Russell House Tavern

4.6
2238 Reviews
$30 and under
American
A New American Tavern, Russell House Tavern is a comfortable gathering spot for every occasion-from casual lunch breaks on the patio to after-work cocktails in the upstairs tavern to functions in the private dining room and everything in between. Russell House Tavern delivers a seasonally-inspired menu of modern interpretations of American classics, including signatures like the R. House Burger, a selection of Tavern Pizzas and Steak Frites among other dishes. To complement the menu, Russell House Tavern serves an interesting collection of all-American wines, including two regional wines on tap, and a locally-driven craft beer selection. The cocktail menu strikes a balance between familiar classics and modern hand-crafted recipes using only fresh juices, homemade syrups and infusions.

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitizing
  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
  • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
  • Contactless payment available
  • Sealed or wrapped utensils used
Physical Distancing
  • Limited number of seated diners
  • Distancing maintained in common areas
  • Extra space between tables
Protective Equipment
  • Waitstaff wear masks
  • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
What 2238 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.5
service
4.5
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
86% of people would recommend it to a friend
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BW
vipBethW
New England
15 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very clean. Servers attentive. Well-timed delivery of courses. Good food and beverages.

OT
OpenTable Diner
New England
3 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Loved the frozen margarita, tuna tartare, and the mushroom and leek pizza. Had great service and loved the atmosphere.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall2food1service1ambience4

We ordered the Tavern breakfast and the pork sausage was served to us raw in the middle. When we tried to discuss this with the waitress she said “I don’t eat meat.” We asked to have it re cooked and they sent out bacon and then charged us for it . There was no sense of what was being plated and no management available/willing to discuss. Unfortunately we will not return.

CH
CHRP
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall3food3service5ambience3

The music was bad top40 and too loud. Service was great but the food was only OK. If it had been half the price, we would have been fine but for a $100 meal, the dishes were too oily and flavors not fresh.

OT
OpenTable Diner
London
7 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall1food1service1ambience1

We made a reservation for 3 ppl in advance and were seated in a cramped corner booth for 2. We were then (after we asked) moved to a table that felt like we were in the middle of everything while there were better tables and open booths. They had no lobster roll as we were told they couldn’t compete against their sister restaurant…. So they stopped making them. We left at that point.
The experience was disappointing. It was our favorite spot in Cambridge…

OT
OpenTable Diner
New England
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall4food4service2ambience3

Our server did not seem concerned about us at all.

TW
TriciaW2566
New England
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Just beginning to get back out there after pandemic. Arrived before the crowds on a Friday afternoon. Got a high top by the front windows and enjoyed the people watching from my seat. Started with delicious Wellfleet oysters and shared a sausage ricotta pizza after. Our server was a standout. She was very friendly and patient with us, true professional. Very much enjoyed my whole experience and return to Russell House after the pandemic hiatus. I will be back soon.

NY
vipNYCfoodies
New York Area
18 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall4food5service3ambience3

Nice ambience but the menu offerings were just unavailable !

OT
OpenTable Diner
New England
11 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Our server was very friendly and attentive. The beer selection was decent and the house burger was great!

JM
JMLJ
New England
2 reviews
Dined on June 6, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great brunch food, really liked the nutella french toast.

PS
PankajS
Houston
1 review
Dined on June 6, 2021
Overall4food2service4ambience4

Food quality especially steak and potatoes a lot to be desired.

ED
EmilyD
New England
2 reviews
Dined on June 5, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a great time at Russell House! The burger was delicious and the drinks were creative.

MH
MichelH
Denver
1 review
Dined on June 2, 2021
Overall3food2service4ambience5

Food was not great.

JL
vipJayL
Columbus
2 reviews
Dined on May 31, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great fried chicken sandwich!

2
2ndhelpings
New England
3 reviews
Dined on May 31, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Nice outdoor seating, right on JFK Street. Good service and vibe.

WR
WilliamR
1 review
Dined on May 29, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was great - loved the Brussels sprout and corn appetizers! A delightful place to eat in Harvard Square.

KH
KH01
1 review
Dined on May 28, 2021
Overall2food4service2ambience2

We had four different waitstaff cycling through during our meal with no consistency or follow-through. They forgot part of our order, and, after two reminders, finally brought it out toward the end of the meal. Coffee and water were never refilled. When we were ready for the check, it had been so long that a waitperson had been to our table that I had to get up and find someone. Food and drinks were ok — average. Fries were amazing!

OT
OpenTable Diner
New York Area
1 review
Dined on May 28, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was nice and food was excellent

PD
PriyaD
1 review
Dined on May 23, 2021
Overall4food5service4ambience3

Enjoyed the steak and eggs plate with steak cooked til perfection and the salmon avocado toast plate. The coffee (latte) was a bit underwhelming. The tables indoors were pushed a bit too close, but did have proper covid barriers between tables. Service was good.

JD
JimD
1 review
Dined on May 19, 2021
Overall3food3service5ambience4

A good casual pub-like drinking and dining experience. Server and bartender were great. Burger and warm spinach salad very good, but not exceptional. I’d pass on the tuna tartare which was just ok.

