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
214 reviews since May 5, 2014
Overall Rating4
  • Food4.1
    Service4
  • Ambiance3.9
    Noise LevelModerate
89% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (98)neighborhood gem (75)good for groups (75)vibrant bar scene (67)great for outdoor dining (52)special occasion (52)great for lunch (50)great for brunch (50)hot spot (46)late-night find (41)romantic (37)kid-friendly (16)notable wine list (15)scenic view (4)Show More
  • Good enough
    Lauralgc
    Dined on 8/28/2014
    Very busy restaurant&bar, with good selection of beers and some interesting dishes. Appetizers and small plates are the same size, really small, like tapas, so it's fun to order different ones to share. The octopus mortadella was really tasty, while the marrow pierogi were kind of blend. The pork trio was perfectly cooked and seasoned and very good.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Fantastic Find
    Tuch
    Dined on 8/27/2014
    Had tickets to the ART & decided to dine before the show. Haven't taken part in much of the goings on in Harvard Sq for years and thought that Russell House Tavern may be too hip for our senior group. Almost chose a non-pub restaurant instead. But so glad we didn't. Out whole group had a fantastic dining experience.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • foodly
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    Food was not that good. Kind of gloppy. Home fries, however, were delicious. Waiter appeared hungover but was polite and responsive.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent
    itb1212
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    Service was slow, especially with the initial drinks - could have been because of the number of patrons. Excellent food, although the rock shrimp salad was a bit bland. Drinks were great! I had the Keyser Soze... amazing.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice place for resturant week.
    Russelldatenight
    Dined on 8/20/2014
    Went here for resturant week and got the two course dinner with the wine pairing, good deal of 12$ for a glass with both courses. Only downside was the wine came after we already made our way through most of our dishes, but when they came they were good. We sat outside under the lights and it was a wonderful place to sit. Only one loud bus went by, but otherwise it was easy to forget we were on a main street. Great food and good, friendly service. Would definitely go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • greatdining56
    Dined on 8/20/2014
    A good time was had by all. The service was perfect and quick as we were on our way to a play. The price was very reasonable.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Large Groups
    okok
    Dined on 8/19/2014
    I needed two tables for a large group and got conflicting information about the possibility of additional chairs to accommodate my guests. One one occasion, two guests were asked to share a chair. However, between myself and the server, Rachel, there was clear communication and she was able to provide us with everything we needed. She was also friendly, courteous and patient. I couldn't have asked for a better server.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Mildly disappointing
    thomasVIP
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    The dirty caesar salad was tasty and huge, with lots of cheese, but I didn't taste the anchovies or kale. The oxtail and marrow pierogies didn't have the richness and flavor I was expecting. The smoked lamb belly meatballs were tasty, but the tomato sauce was extremely salty. The steak tartare was delicious. The scallops and pork belly were okay but unremarkable.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Delicious
    Mjcg
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    Not what you would expect from a "tavern"... Food was simply delicious!
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excelllent food and atmosphere
    charlesst
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    Great dinner the other night at the Russell House Tavern. I've been there before and always enjoyed what's been served to me. The other night was no exception but the combination of food and late night energy was just what I needed after a long work week. Service was great as well. I can only hear from my right side but found the noise level very acceptable, even for a Friday evening when noise tends to reach its peak in many restaurants. Would recommend to anyone looking for great food and a lively atmosphere.
    Special Features:
    late-night find, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food, not so great ambience
    fluffydiner
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    The food was awesome. It really ruined the mood, however, when our group was seated next to a table of four annoying kids aged 4-7. Their parents, of course, seated themselves further away, knowing full well that they'd go insane sitting close to their own offspring. The burden thus fell onto other people -- us, in this case. They screamed, they shouted, they dropped a plate on the floor next to us, and they fought with one another like jungle beasts. What can I say? The only pleasure I can derive from watching these kids is knowing that it must be real hell at home.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Delicious Lunch
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 8/4/2014
    We enjoyed our recent lunch at Russell House Tavern. The Seared Yellowfin Tuna BLT and the R. House Grass-Fed Burger were both incredibly flavorful. The atmosphere is welcoming as is the staff. Draft beer selection is a nice addition to a great menu.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 8/3/2014
    Get the pizza with 4 poached eggs atop- or the anti-eggs Benedict!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great small plates
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    Between the small plates and raw bar selections, there's more than enough for a fun, adventurous meal without even getting an entree. There is a definite bar feel to parts of the seating area. Wine selection is mostly domestic, but still good.
    Special Features:
    special occasion, late-night find, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Rick
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    Food was great; portions not excessively large; our waiter was great - made good suggestions. But noise level was beyond belief.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • mastereater
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    It was our first time at Russel House...rather tightly packed. The table had to be made not to wobble...the food was very good. A bit pricey for a very noisy and not so fancy restaurant.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent Service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    I was impressed with how Russell House Tavern handled my special request to slip me the check so my friend couldn't pay for our dinner. Equally impressive was the food and the wait staff. I really enjoyed the experience.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2010VIP
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    Soggy French fries were a bummer but my steak was good. It was supposed to have asparagus but it was buried under way too many French fries for one person and there wasn't a lot of it. It was enough French fries for four people. Next time I would skip the French fries and ask for more vegetables. The service was terrific. We had an issue and it was handled superbly, deftly and we very much appreciated it. My friends liked what they got. I think I would order something different next time.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Solid choice in Harvard Square
    mackl
    Dined on 7/30/2014
    Good educated up to date style American tavern with good wines better on basics like steak frites less so on fish eg Arctic char over cooked
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A great place to meet old friends
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 7/27/2014
    I met a good friend of mine who was visiting Boston in Harvard Square. I've heard good reviews about Russell House and I was impressed. Dinner was amazing and we convinced ourselves to order dessert to prolong our visit. I would come back anytime.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, late-night find, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • New Yorker in Boston
    FoodisGood
    Dined on 7/21/2014
    Food was delicious, consider the Beet Salad! However, there were a few disappointments. I bit too loud for our taste so we opted for the outdoor dining which lacked ambience and it felt somewhat disconnected from the restaurant. My husband's dinner was compliments of the manager because the hamburger was under cooked but it was delicious. No.....really! Not because it was free but the caramelized onions, the pickles, and the fritters were fantastic! The food was so delicious we would definitely try it again when we are back in Boston.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • MelanieVIP
    Dined on 7/21/2014
    The lunch menu seemed limited regarding the options available but the server was happy to help me combine items to pick a good meal - the ahi tuna on the nicoise salad. It was very tasty!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A real tavern!
    golocal
    Dined on 7/20/2014
    I was concerned from the pictures on the website that it w going to be more upscale than what I was looking for, since I mostly wanted to try local beers. Once there, I immediately felt at home. Great service; fantastic beer list, including a great variety of locals; great food, from the basics to well beyond regular bar fare.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great Time!
    Tres1
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    Sound what loud downstairs but the food and service was great!
    Special Features:
    late-night find, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • superb meal
    Eat4Fun
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    My son suggested this place; he had been there several times but never for dinner. we were four, ranging in age from 18 to 65. We all had a great meal -- really excellent seafood especially -- and the service was friendly and attentive.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • hopingweeatoutside
    Dined on 7/14/2014
    In the original reservation, it was requested that we be sitted outside. Once we got there it was never mentioned - it would be nice if they followed the reservations through open table much more closely.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Service
    Lise
    Dined on 7/13/2014
    Our waiter was nice, not very attentive but very impatient for us to leave.It was 9:30 pm on a Sunday night, we had finished our dinner and desert and were waiting on a friend to show up.We weren't sure if we were going to have another drink or not, but our waiter kept coming over and asking if we wanted to close out, do you want another drink, are you going to continue to wait. We weren't sure what his problem was as there were plenty of empty tables.We didn't want to irrate our waiter any more so we contacted our friend and told him to meet us at another establishment in Harvard Square.Needless to say I won't be going to back to Russell House Tavern.I only give restaurants one chance.Too many others to waste my time with places like this.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, late-night find, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Impresses!
    Luv2try
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    My first time here - my friends and I celebrated a "big" birthday. We ordered all small plates , the food was yummy, loved the salad & raw bar, drinks were very good ......
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Solid meal, fantastic waitstaff!
    foodiemaine
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    I took a good friend out for her birthday to the Russell House Tavern this past Saturday night. We enjoyed the food and were able to secure a wonderful corner table! The most striking thing about the restaurant though, was our exceptional waiter! Friendly and helpful (when needed). He answered our questions, made recommendations (when asked) and put absolutely no pressure on us to leave, even though we stayed and talked for hours!
    Special Features:
    special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • YUMMMMAZING!
