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Party Size
For 2
Date
Today
Time
7:00 PM
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Booked 48 times today

Russell House Tavern

4.4
1635 reviews
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$30 and under
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American
Perfect For:
  • Good for a Date
  • Casual
  • Good for Groups
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.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
American, Gastro Pub
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Hours of operation
Dinner: Daily 5:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:00 am - 4:00 pm
Brunch: Saturday-Sunday 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Late Night: Sunday-Thursday until 12 am, Friday-Saturday until 1:00 am
Bar: Sunday-Wednesday until 1:00 am, Thursday-Saturday until 2:00am

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Phone number
(617) 500-3055
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Pay with OpenTable, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Sebastian Navarrete
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Brattle Street
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Parking details
Validation for the harvard square parking garage and on street parking
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Public transit
Harvard Square Station (Redline or Bus)
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Gift Card
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 1635 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.2
food
4.2
service
4.2
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
85% of people would recommend it to a friend
  • 5
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  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
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5.0Dined 2 days ago

Great atmosphere, service and food - thank you for hosting

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4.0Dined 4 days ago

An enjoyable late lunch, on a weekday when they are quieter than usual. Good food and service.

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3.0Dined 4 days ago

We could hardly hear ourselves talk, and this was at a table off to the side. Too noisy.

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3.0Dined 5 days ago

The ambiance was lively and active—felt like a fun place to be. The service was poor. Although our server was friendly, he made repeated mistakes that really took away from our experience. He forgot that I had ordered a beer. And it took a while after he was reminded. Then we ordered appetizers (cauliflower special and barbecue pork “wings”), along with our entrees. The brought the meals about 10 minutes before the appetizers. They forgot the cauliflower and said that they had run out. As we were leaving we saw multiple orders of the cauliflower being served!
The steak frites were excellent.
The swordfish and chicken were average.
Service was poor and disappointing.

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5.0Dined 5 days ago

We loved everything we ate! The duck poutine especially was SO delicious, it cannot be passed over.
Service was very quick, entrees came as soon as we finished our appetizers.

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5.0Dined on April 17, 2018

Monique (brand new server) was amazing!!!!

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5.0Dined on April 16, 2018

great food and service. can be a bit noisy when crowded, but if you get a corner table it's fine. best burgers in Cambridge MA and other good food and deserts as well.

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5.0Dined on April 15, 2018

Good time had by all

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2.0Dined on April 14, 2018

Was told that this was one of the best restaurants in Cambridge. Not so. Ordered several small plates that were under salted and tasteless. The “craft” beer was flat and watery. Would not recommend. Very noisy. A place for undergraduates with under developed palates.

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5.0Dined on April 14, 2018

We had a delicious, enjoyable evening together. The staff handled our large party with finesse. Two of our guests had serious food allergies, and we appreciated the attention from both the chef and the manager to these issues.
My only complaint was that at times the music was much too loud.

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4.0Dined on April 13, 2018

Food was delicious, waiter was very helpful, prices were good!

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5.0Dined on April 13, 2018

Dinner with our son

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3.0Dined on April 12, 2018

Far far too loud. Seated right under a cold blower also. No returns from us.

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5.0Dined on April 12, 2018

Attentive service and very good food. The beer menu is excellent and the servers are knowledgeable.

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3.0Dined on April 10, 2018

Poor service - slow response and lack of attention.

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1.0Dined on April 10, 2018

Waitress forgot our order and we waited an hour for our food. Not going back.

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3.0Dined on April 9, 2018

While our waiter was attentive and informative, making sure we understood our drink and food options perfectly , he couldn't make up for the disappointing food. My husband has the coffee crusted shortrib which came with half a carrot and a small amount of potato puree. Not a huge amount of food given the price. I ordered the house burger and, though the meat was quite good,it was overpowered by a burnt english muffin. I ended up taking off the muffin and just eating the burger with a knife and fork. Waiter suggested doing a split of fries and salad, which I'm glad I agreed to because the salad was better than the limp fries. Was disappointed to see how run down the downstairs area is looking (every chair was visibly damaged or heavily worn out) so not sure I can recommend this as a spot for anything more than a drink and apps upstairs in the bar.

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4.0Dined on April 8, 2018

Food was excellent. The service was great and the kitchen is open late. Nice place for parents to go when visiting their kids at school in Cambridge.

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5.0Dined on April 8, 2018

This is a good spot for late-night dining.

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4.0Dined on April 6, 2018

Good service and tasty food. Portions are relatively small though for what you pay.

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4.0Dined on April 6, 2018

Yummy. Tables close with pretty loud neighbors, but really nice waitress, lovely cocktails, wine and beer, and food for the most part. Didn't love the grits, too sweet and liquidy for my taste, but everything else we ate was delicious. The tuna tartar was amazing. Overall, good dining, but probably wouldn't opt for it again on date night due to the volume of the people and close proximity of tables.

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3.0Dined on April 1, 2018

Annual Easter brunch. Food quality seems to be declining.

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5.0Dined on March 31, 2018

Our server Steve was probably the best waiter I have ever had. He was amazing.

