Atasca

4.1
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330 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Portuguese
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About

Atasca is a Portuguese restaurant that also does take-out orders. The quiet and comfortable atmosphere makes it a perfect place for a date night. For warmer nights, there is an outdoor patio that is available for both drinking and dining. A full bar is accessible to make sure that you have your favorite drink or to try something new. Atasca offers salt cod with fried potatoes,bacalhau lagareiho and cataplana. Broiled salmon, crepes and camarao com queijo de cabra are also on the menu. Atasca serves many desserts, including Pasteis de Nada and Bolo de Chocolate served with raspberry sauce. Whether you are a couple or in a group, you are sure to find something for everyone. You can make reservations to ensure a seat upon arrival but walk-ins are also welcome.

Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Portuguese, Tapas / Small Plates
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Hours of operation
Lunch: Monday - Saturday: 11:30am - 4:00pm; Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 4:00pm - 10:00pm, Friday & Saturday: 4:00pm - 11:00pm, Sunday: 12:00pm - 10:00pm
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Phone number
(617) 621-6991
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Payment options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Business Casual
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Executive chef
Joseph A. Cerqueira
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Portland Street
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Parking details
Parking Meters until 6:00pm, Kendall Square Parking Garage
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Public transit
Kendall Square/MIT Station on Red Line
Additional
Bar Dining, Beer, Full Bar, Outdoor dining, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 330 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.1based on all time ratings
4.1
food
4.2
service
4.1
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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J
New England
4 reviews
Dined on March 27, 2016
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 3

Food was of high quality, though a rather limited selection. I came for brunch and was surprised to be handed a menu that clearly said "Dinner Menu" on the top. I guess they serve dinner for every meal?

The ambiance had the feel of an insular neighborhood hangout. The waiters and staff hugged and laughed loudly with certain groups of patrons who were clearly frequent diners, while treating my party, who had never been there before, with a certain coldness, like we were outsiders. Kind of strange from the perspective of potentially winning over new loyal frequenters... maybe that's just part of the culture. In any case, good food experience, strange service experience.

OT
New England
1 review
Dined on March 26, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our waiter, John, was very friendly and attentive. The food was excellent and very tasty.

j
New England
1 review
Dined on March 15, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Excellent service. Knowledge staff, great wines to pair with the wonderful examples of Portuguese cuisine.

C
New England
2 reviews
Dined on March 10, 2016
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Ordered the lunch special on the reccomendation of my friend. Was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the food. Soup and fish with salad. Perfect amount of food for lunch. Great service too.

l
New York Area
19 reviews
Dined on March 5, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

From the addictive fresh, hot potato chips to the bean salad and roasted (on the bone!) swordfish to the paella and flan it was a delicious dinner. The place was buzzing but the service never lagged or presented complications. All in all a great, fun evening.

E
New England
7 reviews
Dined on March 3, 2016
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

Atasca is tucked away on one of the more quiet corners of Kendall Square, within easy walking distance of the subway. There's plenty of parking nearby too.
On a weeknight, it was nice a quiet in there. I had reservations but they weren't necessary. Our waiter was very attentive, almost too attentive, but brought out our wine and food as soon as it was ready.
The wine list is very good and reasonably priced, especially for Boston. There is a good variety of Portuguese and South American wines with many options by the glass. The waiter's recommendations were spot on.
We had the crab cakes and bean salad as appetizers and both were excellent. For dinner, my friend ordered the Caladeirada de Peixe (seasonal fish with roasted tomatoes and veggies) which was very good. I tried the grilled salted cod and it wasn't my liking. There was way too much oil on the plate, enough to coat everything too generously. That was the only negative of meal, though.
Desert was good with a huge portion that was too much for two people. They have a small selection of port and brandy that made for an approachable after-dinner drink.
All in all it was a positive experience.

