Russell House Tavern

4.5
1885 reviews
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$30 and under
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American
Russell House Tavern continues the Harvard Square tradition of local enterprise as a New American Tavern serving seasonally-inspired, classic dishes from New England and beyond. An inviting, multi-level space adorned with vintage photographs of the Square, Russell House Tavern specializes in artisanal fare served alongside carefully hand-crafted cocktails and a distinctive collection of all-American wines and craft beers.
What 1885 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.4
service
4.3
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
89% of people would recommend it to a friend
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A
New England
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always delicious with great service. I highly recommend the Extra Dirty Caeser and the seasonal Housemade Fettucini...along with any of the cocktails.

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m
New England
6 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I always get a great meal at Russell House and this was no exception - it's hard to find a good Cuban sandwich especially if you are not in a Cuban restaurant but this was outstanding. The side of plantain chips were cut lengthwise and were so crispy so it was good match for the sandwich.

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OT
New England
5 reviews
Dined on May 16, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Nice menu selections, food well prepared, presentation uninspired, service very good.

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AH
New England
2 reviews
Dined on May 15, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

The pasta sauce was glue-y, and one of our other meals had to be returned and warmed. Our drinks took a very long time to be delivered, and the server forgot to bring salt and pepper until reminded twice. The restaurant was quite noisy, and our party had a difficult time hearing one another. There were 2 very loud tables near us, shouting, shrieking laughter, and singing happy birthday raucously to someone at the table 4 times. It would have been nice if they had been asked by employees to be considerate of others and moderate their volume.

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D
New England
7 reviews
Dined on May 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always enjoy lunch here...especially upstairs by the bar or by the windows.

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JT
1 review
Dined on May 14, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

We went to Russell House as a catch-up with old coworkers with their significant others. The hostess seated us promptly and our server came right over. Everything came out in a timely manner and was good. Overall the meal was great and the restaurant fit the bill. I have gone to Russell House for years and it goes through cycles, right now it is really good.

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SD
1 review
Dined on May 14, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Enjoyed lunch. Good food. Good service. Deviled eggs were yummy

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DK
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 4

We had reservations and were seated immediately. We were given water and our server was ready to take our drink order. The drink portions were meager. Placed our food order, portions were adequate but not generous. Our server was attentive until she asked if we wanted a second cocktail, when we said no, she immediately brought the check; no offering for dessert, coffee or digestif. We brought this to the manager's attention. He comped our cocktails, brought us a free cocktail and gave us a coupon for our next visit. When the adjusted check arrived we waited and waited for our server to take the check. We ultimately went to the server station to pay the bill. I did not tip 20%, but I would recommend visiting the restaurant with the understanding that you're paying a lot for a meal partially due to the Harvard Sq location. Tyler, the manager rose to the occasion.

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DS
New England
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great place for family brunch on Mother's day. Menu is great. Not a blah omelette, OJ and coffee brunch place.

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JB
New England
19 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 3

We enjoyed the food for the most part, but the server didn't pay attention to my daughter's requests, so she didn't get what she asked for. The server also never came back to ask us about our dishes after serving them, and she never came back to pick up the payment. We had to seek someone out. We waited too long for service; clearly there weren't enough servers on the floor. This was disappointing for a Mother's Day brunch. We won't return.

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PC
New England
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were a larger party (7) and our waiter was very attentive and great with the kids

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OT
New England
3 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

First time and was fabulous food, service, and atmosphere!
Sat by window and loved it! Will definitely keep on foodie list!
Very fun!👱‍♀️

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MC
1 review
Dined on May 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Great food and drinks! Perfect place to meet up with friends

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J
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on May 3, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

Very stuffy and warm in otherwise pleasant lower level. Waitress was attentive.

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RG
1 review
Dined on May 2, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Great place to go for a beer and sit at the bar. We went for dinner and it was not great. Fries were very greasy and overcooked. Fettuccine with a sauce that was too heavy with too much cream. I will come again, but then I’ll have a beer and maybe a burger again.

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PK
New England
5 reviews
Dined on May 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best burger in Harvard Square

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t
Tampa
5 reviews
Dined on April 29, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

Service was extremely slow. We had to flag down a server for everything—never did figure out which one was ours. Most food ok but fried Brussels sprouts we liked in the past were greasy and unappetizing this time.

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FD
New England
26 reviews
Dined on April 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Russel House Tavern is a great brunch spot with a diverse food menu and drink menu. The service was great and helped us make decisions. Highly recommend for a weekend brunch!

