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Little Donkey, Cambridge, MA

Little Donkey

4.7
4.7
2054 Reviews
$30 and under
Tapas / Small Plates

Little Donkey is the latest restaurant from James Beard Award-winning chefs Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette of Boston’s beloved Toro and Coppa. Located in the heart of Cambridge’s Central Square, less than a mile from Harvard, MIT, Inman's Square, Kendall Square, Harvard Square, Porter Square, and Lesley University. Little Donkey is Oringer and Bissonnette’s first Boston-area restaurant in over six years, offering a welcoming, day-to-night dining experience that features market-driven, global small plates, inspired by the chefs’ world travels such as the Pickle Brine Fried Chicken Sandwich, General Tso Chicken Wings, Caviar Sandwich, as well as many Vegetarian and Vegan options which are always on menu and available.

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Additional information

  • Dining style

    Casual Dining

  • Cuisines

    Tapas / Small Plates, International, Café

  • Hours of operation

    Dinner
    Tue–Sat 5:00 pm–10:00 pm

  • Phone number

    (617) 945-1008

  • Payment options

    AMEX, MasterCard, Visa

  • Dress code

    Casual Dress

  • Executive chef

    Ken Oringer & Jamie Bissonnette

  • Neighborhood

    Cambridge

  • Cross street

    Norfolk sStreet

  • Parking details

    Currently street/meter parking. There are also parking lots on our block that are incredibly convenient such as Green Street Parking Garage, Franklin Street Garage, Metered lots on Bishop Allen Ave in between Essex St and Norfolk St and Norfolk St and Douglass St.

  • Public transit

    Easily accessible by the RED LINE at CENTRAL SQUARE or the Number 1 BUS.

  • Additional

    Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Delivery, Full Bar, Gluten-free Options, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Popular dishes

Menu

View menu on restaurant's website

What 2,054 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

4.7
4.7 based on recent ratings
  • 4.6Food
  • 4.7Service
  • 4.6Ambience
  • 4Value

NoiseModerate

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  1. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Washington DC

    8 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on February 27, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Great sharable plates!

  2. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    New England

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 26, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Lovely experience, the food was amazing!

  3. CC

    CarolinaC

    New England

    14 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    14 reviews

    Dined on February 25, 2022

    overall4food4service5ambience5

    Had an amazing dinner, coming back soon. Raw bar was phenomenal

  4. WV

    WendyV

    New England

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on February 25, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    This place specialized in a marvelous variety of small plates designed for sharing, featuring raw bar selections, vegetarian options and meat/fish. We tried the tuna poke bowl, squash pupusas, sesame fried cauliflower and the short ribs, and it was all scrumptious! Lovely atmosphere and not too crowded, they also had an interesting array of cocktails. Highly recommend! Also loved the art!

  5. CM

    ClaireM

    New England

    9 reviews

    5.0

    9 reviews

    Dined on February 23, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4

    Delicious food and great service. As one of my first post covid outings, I was a little nervous with how close the seating was, but I adjusted with time.

  6. CM

    ChrisM

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 19, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    The menu is varied, the food is excellent and the service is exemplary

  7. j

    jobeezy

    New England

    19 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    19 reviews

    Dined on February 19, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Outstanding service! We thoroughly enjoyed: salmon sashimi, truffle toast, foie gras, buttercup squash salad, street noodles, short rib and caviar sandwich. The cocktails were fantastic. We'll definitely be back!

  8. L

    Laura

    New England

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 19, 2022

    overall4food4service3ambience3

    Consistently delicious and innovative menu options. I celebrated my 40th birthday here recently with friends, and really enjoyed the food. I do think they need better lighting. It was pretty dark where we were sitting -- not great for birthday pics!

  9. s

    snorbie

    New England

    10 reviews

    5.0

    10 reviews

    Dined on February 15, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Wonderful food - small plates so that you can try many different things. Great service - our waiter was fantastic and gave us great pointers for rounding out our choices. Great drinks as well.

  10. f

    fanfan

    New York Area

    1 review

    vip
    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 14, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    I have been dining in the Little Donkey for many times. This was my first time taking my wife there. It was a great experience! I would say Little Donkey is the best tapas place in MA :)

  11. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    New England

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 10, 2022

    overall2food2service4ambience3

    Portions were comically small, even for small plates. Tuna and salmon belly tartare was very bad. Lighting was way too dark. Drinks were fair. Street noodles were the highlight of the meal.

  12. m

    markw

    Washington DC

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 9, 2022

    overall4food4service4ambience3

    nice ambiance, a bit pretentious, excellent flavors and selection, but for price portions could have been a bit larger.

  13. P

    Pere

    Dallas

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 9, 2022

    overall4food5service4ambience4

    The place is quite noisy and packed (not much distance to other tables). However the food is very good but quite expensive.

  14. CH

    CalvinH

    New England

    1 review

    vip
    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 9, 2022

    overall4food3service5ambience5

    Service was great and attentive. It was fairly crowded (which could be a pro or a con) for a Tuesday night. Food service was fast and tasty with good variety. Main food feedback is that I really enjoy salt but the octopus and BLT were too salty even by my standards.

  15. RP

    RoshanP

    New England

    11 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    11 reviews

    Dined on February 6, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    great food and great vibes. The food was super tasteful! deff rec!

  16. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    New England

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 6, 2022

    overall5food5service4ambience4

    So delicious. Trendy spot for yummy dishes that push boundaries with their flavors and textures. Would highly recommend to anyone!

  17. PC

    PierreC

    San Francisco

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 5, 2022

    overall4food4service5ambience5

    Very nice play. Food was good, a little bit over rated. Sat at the bar and service was great. Overall, very good experience

  18. R

    Ryan

    New England

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 3, 2022

    overall3food2service5ambience5

    Incredible ambiance great drinks and service. For what you pay and the style of the restaurant the food is incredibly disapointing

  19. R

    Rick

    New England

    8 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on February 2, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Graduation

  20. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    New England

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 2, 2022

    overall4food4service5ambience4

    Cocktails, fried cauliflower, and BLT lettuce wraps were incredible. Less enthused about the lumpia and duck mole.

  21. m

    mander

    New England

    4 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on January 28, 2022

    overall3food3service5ambience4

    Little Donkey has been my favorite restaurant for at least 3 years. Every time I go, I fall more and more in love..until tonight. We ordered some of favorite tapas… half of them just weren’t the same. I don’t know if it’s a new chef or what, but they were just different and not as good, in our opinion. Service was excellent; I’ll give it that tonight. Also, I was a bit taken back that tables were spaced apart pretty much like pre-covid and they opted not to check for vaccination proof. That’s their right and Cambridge isn’t mandating it. I guess I just expected to feel a bit more safe than I did with the table next to us only a foot plus away. I love you, Little Donkey, but tonight we were disappointed - first time ever! (and it was my birthday) I’m not giving up on you, but it’ll be awhile before I come back to give you a chance to prove me wrong….Here’s to proving me wrong 🤞

  22. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    New England

    8 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on January 28, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    A little bit of a pricier meal since it’s tapas but super delicious. Waiter was extremely helpful navigating the menu and everything we had was great. The cookie dough we had for dessert was good but nothing special. Highly recommend the crunch wrap and chow fun

  23. AE

    AriEl

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 26, 2022

    overall4food5service5ambience3

    The food was sublime and came very promptly. The service was also excellent, all servers were attentive and friendly. Even though the prices are high, they’re reasonable for the quality of the food. However, the tables were very close together which made conversation a challenge; you could easily hear your neighbours and also the density made the volume inside loud and therefore even more difficult to hear your table mates. The proximity was also confusing considering the ongoing pandemic dynamics.

  24. EK

    EleniK

    New England

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 25, 2022

    overall5food3service4ambience3

    Food was good but nothing extraordinary. Ambiance was nice and service was good!

  25. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    New England

    1 review

    vip
    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 24, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Little Dokey is one of our absolute favorite places. Most recently I dined with my boyfriend (an executive chef), his father (an executive chef & restaurant owner) and his grandfather (lifelong artist), and we all left blown away with the experience. We got about 15 plates and each one was exceptional, and our server (Max) was amazing. Everyone commented on how nice it is to have dishes presented by a knowledgeable, helpful server :) we’re about to move but when I come back & visit the east coast again this will always be a stop I need to make!!

  26. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    New England

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 23, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4

    Food was great! Wish the music was a little quieter but everything was excellent

  27. LY

    LaineyY

    New England

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on January 22, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Food was delicious and reasonably priced. Staff was helpful, friendly, and attentive.

  28. KH

    KateH

    New York Area

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on January 19, 2022

    overall5food4service5ambience5

    They had some yummy vegan options and delicious cocktails. Loved the atmosphere as well. I would recommend!

  29. TW

    TomW

    New England

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on January 14, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Service was great and the food was tasty ! Really cool place.

  30. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    New England

    8 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on January 14, 2022

    overall5food3service5ambience5

    Was cute for a date but the food is definitely for an adventurous palette. Drinks were incredible. Would recommend sitting at the bar for a date

  31. C

    Clover60

    New England

    59 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    59 reviews

    Dined on January 12, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    My favorite restaurant! Love the service and the burger!

