Russell House Tavern
Russell House Tavern

Russell House Tavern

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://russellhousecambridge.com/
  • Phone: 6175003055x
  • 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
209 reviews since May 20, 2014
Overall Rating4
  • Food4.1
    Service4
  • Ambiance3.9
    Noise LevelModerate
88% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (97)neighborhood gem (76)vibrant bar scene (71)good for groups (67)great for outdoor dining (51)great for lunch (47)special occasion (46)hot spot (46)great for brunch (46)romantic (38)late-night find (35)kid-friendly (16)notable wine list (14)scenic view (3)Show More
  • Fun brunch
    ramonamv
    Dined on 5/4/2014
    We had a perfect experience at The Russell House Tavern for a Sunday brunch. The cocktail menu looked amazing, but we all stuck to coffee and water. We tried the omelet of the day, French Toast and a breakfast pizza. All were delicious. My home fries were lukewarm bordering on cold, and my toast was dry and tasteless, but those were the only flaws. It's a loud, fun place. Our table was ready for us and the service was friendly.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Like the Ambiance
    SimpyAMDVIP
    Dined on 5/3/2014
    Made late night dinner reservations for a Saturday night as we like to see what the scene is like for after dinner. We sat downstairs, but on a nice night, which it was, I would have liked to sit upstairs near the open windows- next time. Oysters were fresh, we had a good Cab Franc (don't see many of those on the menus) and it was delish. Oysters were fresh and our entree's excellent. It was a very nice dinner with good service.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Consistently Delicious
    Glove
    Dined on 5/3/2014
    Russell House Tavern is always consistently satisfying. All of our food was delicious and the service was great. I have some food sensitivities and the waitress was really considerate about it. I sometimes feel like I'm being annoying when ordering and making special requests, but she was very accommodating. She also heard my boyfriend mention that it was my birthday and at the end of the meal she brought out 3 scoops of sorbet with a candle in it. It was the only dessert that didn't have any dairy in it. She went out of her way to make the meal more special while still fitting in with my dietary restrictions. It was very much appreciated! And also always, their cocktails were amazing. The only bad thing was that they were out of Hendricks!
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, special occasion, Vibrant Bar Scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Nice brunch
    yumyum
    Dined on 5/3/2014
    Small menu options - but all executed very well. Some of the options are 'interesting' (green beans with red onion in an omelette), but delicious. Good bloody mary's and great staff. Although a request was added in the OpenTable reservation process for a table near a window or outside - our table was in the basement at the back corner near the kitchen, even though there was significant space upstairs. With that, I would recommend calling the restaurant to verify the request if you try to do the same. Overall great experience.
    Special Features:
    Great for Brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very pleasant brunch!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 5/3/2014
    We enjoyed attentive service and delicious food outside on a beautiful day in Harvard Square!
    Special Features:
    Great for Brunch, Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Go for the atmosphere
    kswen
    Dined on 5/1/2014
    Russel House Tavern has a great atmosphere and energy about it. We went for a graduation dinner and were disappointed about the food for the price. I wouldn't go back for a nice dinner, but I would love to return for beer and appetizers at the bar to watch a Bruins game.
    Special Features:
    Vibrant Bar Scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent Brunch but NOISY!
    emurphy625VIP
    Dined on 4/26/2014
    We went for brunch with our three kids. Food was delicious, service was great, and atmosphere was nice. But we could hardly hear each other. The high ceilings made for a loud echo and we had to almost yell at 11am to hear each other. I can only imagine it would get louder in the evening. I'd go back again, but without the kids.
    Special Features:
    Great for Brunch, Good for Groups, Vibrant Bar Scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Favorite spot in Cambridge!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 4/26/2014
    I love everything about this place! They have delicious food and they care about their sourcing habits! I'm not 21 quite yet, but next month Russell House will certainly be one of the first spots I go to for drinks . . . their cocktails look fantastic! The Pan Seared Atlantic Char is amazing, and the Slow Cooked Chicken, as well as the crispy Pork Belly Sandwich and the Sprout Pizza. The brunch menu's breakfast pizza is to die for delicious as well as the anti-benedict. I've obviously been a few times - I love the food, the people, and then environment they've created. I can't wait to go back :-)
    Special Features:
    Great for Brunch, Fit For Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem, Hot Spot, Vibrant Bar Scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • 2nd visit disappoints
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008VIP
    Dined on 4/24/2014
    We were excited to be returning to Russell Tavern but our 2nd visit didn't quite meet our expectations mostly because we had to wait too long for our food...people around us who ordered later were served earlier and our waiter became defensive when asked about it.
