Central Kitchen

4.6
246 reviews
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$30 and under
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French American
feeding Central Square award-winning food, wine & cocktails
| since 1998
What 246 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.4
service
4.5
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
87% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Good food and wine!

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AT
New England
3 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Just two small criticisms for an otherwise wonderful experience. They could use a curtain to keep out the cold - don't sit anywhere near the door. Secondly, the chairs are hard and uncomfortable but it's worth it.

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k
New England
1 review
Dined on December 16, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Very good food, good value. Only complaint is that you have to pay for a "bread platter" when all you really want is a slice or two to mop up the yummy juices.

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OT
1 review
Dined on December 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of my favorite restaurants! They have great service and delicious food. One of my go to places

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CS
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on December 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We picked in for proximity to ImprovBoston - what a great find. Excellent food, presentation and service.

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OT
New England
23 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Good for special occasion

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A
New England
17 reviews
Dined on November 18, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

We've been going here for 10 years, still love it. There was about a 2 year period before this last trip that was very questionable, things started to go south... However, this Saturday it seems that they're back in action. New chef?

This is the best steak tartare in Boston. We order it whenever we see it on a menu, and there are some other really great ones (Butcher shop and Saltie Girl also very good), but this one is a shining star. It's my boyfriend's favorite steak frites as well, and my brined chicken was wildly good.

The only true negative is they need to stop trying to seat people in that tiny little table crammed into the nook by the host stand between 2 other tables. It's kind of insulting, to be honest, to be sat in this cramped little afterthought of a table when you've made a reservation. We sat there once and couldn't wait for the meal to be over, it was so uncomfortable. Happy to wait for another seat, even past reservation time. Just remove that dumb table! Also, bring back the firefly cocktail please.

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L
New England
10 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent steak. Excellent service.

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FM
New England
3 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

The food was fine, the service was good despite the new server who helped us, and the ambiance was friendly. It took awhile for our drinks to come - mid-appetizers, and the entrees were also slow to emerge from the kitchen, but we were not in a hurry and managed to have a nice night anyway. The only thing to note is that cold air rushes in whenever the front door is opened. It was a cold and rainy November night, so our table near the door was pretty chilly.

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I
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Celebrated my birthday. Staff were super attentive and food, ambiance superb!

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OT
New England
5 reviews
Dined on November 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I’ve been going to this restaurant for over twenty years. It has never disappointed. Great French Brasserie food!

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PM
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

This was our second time to central kitchen. Even better than the first! Great food. Reasonably priced. Lively atmosphere. Can’t wait until next time.

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MM
New England
9 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Fun and casual with excellent food. Homemade ice cream flavors, like chocolate banana and burn sugar, were fantastic. Best cooked swordfish.

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LA
New England
1 review
Dined on October 11, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

Central Kitchen is a long-time neighborhood gem, and last week's visit reinforced that. The salmon was particularly delicious - perfectly cooked and wonderful sides. My only complaint is that the service was a bit aloof and they eliminated the bread service. Despite that, I will always return and recommend it to others.

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LP
1 review
Dined on September 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Enjoyed. Central Kitchen dinner very much both food drinks and service.

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B
New England
5 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

The food and service are great, and the space is cosy. But it's too dark and a little too loud. Also felt too cold when we got there.

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JM
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 5ambience 3

Unfortunately, my son and I did not like what we ordered . The fried chicken basket was disappointing, the pieces of chicken were small and the taste of chicken was off and oily . The sides were not very good either . The swordfish was ok, very bland flavor and it was difficult to eat the Farro , because the Long beans were mixed in with it .

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CB
New England
1 review
Dined on September 22, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

The steak frites was tasty, but most steak frites dishes are. The vegetarian ratatouille-like dish lacked flavor and interest.

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J
1 review
Dined on August 30, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

The food here is interesting and always well-prepared and presented. Steak tartare and especially the grilled octopus are outstanding. The swordfish was well prepared, but nothing special. A little dark, but a nice place with consistently good food. I've never had a failed dish here.

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L
New England
10 reviews
Dined on August 11, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent steak. Only issue - wine glass portions and wine list prices could be far better!

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BR
New England
3 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Upscale, but not "fancy". Menu has plenty of "sophisticated" offerings from octopus to pork belly to swordfish. Food is generously portioned and has never disappointed. Drinks list is short on beer, but great cocktail offerings. Copper table tops and molded ceiling give classier vibe than most bar/restaurants, but service and customers are distinctly casual.

Unfortunately this all comes at a cost - not necessarily expensive by Central Cambridge prices, but this is definitely not a "cheap eats" venue.

