Bambara Restaurant

4.5
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937 Reviews
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$30 and under
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American

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Casual
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 937 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.3
service
4.4
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
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j
New England
26 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience3

I've been to Bambara many times however they need to upgrade the table height and seating in the booths.

JE
New England
7 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

All the food we got was delicous, they even made some changes for us to get what we wanted. Highly recommend you will love it!!!

V
New England
16 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Received a warm welcome on New Year's Eve. The menu was great and
provided a variety of choices for my vegan friends!! We were sat at a lovely
table towards the back so we could hear one another!! Always a plus. The
waiter was excellent! Attentive and knowledgeable.

OT
1 review
Dined on December 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and service

AL
New England
7 reviews
Dined on December 20, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Food was good, just pricey! Would go back if we were staying at the hotel or convenient to our plans.

C
New England
55 reviews
Dined on December 15, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent hotel restaurant, less costly than many restaurants in the area. The only negative is the less than exciting interior.

JC
New England
10 reviews
Dined on December 7, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Excellent and interesting Mediterranean flavors in every dish

Z
New England
13 reviews
Dined on November 17, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Great brunch! Food was delicious! Ricotta pancakes were outstanding! Great service and quiet atmosphere!!

OT
New England
5 reviews
Dined on November 16, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience5

I went there for a little birthday celebration. The dishes were great all across the table and we left satisfied. Just wish server were around more often for orders.

TS
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 7, 2019
Overall2food3service1ambience3

We must have been there on an off night. Our order was messed up from the get go; food we did not order kept being delivered; we said we did not order it, and were told we did... and our dinners arrived after an hour and a quarter, and one at a time. Our waiter came and asked how everything was, with one member of our party with no dinner in front f her, so... not so great was my answer. Everything was tasty, but really, the entire service was disoriented and disorienting, conversations kept being disrupted to correct the order, repeat ourselves, ask for the food we did order. Everyone in our party was in a go with the flow place, so we were OK, but really, it was not the relaxing celebratory dinner we were anticipating. Good food and vibe, but service... uh, no.

ES
Charlotte
13 reviews
Dined on October 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Bamabara is a lovely restaurant in the Kimpton hotel Cambridgeside. Very nice severs. Ate lunch and dinner here, very tasty.

MS
New England
7 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience3

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

CA
New England
2 reviews
Dined on September 25, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

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
5 reviews
Dined on September 14, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience3

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
New England
8 reviews
Dined on September 13, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience5

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
Overall5food5service5ambience4

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
Overall2food2service1ambience2

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
Overall3food4service3ambience4

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
Overall5food3service5ambience5

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
9 reviews
Dined on July 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience3

This place is WONDERFUL. What a gem

RD
1 review
Dined on July 20, 2019
Overall1food1service1ambience2

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

OT
New England
7 reviews
Dined on July 17, 2019
Overall3food4service3ambience4

They are quite slow

T
Milwaukee
7 reviews
Dined on July 6, 2019
Overall2food2service3ambience2

Pasta was way too sweet

NR
New England
4 reviews
Dined on July 5, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

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
21 reviews
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

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
Overall3food3service3ambience3

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

S
Philadelphia
71 reviews
Dined on May 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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
Overall5food4service5ambience5

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
Overall4food4service3ambience4

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
Overall2food3service1ambience2

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

JA
New England
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall2food5service2ambience1

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
59 reviews
Dined on April 21, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience3

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
Overall5food4service5ambience4

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
Overall5food5service5ambience4

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

GP
New England
10 reviews
Dined on March 31, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience5

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
Overall3food3service4ambience3

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
Overall2food2service4ambience4

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
Overall4food4service5ambience4

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
Overall4food4service4ambience4

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
3 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

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.