Waiter insisted we ordered a drink that we did not order. Said that 'the old guy' ordered it and as it turns out he did... Someone thirty years older was at the next table. No apology.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great new menu, something
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 5/28/2013
    Great new menu, something for everyone. Friendly service.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Prix Fixe is awesome
    Sarah
    Dined on 5/8/2013
    Definitely try the Wednesday night prix fixe special menu with beer pairings - the food is delicious and the beer is even more so. great, friendly and professional service and a really excellent experience overall.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, vibrant bar scene, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • We were able to make a last-minute
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 4/27/2013
    We were able to make a last-minute reservation for two on a Saturday night at 10pm, so I was curious as to whether the restaurant would be empty. To the contrary, the bar was hopping and there was live music. I'm not a big fan of loud music while I'm trying to eat, but before I could even bring it up the hostess asked if we'd like to be near to or far from the band. We were able to get a table on the opposite end of the restaurant and the service was fantastic -- I wish I'd gotten the waitress' name!
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • The experience we had was
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 4/26/2013
    The experience we had was very nice. It looks as if when you approaching it is in the Garage but is separate and large space. The waitress was outstanding and food was ok to good. This would be a great place to bring friends and have a couple of drinks.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, great for lunch, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Convenient location, amiable
    Karen
    Dined on 3/31/2013
    Convenient location, amiable staff, food as expected.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Noise is the biggest issue.
    alocal
    Dined on 3/27/2013
    Noise is the biggest issue. Hard to hear other people at your table.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, kid-friendly, late-night find, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • we loved the restaurant, good
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 3/23/2013
    we loved the restaurant, good food for kids and adults. we made a reservation through open table. we are from out of town, and were about 20 minutes late, they gave our table away. it was a busy night, but they did figure out something and we only had to wait 15 minutes.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, good for groups, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Had a fun night. It was very
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 3/23/2013
    Had a fun night. It was very crowded because of the March madness but our food came VERY quickly. the waitress Sara was great.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic