Bambara Restaurant

4.3
901 reviews
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$30 and under
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
American
Nestled on the Charles River Canal and a short walk from Cambridge’s popular Kendall Square, Bambara Kitchen & Bar is a modern and relaxed gathering place, offering approachable, seasonal American cuisine rich with ingredients found along the Eastern coast. The cocktail and beer menu mirror the laid back atmosphere, including a robust list of craft beers and globally inspired cocktails.
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Sun 5:30PM - 9:00PM
Mon - Fri 5:30PM - 6:00PM
Sat 5:30PM - 6:30PM

What 901 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.3
service
4.2
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Quiet
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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New England
4 reviews
Dined on March 7, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 4

I had the lobster roll which was lacking seasoning and mayo or butter, very small pieces and lots of filler, terrible value

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MM
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

We went to Bambara for brunch on a Saturday. The restaurant is spacious, but not cavernous, and bright. Pleasant decor, noise level is low, so one can easily carry a conversation. The menu has several unorthodox items, including duck confit hash with poached eggs, as well as salmon ceviche, which varies from week to week. French toast was made out of an Armenian bread called choereg, which is closer to a brioche and makes the dish quite rich. The wild mushroom omelet actually did have wild mushrooms in it. The service was very attentive, but not intrusive - a rare combination these days!!

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H
New England
19 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Very good food, a pleasant venue, excellent value, seats available. The dishes, which were beautifully presented, seemed inspired by a modern fusion of European and Middle Eastern cuisines. Perhaps because of the hypercompetitive restaurant scene in Cambridge/Boston, Bambara has not gotten as much attention as it deserves. An excellent choice for a last minute, casual dinner.

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Miami
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Last minute Valentines plans. The menu was limited, but interesting and everything we ordered was excellent. Although the restaurant was busy the service was very good and the atmosphere very nice. We did not feel rushed or crowded. Overall it exceeded expectations.

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c
New England
14 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

My friend and I have a monthly brunch date and each month we pick a different place to meet.
Neither one of us had been to Bambara but we chose it based on the menu. But, the overall experience was much more than the delicious food. She had the hash and I had the lemon ricotta pancakes and we both were tempted to lick the plate! It was quiet enough for us to have a good catchup--with comfortable seating and a relaxed pretty decor.

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OT
Salt Lake City
1 review
Dined on January 25, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 4

Opera with friends

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CE
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on January 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Bambara is consistently a good restaurant for business meals.

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LD
New England
2 reviews
Dined on January 9, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Overall service is mediocre.

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SL
New England
2 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Have been many times and find the location and indoor parking very convenient. The food is good and generous in portion. The room is nice and almost intimate with a nice ambiance. The hotel location is also quite unique.

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ZM
Miami
2 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 2

Part of a hotel, this restaurant is average on a good day, with a worn out decor and menu. There is not much innovative and spectacular here...average food, average service and average decor.

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OT
New England
2 reviews
Dined on November 16, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

Expensive small portions. Mediocre service and ambiance. Not worth it

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m
New England
138 reviews
Dined on November 15, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

If you want a lot of food for a reasonable price, this is the place for you. We opted for the three course Vietnamese style prix fixe lunch. The three part appetizer was the best part of the meal, a fresh tasting summer roll, crunchy fried chicken wings, and meatballs. I had the pho, which had very little flavor though I added a lot of hot sauce. My companion had the bahn mi sandwich with fries; she was not enthusiastic about either. Dessert was avocado ice cream, which was OK, though I wouldn't have known there was avocado in it. The price was $20, which was good value. All in all, we were satisfied, but I wouldn't order it again.

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w
New England
65 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 3

Disappointed. Went here for lunch. Two of us ordered ceviche for lunch. Approximatley 3 tablespoons of ceviche came in a large bowl with no chips. nothing. It specified chips on the menu-- when we asked the waitress-- she said-- oh we don't do that anymore. After we spoke with manager she brought over potato chips. Was just dumb. either you modify menu or warn people before they order or offer to compensate somehow. Bad service

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a
Philadelphia
158 reviews
Dined on November 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

This is a nicer hotel restaurant. Cool vibe. Food and service were pretty good. Not crazy expensive. I would come back.

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LE
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on October 30, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 4

The hummus dish hardly had any hummus. The chicken was bland.

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MW
New England
2 reviews
Dined on October 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Really tasty food and great wait staff. Very attentive and provided useful recommendations. The food was a little bit on the pricier side but the setting is also very elegant.

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SM
New England
1 review
Dined on October 21, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 4

Conveniently attached to the Cambridgeside Galleria and across from the Museum of Science.

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M
San Francisco
14 reviews
Dined on October 18, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

They could have a better menu to offer more normal type choices. Not everything needs to be extra complicated and trendy.

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AH
New England
5 reviews
Dined on October 14, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

The food was excellent. My only complaints are tiny quibbles about the bathrooms being on the opposite side of the hotel, quite a hike away. My duck confit hash was wonderfully spicy, and the bocadillo's chorizo was a revelation. It's not supercheap, but the dining room was nice (loved the map of the area!), and the food was great. We'll be back!

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e
New England
21 reviews
Dined on October 7, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 1ambience 4

Food was fine, middle eastern flair on typical menu items. Mostly ordered apps. The service was poor--25 minutes to get shucked oysters, 40 minutes to get apps. Even though it was not especially busy, the server was inattentive and disappeared a lot. At that price point, I expect more.

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AJ
New England
10 reviews
Dined on September 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service friendly knowledgeable staff . Wonderful and delicious food

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e
New England
18 reviews
Dined on September 9, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

We looked for a restaurant within walking distance following a Cambridge River Cruise. The food here was better than anticipated, with a wonderful salmon cerviche appetizer and delightful warm hummus with abundant seasonal vegetables to share. They were followed by a creative pork chop dish in cherry sauce and a pasta with lamb and mint. The only detraction was the service as our young server was not familiar with the menu and seemed indifferent to our inquiries. Our fist wine selection went "missing" for twenty minutes and we had to ask to see the wine list for an alternate selection should it never be found, as indeed turned out to be the case. The service also left plenty of time for relaxed conversation, which was fine with us.

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NY
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on September 4, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Interesting menu, the food was excellent.

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OT
New England
47 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

We had a great night. Jeremy the manager was serving wine in the courtyard and he treated us great. Food was very good - try the bread its delicious. We had the charcuterie to start. We split everything including the hamburger which was delish! Will go back.

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K
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on July 29, 2018
Overall 3food 5service 2ambience 5

The food at this restaurant is spectacular. The portions are on the small end but it’s generally fine. The problem was that our service was comically bad. Everyone was very kind but they screwed up everything that could be screwed up. They brought us the wrong meals, the wrong sides, all the wrong specifications. They were extremely kind about it all but ultimately we gave up on getting the drinks we wanted and the sides we wanted. Probably will not go back.

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I
Nashville
44 reviews
Dined on July 27, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

We always stay at the Marlowe when in town and usually eat one meal here. Never disappoints.

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JB
New England
1 review
Dined on July 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our server was wonderful and was happy to make recommendations. The food was delicious and so flavorful. Will definitely be going back!

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KA
Philadelphia
22 reviews
Dined on July 4, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

A restaurant very likely to be in a Kimpton hotel, with limited but good food options. The menu is a short list of good and uncommon things. We were a party of 5 so had a chance to taste many different dishes - which were all very good! The service was great, so helpful and friendly. On gentleman from El Salvador and a lady from Colombia were helpful in pointing out strengths of the menu and helping us make the most of our choices. Probably the least relevant was the dessert menu. Next time I’d probably try the manchego.

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JA
1 review
Dined on July 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My husband & I had a delicious Anniversary meal at Bambara. We hadn't been since they changed chefs and decor and we were blown away - everything we ate was absolutely delicious! The service was perfect. Ou server was attentive but not overly so. We cannot wait to go back with our family...

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S
Philadelphia
61 reviews
Dined on June 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Three of us for a business dinner and Bambara doesn't disappoint! Great service, delicious food with unique flavors and preparations, we all enjoyed our appetizers and meal ... highly recommended!

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L
New England
5 reviews
Dined on May 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Armenian sandwich and poached eggs with hash were both fantastic. Interesting and unique brunch menu.

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S
New York Area
19 reviews
Dined on May 26, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 3

The food was excellent but it could have been the first night for our waiter as a waiter. The restaurant was fairly quiet and most requests took and excessive amount of time. Food was very good though. I would return.

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PP
New England
4 reviews
Dined on May 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food and service. Waitress was very accommodating.

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MN
New York Area
1 review
Dined on May 22, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Knowledgeable, friendly and very helpful staff. Especially helping us choose gluten free items and suggestions for substitutions. In the 2 days i was in Boston I ate there 4 times. Great food!

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b
Indiana
1 review
Dined on May 21, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Good place for business lunch: space for private discussion with good lobster rolls for two out-of-towners who wanted a bit of a New England feel for lunch. The "blueberry lemonade" was a bust being a watery lemonade containing a half-dozen blueberries.

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OT
New England
6 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2018
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 5

I requested something special for my wife’s birthday expected something special for desert for instance but was shocked when they gave us the check after a long wait!

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LP
New England
10 reviews
Dined on April 14, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 2

The food is perfectly okay, the ambiance is acceptable, the service would be fine if Bambara were a luncheonette or diner. But it isn't either of the above, nor is it priced accordingly. I don't plan to return.

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OT
New England
6 reviews
Dined on April 7, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 5

Fairly good and overall happy with my experience, but not sure it's really worth the trip and the price to come regularly.

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DB
New York Area
20 reviews
Dined on March 31, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 4

Great service. Very attentive staff. No bartender for brunch time so no complex mixed drinks available. Had the burger...it was ok. Nice ambience/space.

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AW
New England
25 reviews
Dined on March 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The menu is most interesting and the presentation of the dishes exemplary. Our brunch was delicious.!

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