Bambara Restaurant

4.2
891 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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Private dining
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
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: Monday - Sunday 5:30 pm - 10:00 pm
Bar: Sunday - Thursday 11:00 am - 11:00 pm; Friday - Saturday 11:00am - 12:00am
Late Night Menu - Friday and Saturday - 10:00 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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Catering
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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Neighborhood
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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
Additional
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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Specials

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

What 891 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
4.0
food
4.1
service
4.0
ambience
3.6
value
Noise · Moderate
76% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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ZM
Miami
2 reviews
Dined on December 2, 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
1 review
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
137 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
150 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
5 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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AH
New England
2 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
7 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
16 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
45 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
42 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 13, 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 5, 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
58 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
5 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
8 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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OT
New England
22 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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JO
1 review
Dined on March 2, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Great just felt a little pricey. Food was phenomenal.

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KL
1 review
Dined on March 2, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

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.

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BP
Tampa
20 reviews
Dined on February 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Good, inexpensive business lunch!

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JT
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on February 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

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.

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D
New England
9 reviews
Dined on January 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

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.

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i
New England
18 reviews
Dined on January 27, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

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.

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GD
New England
2 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

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.

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RE
New England
4 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was amazing!

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Y
New England
99 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2017
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 4

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.

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e
New England
53 reviews
Dined on December 22, 2017
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

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.

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