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For 2
7:00 PM
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Bambara Restaurant

862 reviews
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$30 and under
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Top Tags:
  • Casual
  • Creative Cuisine
  • Quiet Conversation
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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Private dining
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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American, Contemporary American, Seafood
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Hours of operation
Breakfast: Monday - Friday 6:30 am - 10:00 am
Brunch: Saturday 8:00 am - 2:00 pm
Brunch: Sunday 8:00 am - 2:00 pm
Lunch: Monday - Friday 11:30 am - 2:00 pm
Dinner: Sunday - Thursday 5:30 pm - 10:00 pm
Friday & Saturday 5:30 pm - 11:00 pm
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Phone number
(617) 868-4444
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Payment options
AMEX, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
David Bazirgan
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Or, let Bambara create enticing menus for an event at the adjacent Hotel Marlowe, which offers three beautiful rooms with views for your guests to enjoy. The flexible and beautifully appointed rooms can accommodate intimate ceremonies, gala Cambridge wedding receptions, chic holiday parties, and other Cambridge special events of up to 350 guests.

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Cross street
28 (McGrath Highway)
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Parking details
Valet available at adjacent Hotel Marlowe. Also, garage parking available at the adjacent Cambridgeside Galleria mall. Bambara will validate garage parking from 5pm everyday for up to 3 hours.
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Public transit
Green Line to Lechmere, or Red Line to Kendall Square
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Special events & promotions

Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Chef's Table, Counter Seating, Entertainment, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Private Dining

Bambara gladly accommodates parties of all sizes, whether it's a birthday party for ten or a business dinner for a hundred. Our semi-private mezzanine overlooks the restaurant's dining room and exhibition kitchen with a view of our outdoor patio and herb garden.

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Sun 5:30PM - 9:00PM
Mon - Fri 5:30PM - 6:00PM
Sat 5:30PM - 6:30PM

What 862 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
Noise · Quiet
84% of people would recommend it to a friend
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5.0Dined 3 days ago

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

4.0Dined on March 2, 2018

Great just felt a little pricey. Food was phenomenal.

4.0Dined on March 2, 2018

Good was very good overall. The beef tartare was not what we expected but drinks and desserts were excellent. My son ordered the 14 oz ribeye and fries and ate every bite on the plate. He said he felt like we were rich eating there.

5.0Dined on February 27, 2018

Good, inexpensive business lunch!

5.0Dined on February 17, 2018

Bread so good, not a fried fries fan, hope it can have healthier choice. The lamb pasta (forgot the name) was bomb. Brussel sprout was my favorite.

5.0Dined on January 28, 2018

We had a delicious brunch at Bambara for the Greater Boston Food Bank Hunger Brunch.
Menu was varied and all in our party were extremely satisfied. Would definitely go back for another meal.

4.0Dined on January 27, 2018

We went to this restaurant for the Hunger Brunch. I was skeptical because the main had been changed just for the event. However, we were very happily surprised.

Our waitstaff were friendly and devoted but not overbearing.

The food was delicious and the ambiance was great. The pumpkin Falafel was a very interesting appetizer and I had the salmon flatbread with capers and arugula for my meal, and it had a really nice taste.

The only down side was we sat at a high top table & the seats were not very comfortable.

Would definitely recommend.

4.0Dined on January 12, 2018

Overall I'm glad I tried this place. It was good... but not great, and at this price point there are a number of other restaurants that I'd choose to go to before choosing Bambara.

This restaurant is in the Kimpton Hotel Marlowe and has an unfortunate view looking out on street. The ambiance inside the restaurant is nice and the plate ware is made from a local potter.

We ordered the Roasted Mushroom Soup, which was good- I think it would have been better served with a little bread. The dish mentioned that it came with sourdough croutons-- there was one small one in my soup.

The Little Gem salad was good, I enjoyed the tahini dressing. We also got the Burratta. It was spicy, even with the coolness of the cheese- I had to drink a couple of glasses of water. I think it could be tempered down a bit.

For a main I got the large squash and ricotta pansoti. The waitress mentioned that the portion size was small, and it was-- 9 small raviolis.

My husband got the swordfish. It came with fregola which was very similar to Israeli couscous and very flavorful.

