Bambara Restaurant

4.2
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926 Reviews
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$30 and under
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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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What 926 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.2based on recent ratings
4.2
food
4.2
service
4.2
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
88% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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MS
New England
7 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

The duck confit hash was good for brunch, but they close early at 2pm and have no espresso :(

CA
New England
1 review
Dined on September 25, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Service was attentive and food was delicious. Too expensive for everyday lunch but it was a nice place for a celebratory lunch with co-workers.

DA
New England
3 reviews
Dined on September 14, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

We met out-of-town friends here for dinner because they were staying in the hotel. We were very pleasantly surprised by the food. It was excellent. Restaurant was very quiet, amd it was a perfect place to share a meal and talk.

L
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on September 13, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a quick bite before heading out to a concert in Boston. The food here is really nice. They change the menu seasonally but some of the regular items stay. The chef also is really good about accommodating food sensitivities.

VP
Lincolnshire
12 reviews
Dined on September 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great little find. I have been here few times now. I especially love their breakfast. My only wish that menu would have slightly larger selection.

OT
Charleston
5 reviews
Dined on September 8, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 2

Host wasnt quick. Food was cold. No one wanted to serve us. Took multiple times asking different ppl to attend to our needs. Not impressed.

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on August 7, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 4

The service was slow. It was booked two month ago for Birthday dinner. They did not acknowledge it until I pointed out.

RS
New England
4 reviews
Dined on August 1, 2019
Overall 5food 3service 5ambience 5

The food was good and the people we worked with were better! :) Thank you so much for hosting us!

Some feedback:
-A gluten-free menu would be highly apricated.
-The burger was really greasy? (It was dripping a lot and folks had to cut it with a fork and a knife. )

SP
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on July 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

This place is WONDERFUL. What a gem

RD
1 review
Dined on July 20, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 2

Absolutely one of the worst dining experiences I’ve ever had.

OT
New England
6 reviews
Dined on July 17, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 4

They are quite slow

T
Milwaukee
5 reviews
Dined on July 6, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 2

Pasta was way too sweet

NR
New England
4 reviews
Dined on July 5, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Food & service both amazing!
Complimentary dessert was thoughtful
The choereg bread and the whipped honey but was so good
Loved the option of half size portions too
Highly recommended

RB
New England
19 reviews
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We learned about Bambara from a Boston Globe review about 6 months ago. This still seems a mostly undiscovered gem. Among the fine dishes we had there were Seared Scallops on English Pea risotto with pea shoots, Grano Arso Bucatini with Dungeness crab, green garlic, meyer lemon, and sourdough crabs, and Seared Ahi Tuna with Giganti beans, tapenade, spring onions, escarole, and caperberry vinaigrette.

N
New York Area
11 reviews
Dined on May 30, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

The food was good. The staff was very nice and accommodating.

S
Philadelphia
70 reviews
Dined on May 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always love visiting Bambara! Delicious food, unique flavors and excellent service - what more could you want? Usually here for business dinners but also a great location for personal time ... highly recommended!

OT
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined on May 25, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Service was excellent and so kid-friendly. We loved all of our dishes except for the crab pasta.

OT
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on May 17, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Service a little slow to start with but once order taken moved along much more smoothly.

KK
Oklahoma City
1 review
Dined on May 14, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 2

Service was very slow. We weren’t impressed with the food.

JA
New England
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 2food 5service 2ambience 1

The menu makes it seems like this place might be a good spot on trend, but in fact it’s only a slightly above average hotel restaurant. Fine if you’re staying at the hotel, but there’s no reason to actually eat here for its own sake.

JP
New England
54 reviews
Dined on April 21, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

This particular trip to Bambara was for their Easter Buffet. As would be expected with a buffet, the food is not quite as good as if it had been prepared to order. However, the selection was good. The buffet was served in a large function room upstairs from the restaurant, so this took away from the coziness of the restaurant space. It was a nice experience, but not my best at Bambara. I'm discounting for the occasion and still plan to go back again.

SS
1 review
Dined on April 18, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

This is our favorite local restaurant. We’re regulars, coming by once a week.
Set on the first level at The Hotel Marlow in Cambridge, the resetting features high-backed upholstered furniture and other noise mitigating features. It’s casual upscale and more often than not, there are either no children. Or if children are there, they’re well behaved.
The food is creative and yet comforting. We get sharing plates, starting with the Monchecho cheese plate and following a beet salad that is crazy good, the hummus plate and one of their pasta dishes.
The servers are also incredible! Each is professional and treats us as though they are happy we are there. If I had to single out a favorite, I would say we’re always psyched when Peter is our server professional. But everyone is fabulous.

LD
New England
3 reviews
Dined on April 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent food with a nice mixture of small plates and half sizes.

GP
New England
9 reviews
Dined on March 31, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

We came up from NY to go to brunch with our son who lives in Boston. Just a quick brunch to catch up. Beautiful décor, nice place to have conversation. Service and food were very inventive and good.

JP
New England
1 review
Dined on March 22, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Location is a little out of the way....felt more like an outflow foodery for Hotel Marlowe.....typical of hotel food...slightly overpriced....had a neg experience waiting for my dinner companions...waiting outside had a man drive up in a sedan and offer me the ability to pay for something....drugs, sex...i'm not sure which...but it was broad daylight...a little off putting....

g
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

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!!

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.

OT
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.

c
New England
15 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.

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

Opera with friends

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

Bambara is consistently a good restaurant for business meals.

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

Overall service is mediocre.

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.

ZM
Miami
10 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.

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

m
New England
141 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.

w
New England
68 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

a
Philadelphia
176 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.

LE
San Francisco
10 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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