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 23, 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
  • Outstanding meal
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 9/15/2013
    Everyone in our group was delighted with the quality of the food. For the most part everything was as inventive and stunningly flavorful as ever. The menu is a bit confusing, as none of us at table fully understood the definition of the entrees, and the explanation only further confused us; also, while we assumed the small plates would be doled out so that everyone was eating at the same time, the person who didn't order a vegetable side had to wait idly by while everyone else chowed down. An explanation of this process would've been appreciated and might've made the absence of food early for the one diner and the onslaught of food late a bit more seamless.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • East By Northeast - 09/15/2013
    Cabbage
    Dined on 9/15/2013
    Overall this was a very pleasant dining experience. The four of us enjoying trying all of the different Asian tapas specialties. We really enjoyed the Scallion Pancake and the Hake Cake. The noodle dish with the pork ragout was also very good, but the table was not so wild about the tea-marinated chicken noodle dish. Our waitress was friendly, and candid about the texture and taste of the dishes...a huge plus! This is a small place, but it doesn't feel cramped. Because it is small be sure to make reservations! If you're partial to Mezcal...the El Buho cocktail was awesome! :-)
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Another Great Meal
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 9/12/2013
    The creative Asian tapas at ExNE is always great and this night was no different. We were celebrating my daughter's 18th birthday and Blayne was sure to make her feel special. The food was creative as promised. We always enjoy the pork belly buns. The "short noodles" with sausage, in particular, which might be called "rice cake" elsewhere were a pleasant surprise.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • East by NO WAY!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 9/12/2013
    We were excited about the possibility of "Asian/Chinese tapas". The amuse bouche was great--smoky corn chowder with tofu. The scallion pancakes were ok (but we've had MUCH better elsewhere). Then came the other dishes--too quickly. Each was worse than the previous. The first three came out overly breaded and fried, and the shumai were inedible (resembling week-old refrigerated gefilte fish). Surprisingly, even though we left increasing amounts of food on each plate, the servers never asked if there were problems. The last dish was noodles with ice-cold tea smoked chicken. The noodles were acceptable; the chicken was not. As 30+ year Cantabridgians, we SO wanted to like E by NE, but alas, we will never return. Think twice before you go.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Anniversary Dinner
    trj29
    Dined on 9/8/2013
    Unusual combination of flavors. Warm inviting ambiance. Would definitely return.Service was well timed, with small plates that was important.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, late-night find, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • All around top-notch and nothing
    food
    Dined on 9/8/2013
    All around top-notch and nothing else like it in Boston! Excellent food and service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Enjoyable Dinner!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 8/17/2013
    Thank you Blaine for the outstanding service! We ordered the 8 course tasting menu which we all loved. The main area of improvement would be for the food to come out faster. It was quite disappointing that we were not able to meet the chef.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Food was interesting and inventive
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 8/17/2013
    Food was interesting and inventive but spotty. Some dishes were great and some really missed the mark.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great. But impossible noise.