Ultimately, the dishes were good, and I'm glad I experienced this place. But as I mentioned before, I'd choose other places over this one in the future and doubt I'll return on my own volition.

5.0Dined on January 12, 2018

Everything was amazing!

4.0Dined on December 31, 2017

We were there for New Year's Eve, and arrived for the early seating. The menu was great, with excellent options. Every course was absolutely delicious, especially the swordfish, which is a standard menu item. The issue was the service. Our waiter was friendly and delightful, but was either brand new and untrained, or a total space shot. Either way, it resulted in truly uneven service. Also, there was a mix-up with the bill. After pointing out the problem, an incorrect bill was presented a second time. The third time was close enough, so we paid it. We had plenty of time, and all issues were resolved, but Bambara has had much better service in the past, and we hope this was an aberration. We'll return, because the food is great, and a good value. We'll keep our fingers crossed that the service issues improve.

3.0Dined on December 22, 2017

The kitchen has in mind mainly hotel patrons who do not wish to walk a few blocks to seek better restaurants in the neighborhood. To make itself attractive to residents in the neighborhood, it would need to upgrade its offerings a bit.

2.0Dined on December 14, 2017

Food ok but awfully uninspiring.
Service adequate but not up to the prices.; spotty attention despite the restaurant was less than 20% full.

3.0Dined on December 8, 2017

It was not what I was looking for get together. It was only sandwiches on the menu at lunch which I thought was strange for a very nice hotel.

5.0Dined on November 30, 2017

Pretty good experience. The staff was great and the food was pretty good. If you are in the area it is totally a must try!

2.0Dined on November 5, 2017

Decent food. Good value. Very poor service. You sometimes see this at hotel restaurants: staff don’t seem to care, they’re not attentive, they don’t know what they have and what they don’t have. We are not interested in returning.

5.0Dined on November 3, 2017

The food was excellent.

3.0Dined on October 27, 2017

The food was quite pedestrian yet insanely over-priced.

5.0Dined on October 24, 2017

I was kind of pleasantly surprised, frankly. I came in with moderate expectations and left feeling very satisfied. It was a touch pricier than the sample menu however, so you can definitely expect to pay about $30 plus for an entree. And $23ish for pastas. Our server was kind of odd in some ways, but I respected her asking about everything and really ticking her boxes to get all the sales. I imagine she's quite well liked by management for being thorough but not pushy!

4.0Dined on September 16, 2017

Overall good experience tho I find Cambridge venues seem to have staffers that operate on "island time". Very slow bar staff, ditto waitstaff, and not too busy an evening. Perplexing. Good preparation except for lobster pasta dish our server said best on menu. Supposed to be pasta, lobster, light broth- was a gluey tangle of mostly dry pasta wit random morsels of what appeared to be chopped lobster. Most dishes presented were as described, the pork chop very nice. Nice place, friendly menu

5.0Dined on September 9, 2017

Date night dinner after Omni show, easy walk from science museum, and food was amazing!

5.0Dined on September 2, 2017

Always have at least one meal at Bambara when we stay at the excellent Kimpton Marlowe Hotel also one of our favorites . The restaurant has lovely relaxed atmosphere and very good simple food. Grilled cheese and tomato soup a must have at Brunch and they make a terrific Bloody Mary.

2.0Dined on August 19, 2017

Very mediocre overall. We stood at the hostess stand for 15 mins before seating ourselves and the food was just average. They did validate parking!

4.0Dined on August 19, 2017

Food is excellent. For price, portions should be more generous.

5.0Dined on August 18, 2017

Bambara was fantastic! I went for my birthday with a party of 6. When our DELICIOUS food came out we were all drooling :) The chef even came to say Happy Birthday! They were extremely accomidating, all the servers were awesome & Rob the bartender was great! He made a mean cocktail and he was also very funny and nice. Will definitely return!!!

4.0Dined on August 11, 2017

The food was outstanding. The restaurant was surprisingly empty for a Friday night. The server was a little slow at taking our order, but that was fine for our schedule. The waitstaff were helpful in recommending how many dishes to order and which ones were really small or really large. They kindly put a candle in my husband's dessert to celebrate a birthday. I would definitely go back. The mushroom tortellini was ah-mazing!