    Special Features:
    Good for Groups, Late-Night Find, Vibrant Bar Scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Russell House Tavern
    CookandDiner
    Dined on 4/24/2014
    Imaginative Menu, well executed and delicious, friendly service.
    Special Features:
    Great for Lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Bring earplugs
    quietude
    Dined on 4/16/2014
    While the menu at the Russell House is not particularly inventive, there are some appealing choices -- the arctic char salade nicoise (pronounced niswa by the server, tsk tsk), dirty caesar, and tuna tartar. Cooked foods are oversalted, especially the burgers. The noise level becomes intolerable even at lunch if the place is full, because all the surfaces are hard; worse at dinner when people are drinking too.
    Special Features:
    Great for Lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food
    CeliciaS
    Dined on 4/14/2014
    My friends and I had the mussels and pizza, and neither disappointed. The mushroom and leek pizza is a particular favourite since I had it the first time, and I keep coming back to it. The noise level was quite high, but with the open window right next to us, it helped with being able to hear each other and have a conversation.
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • great stuff, great food
    luv2dine
    Dined on 4/13/2014
    I've eaten at Russell House Tavern a few times for dinner but never had brunch there until this past Sunday. The food was great - simple yet tasty, and nothing too out of the ordinary. Excellent Virgin Bloody Mary's! The wait staff are fun, engaging and make you feel like you're a regular.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Instant Favorite
    DHBOSTONVIP
    Dined on 4/12/2014
    We have been meaning to go to Russel House Tavern for some time and finally did it. The food was fantastic and it will be a place we go to many times over. The service was really good and very attentive and helpful with options.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Good food in Harvard Square
    docjenVIP
    Dined on 4/9/2014
    Warm, hip atmosphere and good food in Harvard Square. It's hard to find in those parts! Russell House is a gem.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best anniversary brunch!
    JVbrunch
    Dined on 4/6/2014
    My boyfriend and I met at Russell House, and wanted to celebrate our anniversary by going to Russell House for brunch, the place where it all began! We were very pleased that we sat at the very same table where we had our first date. Brian, our server, was fantastic. He truly made our meal enjoyable, and made us feel special and welcomed. Each time he came back to check in on us,he asked if there was anything else he could do to make our meal more special. He even brought us each a glass of champagne, on the house! The hostesses even wished us a happy anniversary on our way out the door! We truly appreciated these gestures, and will definitely be dining at Russell House again soon, and we'll be excited to see Brian again!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • russel house
    lbjgarner
    Dined on 4/5/2014
    Food was average. I love kale but Russell House's creamed kale was not good. The crab cakes didn't taste like real crab and were tasteless. Too noisy to talk.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • So loud!
    amifahmy
    Dined on 4/4/2014
    We were only a party of four and had to shout to hear each other. Not my idea of a fun dinner I'm afraid. Not their fault obviously but that's what the place is like in general
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Russell House is noisy, crowded
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 4/2/2014
    Russell House is noisy, crowded and overbooked even with reservations. I felt dinner was overcooked and the distance between our table and the diners at the next tables was nonexistent and disconcerting.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • First Night in Boston
    eleaflena
    Dined on 3/31/2014
    I arrived in the early afternoon and was so tired I barely wanted to go to dinner from my hotel. I got to Russell House and the hostesses were pretty nice, they seated me at my table and my server came over. She was super friendly and welcoming, and made me feel comfortable. I was there by myself which can sometimes be lonely but this place was great if you're alone. The food was great, the mashed potatoes were delicious. I'd definitely go back.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Love this casual gourmet pub
    DianeVIP
    Dined on 3/31/2014
    This was our first time at Russell House and we loved it. Had small plates so we could sample a number of intersting items and they were all great. Our server was friendly and very attentive. Can't wait to return.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • ERRATIC WAITER SERVICE
    Oysterlover
    Dined on 3/30/2014
    Ordered Tuna Tartare appetizer and our brunch entrees, the food was good, I waited our Tuna never showed up so we ate our food, but while I ask for my check the Tuna showed up, and we even had any utensils at our table, since we'd finished long ago!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great sandwich
    Jenn
    Dined on 3/29/2014
    I had the pork loin sandwich - truly an indulgence. You might only get through half do it because it is so savory. The portion was pretty good. Had it with 1/2 salad and 1/2 fries. The apple in the sandwich is a great touch (both texture and sweetness).
