Central Kitchen

4.5
262 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 262 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
4.5
service
4.4
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
96% of people would recommend it to a friend
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New England
1 review
Dined on May 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

The menu is small but the food is excellent. The only drawback is that the seats are very uncomfortable.

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MR
New York Area
26 reviews
Dined on April 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We have going to Central Kitchen since it opened - they have managed to keep the menu “fresh” while keeping the standards.

But I do miss the bread and white bean spread 😩

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Portland
3 reviews
Dined on April 15, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

For the westerners, this place has a gastropub feel to it. I had the bouillabaisse. Well prepared and wished the portions were a bit larger. My daughter had the steak and frit. Excellently cooked steak with great seasoning. Fries yummy.

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h
New England
3 reviews
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The roasted mushroom entree was superb!

Our server was very attentive and knowledgeable.

The dining room was noisy!

Bartender was very sweet.

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s
New England
4 reviews
Dined on March 22, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Everything was ok, nothing was great. Food was rushed. Overall a little disappointing.

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Q
New England
1 review
Dined on March 22, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

I'm extremely picky, but I loved every sip and bite at Central Kitchen. It's changed a bit from many years ago. It feels less rustic, and its point of view is less clear, but the service was outstanding.

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f
New England
22 reviews
Dined on March 21, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

We were jammed in between two noisy tables and could not carry on a conversation. I think that the tables in the front have more space in between them, so I'd ask for one of those next time

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New England
1 review
Dined on March 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was great, tried the tuna tartare which was really good. Arman, our waiter was on the ball and provided great service!

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MM
New England
1 review
Dined on February 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I love Central Kitchen and regularly invite friends there. The food is always amazing and service excellent. Many new restaurants opened in Central Square recently, but none of them surpasses Central Kitchen.

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t
Washington DC
22 reviews
Dined on February 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We absolutely loved our pre-theatre meal there. The food was just delicious and the dishes were as we expected. I had the steak frites and my husband the bouillabaisse. The service was attentive yet calm and unobtrusive. We ate early on a week night before the theatre and it wasn't crowded or noisy. We will definitely be back and attempt to try everything on the very tempting menu. And try to leave room for creme brulee or tarte tatin. The price point is a tad higher than at some other restaurants but I'm willing to pay for quality and a good dining experience.

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EW
New England
2 reviews
Dined on February 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The steak with salty greens and fries is an AMAZING dish that always delights. We went for our anniversary and had a great time.

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New England
4 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Great ambiance. Reservation was ready when we arrived.

Salad was substantially over dressed - smothered really.

Other than that, great place!

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S
New England
55 reviews
Dined on February 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

3 of us had dinner at Central Kitchen, which we chose because it's close to MIT where we were going to an event. We had never been there before, but we will certainly go back. The food was excellent--especially the moules mariniere, the grilled octopus, the oysters, and the creme brulee. The service was also excellent--the wait staff were helpful and attentive. The tables are rather close together, and the people sitting at the 2 tables nearest to us were talking loudly, but we still were able to hear each other and carry on our own conversation without shouting.
We plan to make this a restaurant we will go to often and highly recommend it to anyone looking for food that is almost as good as the best food we've eaten in France, which we visit often.

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TA
1 review
Dined on January 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our favorite restaurant! Always a great experience and new memories made every visit.

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OT
1 review
Dined on January 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great great great

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Good food and wine!

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AT
New England
4 reviews
Dined on January 11, 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 15, 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 8, 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
9 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 November 30, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Good for special occasion

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A
New England
17 reviews
Dined on November 17, 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
11 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent steak. Excellent service.

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FM
New England
4 reviews
Dined on November 9, 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
11 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 10, 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
11 reviews
Dined on August 10, 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 18, 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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i
New England
5 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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