    RaoulVIP
    Dined on 8/8/2013
    The food was wonderfully flavorful. The service impeccable and friendly. But the noise was deafening. When we mentioned this to the waitress, she sympathized, and did not charge us for a glass of wine.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent Asian Fusion
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/7/2013
    I am always dubious when I hear Asian Fusion, but this place is amazing. It is definitely heavier on the Asian (particularly Chinese) than the fusion. The subtle mixture of other flavors besides Asian gives an added boost, rather than drowning what makes Asian flavors so great. We were a party of four, and we all got the 5-course tasting menu. We had a vegetarian with us, and what the server did was great. She gave us two veggie plates, and two non-veggie plates each course, so we had a mixture. This gesture was a great example of the great service provided. A wonderful treat and would love to visit this place again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Tasting menu treat
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 8/3/2013
    We recently celebrated our anniversary here. The tasting menu of either 5 or 8 plates is a good value and the food is innovative and delicious. Some dishes were more successful than others. The little corn beignets were incredible-so light and tasty. Chicken and smoked hake dumpling was not much. All together the food was really good and it is a great change of pace from the usual locally-sourced foodie place. It's a tiny storefront with tables right next to each other, so the ambiance is lacking. Many of the best dishes are pork based so if you don't eat pork your options are limited.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Many dishes were heavy on
    MelissaVIP
    Dined on 8/2/2013
    Many dishes were heavy on the sodium, but overall we liked the vibe of the restaurant and enjoyed our meal.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Eclectic Gem
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 7/24/2013
    My husband and I were incredibly impressed with the quality and creativity of the food. We chose the 5 course tasting menu & added the Pork Belly Sandwich (not needed because the 5 small dishes were PLENTY.) The dishes were eclectic & delicious. I got the vegetarian option. FANTASTIC! When I told the waiter I was gluten and dairy free & adverse to spicy food, he was very flexible about how to adapt the tasting menu for me. I also got the sweet ice tea that was to die for. It's an Asian inspired menu, eaten with chopsticks, but not comparable to any specific Asian cuisine. And the meal ended in the best dairy free, homemade coconut cream puff I've ever had. Why people would stop and look at the menu and not come in was a mystery. Loved it!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Every bite a pleasure
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 7/21/2013
    Eating at East by Northeast is delightful - from the food to the service to the ambience. Chef Phillip Tang's creative, seasonal menu makes it hard to decide what to order - I wanted one of everything. I loved the complexity of each dish; the flavors and textures made every bite a pleasure. I hate to single out one or two dishes because every one deserves a mention. And when I thought I couldn't eat another bite, I was so glad I pushed the envelope and had dessert - yum!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Unexpected pleasure
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 7/17/2013
    This is a tapas style restaurant. The waitstaff of two explains to newcomers that plates are small so they can experience different preparations. We opted for a five course meal and the chef decides what will be served. each serving was unique and wonderful. The flavors were strong and layered. Each ingredient could be identified separately and the overall combination was great. The beer list was longer than the usual and had names that were new. The staff knew the beers and could describe each plate, and also explained each dish as it was served. They were great. I could see going back and just ordering one or two plates with a beer and having a nice evening. The five course meal was a bargain and very filling.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Unique and tasty experience
    LocalFoodLover
    Dined on 7/14/2013
    We did the 8-course chef's menu. It was exquisite without being an overwhelming amount of food. As usual, the dishes were well-balanced and distinct. The watermelon salad, pork belly buns and noodle disea were all excellent. It's hard to imagine someone being disappointed by a meal here.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Asian tapas
    SLassonde
    Dined on 7/13/2013
    East by Northeast was a surprise. A modest, storefront appearance contains an unusual combination of Chinese/Asian cuisine with a sophisticated inflection of sauces and spicy-sweet flavorings. The portions are modest but the variety is so great and quality so fine that you leave feeling satisfied and delighted. The ambiance is its only drawback: small and crowded, you are shoulder-to-shoulder with whomever happens to be sitting at the next table. It is also noisy and your dinner companion will sit further away from you across the table than you will be from the stranger sitting next to you. Still, all in all a terrific dining experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great Service & Food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 7/11/2013
    My girlfriend and I love this place. The service is great. The atmosphere is cozy, and the food is outstanding.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • This is a restaurant with
    GeorgewithanoVIP
    Dined on 7/10/2013
    This is a restaurant with excellent food, a great vegetarian selection, and innovative fusion dishes. I particularly liked the pork belly sliders and the spicy "mapo" noodle dish.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Gem
    Caroliso
    Dined on 7/6/2013
    This find in Inman Square was a delight. The food is tapas type Chinese-style dishes, all fresh and homemade. We were started off with a complimentary taste of the most delicious cold and creamy pea soup with lime (?) and spices. From the menu we had the pork belly sandwich (the bun melted in my mouth!), scallion pancake sandwich, potstickers, noodles, and much more! Each dish was better than the last. The service was impeccable -- friendly and attentive without being overly so. Would go back in a heartbeat.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Disappointed
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 7/5/2013
    Some plates were delicious, others were just ok. Tables were too close together so we felt packed in. Wouldn't rush back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Solid dining experience.
