Russell House Tavern

4.4
1915 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 1915 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
4.3
food
4.3
service
4.3
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
88% of people would recommend it to a friend
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j
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 4

We liked the atmosphere, and we enjoyed casual mood with many TV Screens. Food, especially New York stake was excellent. Quantity of the food was also abundant.
The only thing not fit to us is the salad (ceaser) was too salty. This taste may be chosen to enhance the drinking beer. But it would be preferable if the food itself is not salty and customers are allowed to apply salt and pepper as they like.

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LC
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The cocktails are amazing! Food is very good and the menu offers a variety at a very fair price for inner city.

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M
San Francisco
47 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

I loved the lobster slider! Yum. That and a salad made a perfect lunch. Our waitress was very attentive

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S
New England
5 reviews
Dined on July 12, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Our server was terrific, ambiance outside was magical and food was very good! We love Russell House and will be back!

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ST
New England
10 reviews
Dined on July 11, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Best roasted chicken I've ever had at a restaurant, and that is always a mark of a good chef in the kitchen. Also the pisco sour is excellent!

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AL
New England
2 reviews
Dined on July 9, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Absolutely terrific waitstaff. Good food. Great location.

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LB
Los Angeles
5 reviews
Dined on July 8, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 3

I had been here once before in the bar. Had great service and great food. This night was quite the opposite. We had really bad service. The server had no idea about sequence of service, forgot our appetizers and tried blaming it on us and then the kitchen. He either did not care or is in dire need of training. It would have been better to just own up to an honest mistake than blame another. The table was never fully clear and we never got refills on drinks. We were the only table in the dining room. The cocktail I had was creative, but was just not to my liking. I am sure someone else would like the flavor, but the presentation could have been more appetizing as it was a grey color and had no garnish.

The food was mediocre at best. 2 pork chops with no seasoning and quite dry. The burger was also dry. The fries were clearly prepared in very old oil. Salmon dish was overcooked. The barley risotto was nice. The carrots were very good. Duck poutine was okay. We were kindly offered dessert...unfortunately, it did not make up for the poor dinner. The brownies were dry/stale and the butter cake tasted like dry cornbread. It as also not warm, which did not help. All the ice cream had that icy taste you get from freezer burn. The bread pudding was okay. Super bummed my second experience here was a 180 from last time as I had brought my parents here during their visit to Boston with a couple friends. I ended up very embarrassed and will not be back.

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OT
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on July 7, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

HORRIBLE CUSTOMER SERVICE. horrible food. Did not bring us the food we ordered. Then blamed us for it. Changed our entire meals due to lack of supply and didn’t tell us and then still charged us full price! The omelette was CRAP. The English muffins cold and not toasted no butter. The manager blamed me and my husband while our toddler cried bc the service took hours. We sat in the basement in the dark alone. Horrible ambiance. Rude service and took forever!

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EV
New England
11 reviews
Dined on July 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious. Attentive staff. We will be back...

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A
New England
158 reviews
Dined on June 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We ate at the bar. It had been some time since we had last stopped in. I can’t say enough about the hospitality! The food was even better than I had remembered. (Any kitchen that gets both sides of my salmon crispy, and serves it skin side up has my heart!) They also dealt with food allergies with care and without making a big deal of it. Can’t wait to return!

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CY
Philadelphia
6 reviews
Dined on June 28, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Eclectic menu, but food missed the mark

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u
New England
13 reviews
Dined on June 23, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Everything was fine except it took over a half hour (more like 46 minutes) to get an order of an omelette and a burger to the table. NEVER had that happen there before...

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g
New York Area
1 review
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Had a wonderful fathers day brunch tucked away in a corner of the downstairs tavern. Great food, service, and atmosphere. Thanks.

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MC
1 review
Dined on June 13, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

It was great - but our server Chloe made it exceptional. Thank you!

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L
New England
43 reviews
Dined on June 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Outdoor seating on a lovely day. We had show tickets and we were served so that we could leave on time.

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AA
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on June 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love this resturant. Go every time we are in Cambridge and Boston and never disappointed!! Great food great atmosphere great drinks. Highly recommend!

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RG
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on June 10, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Came for a business dinner. Food was very good. It was easy to have a discussion without raising our voices and there was sufficient background noise so that we didn't feel anyone was likely to be listening in. Lighting was subdued, but accent lights meant that you weren't trying to decipher the menu in the dark. Only criticism was that the service was a little slow but not terribly so.

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b
New England
7 reviews
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Quiet Saturday since Summer break just started at Harvard and most folks wanted patio. Brunch was great!

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D
Detroit
6 reviews
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 2ambience 4

The brunch special French Toast was terrible. It was overcooked, dry, tasteless even though it was encrusted with cinnamon. It tasted like a huge crouton. It was the worst brunch I have ever had, and the server never asked why I wasn't eating it or if there was anything he could do. He was confused about how to bring the cream for the coffee and did not replenish the sugar or clean up the cream mess from the awkward drinking glass he brought the cream in. My friend's omelette was only slightly better, but dry and bland.

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c
New England
3 reviews
Dined on June 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was good & our server, Ahmet, was so friendly & helpful!

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BE
1 review
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

I liked it. The food was good and slightly different, but no more or less than i would expect at this price point. The ambiance of the main room is more suited to a lively night out than quiet conversation over a relaxed dinner. But they do have a small number of outdoor tables

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P
1 review
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

The food and the service were ok but not more than that.

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PA
1 review
Dined on May 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a fantastic time in the food was wonderful.

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m
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on May 30, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Made reservation several weeks in advance, and still seated at a high top table in the bar.

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OT
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on May 30, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 4

Appetizers very good, but quinoa burger was mushy and all of our food was cold when served- took long time to receive food.... must have sat awhile before served.

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MY
New England
1 review
Dined on May 28, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 2

This is the 3rd or 4th time I've been to the Russell House and honestly, the food is never that great. I had the fettuccini because my server said he was "loving it right now" . It was just ok. Noodles were sticking together and sauce was a bit bland. I had to ask for salt and pepper to bump up seasoning. My two friends both got the steak and frites and the fries were cold enough for our server to bring us another order that was warmer. At this price point, I expect more.

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DG
New England
1 review
Dined on May 27, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

I love coming to RHT. Our server Angelica was so great! She was warm, friendly, and really made us feel at home. We just came for a drink and oysters, but stayed for a few because she was such a treat. We'll definitely be back and hope we have her as our server!

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MK
New England
1 review
Dined on May 25, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 2

This is one of our go to restaurants. Food is usually great and cocktails are amazing. However, this last trip left a lot to be desired. Food was good, not great, and they took my husband's favorite thing off the menu (pork belly sandwich) so he was very disappointed. It was almost as if it was not really worth the price anymore. Also there was a private party which was SO loud that it was hard to hear each other talk- and we were across the restaurant. Overall, not a good experience. I do still recommend, but only because it is usually so good.

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JS
1 review
Dined on May 25, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Great local spot when in or around Harvard Square. Food is always great.

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OT
New England
1 review
Dined on May 25, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Too crowded; otherwise fine.

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A
New England
1 review
Dined on May 22, 2019
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
8 reviews
Dined on May 22, 2019
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
8 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
2 reviews
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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