The Merchant

The Merchant

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.themerchantboston.com/
  • Phone: 6174826060x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Sunday: 10:30am-2am
    Monday-Saturday: 11am-2am
  • Payment Options: AMEX,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Contemporary American
  • Executive Chef: Matt Foley
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Full Bar, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Private Party Facilities: We are a short walk from the Downtown Crossing T stop on the red and orange lines. We are a slightly longer walk from Park Street station on the green line or State Street on the blue line. And we are close to all bus lines that service Downtown Crossing.
  • Private Party Contact: Tena Reynolds 6174826060x

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Arch St
  • Public Transit: We are a short walk from the Downtown Crossing T stop on the red and orange lines. We are a slightly longer walk from Park Street station on the green line or State Street on the blue line. And we are close to all bus lines that service Downtown Crossing.
  • Parking: Public Lot
  • Parking Details: Validated parking available at 33 Arch Street parking garage.
A word from The Merchant
At The Merchant, we make almost all our fare from scratch. Executive chef Matt Foley previously worked at both Craigie on Main in Cambridge and Sycamore in Newton. The Merchant is a big space that served for more than a century as a leather store. We've brought in high-top tables near the windows ... a 40-foot bar on one side of the room … and more formal dining spots on the opposite side. We have a semi-private dining room in back, and another dining room downstairs. For our menu, Chef Foley cures and smokes all the meat in house. Our burger is top-notch, as are other dishes like steak and eggs, sweetbread nuggets, and “rustic” desserts. The Merchant serves salads, sandwiches ($10-$12), and more for the lunch rush. And for dinner, we are a full-service brasserie (with most entrees ranging from $20-$24). The bar has 36 beers on tap, many of them locally brewed, plus a full selection of craft cocktails to serve our patrons, especially the after-work crowd.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerGreat for Lunch
The Merchant reviews from OpenTable diners
83 reviews since May 21, 2014
Overall Rating3.9
  • Food4
    Service3.9
  • Ambiance3.8
    Noise LevelEnergetic
85% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
great for lunch (41)vibrant bar scene (38)good for groups (27)neighborhood gem (26)fit for foodies (23)hot spot (16)notable wine list (9)romantic (8)great for brunch (7)special occasion (7)late-night find (4)Show More
  • Snowy30
    Dined on 9/11/2014
    The only negative was that the the cushion bench (high table on the bar side) was short so that you felt like you were leaning forward for the entire time.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • It was nuts!
    Firsttimers
    Dined on 9/7/2014
    The restaurant had 1-hr wait times both Sat. & Sun. We booked thru Open Table. We approached the 3 greeters who reacted completely inconvenienced by our checking in. Apparently, they never "recorded" our actual name upon check-in & couldn't locate our reservation after waiting for 15 mins. But I did get a lovely email from Open Table the next day saying we never checked-in...annoying!Our server was wicked busy. Be sure to order appetizers when they take your drink order cuz they won't be back for 15+mins. The wedge salad was nothing special. Chicken fried chicken and burger were excellent though. The table next to us never received their apps prior to their entrees, & only received them after inquiring.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Overall - not a good experience
    md22
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    Service was terrible - waited over ten minutes before anyone came over. Tuna sashimi was not good. Did appreciate waiter getting us a dish on the late night menu when they weren't serving it yet. Oysters were delicious and the only highlight.
    Special Features:
    late-night find, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • 2nd time around
    JennTaranto
    Dined on 9/4/2014
    My first experience at the Merchant was stellar. Great food, great company and great service. This most recent time all else was the same except the service. The waiter seemed lost, as if he didn't know what came next. I asked him for one more minute before ordering since one of our party wasn't ready yet and he came back in 15 minutes. Our drinks were never replenished and we were never asked if we wanted more drinks throughout the entire meal. At the end of the meal we were never offered dessert menus - I had to ask for them. At the end I had to wave him down to get the bill. It's amazing how much the service affects the dining experience. If that had been my first time I might not ever go back again...
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Rose
    Dined on 9/4/2014
    I have been several times for lunch. Service was very slow. In a business environment a restaurant needs to get diners in and out in an hour.
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • great beer, loud
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/3/2014
    Great downtown crossing location, excellent bar and beer selection. Food is solid if a somewhat limited menu. biggest downside is noise the acoustics are bad enough that it is hard to have a conversation. hopefully they add some sound damping.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The Merchant Sold Us
    SuburbanFoodie
    Dined on 8/26/2014
    My wife and I went to The Merchant for Dine Out Boston. I specifically picked it for location and the interest of their DOB menu, which was online. We were quite pleased with the quality of the food. As they had two picks for each course (three for the main), we had every dish on the menu except one main. We liked them all - they were creative and quite tasty. Service was adequate although a bit inconsistent even though all the different servers were nice and friendly. The noise level was fairly loud for a half-full restaurant - they need more sound-absorbing panels on the walls and ceiling. I would go there again and try the regular menu.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Surpassed expectations
    Moogoo
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    I expected yet another "bistro" style restaurant - 20th century Parisian flair meets upscale-yet-casual dining - but The Merchant outperformed. Bar: the trendy Fernet & Coke (oddly & inaccurately called Chupacabra here) was simple & delicious with sugar-cane Coke, & my partner was excited to find Portland's Widmer on tap - a hard find in Boston. Space is vibrant & beautiful with just attentive enough staff. Presence of flat-screen TVs was disappointing. Loved the indie pop music, although high base made the music sound "oontz oontz". Dining area: mostly empty after 9 & not as attractive as the bar. Food was solid; nothing outstanding but still quite good. Our waiter was perfect - likable, very accommodating, & didn't over check in.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    Absolutely terrible service. The food was good but nothing special.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great service with great drinks
    Bash
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    Our wait staff was fantastic. The heart of the dishes was superb, but the sides tasted like they were soaked in butter. The cocktails were good, but the overall bill was overpriced for what I'd expect to get if we were to go to a comparable restaurant in Cambridge.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The Merchant of Boston
    cageyleftyVIP
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    is very generous in their service, their quality, and their ambiance. Very nice addition to the Downtown Crossing area, which is becoming a hot spot for local restaurants. Service was terrific and attentive, food was first rate. Only suggestion is a few more options on the menu would be good, but that'll come hopefully.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great chef, hidden gem
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    A great meal and relaxing spot. We were staying at The Ames near Old State House. The Merchant was a wonderful local alternative to the Long Wharf tourist spots. Best burger I have ever had. Returned for dinner another day. Price in line for good quality menu and service
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Way too loud for me
    MrBill
    Dined on 7/31/2014
    Noise level was deafening. Food was ok not bad not great but ok. I will say the fish I ordered was fresh but the preparation and overcooking took away from the final product. Service was very attentive so although that was a bonus it cannot overcome the noise and just ok food. My hunch is that if I had complained they would have done anything to make it right but sometimes it just is not worth it.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Improving...
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004VIP
    Dined on 7/30/2014
    I went on their opening day several months ago. My guest and I would have rated the food as fair at that time. Each visit the food improves. When busy the place is noisy. If you are in the area and looking for something quick and casual, give it a try.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fantastic Brunch
    hockiemackVIP
    Dined on 7/20/2014
    I had a gilt city deal to try weekend brunch. Given location, this place is probably bustling during the work week but unfortunately dead on the weekends. Too bad for those who miss out on brunch. My croque madame was amazing. Perfect amount of salt, big sandwich. The big breakfast includes some of the best sausage I've had! Bloody Marys with bacon infused vodka... I died. Our server was awesome. He perfected our bloody's.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The Merchant: A Review
    reviewer7
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    About four months ago, we met a couple of friends here for a few late-night drinks on a Saturday. The cocktails were solid and they had a distinguished beer selection. However, the place was kind of empty. This was unfortunate because the space inside is great. Last week, we decided to try The Merchant again, this time for some dinner. Again, the drinks were solid and beer list comprehensive. Even more, the food was delicious. However, we were sad to see the space still so empty for a Saturday night.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great all around!
    setdine
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    Went here using a Gilt City voucher. Had the tuna sashimi for an appetizer-very very good! I got the dayboat halibut for dinner and my boyfriend got the scallops--both very good! We also got cocktails... can't remember the name but again very good! Would definitely try it again.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A real find!
    GembaGirl
    Dined on 7/7/2014
    Ate dinner with a group of friends and work colleagues on a Monday night. Everything we ordered was totally fabulous! Think I can safely say that the roast chicken was the best I ever had anywhere! Everyone was totally satisfied with their meals. I'll definitely return next time I'm in the area!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Off to a bad start
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 7/2/2014
    We were 10 minutes early for our reservation and the hostesses made us wait until our exact reservation time before they would seat us. There were plenty of empty tables and no one else waiting to be seated. It left a very bad taste and ruined the rest of our lunch. Because of this incident and the noise level, I probably won't return.