    lwarren912
    Dined on 6/28/2013
    East by Northeast came recommended and we went to celebrate an occasion with friends. Some of the dishes were delicious but others really fell short of expectations. The cocktails were only average. Of the group of six, people enjoyed parts of the meal but no one truly loved the meal. Other places, including Myers + Chang, probably do the Asian inspired tapas experience better but this isn't a bad choice.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The most innovative menu in town
    MyrawheelerVIP
    Dined on 6/25/2013
    The new summer menu at EBNE is astonishing. What a combo of taste, texture and culinary traditions. Fabulous food served by very attentive and well trained staff. Service is fine but the vibe is casual, an excellent combination for Inman Square. The best!!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • I remembered the food as being
    soubise
    Dined on 6/21/2013
    I remembered the food as being very good: a nice admixture of interesting textures and flavors. Fresh carefully prepared and on point. This time, the combinations were a bit bizarre with seemingly discordant, harsh elements (too salty, vinegary, etc.) Ordered the smoked hake dish and couldn't find any sign of the fish. Waitress brought us our dishes a in a haphazard fashion, plunked them on the table in front of us in a random order and, frankly, we couldn't tell who ordered what. She said, "Oh, well, I didn't write that down." Seriously? It was early on a slow night with maybe 2 other tables in the place. We all left feeling puzzled. It's a nice neighborhood place. Would love to see food & service rejiggered in a bit, I'd be back.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Always a treat
    eastcoastfodie
    Dined on 6/18/2013
    The small plates at North by Northeast never fail to surprise and satisfy. I go several times in the course of a year and always appreciate the chef's daily creations. Tell your friends!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • East by Northeast
    Singhsen
    Dined on 6/14/2013
    I have heard a lot of East by Northeast, and it did not disappoint. The food was excellent tapas style portions. Ambience was great - nice simple clean decor with friendly wait staff. The restaurant is small with less than 10 tables, so book in advance. The meatloaf sliders were fabulous! Too bad they are not open for lunch.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Disappointed
    FoodieGirl
    Dined on 6/12/2013
    We had the vegetarian 5-course prix fixe. Chef generously included a few freebies, including an "amuse-bouche" espresso cup of a pea-based soup, which was delicious. We were mostly disappointed in the noodle dish, which was the biggest of the 5. The salt & spice overwhelmed other flavors. Peas may have been fresh, but they could have been frozen by their texture & lack of flavor; jalapenos did not go with this dish at all. The "noodles" were more like dumplings, which, combined with their oiliness and the spice and saltiness of the dish, made the dish quite heavy, in disappointing contrast to the other 4 dishes. For the price we paid, we probably won't go back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Fun fusion in neighborhood gem
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 6/11/2013
    East by Northeast offers unique flavor pairings while carefully sourcing their ingredients and always being respectful of the "East" in their tradition. Chef's tasting menu is wonderful and a great value. While ordering lots of little plates can sometimes result in a diner spending more than he or she planned and still ending up hungry, the tasting menu here avoids that completely. A carefully crafted salmon tartare first course was remarkable! All delicious and I'll be back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • wonderful meal, as always;
    paulm
    Dined on 6/8/2013
    wonderful meal, as always; very accommodating to a diner with severe dietary restrictions
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Anniversary dinner
    VisitingDC
    Dined on 6/5/2013
    My wife and I celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary here, the third time we've eaten at EbNE. It was lovely. She's 37 weeks pregnant with twins, so this was likely our last hurrah for a little while. As usual, we got 5 great courses for a very reasonable price, including some with tofu used in ways we rarely see. We'll be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Mixed review
    Cathy
    Dined on 6/2/2013
    Two of us went for dinner on a Sunday night, and I ordered the prix fixe five course vegetarian option while my friend ordered the regular five course option. The soup, which was complimentary, was the best course. The remainder of the dishes were either underseasoned (salads) or overseasoned with too much soy and/or heat for my palate. I wouls have preferred a little acid. The dessert was a small plain eclair, which did not seem to have been made in house but it was served with a delicious cherry sauce. If I go back, I will stay away from the prix fixe menus and order the pork entrees and other a la carte items on the menu. I think I would have been happier with those choices.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • mixed food quality
    nick
    Dined on 6/2/2013
    We were four, one of us eating vegetarian, and we ordered a mix of dishes for all to share, tapas style as recommended. The vegetable dishes were lovely — one with asparagus was outstanding. But they all came out first at the same time, I guess because the chef thought of them as before meal salads? That meant the next round was all meat dishes, which had the vegetarian just watching, picking out tiny mushrooms. Two other dishes were as nice as the first set, an onion tartlette in particular. But the noodle dishes were a dense muddle, too sweet and salty — the wide rice noodles with shiitake mushrooms was unpalatable, so was another noodle dish I can't remember. So the food overall was good, a mix from outstanding to poor.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Disappointed by the food & ambiance
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 6/1/2013
    I had read and heard so much about East by Northeast but was really disppointed by it. We got the 8-course tasting and only 2 of the dishes were very good or excellent. The rest just so-so. I ordered a cocktail to start, and that was good; but the red wine I ordered after was not particularly good and was served very warm. Service was very very slow (even for a 9pm reservation) and there were several mix-ups when we were served the wrong course or the same thing twice. So sad that I chose East by Northeast for my birthday dinner!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good, but not rushing to go back
    InmanEater
    Dined on 5/31/2013
    We had a nice meal here this past weekend. We ordered the 8 tapas to share and enjoyed most of them. The pork belly and dumplings were great. A few of the veggies were nice to snack on earlier in the meal. There were two that we weren't huge fans of. We would have liked some carbs and a little less green, but that's probably a personal taste. It was an interesting place to try - something a little different - I just don't imagine I'll be craving it in the near future as I prefer a more meat and potatoes kind of meal.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Delicious small plates
    hungryprofVIP
    Dined on 5/26/2013
    I took some friends here for dinner the other night and left wondering why I'm not here all the time. The food is always a little surprising, wonderful tastes you don't quite expect - you can certainly fill up on potstickers, noodles and steamed buns, but a dish of rice noodles and beef cheeks with two utterly wonderful vegetable dishes I can't even describe was totally satisfying without feeling too much. The house made sodas are very good. Friendly service, pleasing interior, close to Inman Square ... Again, I need to go there more often. They have always been accommodating about my gluten intolerance but requested being alerted in advance if possible, as some dishes may need adjustments.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Cool concept but poor execution
    DuckConfit
    Dined on 5/21/2013
    This restaurant doesn't seem to know whether it should be refined or casual. Tasting menus with paper napkins. Attentive service with mediocre wine (at least by the glass). A delicate amuse bouche, unique dessert, and tasty not overly sweet petit fours with main dishes (5 of them) that were swimming in overpowering sauces and vinaigrettes.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • I have eaten here several
    bialmiVIP
    Dined on 5/12/2013
    I have eaten here several times and have always enjoyed it and recommended to many friends. It was a surprise to find a recent menu change improved it further. The tastes are surprising in their complexity and originality. Scallion pancakes for instance, are usually enjoyable but here, they are wrapped around pulled pork with a spicy sauce and carmellized onions and who knows whatever else. I literally smiled at that and several other plates, like the meatloaf buns and salmon sushi. I would go back this week and have the same dishes again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fabulous
    Lsprek
    Dined on 5/12/2013
    The best and most interesting meal I've had in Boston by far.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delightfully Innovative Asian
    SRM430VIP
    Dined on 5/11/2013
    Dined here on a Saturday night with a friend. Ordered 6 dishes to share, and both of us were impressed with each one. Chef opened with an amuse bouche of chilled asparagus soup with smoked tofu and cilantro. Salmon tartare special was especially awesome, as was a roasted fennel & carmelized onion tartlette. (Seriously, how are those carmelized onions so good?!?) Our server was stellar--personable and on the ball. Cocktails were well-executed: just enough to take the bite off, without going overboard to mask the flavor of the liquors. Well worth a visit (and then a return trip or two!)
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Amazing food & Great Service!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 5/9/2013
    We love this place. We have been coming since it opened and it's remained consistent. Excellent food that's often impressive and surprising, Attentive, knowledgeable staff who are willing to steer you in the direction of their favorites. We recommend this restaurant highly.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate