Little Donkey

4.7
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1509 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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What 1509 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.6
service
4.5
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
90% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
1 review
Dined on December 1, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

First time to Boston and I was really hoping to enjoy some eclectic food from a local establishment. Went for brunch, which was amazing! The pumpkin bread, cheese bread, and burger were so delicious. Only thing that could have helped the burger would have been a better bun; however maybe the flavors of the burger wouldn’t have shone through as much if that were the case. Favorite item though was the sausage. This was closer to an andouille or bratwurst than a typical breakfast sausage and was so delicious I had to save part of it for the end of my meal just to enjoy again. Heartily recommend this place!

TT
New England
3 reviews
Dined on November 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

I have been a fan of Jamie Bissonnette since his time at KO Prime. He made me one of the best meals I have ever had there. I was thrilled to be able to experience Little Donkey and taste how his collaboration with Ken Oringer has advanced his creativity. The food was exceptional, as was the service. I especially loved the long bean dish, of which I could eat weekly and never get bored. The noise level in the restaurant made it a bit difficult to converse with my husband, which would be my only critique. We were also celebrating my husband’s birthday. He (very inconveniently) went to the bathroom as they were about to bring his birthday dessert, and the server was kind enough to bring the dish back a few minutes later. Overall, it was a wonderful experience and we’ll be back!

ME
New England
1 review
Dined on November 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I loved the ceviche and the burrata. The drunken noodles are also excellent, if you like spicy food

ER
1 review
Dined on November 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Food was amazing!! Service was excellent. Ambiance is nice but super dark. Everyone in the place was using cell phones just to read the menu!

OT
New England
11 reviews
Dined on November 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My favorite restaurant. Drink are equally as great as the food! Tapas style so my flavors to choose from!

JP
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

WOW!
Food is amazing as always!
Your team has skill.
Great service.

N
New England
3 reviews
Dined on November 22, 2019
Overall3food2service3ambience3

It was not worth the price.

SM
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on November 22, 2019
Overall3food5service4ambience1

My husband summed it up: "The atmosphere sucks, but the food is great." It is so dark that it is impossible to read the menu without a flashlight, the tables are crowded together, conversation is impossible because of the noise level. I would never invite friends to join me here for dinner...which is a shame because I love the food.

OT
1 review
Dined on November 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We made reservations and when we arrived the hostess explained that there was a bit of a delay in turning our table over. Once she realized it was moving much slower than expected she continued to apologize, set us up with seats at the bar and sent over an appetizer to show how apologetic she truly was. They couldn’t have handled the situation better! We decided to stay at the bar because the vibe was so great and the staff was beyond accommodating. The food and drinks were phenomenal and the bartender had lots of great suggestions. Amazing experience!!!! Can’t wait to go back.

B
Miami
14 reviews
Dined on November 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very creative menu! Loved the energy in the restaurant...and the staff did a super job. We will return.

RK
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on November 19, 2019
Overall2food2service5ambience5

Food was e extremely over seasoned.
Dont try so hard to be different.
Sometimes you have to let the food speak for itself.
Cocktail was lovely as were the bread balls.
We tried 4 or 5 dishes plus two desserts.
The food was awful to inedible.
Very disappointing as the waitstaff was very helpful and the atmosphere was fun.
We won't go back.
We spent over $200 for two people (including a bottle of wine)
Not a happy customer.

NB
1 review
Dined on November 18, 2019
Overall2food2service1ambience3

Food was not that good, out waitress was annoying and wasn't listening to what we requested, the prices are high for what you get, and for last we had a (long) hair in our dessert (was removed from our bill)
I wouldn't go back there.

SL
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 17, 2019
Overall4food3service4ambience4

Some of the dishes were way too salty. The cookie dough dessert was LIFE!

CF
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on November 17, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Only one dish was off. The rib meat in the Rib brunch sandwich was too salty. It detracted from the dish. You could have just had a salty pickle or other salty crunchy item to add more salt.

