Little Donkey

4.6
909 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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Delivery or takeout
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
What 909 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on all time ratings
4.5
food
4.5
service
4.3
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
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h
New England
6 reviews
Dined on January 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Brunch was excellent. Food was amazing as usual. Food never disappoints. Love the setting.

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R
New England
76 reviews
Dined on January 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

been here twice now in the past month - great creative food, extraordinary servers with complete knowledge of the bar and food menus. Only thing to be ready for is how LOUD it is. With all the energetic people there the blaring music is a detraction from the experience.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 13, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

This meal was one of the worst I've had in a year and a half in Boston. Our waiter duplicitously recommended a $150 bottle of wine, the most expensive one available, to our table without telling us the price or offering to show us the wine list with pricing, and lied and said it was "a very reasonable bottle". It was very poor service and I won't be returning.

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OT
New England
1 review
Dined on January 5, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Attentive and quick service. Food was good. Had a pleasant time.

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CH
New England
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Three couples of a certain age met to celebrate the New Year with brunch at Little Donkey. None of us had been to the restaurant before and we were looking for a fun adventure to start the New Year. We were not disappointed. The oyster shooters were spicy and compelling, the Bloody Mary's very piquant, and the food was deliciously adventurous. At the advice of our waiter we each ordered a different dish. The toad in the hole made with Bannana bread was a new twist on an old family favorite of mine. Others ordered avocado toast, spicy Mexican shrimp, thai street noodles, carnitas hash and green chorizo tacos. We all were thrilled with our meal and really enjoyed experiencing the play of different flavors.

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LE
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 4

While the hostess was accommodating to our group from three from the two person reservation, we never saw our waitress again after she took our order. The food was underwhelming realize to the price. Meh

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OT
New England
5 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best restaurant in the area!

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ST
New England
2 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

it's a new year . If Uve not found it -Lucky you.The best is yet to come.
For the rest-Lucky us !

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JM
New England
17 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Outstanding selection of small plates, unusual offerings, great variety of skillfully prepared, imaginative dishes. Well informed server who knew the menu and the wine list. The food came fast and we were able to add items as we ate along. This is a keeper and we'll be back. Our goal is to try everything on the menu. We loved everything we tried, maybe 8 different plates. It's right across the street from the former Rendezvous and helps take the sting from its passing.

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M
New England
8 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2017
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

We met friends here for brunch on a cold Sunday. The food was very good (French toast, quiche, and burger), but the quiches came out about 15 minutes after the other meals, which was not good. We shared a pitcher of Bloody Mary's which tasted excellent. We will return again, but they should even out the delivery of the meals more closely together.

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OT
New England
2 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The best meal I’ve had in Boston all last year. Fabulousness

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D
New England
4 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2017
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Friendly, knowledgeable wait-staff; decent food, although a bit pricey and a bit heavy on the oil/salt/fried aspect.

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OT
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2017
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

We loved our experience. Our server Alex was awesome and very personable. The type of server you hope you get when you're going out for a nice dinner. From the beginning he greeted us, made really great recommendations and remained conscious of us all the way through. The food he suggested was great. We loved the burger and the duck nachos. Afterwards, Alex took the time to find out that we were from out of town and gave us a list of some of his favorite places to visit, including one of their sister resturants. Food was consistent and tasty, cocktails were delicious, and Alex made sure my date and I had a great experience. Would definitely recommend!

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a
New England
6 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2017
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

Enjoyed our food very much and appreciated the flexibility that allowed us to add two more people at the last minute. It is a bit too dark and too loud for my taste.

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DG
New England
3 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious tastes and choice combinations and options. Great plates to share and explore new foods. Fun atmosphere and attentive staff!

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OD
New England
5 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2017
Overall 5food 3service 5ambience 4

I bring friends to Little Donkey frequently. I like the food and the fact there's a real bar with a real bartender who knows how to mix, dare I say, old fashioned drinks, like a Manhattan? I enjoy being able to talk without blaring music - and I like the menu. The burgers are the best, a modest size and on a brioche bun (I think it's called). It's really nice to have you in my 'hood!

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OT
Birmingham
1 review
Dined on December 28, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Great food and service! Very creative and flavorful. The room was a bit too dimly lit making it difficult to actually read the menus. Highly recommend it!

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OT
New England
3 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2017
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Jamaican chicken wings are really really spicy. Be prepaired! :)

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c
New England
13 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We love Little Donkey and dine there as often as possible. The food is delicious, the staff is outstanding, and the atmosphere is fun.

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OT
New Orleans
2 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food - eclectic menu. Great for sharing. Great service. One the best restaurants around.

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CF
New England
4 reviews
Dined on December 26, 2017
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

This was a fun dinner for a group of 5. Lots of small plates to share. With two celebrity chefs developing the dishes, there were some interesting flavors and textures. We absolutely loved the Vietnamese bologna with fried squid, peanuts and cabbage, the manti (Turkish meat dumplings) and the poached pear dessert. However, the food was not as skillfully balanced as it should be with Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette at the helm. And the pickle brined fried chicken sandwich was a huge disappointment. Chicken was limp and soggy, like it had been sitting in a steam table for hours. I'll take KFC over this stuff. Service was fantastic.

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BW
New England
2 reviews
Dined on December 26, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delightful! I went three times in one week once :-)

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MF
New England
7 reviews
Dined on December 26, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very delicous and creative cuisine. Pricey menu, but worth the dollar amount. I'd likely leave this on the special occassion or treat yourself list but you'll enjoy every meal!

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OT
New England
2 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Friendly and knowledgeable staff from the moment you walk in the door

Great seasonal plates, always coursed appropriately and a great portion size for price.

I take all of my friends here and I’m never disappointed.

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HF
New England
18 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2017
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

I was so happy to have reservations available for brunch on Christmas Eve, to meet with out of town friends. We all agreed the food was delicious and I look forward to returning for dinner.

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CC
New England
1 review
Dined on December 23, 2017
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Overall, disappointing. It was not bad but just okay.

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OT
New England
8 reviews
Dined on December 23, 2017
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Delicious food. Service was fine. Good atmosphere. Extremely loud- difficult to hold conversations. Would definitely go back for the food, but would evaluate the occasion because you can’t hear anyone.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 22, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We went for our anniversary which is also my wife’s birthday and were very pleased.We arrived 30 minutes early and although it was busy were seated right away. Food was delicious and even though I am a picky eater there were plenty of choices on the menu that I liked.

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OT
New England
1 review
Dined on December 21, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best meal I've had in a while. I never leave reviews but this was exceptional. Best service I've ever had! We had a large range of styles on our table from raw bar selections, to carnivore and herbivore friendly foods and all of it was fantastic. A solid beer/cocktail selection on top of it all is the cherry on top.

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OT
New England
2 reviews
Dined on December 19, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Little donkey is amazing! The service was unbelievable the food even better! It’s my new fav spot

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SD
New England
5 reviews
Dined on December 19, 2017
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Good, but not worth the price.

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OT
New England
1 review
Dined on December 18, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing place

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BN
New England
6 reviews
Dined on December 18, 2017
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

Little Donkey was a fresh take on tapas, really delicious. And they even had shrubs on the mocktail menu, and were able to customize well for me. Service was timely, charming and informative, even if a drink was forgotten. She gave great advice and checked on us at just the right intervals. The noise level was a bit high for conversation, but we managed a table at the periphery that was just right. Am looking forward to going back!

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OT
New England
4 reviews
Dined on December 17, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I have never had lamb bacon before, but now I am craving it for every meal! We went for brunch and the breakfast torta was to die for. So flavorful and delicious!

Our server was wonderful. The perfect balance of attentive and removed from being at our table every second. She was so friendly and helpful. I love little donkey and brunch is definitely just as great as dinner!

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S
New England
3 reviews
Dined on December 16, 2017
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Very attentive waitstaff! Very lively place for brunch! Make sure you book a table!! They have a few gluten free options and let you know when you can/cannot eat something. I ordered my own dish but it was nice to know that they are very attentive to food sensitivities. I would definitely recommend the Little Donkey & will be eating there again myself! Cheers!

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OT
New England
1 review
Dined on December 15, 2017
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

Went here because we absolutely love the sister restaurants, Coppa and Toro.. were not disappointed. The menu was very creative, loved the variety of ethnic dishes. Service was slightly slow - waited too long for a few dishes but our waitress was extremely helpful and we were happy she knew a lot about the dishes on the menu. Favorite dishes were the fried chicken sandwich, burger, manti, octopus and thai street noodles. Great burger and fried chicken sandwich. Manti was so unique - great flavors. Octopus was so tender and the sauce on it was amazing. Steak tartare was a little too spicy to taste the steak. Everything we had was delicious though, will definitely be back!

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AR
New England
26 reviews
Dined on December 14, 2017
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Great, interesting food. Tables quite close together and thus, quite noisy.

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MC
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on December 13, 2017
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 4

We had a terrible time. Our 5 plates were VERY spicy and only 2 had warned they would be spicy. We told the server we were allergic to spice and even then, she didnt mention so many plates were spicy.

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OT
New England
3 reviews
Dined on December 13, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Will be back again

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OT
New England
1 review
Dined on December 11, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 2ambience 5

AMAZING food and drink. Loud and expensive, but a cool setting and unbeatable food and cocktails.

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