Little Donkey

4.6
1015 reviews
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$30 and under
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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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Private dining
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Tapas / Small Plates, International, Café
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Hours of operation
LUNCH
Monday- Friday 11AM-3PM
Dinner 5pm daily
Weekend Brunch: 10am-3pm

BAR
Sunday-Wednesday till 1am
Thursday-Friday till 2am
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Phone number
(617) 945-1008
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Payment options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Ken Oringer & Jamie Bissonnette
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Norfolk Street
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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.
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Public transit
Easily accessible by the RED LINE at CENTRAL SQUARE or the Number 1 BUS.
Additional
Bar/Lounge, Beer, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Wheelchair Access, Wine
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What 1015 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
4.6
service
4.4
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
90% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
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JL
New England
4 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Great place for brunch! Although the portions are small and pricey, everything taste really good. Worth going!

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M
Austin
4 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Sat at the bar for brunch. Excellent service. Delicious drinks and food. Will be back!

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RS
New England
2 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I loved the relaxed feel and the cocktails are good.

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J
New England
2 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 2food 4service 2ambience 2

Delicious food, but the servers are really not interested in solo diners, alas.

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

Great food and service. We were running late for a movie and our waiter helped us get in and out without sacrificing anything.

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CE
New England
2 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Food was amazing - good sized portions for tapas. Seating was a little tight.

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CP
New England
28 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 2food 2service 5ambience 1

very loud. very dark. overpriced. our server was very kind and sweet. But WAY WAY overpriced from what you get.

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OT
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

The food was amazing and great service! I particularly loved the octopus. Incredibly flavorful and cooked perfectly!

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d
New England
12 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fun place, food eclectic and not your typical fare. Reasonable in terms of price. Well recommended.

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RS
New England
1 review
Dined on December 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I liked the relaxed atmosphere and the cocktail was really good

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v
New England
4 reviews
Dined on December 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Saturday night out with another couple. We had a later reservation and when I called early in the day the hostess was able to accommodate an earlier reservation. The atmosphere is lively with a great vibe but really the food was outstanding. The string beans as simple as that sounds were unbelievable. From raw bar to finish, everything was truly amazing.

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CJ
New England
16 reviews
Dined on December 2, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 2

Have had Little Donkey on my list of places to try for a while now. I, and everyone in my party, thoroughly enjoyed the food, but the noise level was so loud that we 1. couldn't hear our server, and 2. found it pretty much impossible to have a 4-way conversation at the table. We went on a Saturday night. Perhaps its less noisy other nights of the week?

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

The food was outstanding!

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

Little Donkey never disappoints. Highlight this visit was the Vietnamese Bologna - delicious.

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BS
1 review
Dined on November 28, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

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OT
New England
3 reviews
Dined on November 27, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Tables were very close together. Hard to have a private chat.

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LH
New England
5 reviews
Dined on November 26, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 3

Our first visit was great - food was delicious, interesting, creative. Food on second visit was not great. It felt like chefs were coasting a bit.

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RP
New England
3 reviews
Dined on November 25, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Went for brunch with friends who are fussy about their food. Bartenders and servers were great and very helpful with the drinks and food menus. Everyone in our party came away pleased.

We started with beer and drinks accompanied by oysters. They were very fresh and the homemade hot sauce is a must. We then had five different plates of varying food, all were very good. Finished withone order of the cookie dough. Highly recommend. Entrees were decent size but if your looking for huge servings, this is not the place. Taste and quality over size. Came away full and satisfied not stuffed and needing a nap.

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EZ
New England
6 reviews
Dined on November 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

As always, amazing seafood, drinks, service and ambiance.

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OT
New England
1 review
Dined on November 18, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 5

The flavors of the dishes were slightly overpowering. The brunch menu has lots of options and cuisines, perhaps we messed up by ordering dishes that were too dissimilar from each other

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

The food keeps getting better at LD! The service at the bar was fantastic as always, and the food was crazy good. The crudo is some of the best in town.

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OT
St. Louis
1 review
Dined on November 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Robert the bartender was awesome. We had dinner at the bar and he made the experience even better. Including having our dessert come with a candle for my birthday. Thanks!