SM
New England
8 reviews
Dined on November 17, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Food was creative but really small portions for Breakfast/brunch. Perhaps Keto/ low carb items would help those guests that require it. Server was super nice and really tried to accommodate my guests, but we had to "a la carte" a menu from the sides. Liked everything I ate.

DB
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on November 16, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

great food and ambiance. super noisy and hard to have a conversation...

S
New England
3 reviews
Dined on November 16, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Old friends

OT
1 review
Dined on November 16, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing food and super knowledge and fun wait staff.

S
New England
2 reviews
Dined on November 15, 2019
Overall3food4service4ambience2

Food was very good. We had The Burger, Foie Gras, Steak Tartare, TikkaMasala, Charred Pear, Mongolian Ravioli, a cheese Bread, Uni Rangoons and Hamachi Crudo. We liked The Burger, Charred Pear, Mongolian Ravioli, the Rangoons and the Crudo. We were seated next to the kitchen and it was very warm and loud. We asked for a different table, but were told there were none available (even though there were at least 8 empty tables that could seat 4 people. This was at 5:30.

All in all, good food and service, but way too loud and dark and were given a lame reason for why we couldn’t be seated at a different table.

FD
New England
1 review
Dined on November 14, 2019
Overall2food4service1ambience2

The food is amazing. But other aspects of our visit were very disappointing. Service was aloof. It was especially disappointing that we were seated about 30 minutes PAST our reservation time, and we didn't so much as get a sincere apology. Also it's super loud and the food is really over priced (even for Cambridge).

p
Austin
4 reviews
Dined on November 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Arguably the best food I’ve had in Boston. Incredible and attentive service. Noise level is quite loud and the space cramped. Prices are high even for a high end restaurant. Overall a great experience nonetheless.

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on November 12, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food and service were amazing, my favorite items were the jerk empanadas and the lamb BLT

OT
New England
1 review
Dined on November 10, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Every time LD is outstanding, service and food. One of my favorite spots!!

DW
New England
2 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing service, and great food. 1st time going for brunch, and it was fantastic all around. Still the best burger in Cambridge.

NF
Denver
8 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall3food2service2ambience4

After hearing this place was a must try spot from several friends we decided to go for my birthday on Saturday night and couldn’t have been more underwhelmed. The two most important things: the food and the service were both average with the service leaving a lot to be desired.

Food:
Jerk chicken empanada - this was good, my favorite thing
BLT lettuce wraps - this was good, I liked the lamb bacon
Burrata - not my favorite preparation for burrata, mole was very salty
Campanelle - we did not like this dish at all, it was very rich with absolutely no balance. The breadcrumbs on top made no sense and basically ruined it
Fried Chicken Sandwich - very average, fried chicken was dry

Service -
I think our server was inexperienced. She made no mention about the food or recommendations until prompted by me and just told us her name and to call out if we need anything. My biggest issue is that it felt like we were being rushed out by the way the food was coursed out. All 5 courses came out within 25 minutes and placed right onto the table. Maybe the chicken sandwich would have been better if It didn’t sit on the table for 10 minutes before it was touched because we already had 3 other items on the table. They also dropped off the empanada which is supposed to be a hors d’oeuvres with the chicken sandwich, kind of baffling.

Overall, it was a cool vibe and I liked the music but don’t think will be returning for the reasons I’ve stated.

LJ
New England
3 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

This is our second time to little donkey and the food was just as amazing as the first time! Seating was a bit crammed which was the only thing that wasn’t perfect. Will definitely be back to try more plates!

PR
1 review
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall5food4service4ambience5

Food excellent just a few choices we didn’t like such as the pizza and the cheesecake
Service was great Chloé was consistent in checking in food arrived promptly. Good cocktails and wine choices

PB
New England
5 reviews
Dined on November 8, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything was delicious and prompt. Pacing of dish arrival is also good which is amazing since we ordered like a table of four but were only two people. Highly recommend and their cocktails are absurdly delicious even flavors I normally would not try. Betty Davis left me with Betty Davis eyes.

PR
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on November 8, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience3

Eclectic menu with many options to please anyone. Would suggest asking if a dish is spicey ahead of ordering. I love spicey food but not everyone in my group did.

PB
New England
5 reviews
Dined on November 8, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

tasty, innovative and interesting food. Loved the BLT wrap. If wine were "food" it might bring down my rating to 4.5 stars, given limited choices by the glass, but don't want to be unfair-- I didn't explore the bottle menu that wasn't appropriate with my guests. But overall really fun and look forward to returning.

a
New England
9 reviews
Dined on November 8, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

One of the best experiences in Boston!!! From service to food and drinks!!!!
Because they were 10 min past our reservation, they gave us complimentary drinks (just got to know this good news when paying the bill). All the 7 dishes we ordered were amazing plus 2 desserts!! And tummy 3 drinks were also amazing. Server was super friendly and attentive to suggest nice drinks and plates according to our taste. It’s really hard for me to like EVERYTHING in a menu and this one got EVERYTHING just amazing! Highly recommend this restaurant for a great experience!

AR
1 review
Dined on November 7, 2019
Overall5food5service3ambience4

I hadn't been to Central Square for about 30 years, but Little Donkey is a sign of how much the area has come-up in the world since then. The restaurant was pricey, but when I left, I didn't regret a cent. The menu seemed designed for adventurous foodies, and it was the perfect place to relax and ground myself in sensory experience. Each item on the tapas menu was intriguing, pleasantly unfamiliar in some way. For instance, I'm a huge fan of a gin and tonic, but their gin and tonic special was served iced in a grapefruit half. The drink was delicious and had the added benefit of having bits of gin flavored grapefruit and grapefruit flavored gin as the ice melted and extended the time I could savor the flavor. The first bite of striped bass ceviche with coconut, kefir lime, and red pepper took my breath away. I would have licked the plate clean if the waitress hadn't whisked it away to replace it with the next experience. The last thing I ate, manti, were lovely bite sized packages of flavor with a chopped tomato ribbon on top. An added bonus was the proximity of ImprovBoston, which it turns-out had three different shows running on a Thursday night. Although, the restaurant was crowded and a bit loud for easy conversation, I think it would be an ideal spot for a date to remember.

VL
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on November 7, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

our table ordered 16 items from the menu and 11 were really good only two just ok and 3 super

Service was lovely drinks great

We'll certainly go again

Totally recommend it

EI
New England
9 reviews
Dined on November 7, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Went with my husband and two kids. Food was delish! Got to sample lots of apps/small dishes. Service was great. Loved it

VS
New England
7 reviews
Dined on November 6, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

First trip there -- it has a really interesting menu -- very varied, interesting dishes, wonderful preparation. The only downside is that restaurants should realize that a lot of people who can afford to eat out like this don't hear as well as they once did and don't enjoy screaming. The noise level just gets tiring.

MB
Chicago
1 review
Dined on November 4, 2019
Overall3food2service2ambience3

We were really excited for our meal here, as we'd heard great things. Unfortunately, we were quite disappointed. Most of our dishes were very rich. Flavors were good but a bit unbalanced and overwhelming. Great example - the wild boar perogies were smothered in far too much mustard. It would have been a nice compliment to the dish if it had been dialed back. We were also not impressed by the service. Despite a menu built for sharing, our individual plates were quite small. We weren't asked if we wanted new plates between dishes. While normally I prefer to reuse - some of the dishes were very heavy on the sauces - so a new plate was really necessary. Finally we asked for new plates - our server took them but placed our dirty forks/knives on the table and didn't replace them. It was just an odd way to pull things off the table. Everything also came out of the kitchen piping hot. It was nice in a way, but we had to let each dish cool for a few minutes before we could even eat it. The cocktails were great and the wine list is awesome. Sadly, we won't be back for dinner. Just drinks.

OT
1 review
Dined on November 3, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Small plates varied in quality and were mostly very good. Expensive. Plan on $40/person.

F
New England
4 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food and service. Very well done food and excellent restaurant

JM
New England
3 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Favorite restaurant in Cambridge - always the best.

OT
New England
1 review
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Food was good, but a little bit pricey, especially for Tapas. A bit loud as well, but overall energetic ambiance.

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