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About Russell House Tavern

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.

14 JFK Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
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Dining Style:
Casual Dining

Cuisines:
American, Gastro Pub

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

Cross Street:
Brattle Street

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Pay with OpenTable, Visa

Phone Number:
(617) 500-3055

Website:
http://russellhousecambridge.com/

Parking Details:
Validation for the harvard square parking garage and on street parking

Public Transit:
Harvard Square Station (Redline or Bus)

Executive Chef:
Greg Guevin

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

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Russell House Tavern Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.3

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.1

service

4.2

ambience

4.1

value

4.0

Noise

Moderate

85% would recommend it to a friend

Casual (25)
Fun (18)
Vibrant Bar Scene (16)
See All
Handcrafted Cocktails (13)
Good for a Date (12)
Good for Groups (12)
Great for Lunch (12)
Bar Seating (12)
Neighborhood Gem (11)
Good for Birthdays (10)
Great for Brunch (9)
Comfort Food (9)
Authentic (8)
Fit for Foodies (8)
Happy Hour (8)
Cozy (7)
Local Ingredients (7)
Special Occasion (7)
Creative Cuisine (6)
Great Beer (6)
Late-night Find (6)
People Watching (4)
Quick Bite (4)
Romantic (4)
Sunday Lunch (4)
Pre/post Theatre (4)
Business Meals (3)
Live Sports (3)
Great for Outdoor Dining (3)
Quiet Conversation (3)
Good for Anniversaries (2)
Kid-friendly (2)
Hot Spot (2)
Notable Wine List (2)
Worth the Drive (2)
Healthy (1)
Seasonal (1)
Tapas (1)
Tasting Menu (1)
Good Vegetarian Options (1)
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1556 reviews
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 (New England)·Dined 3 days ago

We had a delicious lunch with friendly and helpful service. When it gets full it’s very noisy. We were there early. The noise increased

Tags: Great for Lunch, Great for Brunch
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food5
ambience3
service5
value5

 
·Dined 5 days ago

Unfortunately, quality was a bit uneven for our brunch meal. I had two poached eggs, and one was basically hard boiled. A friend ordered two eggs over medium, and the tools were barely set. At the end of the meal we split the bill across two credit cards, and the waitress misbilled is. To her credit, she noticed this and came back to rerun the cards.

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food3
ambience4
service3

vip
 (New England)·Dined on January 11, 2018

Pizzas ordered had way to much cheese on them and one was flavorful but neither very good. None of us would recommend. Also your goat cheese pizza had regular regular cheese (menu not labeled). Burger was good.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience4
service5
value3

vip
 (New England)·Dined on January 1, 2018

Good food and reasonably priced. Would definitely recommend!

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Great for Brunch, Casual, Special Occasion, Comfort Food, Good for Groups
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

vip
 (New England)·Dined on January 1, 2018

This was the worst New Years I can remember in a while. We were seated immediately with a Rez. However a crazy grandma and her family started screaming throughout the dinner demanding a taken table near us. The grandson was horrific even coming up and touching my husband at one time. We complained about the screams but nothing was comped.

Tags: Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience1
service2
value2

vip
 (New England)·Dined on December 31, 2017

Great service and excellent food! 4 diners all loved their entrees, and the cocktails were delicious.

Tags: Casual, Neighborhood Gem, Handcrafted Cocktails, Comfort Food
1 person found this review helpful.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on December 27, 2017

great place with great food and service! i got the steak tartar and the leek pizza. both were delicious. our server was Kelly and she was absolutely wonderful. very respectful and always checking in on the table!

Tags: Happy Hour, People Watching, Fun, Late-night Find, Tapas, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (New England)·Dined on December 22, 2017

Needs a better kids menu, the grilled cheese was rock hard, had no typical vegetable options. Add the basics, chicken fingers, carrots, broccoli, should be simple and parents will be more likely to come back.