3.0Dined on August 7, 2017

The menu is creative and the food is good quality. Nice atmosphere.

5.0Dined on August 6, 2017

Food was amazing! Interesting veg options and the BEST bread in town! Wish this place had a more swanky/modern/trendy vibe, but the food made up for it

1.0Dined on August 5, 2017

Extremely over-priced for a mediocre meal and even worse service. The quality of the steak was sub par for $41. I'm not really sure how this place got such high ratings.

5.0Dined on July 31, 2017

Great service from the time we arrived until we left. Chef stopped by the table which was nice. We had pork chop and the striped bass. Both done perfectly.

3.0Dined on July 23, 2017

The restaurant's main problem is inconsistency. Some dishes are excellent. Some are not. Unfortunately, all are in the $$ price range. And then there's the question of truth in advertising. Bread normally comes to one's table as an amenity. When none was forthcoming, we asked the waiter for some. He brought the bread along with a spiel. It was award-winning. It tasted like dessert. He said everything except that it came with a price tag. We overindulged. We didn't realize our overindulgence came at a cost until we got the bill. The waiter should have informed us of the price at the outset. That said, the wait staff, the service, the congeniality is all first-rate. The bottom line: order carefully and and make sure you know what you will be paying. If you do this judiciously, you can do it deliciously.

5.0Dined on July 16, 2017

I don't usually "do" 'Open Table' reviews, but this place was great, GREAT, great...I was surprised there were not more people in the restaurant. The food was special; good selection of wine, bee, etc.. It was easy to order well from the menu. We could hear each other around our table of six, which included two children (ages 10 & seven.)

We were celebrating our son's 42nd birthday; he is somewhat of a food connoisseur, as well as a beer specialist, and he was impressed!

It was a highlight of our two week vacation up-north. (We live in Florida.)

I was so happy with our whole experience that I left a 30% gratuity. (Molly was an excellent server.)

3.0Dined on July 10, 2017

Food was ok. Bartender extremely rude.

5.0Dined on July 8, 2017

What a great place, my wife and I celebrated our 22nd wedding anniversary last night here with good friends. We were not disappointed, they started our night by presenting is with a bottle of champagne. They recently won Boston best bread competition, it was so good we had two orders of it!! All four of our meals were perfectly prepared and nicely presented. We will be back as soon as we can.

4.0Dined on July 7, 2017

Overall, very happy with the restaurant. Very convenient as we were at the Marlowe Hotel for two days for a family wedding. We had dinner one evening and breakfast two mornings. Service was good and friendly. One comment - one person ordered the rib eye Friday evening. It was very expensive (over $40) and although tasty, so fatty that there wasn't much meat. Thought that meal was way overpriced for the quality of the beef.

5.0Dined on July 7, 2017

Great small plates, very interesting and really good. Great bartender.

5.0Dined on July 4, 2017

Excellent service and food. Thank You for a fun evening.

4.0Dined on June 30, 2017

We finally made it here. Had read good things about very interesting and creative menu so we excited to try it.

The space is very comfortable and welcoming. Not large, but tables well spaced around the central bar. High ceilings, dark walls and great lights create a comfortable vibe.

The server was attentive, but not pushy. The menu WAS interesting. We tried several small dishes, all excellent, plus a half portion of the fava bean risotto that was so good we wished we had room for a full portion. The small plates tried were:
- choereg bread with honey butter - irresistible
- manchego cheese plate - yummy
- wagyu beef tartare - not my thing, but my partner loved it
- roasted sunchokes - a first for both of us and a pleasing surprise
- the afore mentioned fava bean risotto - exceptional

We plan a return visit to try other things!

3.0Dined on June 26, 2017

Nice restaurant but it was freezing and while the staff was nice there was nothing they could do - unfortunately it really affected our experience - good food and attentive service though

5.0Dined on June 25, 2017

Loved the meal. The bread was delish and the burger was outstanding. Next time I'll save room for dessert the options passing by me look so good. Great atmosphere, ambience and service (Holly is a very thoughtful server).

1.0Dined on June 18, 2017

Fettuccini was not fresh and had a tablespoon sized blob of cream cheese under pasta.


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