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G
1 review
Dined on July 19, 2018
Overall 5food 3service 5ambience 4

Excellent food - but slightly salty (chicken) or too sweet (olives) for us. Service and burger were amazing!

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OT
New England
1 review
Dined on June 2, 2018
Overall 5food 3service 5ambience 4

We miss the bread and white bean dip.

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OT
New England
1 review
Dined on May 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Central kitchen has it all! The food is delicious and more than I can ever try to make at home. The cocktails are balanced and refreshing. The wine list is superb.

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IB
New England
4 reviews
Dined on May 4, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Food was well prepared, with good quality ingredients. Excellent steak frites. Food pricing is reasonable, but not the drinks. Wine by the glass was $11-12 for a small pour (~4-5 oz), and the bottled wine list lacks affordable options. Would go back, but probably stick to beer.

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BH
New England
2 reviews
Dined on April 28, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 1

When we visited the restaurant had a very strong odor. We decided to just get a drink and eat elsewhere. The hostess indicated it was maybe from a cheese dish. They might want to rethink that dish if it makes the whole restaurant unbearable!

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n
New England
1 review
Dined on April 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It's odd that one of the OpenTable recommendation categories isn't just "Good Food" because that's the main reason I go here. The atmosphere is pleasant and the service is friendly, but I really like the food. The steak frites is consistently the best steak I've had in the Boston area. I miss the paella and keep hoping for that to return; I never realized I liked mussels until I had them here.

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W
New England
4 reviews
Dined on April 24, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

The space is welcoming, the ambiance pleasant. Unfortunately, the steak was very fatty and not worth the price. Also, the menu is somewhat limited, but the drinks and wine are well chosen and prepared.

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SG
1 review
Dined on April 21, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Central Kitchen provided a great dining experience. The ambiance is perfect for a date night or dinner with friends. The food was delicious and the cocktails were well balanced. Service was fantastic - would highly recommend!

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JC
New England
7 reviews
Dined on April 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Can always count on Central Kitchen for a wonderful evening!

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OT
Washington DC
19 reviews
Dined on April 3, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

I've been coming here for many years on a regular basis and I am always wholly satisfied with the whole experience - great food, service and ambiance.

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OT
Tampa
1 review
Dined on March 25, 2018
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 2

One of the most bizarre dining experiences I’ve had. The service was really terrible. We had to beg to get the attention of either the waiter or the manager just to ask for water, ketchup for the fries, etc. Not once did anyone check on us, not once did anyone come to our table voluntarily. Meanwhile the waiter and manager were going around to other tables, talking, asking if they need anything, making jokes, having a great time. Wtf?

Steak frites was👌 excellent however.

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OT
1 review
Dined on March 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great food - original. Friendly, prompt service. A bit loud, but still ok to have a conversation.

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p
Columbus
13 reviews
Dined on March 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Single person dining alone, I was treated wonderfully by wait staff and the experience was great. I started with a cocktail upstairs at Brick & Mortar-- you can get the full cocktail list downstairs at Central Kitchen too! Excellent food. I definitely would come back here again.

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OT
New England
2 reviews
Dined on March 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

First timer, was surprised by how amazing the food and cocktails.

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R
New England
46 reviews
Dined on March 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Still a wonderful little gem of a restaurant!

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A
New England
20 reviews
Dined on March 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

yummy, easy to get to and super staff! we shared large and small plates -- the checken was HUUUUGE - and 4 of us shared 2 Belgian chocoloate desserts w van ice cream the birthday girl was surprised and thrilled. we'll be back - probably all four of us! thanks to the staff for making the night special.

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LF
New England
7 reviews
Dined on March 4, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

The food was good, but not fabulous (for the price) (for one fish entree). Another person had a burger which was just OK, nothing special.
We sat at the table in front of the door and it was drafty, unfortunately.

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L
New England
7 reviews
Dined on February 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very nice, as usual.

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S
Philadelphia
8 reviews
Dined on February 19, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Don't be put off by the outside, I was but when my partner made me go in and we were delighted. It is small and darkly lit inside a little treasure. The staff were very attentive and helpful and the food was an absolute delight. We had two appetizers Moules Mariniere , Warm Alpine Raclette salt baked potatoes, cornichons and pickled pearl onions and shared a main course of the Vermont Raised Berkshire Pork Chop green lentils de puy, rapini, baby carrots and grain mustard creme fraiche. This was cooked to perfection and very juicy (so glad we decided to share then we had bread pudding and White Wine Poached Pear
house made ricotta, caramel. both desserts were mouth watering and rich and delish.

I cannot recommend this place enough, the food, atmosphere and staff made for an excellent evening. 10 stars!

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