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food2
ambience3
service4
value3

 
 (New England)·Dined on December 19, 2017

Came here for a friends reunion. It was a perfect spot & they put us at a great table. Food came out quickly and was delicious. The burger was so good & loved that it was on an English muffin! Not too much bread. Drinks were good and moderately priced. Will come back again soon!

1 person found this review helpful.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on December 19, 2017

The bartenders where incredible. They where flexible and helpful and creative. Even though the menu had been changed the food was still good. The steak tartar was a bit chewy but okay overall. Cute for a Birthday.

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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (New England)·Dined on December 17, 2017

Eh, not so much. We won't be back any time soon. The burgers were really dry and tasteless and other folks' entrees were pretty blah. Too bad...

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food2
ambience3
service3
value1

 
 (New England)·Dined on December 17, 2017

Welcoming tavern style restaurant where families with children are comfortable at brunch along with the usual Harvard Square devotees. The brunch menu wasn't huge, but there were options and the food was tasty and well prepared. Though the servers were friendly, there was a certain amount of confusion about orders and they seemed a little disorganized.

Tags: Casual
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food3
ambience3
service3
value3

vip
 (New England)·Dined on December 17, 2017

There for brunch; great atmosphere and interesting and abundant food.

Tags: Great for Brunch
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
·Dined on December 16, 2017

We have had a late after-theatre supper here several times on a Friday night, originally due to serving hours. We are older, female and not the clientele that, more than likely, they focused on when creating a vision for their restaurant. But the staff, from entrance to departure is welcoming, gracious, personable and appreciative. And we have thoroughly enjoyed anything we have ordered. Ingredients are very fresh, well prepared and presented. We also appreciate the photos of the Harvard Square we remember so well.

Tags: Casual, Late-night Find
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on December 15, 2017

Service was excellent, but the food wasn't a good as I remember from a few years ago.

Tags: Casual, Bar Seating
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (New England)·Dined on December 15, 2017

Nice place for family get together! I HAD BEEN THERE BEFORE BUT NOT THE REST OF THE PARTY. DEFINITELY WILL GO THERE AGAIN.

Tags: Authentic, Local Ingredients
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on December 14, 2017

I am so thankful that Russell House Tavern was accommodating. I made a reservation for 3 people and actually meant to make it for 4. They were able to seat my whole party with very little heads up notice. The occasion was a special one that was pretty emotional and the ambiance was great. It wasn't too quiet where other tables could overhear the conversation and it wasn't too loud as to not be able to hear my friends. The pasta was amazing and I only wish there was more of it! The drinks were delicious as well.

Tags: Cozy, Special Occasion, Romantic, Bar Seating, Late-night Find
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

vip
 (New England)·Dined on December 12, 2017

Overall, Russell House is always reliable, generally good, and easy.

Tags: Bar Seating, Great for Lunch, Casual
2 people found this review helpful.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience3
service3
value3

 
 (New England)·Dined on December 10, 2017

We were downstairs in the main dining room which was full and unbelievably noisy. I assume that RHT is among the restaurants now optimized for noise instead of quiet to give it an atmosphere of rowdiness. There were times when a regular volume of voice was insufficient to be heard by someone 3 feet across the table. The food was fine but unexceptional. Service okay as well. Probably not someplace I would return to. Not the kind of place you come to for a leisurely brunch, but more appropriate to watch a football game.

Tags: Vibrant Bar Scene
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food3
ambience2
service3
value2

vip
 (New England)·Dined on December 9, 2017

Host had attitude when asked if we could have a booth instead of the table he was heading us toward. One of the parties in our group of 4 received their lunch a good 5 minutes after the other three received theirs with no apology for the delay. Eggs over easy were so uncooked that they were raw, runny and cold. The only hustle we saw in our waitress was her hustling to sell us dessert and coffee twice which we politely declined twice.

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food1
ambience3
service1
value2

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on December 8, 2017

In the middle of Harvard Square, it is a cozy place to have a lunch, a happy-hour, or dinner. Harvard students are all over the place, and we feel like we are part of it too. The food was ok. That is not the most important thing, but the atmosphere. Loved it!

Tags: Great for Lunch, Happy Hour
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food3
ambience5
service4
value4

 
·Dined on December 3, 2017

Great dining experience at the Russell House Tavern. Reservation was super seamless and easy. Great staff, super friendly. Waitstaff was stellar, made honest recommendations and they were totally correct. We got a booth and it was a perfect setting for conversation. Food was amazing, highly recommend doing small plates and sharing. Highly recommend the Moscow Mule -
house made ginger beer (not too sweet, perfect!) Also very reasonable pricing for Boston!

Tags: Special Occasion, Happy Hour, Good for Birthdays, Casual, Bar Seating, Good for Anniversaries, Fun
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on November 30, 2017

When in Cambridge, Russel House is a favorite eating destination. With a consistent delivery of good food and a welcoming & vibrant atmosphere, we always enjoy our time there.

Tags: Great Beer, Bar Seating, Handcrafted Cocktails, Great for Lunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 29, 2017

Had a great time, nice setting, solid service, excellent chow for comfort-food seeking foodies.

Tags: Fun, Hot Spot, Authentic, Great for Brunch, Fit for Foodies, Good for a Date, Great Beer, Comfort Food, Neighborhood Gem, Casual
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on November 23, 2017

Very good experience with Thanksgiving dinner - appreciated the alternatives to traditional 3 course dinner although the selections looked great - just a bit too much food. Friend and I each ordered entrees, then split app and dessert - perfect and so good! Excellent service as well.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Pre/post Theatre, Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Good for Groups, Sunday Lunch, Bar Seating, Quick Bite, Casual, Notable Wine List, Vibrant Bar Scene, Cozy, Handcrafted Cocktails
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on November 23, 2017

The ambiance and the service were good but the Prix Fixe Thanksgiving meal was very disappointing. The presentation of the turkey dinner was slipshod and lacked "all the fixin's." The mashed potatoes seemed to be "instant" There were two pieces of turkey: one was moist and one was dried out. The bread pudding dessert had a rubbery texture that made me wonder if it had been made last Thanksgiving. The pate appetizer was good as was the coffee finale.

Tags: Vibrant Bar Scene, Neighborhood Gem, Casual
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food1
ambience4
service4
value3

vip
 (New England)·Dined on November 23, 2017

Came in for Thanksgiving dinner with my boyfriend. They had a three-course Thanksgiving meal that was quite tasty! And the wine pairings for the dishes were well done. I was very happy with the experience. Definitely a perfect Thanksgiving for 2.

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food5
ambience3
service5
value4

 
·Dined on November 23, 2017

A group of us came for Thanksgiving dinner a few days ago. Overall, we were quite happy with the choices offered for the three-course dinner. The sweet potato bisque was scrumptious, and the swordfish dish was delicious (the green beans and delicata squash were amazing). Those of us who had turkey, though, found it a bit on the dry side, and the gravy didn't seem to help. Staff was friendly, courteous, and responsive. We wanted a tavern atmosphere this year and weren't disappointed!

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food4
ambience3
service4
value4

 
 (New Orleans)·Dined on November 18, 2017

We were very disappointed by our dinner! Bread was horrible. Entrees ok. One in our group is vegan and when she asked the waiter if cheese could be left off the pizza he looked at her like she had two heads. We saw the waiter what felt like every 1/2 hour. Would NOT go back except for drinks at the bar.

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food3
ambience3
service1
value3

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on November 12, 2017

Best pizza I have ever had. We ordered the fennel sausage with onions and sage and if we could of eaten two I would of ordered the melted leek and wild mushroom. We also had a delicious side of roasted broccoli. Delicious!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Quiet Conversation, Healthy, Great for Lunch, Local Ingredients
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on November 11, 2017

Very good atmosphere, authentic tavern style dining in historic building. Busy late lunch scene. Good mix of people. Food and service were for and appropriately priced.