OT
New England
3 reviews
Dined on February 29, 2016
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 2

It was ok for lunch but I would not host a dinner here

OT
New England
1 review
Dined on February 19, 2016
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

The food was amazing as it always have been. Visit last week for a 3 year anniversary with my lovely lady and we always have a great time. Joe, the owner is a great guy... our main waiter was a little bit in a rush but he settle down towards the end. The second waitress was very helpful when my lady spilled her wine. (+1 for the waitress).

D
New England
51 reviews
Dined on February 17, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We had reservations for 6 people. We arrived and our table was immediately available. The waiter was new, but was very attentive and passionate about the meals. We ordered a mixed appetizer and some mussels. They were both very tasty. 3 of us ordered the lobster special, which was outstanding. The other dinners had seafood, and were not disappointed. Every commented that they enjoyed their dinner. The cost with drinks, dessert and espresso was very reasonable. This is a great find that I will return to in the future.

A
Atlanta
3 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Went here for Valentine's Day and my GF and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The crab cake appetizer was delicious, and everything seemed very authentic Portuguese. I highly recommend the Capirinha to drink. Great ambience and perfect for a date. Service was excellent

S
New England
17 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2016
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

What a splendid place with attentive service. The menu is wide ranging and gives tremendous exposure to Portuguese food in Cambridge. Favorited: we will return.

d
New England
3 reviews
Dined on February 12, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Pork tenderloin with garlic&mustard sauce was outrageously decadent!

OT
New England
2 reviews
Dined on January 21, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Elegant surroundings and sound levels appropriate for dinner conversations.

Our party of three met for a business dinner. I picked Atasca over a nearby "vibrant" restaurant recommended by our host. Our waiter helped us manage the menu with excellent choices and wine pairings.

Two of us chose to create a meal with selections of starter dishes. My colleague chose to start with SARDINHAS GRELHADAS. He received a generous portion of large fish. They were characteristically flaky with a mild sardine flavor. Excellent preparation. I chose LULAS Á ALHO. I was delighted by both preparation and flavor.

Our companion chose PASTÉIS DE CARANGUEIJO and enthusiastically reported the crab cakes exceeded his expectation. He followed with PERNA DE CARNEIRO receiving a generous portion of lamb chops, perfectly prepared and balanced by side dishes. We both chose CAMARÁO COM QUEIJO DE CABRA, an outstanding dish balancing the flavors of shrimp and goat cheese baked in a casserole of tomatoes, herbs and jalopeno peppers.

We enjoyed our visit and were especially pleased with the wonderful attention and advise of our waiter/host.

OT
New England
1 review
Dined on January 19, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Atasca is a cozy and comfy little piece of Portuguese beauty located right in MA's Cambridge or "Little Portugal" as I like to call it. I decided to take my girlfriend there for our 3 year anniversary. Patrons will find the atmosphere quiet, warm, and welcoming upon entry. The staff is very friendly and enthusiastic about their food and spirits. Very appropriate for a classy and quiet dinner. As someone that is half-Portuguese and is familiar with the cuisine I think of seafood, red meat cooked with wine, good hot vegetables, and good wine. I was able to experience the first 3 only because I had Sagres, a Portuguese beer for my drink which was delicious. Our server was a quick and always on the move and did a fantastic job serving my girlfriend and I. For starters we had the SALADA DE POLVO (octopus salad) and the LULAS FRITAS COM PIMENTOS (fried squid with hot peppers). Both were utterly wonderful. I've had octopus a few times, but this was the best octopus I ever had. The fried squid was pretty simple, but delicious nonetheless. For the main course I had BIFE ATASCA COM OVO A CAVALO which is a steak with a fried egg on top. It came with thin sliced fried potatoes. It was a powerhouse of a dish. Hearty, filling, and utterly delicious. My girlfriend got their seafood special, an entire fish grilled. I had a bite and it was tender and flavorful. For dessert, I got the custard flan that was made with port wine and lemon. I don't remember exactly what my girlfriend got but rest assured it was delicious. The desserts were small sized, enjoyable, flavorful and did not overwhelm us. If you are in Cambridge or want a great taste of quality Portuguese cuisine, Atasca is a must.

