BISq

4.6
145 reviews
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$30 and under
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American
Enjoy creatively prepared small plates/tapas of American and International fare at BISq. Its contemporary design features wine bottle décor, as well as artwork from local artists on the walls and rich colors throughout. BISq serves a variety of tapas and small dishes as well a Whole Animal Fests. Guests can feast on a variety of delicious dishes with their award winner wine list . We welcome vegetarians, vegans and meat eaters

BISq was named America's 100 Best Wine Restaurants 2016 by Wine Enthusiast and Best New Boston Area Bar for Grown-ups by the Boston Globe. It also features reviews in the Improper Bostonian, UrbanDaddy and Boston.com. This eatery has an open kitchen for guests to watch the skillful chefs at work. Its bar offers a sizable selection of Old World-focused wines and a variety of beers. This restaurant welcomes reservations and walk-ins

BISq is located in Cambridge Massachusetts, right on the skirts of Inman Square and Union Square in Somerville
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What 145 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
4.6
food
4.5
service
4.6
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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EK
New England
2 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Sitting at the BISq counter is a ton of fun. You get to watch the chefs in action. The Spanish octopus and dew drop cabbage were our favorite dishes. This is an intimate restaurant with loads of charm and hospitality.

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OT
New England
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Bisq is the best.

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SD
New England
1 review
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best meal - start to finish - that I've had in a long time.

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WA
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Interesting and flavorful small plates. Some great dishes (Spanish Octopus, Fried Chicken, Salad) and some not perfect dishes (Uni Avocado Toast was a touch fishy, Maitake Mushrooms were little oversalted) but overall great food. Good cocktails and a nice wine list. Good service.

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SH
1 review
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

We arrived at 5:30, I know, early bird time but some of us were going to a birthday party after dinner. It was such a lovely beginning, the food is excellent with wonderful flavors (I could have just eaten the churros for my meal!), food crunched when they were suppose to, tender when appropriate. YUM! Around 6:30, there was a moment when the noise level jumped by 100%, or at least that's what it felt like. So noticeable that our 4 pair of eyes widened and we commented simultaneously. I don't know what happened, diners had trickled in over the hour we were there so it wasn't like a sudden influx of voices. YIKES, so much for the calm, lovely experience we were having. Also, our waitress was very nice but totally disappeared after the food was laid down. We kept trying to flag her so we could free up our table but in the end we had to catch someone else to bring our check. I'd go back but definitely sticking to the earliers hours!!

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G
New England
13 reviews
Dined on March 29, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Great dinner at Bisq. We shared black-eyed pea hummus with chicken skin chips (yum!), roasted carrots, bbq shrimps, ricotta cavatelle, and fried chicken. All fabulous and very generous portions. Order less and get more if you need it. Drinks were delish and service attentive but not cloying. My only minor criticism is the sauce that accompanied the carrots and the chicken. BBQ sauce was very sweet and the yogurt based sauce was just not great. But minor compared with how yummy everything else was.

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L
New England
2 reviews
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I went with two friends for the first time and we had a wonderful time. We ordered 4 of the tapas e two desserts, plus cocktails. Everything was outstanding! Service was fast and friendly, ambiance is inviting and lively but so loud that you can't have a conversation. One of the best tapas place I've been to in the Boston area in years. Our favorites were the toast with ricotta and honey and the grilled pound cake with lemon curd. The pisco sour cocktail was amazing too. Will go back many times!

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J
New England
5 reviews
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 5food 3service 5ambience 4

Fantastic food. Creative small plates. Great wine. Didn’t feel rushed even on a busy Saturday night.

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J
New England
10 reviews
Dined on March 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I love the atmosphere, food, and wine list at Bisq. The vegetable and fish dishes are consistently excellent. I love that I always know I can get some oysters, a burger or fried chicken, and a great glass of wine. Looking forward to going back!

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IM
New England
1 review
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

You can really trust the chef here. The food is outstanding. Service staff is knowlageable and can easily guide you though a wonderful evening.

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BM
1 review
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great place. Staff was attentive while not hovering and the timing of the food was on point. For the most part the food was wonderfully prepared and the time spent in prep before the doors ever opened were clear. The octopus was among the best I've ever had in the Boston dining scene in 20 years!!! My 2 biggest 'criticisms', which is really too harsh of a term, is that the mushrooms and fried chicken were a touch too salty while still being excellent and they would benefit from a wider variety of beers and alcohols.

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GF
New York Area
10 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

Food was awesome - delicious and creative. But food was a little slow coming at first. Once it got going, was fine - we just had to wait a while before any food came.

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P
New England
10 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The tapas were exceptional. Three wine list offered some unusual gems.

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SF
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had a great, unexpected dinner last Saturday night. The ambiance is very reminiscent of San Francisco, the city we recently moved to Boston from. The food was simple and amazing; we will definitely be back for the pound cake!

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MC
New England
22 reviews
Dined on February 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The food here is superlative. Very unusual, creative and delicious combinations. We had the octopus, carrots, ceviche, and cabbage. They were all spectacular. This place is well worth a visit.

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OT
New England
3 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Great food, great ambiance until the really drunk guy sat down at the bar

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RR
New England
4 reviews
Dined on February 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My wife and I liked that the servings were small so we got to taste more dishes.

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R
New England
4 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 3

The food was ... not good. The wine pours were not generous. To start, we ordered the hummus, which came with two small pieces of chicken skin - had to ask for bread as the skin kept breaking in the hummus. Also the skin was just gross. For main courses, my husband got the burger, which was fine, and I got the fried chicken which was about 80% fried and 20% chicken- seriously I would bite off a piece and it would only contain the fried crust.

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N
1 review
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

Appreciated the food being WELL SEASONED! Too often, chefs are afraid of salt. Every item we ordered was perfectly seasoned with fun, different flavor. Great server, nice wine recommendation. Awkward space to sit at the bar by the kitchen. Appreciated the open kitchen aspect but somewhat uncomfortable seats / awkward counter area. I'll be back to try more food, but won't sit in the same spot.

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OT
New England
1 review
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was one of the best meals I have had in Cambridge/Boston. The combination of flavors and thought that went into each dish was near perfection. Can’t wait to go back!

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C
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of the top three meals of my life. Great service, perfect ambiance: cozy and slightly fancy but extremely unpretentious, with many of the tables situated in little nooks. The maitake mushrooms were possibly the best food I have ever experienced— this is not an exaggeration! The other dishes we had were the fried chicken, ricotta with brioche, and a special whole squid they had that day. All incredible but I repeat, YOU MUST GET THE MUSHROOMS! This place is amazing. Advertised as “tapas” but plates are a little bigger and more expensive than most tapas I’ve had. 2 dishes per person should be plenty. Only minor complaint is that they under-pour the wine a little— not a big deal but considering they offer a “half-glass” as well I would expect the full glass to be, well, more full. Anyways that won’t deter me from coming back because the food is simply unparalleled.

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MD
St. Louis
3 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 4

The food was pretty good, but a little over priced. It also took a long time for some of the dishes to come out, but we also were there for Valentine's Day so was to be expected. The ricotta toast was by far the best part of the meal

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OT
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on February 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was wonderful from the moment we arrived until we left. We felt welcomed and enjoyed an incredible meal. I cannot wait to go back!

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

Excellent and unique food, great service, lovely atmosphere.

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F
Key West
10 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is the best kept secret in all of Cambridge
The quality of the food from local suppliers is excellent the creativity from the chef in regards to flavor combinations is simply wonderful

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TM
Philadelphia
4 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food, service and atmosphere! The menu is so creative and innovative, plus DELICIOUS. Definitely will come back! The servers are well-versed in the menu and give great recommendations!

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JM
New England
2 reviews
Dined on January 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic! Make sure to get the fried chicken! Also, the double cheeseburger!

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WT
1 review
Dined on January 17, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Notable only to the extent that BISq's price to quality ratio can be considered as a sort of bold culinary experiment. I'll admit, there was a certain coherence to all the dishes we ordered. The octopus, the carrots, the black eyed pea hummus were weirdly indistinguishable. I suppose that's a type of achievement? They were all kinda earthy without being exactly flavorful, arbitrarily priced, and served at spaced out intervals that made you doubt whether you had ordered another small plate, then regret that you did as soon as you tasted it.

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OT
New England
7 reviews
Dined on January 17, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 4

Sweet place to have a meal. Mostly the food was excellent. But the prices are high and the portions a bit miniature. Service was just ok. A little slow (but that was ok because we had the time) and not super friendly.

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B
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

fantastic meal. Wine & service were great, but the food was the show stopped . New favorite spot!

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RS
New England
18 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wine was fantastic. Our server was super helpful and gave great suggestions. The food was delicious. The menu is small but it seems like you cannot go wrong with anything you order. The veggies - carrots,squash, mushrooms - were the highlights.

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B
New England
26 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We went to celebrate the closing of our children’s new house. We had a great experience. The food was amazing (scallop with pear and duck specials, homemade ricotta on toasted brioche with honey, roasted carrots with harissa and more), a great selection of wines by the glass and our server was informed and fun. We’ll be back!

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BH
New England
1 review
Dined on December 24, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We went for Christmas Eve/birthday dinner. Had burrata, mushrooms, pork belly and beef heart. Everything was decadent. Our favorites were the burrata and mushrooms, but the pork belly and heart were very good. The service was excellent, especially considering the timing. We look forward to trying the rest of the menu.

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OT
New England
3 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best restaurant ever

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LS
New Orleans
2 reviews
Dined on December 22, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great flavors and tastes. Chicken was great. Fair pricing

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OT
New England
5 reviews
Dined on December 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I love BISq. Sitting at the counter and watching the kitchen is such a treat. Service was lovely and food was delicious. Got the oysters, octopus, burrata, and cavatelli, It was pretty quiet from 6-8:30 but then it got much livelier. I do wish the counter had seats with backs, but otherwise I have no actual complaints! I’ll keep coming back.

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OT
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on December 19, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 4

Frankly, the food was just really subpar. Everything else was fine, but can’t make up for the food

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H
New England
14 reviews
Dined on December 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, intimate, wonderful staff. We had a family dinner at Bisq - our first time there - and sat at the only place available, the counter. But it couldn’t have been more fun, watching the chefs, talking with the owner, and eat. Pork belly appetizer was awesome. Love this place!!!

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SN
New England
1 review
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Seriously memorable food - We will be dreaming of the Ceviche tangyness, the perfection of how the mushrooms were cooked - crispy yet meaty, and the grilled pounc cake was heaven. Don’t often write reviews but the delight of our taste buds at our table of 4 was unanimous!:) will be back ASAP!

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JA
New England
8 reviews
Dined on November 30, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 4

Aside from the ceviche this food was mediocre at best
Just about the worst octopus appetizer I have ever had absolutely tasteless the fried chicken was average and not seasoned well the scallops were perfectly cooked but hopelessly under seasoned and the smallest potion imaginable All in all I will never return I expect to be wowed when I go out and this restaurant needs to completely rethink and fire their line cooks only the CEO I he was perfect and up to any standard

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