    Special Features:
    hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 6/14/2014
    Everything was spot on! Atmosphere cool and comfortable, food was outstanding love that everything is sourced fresh from farms, you can tastes it! Tried spinach dumplings & duck l'orange both were delicious! Can't wait to come back for the Sunday brunch menu! Everything made fresh in house definatly one of the best restaurants I've been to in Boston.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food, but service needs help
    CityDinerVIP
    Dined on 6/6/2014
    This was my second time at The Merchant for a business lunch. Overall the food was good -- I didn't happen to like the fried tofu appetizer, but that's just personal taste. The service, however, was equal parts haughty and inept. Our waiter, hoping to seem authoritative (I think) responded to my question about leaving the ham off the croque madame (I am a vegetarian), "No, absolutely not. Then it would just be a grilled cheese." Which is neither true nor appropriate. I understand that sometimes chefs do not want to customized every dish, that the dishes are chosen and constructed for a reason, but this waiter was just plain rude about it. He did something similar when my friend asked about another dish. Is this how staff are trained?
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • good time
    Content
    Dined on 6/4/2014
    I met some friends at the Merchant for dinner and it was a great experience. We decided to eat at the bar to watch the playoff hockey game and the bartender was quite attentive and helpful. The food was very good. I recommend, especially for after-work drinks, lunch, or dinner.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, late-night find, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Crowded, good service
    urbanover40
    Dined on 5/29/2014
    Lunch was packed and noisy, but still able to hear and talk if we raised our voices. Price and food fine. Not a great place for a business lunch.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Nice bar...food just ok
    goodforadrink
    Dined on 5/28/2014
    The place seems nice and fresh and new. Good bar area and dinning room. All very open which means a little loud but tolerable. Unfortunately, the food was just so-so. I had a cobb salad that wasn't the freshest and my colleague had a cheeseburger that was rather plain.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 59 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 21, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.1
    • Food4.1
    • Ambiance3.9
    • Service4
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • The following 52 reviews are from the The Merchant reviews archive.
  • Still working out the kinks
    cousinmeg
    Dined on 5/17/2014
    Always like trying something new, but maybe I should have waited a bit longer. Staff not really clear on what they are serving when. We were given 3 separate menus with completely different food items and then when we went to order were told that the small paper menu items were only served Mon-Fri and it was Saturday. So why give us that menu in the first place. So then I tried to order a sandwich off another menu and was told that was the lunch menu only offered until 7pm yet the menu written on the wall said it was the late night menu. I ended up ordering the mushroom risotto, and I've had better and the portion size was more like an app then an entree. Not sure I'd want to try this again given the cost.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food
    BostondineVIP
    Dined on 5/16/2014
    Very good food. The restaurat was loud, but the meal was very enjoyable.
    Special Features:
    hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great after-work bar scene
    Jered
    Dined on 5/16/2014
    The Merchant has an extremely energetic bar, along with an excellent beer and cocktail selection. They join the ranks of the downtown after work bar/bistros, and are the first in this surely up-and-coming neighborhood. Appetizers are good, but the entree menu was surprisingly lackluster except for the duck, which was excellent. Given that two-thirds of what we saw coming out of the kitchen was burgers, though, they seems to be simply catering to the clientele. I'd love to see some proper fine dining in this neighborhood, but in the meantime The Merchant has nailed the current market.
    Special Features:
    hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Excellent Pre-Show Dining
    TexasLawn
    Dined on 5/9/2014
    I used Open Table to reserve a table for 4 and we were seated as soon as we walked in- which was a surprise considering how busy they were at 6 p.m. on a Friday night. Our servers were great! The food was excellent and the drinks were extraordinary (Old Cuban cocktail and they have Yuengling on tap!). My only complaint was the noise level. There doesn't appear to be any sound buffer in the restaurant and it was tough to carry on a conversation without shouting. That issue aside, I will gladly return for their outstanding food and service!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great food but noisy
    FoodieMD
    Dined on 5/9/2014
    Friday after work crowd noise makes it nearly impossible to have a conversation unless you don't mind yelling.