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Came with a large group for
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 3/26/2014
    Came with a large group for dinner. Took forever for our waiter to come by, then to get drinks then for food to arrive. He seemed like he was just tired and wanted to go home, but poor manner. Food was mostly poor. My duck was well cooked and tasty, but nothing it came with was any good, just some thick mush that was supposed to be a bean puree and halved artichokes from a jar. The "arctic char" was actually some sort of tough and overcooked bass or yellowfin, not sure exactly but it most certainly was NOT arctic char. Sunchoke soup was much too sweet, and the drinks were weak. To their credit they promptly fixed a mixed up drink order and took it off our bill. Dessert was pretty tasty. Upstairs bar area is much nicer and more interesting.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • a tavern PLUS
    BeachlovingGoddess
    Dined on 3/26/2014
    Located in an historic building, this place oozes authentic atmosphere. However it's the food that really surprises....really shouldn't be called a TAVERN which conjures up a picture of lots of drinks but uninspired food. THIS IS NOT THE CASE at Russell's. Yes they had lots of drinks -- the beer list seemed endless but it's the food I'd come back for. Our party had duck carpaccio, arctic char and the pork and each diner felt like licking his/her plate. Can't wait to return to discover what other goodies they offer. Love a place where when you study the menu, you have m-a-n-y options you are tempted to try. Would RECOMMEND to all.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list, late-night find, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A cozy delicious place to dine
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008VIP
    Dined on 3/25/2014
    Having walked by Russell House Tavern many times and only having seen the upstairs bar area I was amazed to be taken downstairs to a large, lovely dining room. The restaurant was at least 1/2 full and in spite of lively talking at tables, the acoustics were quite good and I had no difficulty talking to my husband. We went for Restaurant Week and the fixed price menu was appetizing. I also liked the option of being able to order off of that menu. I had a wonderful tasting arctic char entree while my husband, ever the carnivore, had pork prepared 3 ways and loved it. Service was friendly and attentive but not hovering, and the tab, with a bottle of wine was just under $100. I left the restaurant certain that I'd be back.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, vibrant bar scene, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Good food & drinks, good service
    LeniaVIP
    Dined on 3/25/2014
    The food is quite good - I especially recommend the local leaf salad with walnuts and dried figs, and any one of their pizzas, which are delicious. Great service, all the servers were very friendly and accommodating (they even charged my friend's phone in their storage room when he asked for an outlet). The cocktails are quite good as well. I recommend making a reservation for dinner as it gets quite busy.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great Place!
    SuzieQ
    Dined on 3/23/2014
    Five of us went last weekend for the start of Restaurant Week. Great food and fantastic service! We will be going back again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Not really great
    Alan2dineout
    Dined on 3/22/2014
    We were stuck in a corner down stairs. Mixed drink menu was really bad. needed to return a Scotch mixture which was nasty. My wife ordered a flat iron steak which was a very small steak with a pile high of french fries on top for $30. My chicken was OK, nothing special. Would not come back, very noisy, cold, below average service.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Overall, great restaurant
    LeniaVIP
    Dined on 3/20/2014
    Russel House Tavern is a great restaurant. The service is always excellent and the vibe is pleasant. I've tried the food twice and enjoyed it both times. I did have some nit-picky complaints about the food like, my chickpea patty was a bit dry (even though the flavor was excellent) and the sunchoke soup had whole peppercorns in it, which meant an attack of pepper in your mouth. Overall, though, it was a great experience and certainly one of the better places to go to in Harvard square. Just be sure to make reservations if you're going there for dinner as it tends to get packed!