JJ
New England
4 reviews
Dined on January 16, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My husband and I have been to Atasca several times now, each time we've ordered something different. We will keep coming back - the menu is diverse and everything coming out of the kitchen has been a home-run for the foodies that we are. We've been there for both lunches and dinners.

S
New England
21 reviews
Dined on January 9, 2016
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 4

It was nice to have grilled sardines! We also took the 2 specials, and they were very tasty. The wine was very good too. Atmosphere is fine, it does have some of the "authentic Portugese", but it also has a lot of the "current Kendall". It has limited kids meal choices. Our waiter seemed a little bit overwhelmed, but the hostess helped and got everything back in track. Unfortunately we couldn't use the outdoor dining, as we're in Winter - but will go back for it!

b
New England
261 reviews
Dined on December 13, 2015
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We were a table of 10, but they managed to serve us without problems - not an easy task! I always go to Atasca after concerts at the Dante Alighieri Society across the street. A nice little restaurant with a cozy atmosphere and good Portuguese food, especially seafood.

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 10, 2015
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Nice place; short beer list, but interesting cocktails and good food.

OT
New England
1 review
Dined on December 3, 2015
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

The atmosphere of a comfortable neighborhood restaurant with good food and wine. A very pleasurable meal.

K
New England
40 reviews
Dined on November 14, 2015
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

The Portuguese menu items are quite delicious -- especially enjoyed Cataplana and the Bachalau (dried cod, but prepared to be very moist and richly flavorful). Great appetizers as well, especially the shrimp/goat cheese item. The room has a Mediterranean feel, well appointed and comfortable without pretension. It's the sort of place where you can hear each other talk in conversation, with a gentle hum of diners in the room. Service was very attentive and ready to attend to any need. Wine list was good enough, if not remarkable. Parking may be challenging at times, so plan ahead. Occasional celebrity spotting.

r
New England
30 reviews
Dined on November 14, 2015
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Great food and nice servers. Couldn't get a water refill the whole night. Either they kept forgetting or just no one has ever needed more water there before.

OT
New York Area
28 reviews
Dined on November 13, 2015
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Food was OK, expected a bit more flavor and spice. Service polite and friendly. Place was very quiet the night we dined there.

ME
New York Area
11 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2015
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Great for a business lunch

B
New York Area
15 reviews
Dined on November 6, 2015
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent family-run Portuguese, best of Cambridge and very good in Portugal too! Specializes in sea food. Atmospheric, in spite of office-building location. Right near Kendall theaters. Great prices for quality ingredients and preparation.

K
New England
3 reviews
Dined on November 4, 2015
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I had lunch here with my boss. The atmosphere is quite charming, quiet and authentic. Food was great. Will try fish next time.

F
New England
3 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2015
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

We've been to Atasca before and it's never a disappointment. We had a new waiter this time who handled our large party capably and answered all of our questions thoroughly. Portuguese food is not typically vegetarian friendly but Atasca makes a lovely vegan friendly grilled and sauteed vegetable and rice dish that is outstanding meaning that this vegetarian can eat there happily with her Portuguese in-laws whenever they visit. It's also a great place for a relaxed meal. They never hurry you out the door. It's an almost European feeling and it's nice.

The decor is lovely, the staff always helpful, and the food is top notch. Our favorite Portuguese place in Cambridge.

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on October 8, 2015
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

If you've never tried Portuguese food before, you are missing out! You cannot go wrong with ANY of the appetizers, especially the shrimp with the spicy sauce and the octopus. The steak alfacinha is a classic as well as the bacalhau com natas! Love this place!!!

OT
New England
8 reviews
Dined on October 3, 2015
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

An excellent dining experience in all aspects service food management everybody was more than accommodating

F
New England
2 reviews
Dined on October 2, 2015
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

we enjoyed as much the food as we did like the service.
we recommend it !