FF
FrancescaF
New England
1 review
Dined on May 16, 2021
Overall3food4service3ambience4

I had asked the waiter to return once I made a decision what to drink and he never came back. We only had our drinks and ate elsewhere

MF
MisterF
1 review
Dined on May 16, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience5

We had a very nice waitress. Food was decent. A bit too pricy.

BL
BarbaraL
1 review
Dined on May 15, 2021
Overall2food2service2ambience2

the service was passable. the food was barely warm. the waiter forgot our dessert order. neither stellar food nor service.

ST
SaraT
1 review
Dined on May 15, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Lovely spot for delicious cocktails and comestibles. The Brussels sprouts are a personal favorite.

L
vipLina
New England
11 reviews
Dined on May 15, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We came here while waiting for a table at a different restaurant, and I couldn’t be more impressed. The service was so speedy and the food and drinks were super good. I had a party of four and we lucked out by getting a last-minute reservation ten minutes in advance. My friend and I shared the Brussels sprouts appetizer and our other two friends shared the Margherita pizza. The It’s always sunny cocktail I got was fantastic too, and everything my friends drank they enjoyed as well.

It was a beautiful day out, and we were able to get a table outside. I’d definitely come back. Thank you!

P
Piglet
New England
1 review
Dined on May 15, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent wine and pizza! Can’t wait til we can go back!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
New England
1 review
Dined on May 15, 2021
Overall4food5service3ambience1

Tables outdoors on the patio cramped. Otherwise, good food!

BB
BellaB
New England
3 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2021
Overall4food3service4ambience4

Okay food, great ambiance!! Would probably go back

JH
JeffreyH
New England
1 review
Dined on May 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great restaurant. Excellent staff. Food was fantastic. I love that they were serving brunch for lunch!!

MC
MarciaC
New England
1 review
Dined on May 9, 2021
Overall1food1service2ambience1

Not inviting, food was not great and terrible drink options. Nasty tap water

W
Whaleboy
New England
28 reviews
Dined on May 9, 2021
Overall3food3service3ambience3

We went to Russell House because of Spenser. Yup - the Robert Parker character continues to live through Ace Atkins. That means that local food purveyors will be mentioned. Russell House shows up a few times. Spenser likes the hash at brunch, and the burger at other times. Now - Spenser as generally been correct in his food choices - see Rein's in Vernon, CT for a great example - but Russell House was a huge miss.

Service was poor. Nice kid, but woefully inefficient. We asked for our one app to be delivered before the entrees. Should be easy enough (especially since it was the one uncooked app!), but it didn't happen. Hash is good, steak tips are ordinary. If you are going to offer a fine brunch, and it includes "steak and eggs," have an actual strip steak available.

Drinks. Spenser gets the Bloody Mary. Are you kidding me?! Nothing shows that Robert Parker has left this world like this factoid. My wife ordered this drink, and it was without question the worst we have ever seen. Served in a small glass with zero garnish and a ridiculous amount of ice, it was truly a disgrace to the bartenders' craft.

Embarrassingly poor performance.

b
brunch
New England
3 reviews
Dined on May 9, 2021
Overall4food2service5ambience4

Service was great and they have a nice outdoor spot. But the food was sub-par for what they charge. The $14 omelette boasts of being filled with seasonal vegetables and yet was just unseasonal unripe tomatoes and cheese. The $15 avocado toast was barely a snack.

AW
AllisonW
New England
2 reviews
Dined on May 9, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Really good! Went here for brunch for Mother’s Day, and I was impressed by the food, service, and location. It was a good price, especially for Harvard Square, and there’s a lot of space inside! COVID-friendly.

AW
vipAlWorthington
Philadelphia
4 reviews
Dined on May 8, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Good food. Good drinks. Pleasant, timely service B on a busy Saturday night.

KD
KatieD
New England
5 reviews
Dined on May 8, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had the best brunch - the music was perfect, our server Jorge was great and the food was amazing!!

JP
JulieP
New England
1 review
Dined on May 3, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great atmosphere, service and food was delicious! Highly recommend! Of you are in Harvard square this is the place to go!

M
Mary
New England
1 review
Dined on May 2, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was very yummy and the service was great! Definitely would go back!

JF
vipJFraser
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on April 29, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a wonderful dinner and our server Hunter was polite, attentive and very professional. Anytime we travel to Cambridge we make a stop at The Russell House Tavern.

A
Acolyte
New England
8 reviews
Dined on April 26, 2021
Overall3food2service2ambience4

Haven't eaten here in a while, but this time the food was mediocre and the service was friendly but slow. Go for the ambience and location, and trust that the food and service will return as the pandemic winds down.

B
Beck
New England
1 review
Dined on April 24, 2021
Overall2food1service4ambience3

My overall experience was not the best. The staff was nice but the food was terrible. We ordered 2 entrees and neither meal had any flavor. The food was not seasoned at all and was very plain. I also ordered a drink but that was not good either the flavor was just very off. This place has a lot of good reviews so may they were just having an off night or something.

FAQs

You can order delivery directly from Russell House Tavern using the Order Online button. Russell House Tavern also offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (617) 500-3055.

Russell House Tavern is rated 4.6 stars by 2238 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.

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