    Special Features:
    late-night find, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Awesome burger
    Dawn16
    Dined on 5/9/2014
    Best burger I've had in a while. Cooked just right, tasty sauce and bacon! The roll is brioche which is also a plus. Very good skinny salty fries too.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • excellent lunch
    CharlieVIP
    Dined on 5/9/2014
    A friend and I have been talking about getting there for lunch for weeks and finally made it last Friday. We opted to sit at the beautiful long bar. We shared some chicken wings to start - very good but I would have preferred them crispier. I had the Crouque Madam after seeing it served. They will do 1/2 and 1/2 sides so I got both french fries and lightly dressed greens. The ham in the sandwich had a deep smoked flavor - really good and not your average deli ham. The egg was cooked perfectly. My buddy had fish and chips and declared them great. They looked very good - light and crisp. We will go again for sure. Our server/bartender was very knowledgable and nice. We will return often.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, late-night find, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great service
    Mraye
    Dined on 5/7/2014
    Wait staff was outstanding and food was top-notch! Much love to The Merchant.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Food was ok, good bar scene
    SG1783
    Dined on 5/6/2014
    The food was ok, bread on my sandwich was really crispy and hard to bite into, almost overdone. My friend got a salad and said the chicken tasted funny. Nice decor though, and the bar was really big, would be better for drinks rather than food I think.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • great spot for a client lunch
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 5/5/2014
    enjoyed the food and decor/experience at The Merchant. will be back to experience bar scene
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Slower than molasses
    Lunch
    Dined on 5/2/2014
    The restaurant was not terribly crowded for a Friday lunch, yet it still took about 45-50 minutes for the two of us to receive our sandwiches for lunch. After awhile, the waiter noticed that the food was very slow, so he came over to apologize and told us he would check with the kitchen. He came back and said our food would be out in "2 seconds". 10 minutes later, we got our food. I think that might have been the worst part - if our order was forgotten, he should have told us that it would be another 10 minutes. I have never walked out of a restaurant without eating before and I regret that I didn't do so this time. The food was decent, although the wrap on which my chicken salad was served was stale. My coworker enjoyed his burger.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Bring earplugs
    EatAnddrinkoutoften
    Dined on 5/1/2014
    Merchant is a hot spot for the after work crowd that has a good menu and very tasty food at a moderate price. Upon entering, however, you are blown over by the decibel cringing noise level. We had to scream to be heard to the hostess who sat us and even she admitted how uncomfortable it was. We asked for a seat farthest from the bar and we were put in the last booth possible, but with an open floor plan and bar the length of the restaurant, it was hard to escape the noise or to carry on any conversation. We ate as fast as we could, skipped dessert which sounded great and hightailed out as fast as we could. Until they do something with the noise issue, we will not return.
    Special Features:
    Late-Night Find, Hot Spot, Vibrant Bar Scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Great Food
    LoveGoodFoodVIP
    Dined on 4/28/2014
    We enjoyed everything we had - mussels (especially), pork belly, duck, cocktails & beer. Service is attentive and atmosphere is great.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Good for Groups, Vibrant Bar Scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great experience
    bbli
    Dined on 4/25/2014
    Went here with friends late Saturday night. Love the ambience. Great vibe. Have a private room downstairs. Service was very good. Extensive wine, cocktail, and beer list with seasonal and local spotlights. We had the burger. It was outstanding. Done perfectly. The aoili was delicious, we asked for some with our fries. The fries were little lackluster and the bread wasn't warm, but otherwise everything was top notch. We really enjoyed it!
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Late-Night Find, Vibrant Bar Scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • great food and wine!
    kpmoctober10
    Dined on 4/25/2014
    I have the oysters, tuna, and cod everything was delicious!
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Good for Groups, Late-Night Find, Hot Spot, Vibrant Bar Scene, Notable Wine List
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Terrible for Business lunch
    citygirlVIP
    Dined on 4/23/2014
    I was really excited to try The Merchant. I loved the atmosphere when I walked in. But I have to say, there was an unacceptable amount of time between when our order was placed and when we got our food. The waiter finally came over to say our food would arrive shortly and then someone else said the same - possibly a manager. However, a 90 minute lunch for 2 sandwiches and an entree was beyond rediculous. I can only assume the waiter forgot to put our order in. Other than an apology - we were not offered compensation for our delay. I found this disappointing. A new restuarant should take these opportunities to win new customers not scare them off.
    Special Features:
    special occasion, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic