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Nearby points of interest

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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

4.2

value

3.9

Noise

Moderate

86% would recommend it to a friend

Casual (25)
Fun (19)
Vibrant Bar Scene (19)
See All
Bar Seating (17)
Good for Groups (15)
Handcrafted Cocktails (14)
Good for a Date (14)
Great for Lunch (13)
Neighborhood Gem (12)
Special Occasion (12)
Fit for Foodies (11)
Authentic (10)
Great for Brunch (10)
Cozy (10)
Creative Cuisine (10)
Good for Birthdays (10)
Local Ingredients (9)
Pre/post Theatre (9)
Late-night Find (8)
Good for Anniversaries (7)
Happy Hour (7)
Romantic (7)
Sunday Lunch (7)
Business Meals (6)
Great Beer (6)
Comfort Food (6)
Hot Spot (5)
Live Sports (4)
People Watching (4)
Quick Bite (4)
Quiet Conversation (4)
Great for Outdoor Dining (3)
Tapas (3)
Kid-friendly (2)
Gluten Free Options (2)
Notable Wine List (2)
Seasonal (2)
Disabled Access (1)
Healthy (1)
Tasting Menu (1)
Worth the Drive (1)
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1585 reviews
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vip
 (New England)·Dined on October 5, 2017

Consistently solid but nothing amazing. Not sure why they need such a loud musical soundtrack for weekday lunches, many (if not most) of which are informal business gatherings.

Tags: Good for Groups, Great for Lunch
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food4
ambience3
service4
value4

 
 (New England)·Dined on October 3, 2017

We celebrated our son's 23rd birthday and we could not have picked a better restaurant. Very enjoyable! Thank-you Open Table and Russell House Tavern!

Tags: Good for Groups, Comfort Food, Casual, Vibrant Bar Scene, Good for Birthdays
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (New England)·Dined on October 2, 2017

This is a nice place to get together but is always chaotic. On this occasion, the main floor was engaged by a private party and a sign advised other patrons to find a host. Although no host was in sight and customers busily asked each other what to do, I found assistance and seating on the lower level. The service was very good but the tables were set up awkwardly so one could barely hear the other person. I would advise noise deafening material on the ceiling. My burger was good and I particularly appreciated the waiter's suggestion that I have salad and french fries. I did not think my friend's pasta special was very ample but she enjoyed it.

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food3
ambience3
service4
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 29, 2017

service was exceptional. You should expect loud. Charcuterie and cheese boards tantalized and fried oysters were simply yummy. Drinks were innovative and delicious. Main course was just OK. Two of us got the steak fries (which we usually get); unfortunately the fries could have been warmer and crisper. Another got the salmon which was slightly overcooked. Nevertheless overall it was a fun time had by all. Phenomenal service! Looking forward to the next time.

Tags: Vibrant Bar Scene, Handcrafted Cocktails, Worth the Drive, Comfort Food, Casual, Fun
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (New England)·Dined on September 26, 2017

Reserved a high-top in the bar area since I knew we were only doing drinks and apps. I've eaten downstairs before and the upstairs bar is more casual and lively (especially with the windows opening right onto the heart of Harvard Square). Our waiter was perfectly attentive and filled orders quickly and correctly, refilling water while we deliberated app choices. The charcuterie & cheese board was delicious as were the cocktails. Very grateful for the purse hooks under the tables in the bar area because the stools were backless. Looking forward to my return visit soon I hope!

Tags: Happy Hour, Bar Seating, Handcrafted Cocktails
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (New England)·Dined on September 17, 2017

I really wish this could be a positive review but it's was my second time here and both times my experience here was not that great. (Alway give at least two tries). Went there Sunday night bringing two out of country guests. Wanted to show them a great place and a great meal and was glad this place was still highly rated. Well, went well until we sat down at our table. We waited, waited, waited, for 20 minutes and no waiter showed up so went up to the host. She was kind and said she will find someone. We waited again for 10 minutes until a waiter showed up. The waitress was very kind and apologized for the long wait. Then ordered our drinks and food. Drinks took 20 minutes. Food 45 minutes. Couldn't really understand why it took so long as it didn't seem that busy that evening. Once the food arrived my burger buns (ciabbata bread) from their specials was a cold and seemed stale as it broke apart easily. Sent it back and wasn't much better the second time. I just ate it (minus the bun) anyways as I was really hungry by that time. Waitress was kind enough to not charge me. It was quite drafty where we sat and asked to turn off the ceiling fan. Like I said, wish I could give a better review but unfortunately two bad experiences is enough to form an honest review. Best of luck guys. Hope things turn back up for the good.

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food1
ambience1
service1
value2

 
 (New Mexico)·Dined on September 16, 2017

Fabulous food in really nice atmosphere. Much bigger than I thought from the street. Downstairs dining room was lovely!

Tags: Vibrant Bar Scene, Neighborhood Gem, Good for a Date, Good for Groups, Fun
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food4
ambience5
service4
value3

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on September 15, 2017

The food was excellent and so was the service. This place was a last minute find for my wife's birthday. We celebrated with friends. Not one complaint!!!

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Hot Spot, Late-night Find, People Watching
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on September 10, 2017

We had dishes of cod, salmon and swordfish which were all prepared very nicely. one person had a shredded vegan salad which was very good. Our only complaint was that the portions of the entrees were all on the small side. Our server was very good.

Tags: Disabled Access
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food4
ambience3
service4
value3

 
 (Birmingham)·Dined on September 10, 2017

We had a great meal! There were 4 of us and there was something for everyone. We were in a bit of a hurry because we had a train to catch and all the staff was very accommodating! Food was awesome! I had the shrimp and avocado salad with the lobster tail. It was perfect! We also shared a delicious plate of oysters. A great place!

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Business Meals, Hot Spot, Healthy
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on September 9, 2017

So many better choices in Harvard Square. While our server was a delight the rest was not worth the effort. The food was delivered haphazardly, two dishes were poor, the rest overwrought and bland. Noise level made for impossible intersction even with staff.
Will not recommend and will not return.

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food2
ambience1
service4
value1

vip
 (New England)·Dined on September 7, 2017

Always enjoy Russell House. Great friendly, efficient wait staff. Excellent food and flavor combinations. Fantastic bar and local beers. Local New England cheese plate went very well with our Benzinger wine. Fresh daily fish is a must. I'll be back soon.

Tags: Live Sports, Vibrant Bar Scene, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List, Fit for Foodies, Creative Cuisine, Hot Spot, Happy Hour, Bar Seating, Organic, People Watching, Tapas, Great Beer
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food4
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (New England)·Dined on September 5, 2017

Good neighborhood multifunctional dining spot - there is a outdoor seating area around the entrance, casual dining on the ground floor and restaurant/bar setting downstairs. Very affordable and decent food options for Harvard Sq.

Tags: Vibrant Bar Scene, Handcrafted Cocktails, Live Sports
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience4
service4
value3

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on September 2, 2017

We had a good time at Russell House Tavern - fun atmosphere in a great location on Harvard Square. Great, interesting drinks and very decent beer list. Food was good, would give 3 1/2 stars if possible. Creative choices and enough vegetarian options for a member of our table. Service was attentive on the busy night and we appreciated that.

Tags: Seasonal, Fun, Vibrant Bar Scene, Good Vegetarian Options
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food3
ambience4
service4
value3

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on September 2, 2017

We went for brunch and every menu we had was so good! We got Breakfast pizza, anti-benedict, and French toast!

Tags: Great for Brunch, Cozy, Good for Groups, Casual, Hot Spot, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (New England)·Dined on August 30, 2017

The pizzas were excellent with very thin crust. We had the pepperoni with caramelized onions and the clam pizza. We also ordered two small plates of steak tartar and Boston baked beans. Both were great. However, next time we would only order one pizza and one or two plates, not two pizzas unless we want a lot of leftovers!

Tags: Comfort Food, Good for Anniversaries, Handcrafted Cocktails, Bar Seating, Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service4
value3

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on August 29, 2017

We sat outside on a beautiful evening. The food was excellent and service was fine- not fast, but attentive enough.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Business Meals
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (New England)·Dined on August 27, 2017

Came for Sunday Brunch with my wife, in-laws, and daughter after moving my daughter into the dorms the day prior. Have been here several times before and always top notch. Not this time. Waitress and hostess were great. However, food took forever to arrive and the stuffed French toast looked like and tasted like it had be charcoal grilled. I could not eat it. Waitress was great and got me another order and this one was only moderately overlooked. Still dark and crusty. I have had this before and it was great. My daughter had the same item and hers was fine. Busy move in weekend at the college, so maybe that is why, but very disappointing. Especially for the price.

Tags: Comfort Food, Great for Brunch
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food3
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (New England)·Dined on August 26, 2017

Somehow the steak tartare was absolutely flavorless--like it had been washed under a faucet after preparation. The sides were not much better. Charred broccoli was hardly charred, pomme frites were soggy, and creamed kale was pedestrian. Nice wine selection and friendly service.

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food1
ambience2
service3
value2

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on August 20, 2017

Always come here when I'm in Boston. It was great as a fancy date place as a broke college kid, and it is great now when traveling on my company's expense account. Everything is well planned, from the drinks to the specials to the well-done but not stuffy regular options. Definitely worth a stop when in Cambridge!

Tags: Notable Wine List, Comfort Food, Healthy, Good for Anniversaries, Handcrafted Cocktails
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food4
ambience4
service5
value5

vip
 (New England)·Dined on August 19, 2017

Russell House was great -- it always is. Our server (whose name escapes me) was terrific, engaging, fast, and helpful. This was a Saturday night dinner with husband and daughter and we all had meals that were tasty and well prepared. Nice!

Tags: Casual, Tapas, Good for Groups, Great for Lunch
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (New England)·Dined on August 19, 2017

Came for weekend brunch. This restaurant was unable to truly accommodate religious dietary restrictions. We asked about a replacement for pork since everything on the brunch menu was bacon, pork sausage, ham, etc. Our waiter said there'd be an upcharge for anything but greens. We politely asked him to double check - surely in Cambridge, a multicultural hub, would have substitutions for pork? Not the case, and our waiter was visibly annoyed we even asked. It was upsetting that an establishment such as this didn't have any true substitution.

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food3
ambience2
service3
value2

 
 (New England)·Dined on August 18, 2017

Never disappointed with the food, drinks, or service.

Tags: Vibrant Bar Scene, Handcrafted Cocktails, Bar Seating, Good for Anniversaries, Good for a Date, Hot Spot, Business Meals, Neighborhood Gem, Fit for Foodies, Sunday Lunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (New England)·Dined on August 18, 2017

The waiter had no idea what he was doing, the steak had no flavor and we waited 20 minutes for our drinks. I have had great service and food in the past, but this time it wasn't a good experience!

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food3
ambience4
service2
value3

vip
 (New England)·Dined on August 15, 2017

I have had great meals at Russell House Tavern in the past, but this dinner was very disappointing. The service was poor. The food took over half an hour to arrive at the table and the server made no effort to check on the status even when asked. The food in the past has been fantastic - I would say just average this time - did not meet up to the high quality I associate with this restaurant. Sadly disappointing and I don't think I will be back.

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food2
ambience2
service1
value1

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

Fantastic creative food- well done! Apps and entrees were delicious and the service was excellent.

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Seasonal, Good for Anniversaries, Creative Cuisine, Comfort Food, Pre/post Theatre, Casual, Worth the Drive, Good for Groups, Kid-friendly, Fun, Fit for Foodies, Happy Hour, Special Occasion, Great for Outdoor Dining, Tasting Menu, Neighborhood Gem, Good for a Date, Authentic
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on August 11, 2017

A little loud and busy but great service anyway

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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (New England)·Dined on August 11, 2017

We had the restaurant week brisket. It was horrible. Tough and way too fatty

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food1
ambience3
service5
value2

vip
 (Savannah)·Dined on August 11, 2017

Great outdoor patio area. Tuna blt was great also the pork sandwich. Great French fries, seriously. Nice selection of beer. Friendly and prompt service

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on August 7, 2017

A little disappointed in the reception we received. Made a reservation at a standard table and she refused to seat us there. So a couple of middle-aged women in dresses sat on bar stools at a high top. When we mentioned something to the server he reseated us. Ladies, ever notice that we are seated near the serving station or restroom? Speak up and ask to be moved.

Food was good. Had the charcuterie plate and steak and blue cheese pizza. Watched the passers by. The big windows were open and there was a great breeze. It's a good place to go with a group of friends and they take reservations.

Tags: Fun, Vibrant Bar Scene, Quick Bite, Casual, Great for Lunch, People Watching
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food4
ambience4
service3
value4

vip
 (New England)·Dined on July 30, 2017

CJ took such good care of us - this was our best visit there so far! The cheese plate and pizzas were outstanding - the beer/cider list was great - we truly love dining there.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on July 28, 2017

We were looking for a place to dine on Friday night that we've never been before or it's been too long for us to remember whether we've been there. That's how we ended up at Russell House. The food was great, just as it was over three years ago, the service was outstanding and the overall experience was real good. We've got a whole bunch of appetizers, six or seven and shared. Mussels were good, the shrimps with avocado salad was superb, tuna tartar was tasty, the battle at trafalgar cocktail was absolutely delicious. The only thing that makes it hard for us to go to Russell House more often is the noise level. It's sometimes difficult to hear the person across from you, while you hear the entire drama at the neighboring table. But the food and drinks make the place very special and we had a wonderful night.

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Fit for Foodies, Creative Cuisine, Vibrant Bar Scene, Neighborhood Gem, Late-night Find
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on July 28, 2017

Great evening at Russell House Tavern - lovely menu, terrific service and fantastic drinks!

Tags: Local Ingredients, Hot Spot, Fun, Neighborhood Gem, Fit for Foodies, Bar Seating, Great Beer, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Orlando)·Dined on July 28, 2017

Been there twice. The first time everything was fine. But the second time a burger came too rare, and then trying to get it right led to overcooking. And a steak was overcooked and dry too. So not too impressed.

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food3
ambience4
service5
value3

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on July 28, 2017

Food was excellent and service was perfect. Drinks were refilled promptly and waitstaff was attentive without being overbearing. This was a 3-hour business meeting and we weren't rushed to give someone else our table. I would definitely return on my next trip to Boston.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on July 27, 2017

Had a nice evening with good food. Would recommend

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Cozy, Good for Groups
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on July 23, 2017

The food is usually SO GOOD! This time it was lackluster. Came out cold, weirdness going on with the hollandaise, and generally not the usual quality. The Bloody Mary is really stellar though. I'll be back, it was probably a fluke.

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food2
ambience5
service5
value3

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

Quite good brunch menu. The only disappointment is the granola yogurt, the granola tasted like it has past expiration date. Our server was nice but service was slow as the restaurant is busy.

Tags: Casual, Local Ingredients
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food4
ambience4
service3
value4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on July 21, 2017

Great everytime, never disappoint. Service is fast.

Tags: Disabled Access, Worth the Drive, Good for Birthdays, Romantic, Business Meals, Pre/post Theatre, Healthy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on July 15, 2017

We were staying near Harvard square and were told about this place's beer selection. Waitress was very helpful, even gave us a few samplers of different types of beers. Main dishes did not come with a side dish though, so I would say it was a bit of a pricey meal, but overall very delicious!

Tags: Great Beer
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value3

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