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LB
1 review
Dined on November 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Went late on a Saturday. Great energy, and really exquisite tapas. Ambience was very nice and had an extensive drinks list. Will go again. Reservations are a must

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BT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on November 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

I just love going to Little Donkey, every bite of food is a flavor explosion! We had to wait about 20 minutes for our reservation and they were kind enough to provide us with an appetizer on them, which was so cool. Can't go wrong with anything on the menu and they have fantastic wine selections as well. Can't wait to come back!!!

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F
New England
3 reviews
Dined on November 17, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Love Littl

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

The service was outstanding. We had a reservation and were late, because half of our party was stuck in traffic, and we brought a 7 month old instead of the fourth person we had reserved for. The hostess and waiter were gracious, friendly, and patient, and gave us good food recommendations on top. Food came out super fast and was delicious.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

As always totally delicious with utterly fabulous service vice. BUT way too noisy. Could lower music a bit

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ND
1 review
Dined on November 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Absolutely perfect from drinks to desert!and everything in the middle!

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L
1 review
Dined on November 13, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

We were seated quickly and our server took our drink order promptly. The room has very low light and high ceilings. The tables were all full so there is quite a bit of noise but it did not bother us. The cocktail and wine we ordered were very good. The server was attentive in the beginning of the meal but did not check in after we placed our food order. The first two items came out one after the other and then there was a prolonged period (25 minutes) before the third and another 10 minutes before the 4th. The short rib was very tender and had great flavor. The other dishes we ordered were all salty street food, covered in oily sauce and I mean salty. I would not come back again.

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D
1 review
Dined on November 12, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 3

The light is *very* low, almost distressingly so. Noise level is a pleasant hum, good for conversation.

Some of the dishes were excellent (the short rib vindaloo, the roe on cornbread). The chow fun was quite good, but did a poor job of highlighting its signature ingredient (hen of the woods mushrooms). Similarly, the king crab nachos, the most expensive thing we ordered, had precious little king crab, and a surfeit of "cheese glop" that made the dish seem far more Velveeta-pedestrian than its billing.

I'm sure that a carefully curated subset of the menu is indeed uniformly excellent, but the menu as-is didn't seem to fire on all cylinders. We probably won't go back, but that's more a reflection on how many excellent restaurants there are in the area than any particular egregious shortcoming of Little Donkey.

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J
New England
4 reviews
Dined on November 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Dana rocks! So much great fun time! GIVE THAT CHEF A MAJOR AWARD!

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CH
New England
3 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The service was absolutely outstanding and the food was incredible. It was rather loud inside (my husband is a mumbler and I could barely hear him), and other tables had their phone flashlights on to read the menu since it was dimly lit, but overall it was a great experience. We’ll be back!

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PB
New England
36 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Awesome evening. Little Donkey never disappoints. Food drinks and service were all at the highest level.

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OT
New England
42 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Food was very different, fun, delicious and presented well. Waitress and bartender were helpful. It’s very expensive. While we weren’t hungry when we left, we didn’t feel like we ate that price point of food. Would still highly recommend it

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s
London
3 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Brunch with a new baby - very helpful in accommodating the stroller and making our life easy. Food great as always

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AK
New England
2 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

our experience at Little Donkey definitely lived up to all the hype we'd heard beforehand! the cocktail was delicious and presentation was awesome. our waitress was helpful and friendly but not overly attentive or intrusive to our meal/conversation. she recommended 2-3 plates per person but we found that 1-2 plates per person was plenty enough, just depends on how many different things you want to try.

can't wait to go back!

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MD
New England
14 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

As always, Little Donkey delivers wonderful, creative food. Blowfish tails!!! You have to order them. The poisonous blowfish is only in Japan, these are 100% safe and 100% delicious. Almost sweet, with a trace of blue crab flavor. The long beans are also spectacular. I wish the noise level were a little lower, but there's nothing to quarrel with about the food--it's top notch.

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RL
New England
24 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

Food was delicious, BUT small plates were SUPER SMALL! Low lightening necessitated cellphone flashlight to read menu. Alao, it was difficult to hear conversation across the table because of noise level and close proximity to other tables.

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PC
New England
3 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great great great. Diverse menu. Only complaint-A little dark. But that’s minor. 😊👍

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HL
1 review
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

It was a little to salty. We all had to drink lot of water at the reastaurant and then afterward. We never had to drink this much water with a meal.
It was too dark to read the menu and many other tables were using their cell phones to read the menu and that was very distracting How about having a candle
On the table.
Flavors were good. Liked the nachos the best. Dumplings were missing something. Maybe some green onion or something.

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