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A
1 review
Dined on April 28, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Came here for brunch with my mother and we enjoyed my meal. Great location from Harvard Sq, easily accessible by the red line. Waitress did make a mistake with the bill but she quickly came back to correct it without me having to search for her. Drinks were just OK - Bloody Mary needs some work- but the food was hearty, nice quality, and most importantly tasty. This wasn’t the finest of fine dining but its a welcoming environment for anyone- definitely an establishment I’ll go to again at any time for any meal.

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f
Seattle
1 review
Dined on April 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great food, wonderful service. Was quite loud in the bar area

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OT
New England
5 reviews
Dined on April 21, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 2

We’ve been to Russell House often it was a bit dry. My husband had the lobster sliders, which I’d had before & I told my husband they were very good. Unfortunately, they were just ok today. The filling was underwhelming. (They lobster salad overflowed on yummy, soft slider buns when I’ve had them.) One of our sons ordered the lobster Mac & cheese special. It looked good & he seemed to enjoy it. Our other son had no complaints with his fries. I think it was just an off day because it was busy....& there was a ceiling leak to attend to! I’d recommend RH overall.

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M
New York Area
1 review
Dined on April 21, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 3ambience 1

We waited over 30 minutes for our reserved table. The food was very slow to come out so our dining experience dragged on. The ladies room on our level (downstairs) had a gusher of a leak from the ceiling above and the wet floor was slippery and overall a gross place. The music was turned down at our request but the sound level was just poor for our party of eight to converse. A horrible Easter Sunday brunch spent at Russel House Tavern.

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MU
1 review
Dined on April 20, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 5

I usually like hanging out here for their really good cocktails and warm atmosphere. I wouldn't prefer it though for food. Food quality and amounts are so so. Salmon in the salmo salad was so little, salad was not very special.

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KP
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on April 19, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

If you're ok with an upscale pub-type atmosphere, where you can get quality food and watch "the game", this is the place for you. It's important to note we were seated downstairs. I'm not sure if sitting upstairs would have offered a different experience/vibe.

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PM
New York Area
1 review
Dined on April 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of the best places to grab a decent dinner in Boston.

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SU
New England
1 review
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 1

I rated the food as average only because we left before ordering - the menu looked good though. We were with friends from out of town and wanted to catch up, but this restaurant is very loud. A manager came over to ask what more they could do other than turning the music down (which they did). We appreciated their efforts to keep us there. Just wasn’t what we were looking for that night.

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JT
New England
2 reviews
Dined on April 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Noise level was perfect, ie, quiet. Server was very accommodating. We were there just before 5 on Friday, when dinner menu begins. We had deviled eggs(YUM!), kale & barley bowl (yum & took home half), pizza. All of it was delish. Service was prompt and kind.

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BR
New England
1 review
Dined on April 10, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Nice menu. Quiet enough to have comfortable conversation. Great service. Shrimp could have been better prepared but salad was great.

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D
New England
15 reviews
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

Food and service was excellent. Very loud, but it was a very young crowd.

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B
New England
3 reviews
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

It was loud, and the waitress wouldn't move us to what would have been a quieter table.

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MK
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 2

Nothing special at all. Would not recommend for brunch.

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R
New England
18 reviews
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

The duck hash was so good it got me erect. The home style fries could be crispier though.

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T
Philadelphia
42 reviews
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Food options are great, lots of good drinks/beers...service is friendly and excellent. Vibrant bar scene.

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BS
New England
1 review
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Favorite restaurant in Harvard Sq. Excellent food, drinks, vibe and phenomenal service.

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PE
New England
1 review
Dined on April 1, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 3

Never, ever hand a dirty paper menu to a dinner patron. Dinner for 4 was $190 with tip for 3 courses and drinks for 4 people. Why wouldn’t you spend half a dollar for clean menus? Still, food and service are good at Russell House.

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S
New England
1 review
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 3food 1service 4ambience 4

Our server was great and we enjoyed the decor/lighting. The food was not very good and we had to wait about 35 mins even though we had a reservation.

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AW
New England
2 reviews
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We had a group of eight and they were very accommodating in putting using a warm, convivial area - perfect for conversation. Plenty of food options for variety of tastes. Food and service were very very good. It was a fun night!

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JC
New England
8 reviews
Dined on March 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great location, delicious food and a terrific server made our experience very pleasant. I was happy to be seated downstairs in a corner to combat the very noisy atmosphere elsewhere. The prices were reasonable and, as I mentioned, our server was terrific. There was a bit of a glitch as I arrived before my companion and rather than connecting the dots, they seated us separately. We connected via text and he found me. It would have been better had the hostess connected the two people on the one reservation.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on March 21, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 3

Served us undercooked salmon yet made us feel that we were being difficult customers when my husband asked to have it cooked longer.

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EP
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on March 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I got their daily special eggs Benedict with salmon and it was DELICIOUS. The food tasted incredible and great service. I think the price is fair for the quality of the food.

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