Little Donkey

4.7
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1605 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.

What 1605 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
4.7
food
4.6
service
4.5
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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JS
Columbus
1 review
Dined on March 14, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Jerk chicken empanadas and cocktails stole the show. Service was excellent. Outstanding atmosphere. Great for friends who like to share or date night

AC
New England
12 reviews
Dined on March 12, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great meal, very interesting combinations of flavors. The prices were reasonable given the quality of the ingredients and the creativity of flavors. However, I'd say the oysters are on the expensive side - especially considering there is very little preparation involved

M
New England
2 reviews
Dined on March 12, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I brought my niece and her best friend. They loved it. Our server was attentive and very knowledgeable about our choices. We do have to be cautious due to some food constraints and everyone watched out for us. Besides the excellent raw bar choices, we ate salads, vegetarian and some meat (Wagyu, yum). All were excellent. I have been coming to Little Donkey for years and I am forever happy that they are consistently exceptional. Thanks for making our dinner lovely.

MC
New England
10 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Brunch was fantastic — it pleased vegans, vegetarians and meat eaters alike! Our faves were the Vietnamese Crepe, Toad in a Hole, Salmon Latkes, and patatas bravas! Thanks for a great going away brunch for our friend moving from Boston!

LW
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on March 7, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Food was great. Service was even better. Very accommodating. Great vibes.

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on March 7, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Nice date spot. It’s expensive though so probably for special occasions

f
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on March 7, 2020
Overall5food4service4ambience4

Was here for brunch this time. Amazing as usual. French toast was just wow!

OT
1 review
Dined on March 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always a pleasure to dine here. Great service and delicious food.

OT
New England
2 reviews
Dined on March 6, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience4

Excellent service and delicious food.

CS
New England
2 reviews
Dined on March 5, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience3

Excellent food and good service, though a bit uneven. The room was extremely dark and very loud, unfortunately. But we loved the food!

m
New England
3 reviews
Dined on March 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

George was fantastic! Advised us well on food and drink choices and accommodating to any request.

PO
Hong Kong
7 reviews
Dined on March 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This place is fabulous in every way! The food is wildly eclectic - can’t go wrong with any dish as the cooking is spot on. Fun vibe

FD
New England
20 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very good food in an enjoyable upbeat atmosphere.
A very pleasant and knowledgeable server.
Highly recommend.

OT
New England
8 reviews
Dined on February 29, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very good!

S
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on February 28, 2020
Overall3food2service4ambience4

Finally tried Little Donkey- quite disappointing. The raw bar was excellent - oysters and king crab were super fresh and very tasty. Mignonette was weird however and the accoutrement on the salmon crudo just didn't work for me. Tried a lot off the menu - short ribs (chewy - how is that possible?), Parker house rolls with miso butter (the only outstanding, I want to eat those again, part of the dinner), duck fried rice salad (just ok more salad then fried rice), burrata (again, the accoutrements on top just didn't work). It does have a hipster vibe, was very busy on a Friday evening with just off work millennials. I love Toro, and have, in my opinion, a global appreciation for good food but I am not rushing back to LD.

OT
New England
6 reviews
Dined on February 27, 2020
Overall4food5service3ambience4

Little Donkey is a culinary experience. They create new dishes by combing different cuisines and taking a new approach to traditional dishes. Our favorite was the Drunken Noodles - they were spicy, but absolutely delicious. The experience could have been made better by the ambiance and the service. It was extremely loud in the restaurant and it seemed like we were 3 inches from the table next to us. Our waitress was very kind, but her attitude was very much “no time to waste” and was rushing us to make some decisions. It was difficult to get her attention and this a refill on our drinks.

TE
New England
25 reviews
Dined on February 27, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience3

It is very busy at lunch time, so if you are looking for a quiet lunch spot to have a nice meal and conversation, this is not it. It's great for team lunches, etc.

Y
Philadelphia
24 reviews
Dined on February 26, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

I've been here more than a handful of times but this time was definitely the best dining experience. I think there was something magical about a rainy Wednesday night and ordering a bottle of Australian Pet Nat to set the mood.

KC
New York Area
1 review
Dined on February 25, 2020
Overall3food4service2ambience4

I went into Little Donkey with very high expectations (big fan of the restaurant group.) Given the expectations I had (I pictured outstanding, jaw-dropping dishes and excellent service) - I was underwhelmed.

I’ll start with food. It was GOOD, but not as good as expected. The steak tartare crostini was more chunky than you’d expect a tartare and lacking flavor. The burger was EXTREMELY FLAVORFUL AND TASTY, like I’d go back to eat that again... but warm, not hot :(. BLT tacos were tasty, but nothing I haven’t had before. We split the cookie dough dessert which was super tasty, although the whipped cream was not whipped, liquid basically haha. Still tasty.