P
New England
14 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2015
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 1

what a really terrible decision to renovate the patio. The old patio was by far the best patio in the whole Boston area... I felt like in a piazza in Europe with grapes and a fountain and privacy and everything you need to a relaxing dinner. And now I feel like I am in the middle of a street with cars and lots of noise coming through from the AC units on top of the buildings across. I used to come all the time all summer long for that old patio. Never again unfortunately with the new patio... all the ambiance is gone...

G
New England
3 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2015
Overall 3food 3service 1ambience 3

Comfortable and friendly, not expensive, nice meal before or after a movie at the Kendall. Service is friendly but no one ever seems to be in the dining room which can certainly be problematic if you would like another glass of wine or spill a glass as happened at our table and no one on the staff noticed as we spent several minutes cleaning it up.
(And they were practically empty.) The food is about what you would expect at this price. Solid, almost interesting. This is a go to place for me... I wish their act was a bit more together.

r
New England
23 reviews
Dined on August 29, 2015
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My first visit to a Portuguese restaurant and I loved it. My bf greatly enjoyed his seafood and my chicken was delicious. The staff was very friendly and provided excellent service. This place is a must try!

FE
New England
40 reviews
Dined on August 15, 2015
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

Very good food & drink offerings....very authentic.

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on August 3, 2015
Overall 2food 1service 2ambience 3

The menu read as if the dishes were going to be great, traditionally prepared Portuguese gems. Not! The bread was shameful. They obviously took short-cuts in the prep of the Paella. The clams in green sauce were a bit rubbery. Server was way too talkative in the beginning..and then kind of forgot about us. All-around Bummer.

JH
New England
4 reviews
Dined on July 25, 2015
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 3

I've eaten there many times and generally like it. But this last time, Saturday, we ordered seafood stew that was completely mundane and disappointing. Filled with calamari and a red sauce that could have come from a can. Not sure I'll ever go back.

C
New England
8 reviews
Dined on July 18, 2015
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

Good service, nice spot, my girlfriends fish was overdone - mine was better but not awesome - just good. Good wine values.

d
New England
44 reviews
Dined on July 17, 2015
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

Nicely located in Kendall Sq. We sat outdoors in the very nice patio separated from street by fence and grape vine. We were however advised this is all to be ripped out next week. Do not know what will replace it... Food was very well prepared and tasty and I assume a fair representation of Portuguese dishes. All in our party were satisfied. Service was ok and price per quality seemed reasonable

GF
New England
9 reviews
Dined on July 11, 2015
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

We ate at Atasca with two other couples and it was terrific. It was a first time for everyone in the party and we all left feeling really good about the experience and looking forward to returning. The grilled sardines were terrific. Our friends had the crabcakes (said they were ok - could use more crab) and the grilled veggies were yummy. My husband and I each ordered the CALDEIRADA DE PEIXE - a variety of fresh seasonal fish (salmon along with a white flaky fish) with roasted tomatoes, onions, white wine, herbs and potatoes. It was delicious - not heavy, generous portion and very tasty. Our friends had the BACALHAU DE CEBOLADA - dry salt cod with caramelized onions and peppers, surrounded by Atasca fried potatoes (excellent). The service was terrific. The manager came over a few times to see how we were doing. We will definitely be going back! Also, the prices are very reasonable. Thanks!

KW
Richmond
3 reviews
Dined on July 11, 2015
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went to Atasca to relive the Portuguese vibe from our five year stay in the Azores Islands. We found the flavors of Atasca reminiscent of days gone by and the atmosphere very cultural s though in a Portuguese friend's home. The staff was warm and gracious, and treated us as though we were in their home. Maria and Olivia attended tour every need and given we were a party of 8, that was quite a feat.

Bravo Atasca, for your authenticity, your welcoming staff, and great food~

t
New York Area
1 review
Dined on July 6, 2015
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

A true gem in Cambridge compared to other overrated restaurants. The best cod fish in town. I strongly recommend it. I will keep coming ...

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