Russell House Tavern
Russell House Tavern

Russell House Tavern

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://russellhousecambridge.com/
  • Phone: (617) 500-3055
  • Hours of Operation:
    Brunch: Saturday: 10:00am - 4:00pm Sunday: 10:00am - 4:00pm;

    Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:00am - 4:00pm;

    Dinner: Nightly: 5:00pm - 11:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: American, Gastro Pub
  • Executive Chef: Thomas Borgia
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Private Party Facilities: Russell House Tavern offers a variety of Private Dining experiences. Please email our private events coordinator for more information.
  • Private Party Contact: Courtney Wentworth 6175003055x

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Brattle Street
  • Parking: Public Lot
A word from Russell House Tavern
Russell House Tavern continues the Harvard Square tradition of local enterprise as a New American Tavern serving seasonally-inspired, classic dishes from New England and beyond. An inviting, multi-level space adorned with vintage photographs of the Square, Russell House Tavern specializes in artisanal fare served alongside carefully hand-crafted cocktails and a distinctive collection of all-American wines and craft beers.
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Russell House Tavern reviews from OpenTable diners
177 reviews since July 24, 2014
Overall Rating4
  • Food4.1
    Service4.1
  • Ambiance3.9
    Noise LevelEnergetic
92% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (82)good for groups (74)vibrant bar scene (63)neighborhood gem (62)hot spot (42)great for brunch (40)great for outdoor dining (32)special occasion (31)great for lunch (31)romantic (26)late-night find (26)kid-friendly (10)notable wine list (6)scenic view (1)Show More
  • Seemed a bit over priced for
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 11/17/2010
    Seemed a bit over priced for what you received. Not sure I would go to this place again.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A buzzing gastro pub with
    bgourmandVIP
    Dined on 11/16/2010
    A buzzing gastro pub with good location in the heart of Harvard Square. The menu attempted to be sophisticated but the execution was only so-so; our food was not exceptional. Still, we enjoyed the evening and lively atmosphere at Russell House Tavern.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • The food was okay. I had the
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 11/15/2010
    The food was okay. I had the chicken with mashed potatoes and carrots, it was pleasant but nothing special. My friend had the lamb dish, it was way to salty. The service was iffy, he was overbearing and kept on returning to our table to see if we were ready to order, when we had previously told him it would take us a bit. Felt rushed-on a wednesday night...
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, fit for foodies, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The Russell House Tavern is
    DavidVIP
    Dined on 11/14/2010
    The Russell House Tavern is very good but a bit pricey. Located in Harvard Square it is well positioned for an active clientele. We were there for a late Sunday brunch and the tavern was full on both levels. It is worth a repeat visit.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, great for brunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Went for Sunday brunch and
    josiahVIP
    Dined on 11/14/2010
    Went for Sunday brunch and the staff was completely unprepared...30 minutes to deliver some scrambled eggs in a nearly empty restaurant, with a staff of thousands milling around. That said, the space has a terrific design capturing the essence of modern gastropub and the menu looks promising. Now if only the staff could act like they were there to serve the guests...
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • The food was very good and
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 11/10/2010
    The food was very good and the ambiance was perfect.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, great for lunch, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The service was great and
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 11/9/2010
    The service was great and our server was very helpful with the menu and drink selection. The mussels were delicious and the steak was tender as full of flavor. Very impressed overall.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Food was okay, service inattentive.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 11/8/2010
    Food was okay, service inattentive. Had to get up to ask for multiple items throughout dinner. I usually love Russell Tavern but I was really disappointed this time.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, romantic, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • We will definitely return.
    MagnoliaVIP
    Dined on 11/6/2010
    We will definitely return. They could lose the piped in music - the vibe is plenty loud without adding it. Service was friendly and helpful. Food was delicious.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • I'd heard a lot of good things
    Gittith
    Dined on 11/3/2010
    I'd heard a lot of good things about this restaurant but never had been. I had a wonderful lunch. I chose the chicken and dumplings. It was tasty and the portion was very generous. I really loved the lemon dressing on my side salad. I'm definitely am planning on returning for dinner.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion, great for lunch, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Our recent dining experience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 10/29/2010
    Our recent dining experience at Russell House Tavern was exceptional. We had delicious cocktails while waiting for our table. The scene was semi-upscale with a casual feel, The food was terrific (roasted bone marrow, serrano ham, Pork trio & duck confit were all amazing!!) Russell House is definitely a huge step up from your average Friday night dining experience. Give it a shot..you won't be disappointed! We will certainly be returning there soon!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The first two courses were
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 10/28/2010
    The first two courses were very good but the desserts were very inconsistent. Four identical chocolate cakes were ordered. Two of them were well presented on a plate with crossing lines of caramel sauce. But the cakes were cold inside (no warm and melting chocolate). The other two were warm with a nice soft core of warm chocolate but were presented on an undistinguished puddle of caramel sauce. My dog would do a better job. Obviously the desserts are not prepared by a single person. If I return in this restaurant, I would not order dessert. The place is also very noisy.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Our dining experience was
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 10/24/2010
    Our dining experience was lovely. The kitchen split the salads and entrees to accommodate my dc and me. The menu changes frequently, and what we saw online was not actually on the menu. We had the 20oz ribeye, cooked to order perfectly (medium-rare). It was delish! My dc commented that this would be our place to go for steak instead of the steakhouse chains.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Best place in Cambridge, has
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 10/24/2010
    Best place in Cambridge, has an outstanding menu that can appeal to everyone. Loved the brisket scramble.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Our dining experience was
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 10/23/2010
    Our dining experience was excellent. Friends came to visit from out of town during the weekend of the Head of the Charles, so we made reservations several days in advance, thinking that we may not even get seated on time. But, we were seated almost immediately and there were 6 of us - we were placed at a round table, which made conversation so much easier than a rectangular table (nice touch!). We all enjoyed our meals - several had the burger, which was exceptional. We also partook of the varied beer list, although a couple of us ordered wine. One wine orderer in the partywas put off by the "policy" to serve wine in a tumbler-type glass, rather than a glass with a stem, but her request for a glass with a stem was met graciously.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Terrific dinner. The food
    Paul
    Dined on 10/22/2010
    Terrific dinner. The food was great - oysters on the halfshell were awesome and the steak frite and the pork trio were perfectly cooked and yummy. The cocktails were well made and the list of spirits is imposing, especially the whiskey list - wow. Dessert was well done. Overall service was excellent if not a tad effected... A little noisy, but quite a vibrant scene. I would highly recommend. Lack of parking (Harvard Square) is a minus...
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • We had a nice brunch here.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 10/17/2010
    We had a nice brunch here. We ate downstairs where it is much quieter. Our server was great, very attentive.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Unfortunately, we had a regrettable
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 10/15/2010
    Unfortunately, we had a regrettable incident with a large raucous group of drunken young males. They were yelling across the establishment, visiting other tables, and even threatening other patrons. The management was informed, but the groups behavior was dismissed as normal activity for the area.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great service. Intersting
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 10/9/2010
    Great service. Intersting menu. Awesome location if you are up for a night of hanging around Harvard Square.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Food was delicious. Bloody
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 10/2/2010
    Food was delicious. Bloody Mary was a little sweet (it had a floral liqueur and basil in it, which is probably why), but my latté was delicious. I think our server was new, because she was constantly being shadowed by someone else. Service was a bit slow, but it just seemed like the servers didn't have a lot to do and so didn't want to bug us too much. We were seated in the basement area because we had a reservation, which was a bummer on such a nice day when the upstairs area is so nice.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Russell House cocktails stand out
    BoulderEatsWellVIP
    Dined on 9/28/2010
    Great cocktails, solid food - makes the most of its basement location - very friendly but casual service.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent menu, excellent
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010VIP
    Dined on 9/28/2010
    Excellent menu, excellent service. The place is lively (read: 'loud'), but otherwise you can count on an excellent experience.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Enjoyed it very much, was
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 9/24/2010
    Enjoyed it very much, was on a date. Server was terrific, liked the fact you had oysters that I had not eaten previously. Steak frites were good steak was perfect. thx
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Low quality, very fat American
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 9/11/2010
    Low quality, very fat American food. The burgers made the bread completely wet of oil One good thing - in contrast to the usual American style where you get huge burgers that you can take home and continue to eat for 3 days - at Russell you get small burgers (but still VERY FAT)
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • With friends visiting from
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010VIP
    Dined on 9/11/2010
    With friends visiting from Finland, we were looking for a vibrant locale, a location within Harvard Square, and outstanding cuisine without the stuffy atmosphere. The Russell House Tavern gave us a wonderful evening. The menu was unique and the preparation was excellent - and service was outstanding: attentive without intruding and pleasant & knowledgeable without pretense. The only criticism - and this is very mild as it will not affect our strong desire to return frequently - were the acoustics. It was sometimes difficult to hear the person on the far side of the table. But perhaps this is just part of choosing a "Tavern" for dinner. The food really was outstanding -
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, fit for foodies, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Food was great as always.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010VIP
    Dined on 9/10/2010
    Food was great as always. They went out if their way to make a smaller portion of one of their entrees for me, which was delicious. Cocktails are interesting and well balanced.
    Special Features:
    late-night find, neighborhood gem, romantic, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Second dinner at Russell House