    Nikkideann89
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    The food was delicious & the staff/service was wonderful! Will definitely dine in again! :)
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, great for lunch, late-night find, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Harvard Square icon
    RussiaDirector
    Dined on 7/10/2014
    Nice spot for a late evening meal. Had to wait a bit for my table even with reservation, but was worthy of my patience. Recommend the Steak Frittes. Lite meal and the asparagus sauce was a good match for the steak slices and pile of crispy fries. It came a bit cool and would have preferred it to be hotter. But it was not cold and still hit the spot. Service was good, but energy in packed room was overwhelming at times.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, late-night find, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The Basement of Harvard Square
    heidisg
    Dined on 7/8/2014
    In summary, it's a neat, lively place, reasonable priced with very good food. The most striking element of the Russell House Tavern is the quickness with which you are ushered into the basement to eat. One assumes seating overlooking some aspect of the bustling Harvard Square tableaux. I was quickly disabused of this notion, "We're not seating people on this level now," and you find yourself descending into a dark world with no view of passersby, just basement walls. However, once seated, the atmosphere is great, the lighting is good, the menu interesting. I ordered the Leek and Mushroom pizza for 13$ which was excellent and worth the trip. The wife got the tip to tail fritters. The soda water flat. Service upbeat but harried.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • good food, limited menu
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 7/6/2014
    Enjoyed my choice 'anti-benedict' eggs with home fries. One in my party got the 'breakfast pizza' - very good and easily enough for two. Another got the EBLT (egg) on a croissant, and the fourth a standard 'farmhouse omelette'. Brunch cocktails / beer were good and brought the tab to around $80 for four before tip. Nice atmosphere, although we were seated on the 'lower level'. There are a few outside dining tables on the first floor. Thought the menu was diverse, but somewhat limited. Would go back again.....
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Just okay
    ChancePinkMohawkVIP
    Dined on 7/4/2014
    One of two burgers very overcooked, server rarely checked on us, out of tuna, which was what we went there for. Atmosphere was really nice.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Awful service.
    Ohfoodie
    Dined on 7/3/2014
    I've gone a couple times before. The service was never great but manageable enough where I would go back due to the good food and ambience. This time, however, we were not once greeted nor paid attention to by the waitress, Danielle. We had to flag different waiters and waitresses to get water, bread, and to order. This is deterred me and the visiting party enough that we will never be going to Russell House Tavern again.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • First visit-will return
    KateD
    Dined on 7/2/2014
    Drink menu was fun & imaginative. Food was good. Service a bit slow. We will definitely return.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, late-night find, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food, lousy service
    Gah650
    Dined on 6/29/2014
    This could be a GREAT place. The food is very good. The service, however, is sub-amateur. They're clearly pressed to find good servers/don't want to or can't pay for good servers so they're hiring college kids who just don't have a connection to the very good food. They seem indifferent and out of place, and it makes the restaurant feel a amateurish, when the food is so far from it. Compare the service here with service at places where the food (and price) is of similar quality nearby (harvest, Rialto) no comparison.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Place for a Business Lunch
    Fred
    Dined on 6/24/2014
    Had business with people from Harvard U and they could walk to the Tavern. Nice round table sat 7 and could talk w/o raising our voices. Food was very good and I like the complimentary water bottles (still and sparkling) saves from having to ask for more water during lunch. Wait staff was friendly and efficient never disturbed our conversations!
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good Meal
    BelaS
    Dined on 6/23/2014
    I have been to Russell House many times, this was a bit disappointing. While the food was good (Steak frites was served like steak tips, not sliced and grilled shrimp soft) the noise level was really loud and it was hard to have a dinner conversation. The service was good, and again the food was good, just not fantastic.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Tasty, great experience
    NotAFoodie
    Dined on 6/20/2014
    I was meeting a friend's coworker for lunch about a possible job offer. We were originally to eat downstairs but when I saw that an outdoor table had opened I asked if we could switch. The hostess said yes and that made all the difference. I got both the specials, lobster bisque as a starter and an atlantic perch salad. Very good. I felt the amount of perch was a little small for the special. Taste wise it was delicious. Got a small attitude from the waiter when he asked if it was okay that our diet cokes would actually be pepsi and I smiled when I said, "of course". Seemed a little cold attitude as if I was making fun of him. Otherwise he was quick, attentive and informative while also being quiet to allow us to talk.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.