Tags: Casual, Good for Birthdays, Great for Lunch, Authentic, Live Sports, Vibrant Bar Scene, Good for a Date
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on November 11, 2017

Whenever I stop in for a drink and/or food I'm always greeted and get service right away. I have had brunch here which was good. But I honestly go here because I love the wine selection and the ability to read my book in peace.

Tags: Great for Brunch, Good for Groups
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Montreal)·Dined on November 8, 2017

Russell House Tavern was just fine. Not great but not offensive. The host and server was friendly, however, we didn't see our server once after our food arrived. We waited what felt like a long time for our food to show up and when it did, many of the items were luke warm like they had been sitting in the kitchen for awhile. Overpriced for what it is.

Tags: Business Meals, Bar Seating
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food3
ambience4
service3
value2

 
 (New England)·Dined on November 6, 2017

The food was fabulous. The way the food is plated is very appealing to the eye. I highly recommend the salmon. The waiter was attentive and did a good job explaining the menu. On another note, however, it is a loud atmosphere (acoustics and music), making it hard to hear other people at your table. I would recommend this restaurant for the food, first and foremost. If you like a loud atmosphere when dining, then you will enjoy this restaurant.

Tags: Creative Cuisine
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food4
ambience2
service4
value3

 
 (New England)·Dined on November 4, 2017

It is a classic tavern, and I think they should work towards to be more authentic and less pretentious. The only plate I save is the meatballs. The deviled eggs were tasteless, no piquancy, even if they were supposed to be based on nduja. The chicken was soft and juicy, but with a flat, flavourless taste. The swordfish was a dry, bland insole. The cocktail was very good, but we were there for dinner. The service was great, attentive and accurate.

Tags: Bar Seating, Good for Groups, Live Sports, Casual, Cozy
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food2
ambience3
service4
value2

 
·Dined on October 26, 2017

We came here for a special birthday dinner, and the food/experience was good (I don't think I ordered the right items for my taste): we ordered the poutine starter (potato wedges with gravy, cheeses and a quail egg - somewhat smothered); for dinner, he ordered the hamburger and I ordered the fried oysters and crab cakes (both were good, but the oysters were missing something; he enjoyed his burger - served on an English muffin!). Decent wine list and long list of craft cocktails; nice ambiance with an upscale vibe and price tag (but super noisy).

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails
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food4
ambience3
service4
value3

 
 (New England)·Dined on October 26, 2017

We had a lovely meal preceded by creative cocktails, the service was excellent and the coffee wonderful

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Vibrant Bar Scene, Handcrafted Cocktails, Neighborhood Gem, Business Meals, Cozy, Great for Lunch, Good for Groups, Bar Seating, Casual, Fit for Foodies, Worth the Drive
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on October 23, 2017

Being as overpriced as it was outweighed the delicousness of the seafood (we ordered seafood sampler) The burger was good but not a fan of the english muffin bun. There are so many more reasonable and delicious restaraunts in Boston.

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food3
ambience3
service4
value1

vip
 (New England)·Dined on October 23, 2017

I have been a regular at Russell House Tavern since they opened. Something has happened in the kitchen, however. On my last two visits, my burger has been seriously over-cooked. The server was quite accommodating the first time; on the second occasion I was offered "some fries." This used to be my go-to burger spot in Harvard Square (grass-fed beef, not too much bread, caramelized onions) but no more. Perhaps they have become too comfortable.

Tags: Great Beer, Local Ingredients
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food3
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (New England)·Dined on October 22, 2017

Noise level made conversing with table mates impossible. Service was extremely slow, over an hour wait for food and the it came out in bits and pieces. Would not recommend unless you want a very loud bar with very slow service. However in spite of slow service, the wait staff were very pleasant.

Tags: Vibrant Bar Scene
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food2
ambience2
service2
value2

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