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Overall the best place in Cambridge
    nils
    Dined on 3/15/2014
    I have eaten here many times and it is always amazingly delicious. The staff are always friendly, food is done fairly quickly, never had a single complaint. I used to work for a couple of Hotels in the area and often recommended Russel House Tavern and always recieved glowing reviews from the guests. I often go to brunch on weekends and dinner during the week and it does get quite busy so I always reserve through open table. Their drinks menu is a good size and they always have some unique dish or at least a new take on a classic dish. Also for the quality of the food and training staff I think they have very fair prices.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best flat bread I've ever had
    AJMBostonVIP
    Dined on 3/14/2014
    Everything I had was delicious, but the Brussels sprout pizza was out of this world. I will be back for it soon! Fabulous service as well!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene, great for brunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • always a great place for lunch
    Lene
    Dined on 3/13/2014
    I appreciated it opens at 11Am cuz I needed to find a place for brunch at that time. I was a little disappointed at menu selection, my own fault cuz this was during the week and the full brunch menu is only on weekends. The food selections we ordered were both excellent-- cheeseburger, and crab cakes. The ambiance downstairs was nice but a little dark for this time of day. The server was extremely nice, friendly and aimed to please.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best burger around
    heyrobertdavis
    Dined on 3/12/2014
    Grass fed beef, vermont cheddar, bacon, all on an english muffin. Always cooked to the right temp, and served juicy. With fries, salad, or one of the few places that will do half and half. I've eaten many other things here, and they were good - but the burger beats all. Add to this well-mixed but unpretentious cocktails and friendly, well-trained staff. Perfect after-work dinner spot in the Square.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • We have eaten at this restaurant
    Owlie
    Dined on 3/9/2014
    We have eaten at this restaurant several times in the past when we have visited Cambridge and have found the atmosphere to be pleasant and the food to be enjoyable "tavern fare". However, last Sunday evening something was definitely missing and the food was mediocre at best. Both my wife and our guest, a Harvard student for whom we were providing a break form dorm food, ordered the iron skillet fresh catch which was Pacific mahi and they were extremely disappointed. To the restaurant's credit they gave us full credit for the fish. My hamburger was okay but nothing special. We will not be returning unless we hear that quality of the menu and the food has improved.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • favorite Cambridge hangout
    riceysu
    Dined on 3/9/2014
    I love Russell House - been coming here since it first opened a few years ago. The benedict is great for brunch as usual, and the bar downstairs (not for brunch but for any other time) is always awesome.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Russell House has upped their game
    ThisDudeEatsFood
    Dined on 3/6/2014
    Re-visited RHT with a few friends last weekend, not expecting much (having avoided the place for over a year because of several trips to RHT with bad service and inconsistent food). But to our surprise our server was attentive, hostess was great. Good beer selection, good wine selection. Decent cocktails. Small Plates & Apps menu leaned on trendier dishes (nose to tail fritters, lamb-belly, house made charcuterie...) but also had a good raw bar and some more classic entrees. We all shared a smattering of small plates / apps / sides. Everyone was pleased and there wasn't a bad meal in the bunch. Downstairs was packed, and rightly so -- glad to see this place back and up to snuff.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, vibrant bar scene, great for brunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • I forgot our waitress's name
    happycustomer
    Dined on 3/6/2014
    I forgot our waitress's name but she is very nice and sweet.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Fun place for meeting people
    Scoots
    Dined on 3/4/2014
    The atmosphere even on a weekday can get pretty noisy, but the did was very good. It's a bit expensive, but worth the price.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, vibrant bar scene, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lovely brunchspot
    Eli1NA
    Dined on 3/2/2014
    This was our first time at Russell House , our main reason for choosing it was that their brunch began well before noon, unlike other restaurants in the area. The service was friendly. our food came quickly and then we were able to take our time and enjoy it without feeling rushed. We would certainly come back again for brunch and may try it for an evening special occasion.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.