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3.0Dined on March 31, 2018

I am so conflicted...would normally have given 4 stars..but had a really weird experience. We had reservations at 9, we arrived 15 minutes early because our previous event ended early. Fully expected to wait...but we waited and waited...standing up against a wall...finally close to 915 the host apologized and offered a glass of wine...good move, and I happily accepted. Just as he brought it we were told the 'Upstairs' hostess had a table for us. It was the BAR, open seating. TINY SPACE, CRAMPED we had 4 Harvard students drinking and eating pizza LOUDLY using colorful language jammed right next to us on one side and a couple awkwardly navigating what must have been a first date on the other..we could hear EVERYTHING they said and didn't want to. Oh, did I mention I was there with my 16 year old son?! Our reservations were for the quieter less frenetic restaurant downstairs where we'd been waiting for 30 minutes. By the time we got upstairs, were seated at the table and I realized what was going on I was too tired to complain. I definitely should have. We could have eaten at the bar 30 minutes earlier if I wanted to go that direction. Upstairs we had the tavern menu vs the dinner menu down. In shopping they call it a bait and switch, kinda similar since I was a newby and didn't know better. I know they were just trying to get us seated but they were not comparable dining experiences unfortunately. If they had only ASKED if we wanted to 'dine' upstairs rather than continue to wait downstairs they might have had a 4 star review...and I might have had a much better taste in my mouth all the way around.

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5.0Dined on March 30, 2018

Fun atmosphere, great food and service. Highly recommend, especially as a dinner place on the way to Regatta Bar or other local performance.

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5.0Dined on March 30, 2018

Food is terrific and Wine list is among the most reasonable in the Boston area

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5.0Dined on March 30, 2018

We went for a business lunch. The food was great and the place filled up pretty quickly. It was kind of loud, though it may have been just the party to our right..

I've been here before late night and found it a great place to be. The bar staff are knowledgeable and friendly and the late night menu is good.

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5.0Dined on March 26, 2018

Got the dine out Boston special and realized after the fact they missed the app while we paid for it.

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4.0Dined on March 25, 2018

We went to Russell House to celebrate my friend's birthday and I must say everybody enjoyed themselves. We took a whole bunch of small plates and made sort of a tapas night out of it, since we all like different things and sharing. First, we ordered a dozen of oysters of different kinds and they were fantastic. We also got tuna tartar, which was truly spectacular; beets salad and mushroom pizza - both were very fresh and delicious.
Then, in order to move to the next stage of our celebration, we ordered beef tartar, lamb meatballs, duck with french fries and foie gras. The lamb meatballs got the high scores, as everybody reported it was outstanding. The foie gras came as a pate, not a seared version, which I personally would prefer better, but it was still tasty. The duck dish seriously lacked the duck in my opinion, it was more of a french fries with duck flavor. The beef tartar was superb, even though I've got some comments about the horse radish sauce it was accompanied with very closely. I understand that beef tartar is served different way by different chiefs, ours lacked some usual garments it usually comes with. The drinks were great, many thanks to the bartender. The service was exceptional, attentive but not pushy, we truly liked our waitress (and she has a great taste in jewelry). We'll find something else to celebrate and come back soon.

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2.0Dined on March 24, 2018

We made a 7:30pm reservations, two weeks in advance. We arrived just before 7:30pm to check-in, but weren't sat until 8pm. While waiting, several larger parties were sat before us. Waiting a half hour after our reservation time to be sat primed us for an unenjoyable time at this restaurant.

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1.0Dined on March 24, 2018

I had to cut my most recent visit here short because the noise level was so high that it was impossible to hear any conversation at all. We knew that the place was loud, and rarely go there because of that, but this was even worse than on previous visits. The food here is fine, but I will not be returning. Worse still, a lot of the noise was being added by the restaurant, which piped in a kind of ambient screech. They have an architectural noise issue (which can be addressed with some simple fixes) & should not play any music at all. I don't know how anyone can stand it.

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4.0Dined on March 24, 2018

Food was OK, ambience was fine, but seriously very noisy.

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4.0Dined on March 22, 2018

Food was very good but portions small. Maybe it was my mistake to order salad with chicken but I was hungry almost immediately after leaving! Great service

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3.0Dined on March 21, 2018

Lunch menu got a lot worse. Prices have increased and old favorites are gone (i.e. lamb meatball spaghetti and pastrami sandwich etc.)

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3.0Dined on March 18, 2018

Seems like a nice place for a burger. Unfortunately on of us had swordfish and the other roast chicken. The fish itself seemed not fresh, and the dish ill-conceived. The roasted chicken was dull. The server was very nice, atmosphere pleasant. No worries, we're from out of town, and even if we loved it we wouldn't be back soon.

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3.0Dined on March 18, 2018

They were out of Guinness and all stouts on St Patrick's Day for an 8PM reservation. Food was not the best it's been either (I and another guest got the butternut squash risotto). We've been quite a few times for different occasions and this was, by far, our least favorite visit with our party of 4 cramped in a corner downstairs in addition to what I already mentioned.

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4.0Dined on March 17, 2018

Great gastro-pub type food and attentive service - lively atmosphere. Centrally located in Harvard Square.

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4.0Dined on March 17, 2018

It was loud and fun. Energy level was great! Food was delicious and perfect for our late night needs.

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4.0Dined on March 3, 2018

Overall a good experience. Salads (beet salad and farro salad) were both very good. Cocktails were creative and tasty. Several solid craft beer options (incl. Trillium). Burgers were also tasty. The one big issue what the steak frites. it was cooked perfectly medium rare, but it wasn't seasoned AT ALL, and so was therefore quite bland. Our server was friendly, but seemed a bit green.

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4.0Dined on March 3, 2018

Met a special friend for lunch. Noticed some features in the restaurant and asked the severs who couldn’t answer any questions.

Decent but disappointing.

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