  32. JR

    JaredR

    New England

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 11, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Perfect spot for a date night. The small plates & cocktails were on point!

  33. MM

    MMSMMS

    New England

    5 reviews

    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on January 10, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Excellent food, friendly service, delicious drinks!

  34. D

    Dvrdiner

    New England

    35 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    35 reviews

    Dined on January 8, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Every dish great. Service quick, which was much appreciated since we didn’t want to linger inside. Dave was the bahn mi roll, the Singapore street noodles, and caviar sandwich.

  35. S

    Sinski

    New York Area

    16 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    16 reviews

    Dined on January 7, 2022

    overall5food4service5ambience5

    This was our first time at Little Donkey. We ordered a variety of items from the menu, highlights included the burger, the ramen, and the wontons. Would definitely recommend for a date night or for a group of friends. Our waiter was awesome, knowledgeable about the menu and intuitive. We will definitely be back soon!

  36. MC

    MariahC

    New England

    2 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on January 7, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Lovely evening- all the food was delicious and the staff were super friendly!

  37. MG

    MarkG

    New England

    32 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    32 reviews

    Dined on January 5, 2022

    overall4food4service4ambience4

    Covid has taken its toll — more limited menu (especially for vegetarians) — but still a great place. Caviar sandwich is outrageously good. Shockingly expensive though—the bill was what I would pay at a very high end restaurant in Boston. They may be trying to make up for lower volume with higher prices, which I understand. On the other hand, as good as it is, I won’t be rushing back.

  38. J

    Jagger

    New England

    6 reviews

    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on December 31, 2021

    overall5food5service4ambience4

    Here for the new year's day eve dinner with a friend! Great ambiance, very energetic - until your ears get used to the noise level you might have to scream at each other for conversation, but overall pleasantly noisy - quite dark indoor lighting. Might be suitable for date nights on weekdays. Good food! Loved their butternut squash salad and manti, made me and the company wonder what their base cuisine is. Oysters were delicious as well. All the servers were nice and cordial, but it was tad annoying to be told first thing at the entrance, even before any greetings, that I was five minutes late and 90 minutes policy had already started. Will visit again

  39. JM

    JMack

    New England

    17 reviews

    5.0

    17 reviews

    Dined on December 31, 2021

    overall5food5service5ambience3

    We ordered seven different small plates and agreed we would order them all again. There were a couple we almost order a second time. We would be happy to come back and just have a glass of wine and a bon me sandwich or the burger. The house cocktail was a keeper, too. I don't think there was anything about the place I would change. The staff is swift, efficient and knowledgeable. It's obvious they eat their own cooking. We'll be back.

  40. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    New England

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 31, 2021

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Amazing experience! All the food was so intensely flavorful. The branzino was one of the best fish dishes I have had in a long time. Our waiter was very friendly and attentive. The atmosphere was festive and lively. Will definitely be going back.

Safety precautions

  • Cleaning & sanitizing

    • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
    • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
    • Common areas deep-cleaned daily
    • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
  • Physical distancing

    • Limited number of seated diners
    • Distancing maintained in common areas
  • Protective equipment

    • Waitstaff wear masks
    • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
  • Screening

    • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
    • Staff temperature check required
    • Contact tracing information collected

FAQs

You can order delivery directly from Little Donkey using the Order Online button. Little Donkey also offers delivery in partnership with Uber Eats. Little Donkey also offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (617) 945-1008.

Little Donkey is rated 4.7 stars by 2054 OpenTable diners.

Not available on OpenTable

Unfortunately, this restaurant is not on the OpenTable reservation network.

If you like, we'll notify you by email if this restaurant joins.


Is this your restaurant?
Claim this listing

Additional information

  • Cross street

    Norfolk sStreet

  • Neighborhood

    Cambridge

  • Hours of operation

    Dinner
    Tue–Sat 5:00 pm–10:00 pm

  • Cuisines

    Tapas / Small Plates, International, Café

  • Dining style

    Casual Dining

  • Dress code

    Casual Dress

  • Parking details

    Currently street/meter parking. There are also parking lots on our block that are incredibly convenient such as Green Street Parking Garage, Franklin Street Garage, Metered lots on Bishop Allen Ave in between Essex St and Norfolk St and Norfolk St and Douglass St.

  • Public transit

    Easily accessible by the RED LINE at CENTRAL SQUARE or the Number 1 BUS.

  • Payment options

    AMEX, MasterCard, Visa

  • Executive chef

    Ken Oringer & Jamie Bissonnette

  • Additional

    Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Delivery, Full Bar, Gluten-free Options, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine

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