The waitress was not present, even a little bit.. and was pushy about getting our orders in. She also noted right away that there was a 30 person party elsewhere in her section and so we should consider putting our orders in. Just a little offputting. My water was frequently empty and soda water not refilled nor asked if I wanted a refill. Just pretty basic service things that were not there. Dirty dishes between courses sat on the table a lot longer than you’d expect.

I also notified the staff ahead of time and the waitress at the table that it was my friend’s birthday. I expected something? from the restaurant acknowledging our special occasion? What’s the point of filling out this info while booking when it goes unnoticed? Didn’t even have a candle in the dessert we ordered when I re-mentioned his birthday waitress didn’t say happy birthday or anything. Kind of weird for a restaurant group that’s supposed to be top-notch in the city.

J
New England
21 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

As always Little Donkey thrills the palate. Rebecca, our talented server, was an excellent guide through the exciting and well cooked menu.

OT
New England
6 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Felt like i was sitting at a community table the tables were so close together

H
New England
5 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Every dish was delicious and unique. We all love tapas and two dishes per person fed five of us easily. Fun cocktail menu and great waitress. The lighting was a little dim for some in our party - being back in a corner there were moments when we couldn't see our food - but perhaps that heightens the other senses!

OT
New England
1 review
Dined on February 23, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food amazing, drinks were great. Thank you for being so accommodating for my sister’s allergies.

CU
New England
5 reviews
Dined on February 22, 2020
Overall5food3service5ambience3

The place is too dark, you have to use your phone light to read a menu or to see a dish. Food is good, some dishes are better than others. Make sure the dishes are small, tapas style, priced high though...between $12-$22 per two bites dish. Service is perfect.

OT
New England
2 reviews
Dined on February 21, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I took my best friend out to dinner to ask him to be my best man. I’ve eaten here many times, and it was his first Little Donkey experience. Everything was incredible.

JA
New England
1 review
Dined on February 21, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing food and service. You MUST go! This is one of the best restaurants I have ever been to. Small plates, so plan on sharing.

OT
New England
1 review
Dined on February 20, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Valentine’s Day. We celebrate later in the month because of our heart vibes. It’s personal, please do not inquire. But, will answer any questions you have by June of 2020. Anyways, back to the review. Loved it.

e
New England
30 reviews
Dined on February 17, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience3

Food and service were great. It would have been perfect if we could have seen each other, but the lighting is so low that I was tempted to ask for a candelabra for the table.

OT
Miami
13 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2020
Overall2food4service2ambience3

We waited till 9pm to make a reservation cause they’re always busy. My friend had work but still wanted to go for me cause I just came back to town for a funeral. We were there until 9:20pm for a table we had booked for 9pm. I kept asking for a manager and they kept deflecting till they could seat us. They could’ve at least comped us for the drinks we got at the very crowded bar while we waited but again they refused to get the manager. Never again, very disappointing.

AV
New England
10 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing, all around!! Menu choices were superb and the quality of the food we ordered, outstanding - everything from the Parker House rolls with truffle butter, the Green Beans with fermented black beans and the Grilled Branzino with Thai Chili Vinaigrette. The ambiance was lively and casual. It was an extremely busy Sunday night (holiday weekend), but all restaurant staff were pleasant and unflappable (given the # of people they had to serve!) We have been wanting to try this restaurant for quite some time and now that we finally have, we know we will definitely return!! Kudos to Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonette for their exquisite collaboration.

D
New England
21 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Food and service was outstanding. I only wish that the noise level was a little lower. There were 5 of us and I was at the head of the table and I couldn't hear my friends at the end of the table.

SW
New England
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

The food was some of the best and most creative I’ve had in Boston. Drinks were also top notch as was service. Only negative is it was so dark I could barely read the menu.

m
New England
18 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great experience. Great food. Glad we got a reservation

JH
New England
11 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Food is amazing. BLT lettuce wraps are incredible. Tables are a little close together. Otherwise, can't go wrong.

OT
New England
2 reviews
Dined on February 12, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I have been to Little Donkey a few times now. Each experience has been nothing short of fantastic. Unbelievable food, super friendly staff and great atmosphere. Perfect spot for a first date, or for routine tapas. The tuna poke is to die for!

ES
New England
2 reviews
Dined on February 12, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience2

Unbearably loud

MP
New England
7 reviews
Dined on February 11, 2020
Overall3food3service4ambience2

always so loud, makes it hard to talk to friends.
wouldn't recommend the burger. very thin patty and topped with too much "stuff" to even distinguish the tastes from one another. tuna poke is very good

p
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2020
Overall4food5service2ambience4

Amazing food. Very creative chef! service was poor and food was served in a rush...I would have enjoyed it more if they had paced the dishes.

OT
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2020
Overall4food3service5ambience3

Overall it was a great experience. The food was a little on the salty side, but still good.

A
New England
5 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Our favorite place in Boston and our birthday go-to. It's fun to bring 4-5 people so you can make a big dent in the menu and try all the things. King crab nachos, Pok pok cauliflower, and phat lao were the winners for us this time. The flavors and variety of items are everything.

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