    DreaVIP
    Dined on 9/4/2010
    Second dinner at Russell House Tavern. Food and service were both very good. The menu is nice and varied, although it stand to have use a few more vegetarian-friendly options, and the beer selection is terrific. We were a little perplexed as to why the hostess would attempt to seat us at a noisy bar table in a busy aisle when the restaurant was only 50% full (we declined and were seated at an acceptable table elsewhere), but our visit was otherwise enjoyable.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Enjoyed the mix of 'basics'
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 9/2/2010
    Enjoyed the mix of 'basics' and adventurous items on the menu, as well as the varied and excellent bar and wine menus. The serrano ham with torched honeyed manchego is a must. The 'small plates' are generous and I like that there is a choice of several items in either a small plate or appetizer size. I split a raw bar plate with my husband and had 3 other small plates of my own...could have gone with 2 small plates of my own and been satisfied. Service was friendly, informed, and attentive. I'm going back and recommending to other people too.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • It was fantastic--the food
    KimSVIP
    Dined on 8/28/2010
    It was fantastic--the food was wonderful, the waitress excellent. BUT the woman who led us to our table was clueless, shy, and not friendly. In an almost empty restaurant (6:45pm)--downstairs--she led us to a 2-person table right next to another 2-person table where the customers were clearly spread out (half onto the other table) and having a good time. I indicated surprise and frustration, and was annoyed when she refused to seat us at a 4-person table. We found another 2-person table which ended up being find -- but there wasn't any apology. FYI the 4-person table was still empty when we left.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The excellent craft cocktails
    KimbaVIP
    Dined on 8/25/2010
    The excellent craft cocktails try the trafalgar square and the food from the lamb shank, chacuterie plate, to the bleu cheese hangar steak with bread pudding were awesome. However, we were in the unfortunate position of being at a 2 person high top squished between a 4 top that grew to a 6 top (someone was almost in my lap while the other person hovered btw the tables and large birthday party with numerous high tops on the other side that went from 12 people to who knows how many. This ended up with us having to wait long periods of time for refills on drinks and in getting our food. We also ended up getting the wrong dessert, but our server did not charge us for this. Will try again though.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, fit for foodies, good for groups, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great cocktail menu, and one
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 8/24/2010
    Great cocktail menu, and one of the most interesting desserts I've ever had - a semolina yogurt cake, which was far far better than anticipated. Also, service was excellent, especially considering that it was restaurant week, which tends to stress out the waitstaff (understandably).
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Cocktails- excellent (we had
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 8/20/2010
    Cocktails- excellent (we had the Moscow Mule and the Harvard Yard) The Jonah Crab Claws were not really worth the cost but other shellfish was good And for goodness sake you MUST get the Serrano Ham with Torched Pear...and the Lamb
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Front of the house is in a
    MEOtheLeoVIP
    Dined on 8/20/2010
    Front of the house is in a shambles. We have been a few times. Had one pleasant server, but his timing was far off. The host/reservation process is an absolute cluster. Even though they are using OpenTable, they are still a mess.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • our server was amazing! i
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 8/17/2010
    our server was amazing! i wish they had a cheese plate but every morsel of food was stellar.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, fit for foodies, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Went for restaurant week and
    cb8189
    Dined on 8/16/2010
    Went for restaurant week and was pleasantly surprised by how amazing the food was. Don't be put off by the street level bar room, the downstairs area is huge and very nice. The music was a little to loud for my taste but overall a very good dining experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Menu seems like it was trying
    DinerVIP
    Dined on 8/13/2010
    Menu seems like it was trying to be a little ambitious, which made it feel like it lacked focus. Salt & Pepper shrimp recommended by the server as an appetizer was okay; the burger on a griddle English muffin was much better, but still just a burger. Raw bar selections and the Scotch egg on other tables looked top-nothc. Would give this another try, and the space (we sat in the basement) is very cool.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Our dinner was served downstairs
    BrownWithWhite
    Dined on 8/13/2010
    Our dinner was served downstairs where there is a nice bar scene. Food was fair. I would recommend this restaurant as a fun spot for drinks when you are in th area.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Not as amazing this time as
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 8/1/2010
    Not as amazing this time as it usually is, with some oversights and pacing issues, but the server was very attentive after that and tried to compensate with dessert on the house - genuine effort to make up for the slip, which I appreciated. I will return many times, and am sure things will be up to par.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • We were impressed with the
    Blanco
    Dined on 7/30/2010
    We were impressed with the food and the service...not cheap but worth the money.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Our first visit to the Russell
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 7/23/2010
    Our first visit to the Russell House will not be our last. The noise level is the only aspect of the visit that was negative and management was extremely accommodating in finding us the most quiet corner of the restaurant. Our culinary experience was enhanced by an informative, attentive and excellent server. The food was delicious overall.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic