Summer Shack Cambridge

4.5
1622 reviews
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$30 and under
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Seafood
The Summer Shack is a fun, casual, restaurant. Specializing in New England Style Seafood. We offer 8 to 10 different types of oysters daily. Lobsters in varying sizes and styles including our signature clambake. Wonderful local grilled fish and crispy fried seafood. We do offer several non-seafood items as well. Steaks, burgers and award winning fried chicken. We are a children friendly restaurant and we can accommodate larger groups upon request.
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What 1622 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.5
service
4.2
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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N
New England
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 2

The food is always tasty at the Summer Shack, and it's a really family friendly, fun atmosphere. My 9-year-old loves it. This past visit was marred by a really terrible waitress. She never came to ask how our food was so we could order another round of drinks and ask for condiments. She spent much of her time chatting with other tables and soundly ignoring our table. We've had good experiences in the past, but this particular waitress good do with some better customer service.

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SP
New England
4 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

We hadn’t been to Summer Shack in a while. Food was good but given the seafood options in the Boston area, I’m not sure I would rush back, especially given the cost

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S
New England
19 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Summer Shack (Fresh Pond, Cambridge location) always yummy and service with a smile!!!

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RS
New England
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Enjoyed the fish stew.

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OT
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 3

Our waitress was disappointing. Very bad service and was not focused on providing us a service to order food and drinks. Offered bread but did not bring any. Then when asked about it, stated they ran out. Also said they ran out of salads. Thumbs down for poor service. I don’t think we’ll ever go back here again!

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BG
New England
74 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

We have been to Summer Shack many times. This was our first time experiencing the "Ken Show" he was outstanding... I have to say that the oysters and steamers were perfect and my large steamed lobster was great as were the 3 pan roasted...But the baked Stuffed were a bit weak. A little overdone and lacking any significant amount of seafood ( shrimp) . the slaw and onion strings were good as usual...The cornbread seemed rather dull this visit......also noted that the prices, while always very high, seemed particularly crazy. With that said we never think of the shack as we would a twin lobstah special somewhere...just go knowing you will get a top quality, hard shell crustacean....

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JC
New England
34 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 4

I have been to the Summer Shack many, many times and look forward to many more visits. This occasion, however, could have been better. It was New Year's Eve and we got a relatively inexperienced waiter who had at least 4 four-tops and 1 eight-top -- all full. When dinner was delivered, it was short on tartar sauce and there was no ketchup on the table, but the deliverers disappeared instantly and our waiter didn't check with us until much later. I eventually had to get up and visit the front desk to ask for those items, by which time the dishes they would have complemented were cold. Not clear if this was a failure of the waiter, failure of training, or inadequate staffing for a very busy night.

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v
New England
6 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

My husband and I both had lobster: his was the pan roasted in Bourbon, which he though was tremendous, and I had the one sautéed in ginger and scallions, which was very good. Would recommend both. The only negative was that eating lobster means using your hands, and the sauce made that very difficult. We needed many more napkins than we were given!!

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e
New England
27 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great fun for birthday. Terrific food as always

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CG
New England
7 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Was just there for NYE with the kids and it was a fun time for them with the food, balloon animals, and balloon drops every hour for midnight around the world.

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OT
New York Area
10 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food and the service were excellent. Very attentive, good portions, and prepared well. The prices though, I found to be very high and will definitely be a deterrent when choosing a restaurant for future dining out.

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B
New England
8 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always our favorite place to dine. The food was outstanding this time. Fried clams and mahi-mahi were scrumptious. Love Summer Shack!!

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RW
New England
7 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Outstanding service!

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AB
New England
2 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

All four meals were excellent, both appetizers and entrees. Summer Shack food is reliably delicious.

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L
Wilmington
12 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

The pan roasted lobster was AWESOME. A friend raved about it as being the best lobster he has ever had, so we had to try it. He was right. Not inexpensive, but good lobster is worth it. The bourbon butter sauce was amazing. Great service. Nice beer and drink menu.

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OT
New England
1 review
Dined on December 28, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

Food just wasn’t as good as it used to be. Oysters and shrimp cocktail were just meh. Steamers were good. Service was as good as ever. Not sure I’ll go back.

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GR
New England
1 review
Dined on December 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 3

Gourmet food in pointedly downscale ambience, at middling prices. It's not cheap, but some world-class dishes, particularly the amazing, unique pan-roasted lobster; and it's far from break-the-bank expensive. Mainly seafood, although there are a few (high quality) options for fussy kids and that one annoying, obstinate, anti-pescatarian idiot you sometimes get stuck with.

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J
New England
16 reviews
Dined on December 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Never disappoints! Excellent quality of whatever is served. Particular favorites are pan roasted lobster and steamed mussels.

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MM
New England
2 reviews
Dined on December 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We always enjoy our food at the Summer Shack. I especially appreciate how you change up the menu periodically.

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O
New England
11 reviews
Dined on December 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always great food - - many seafood options. And they honor special requests. Service is always terrific, especially when you sit at Sal's station. He knows his regular customers and provides exceptional attention making sure that everything is impeccable.

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TM
New England
16 reviews
Dined on December 14, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

Solid seafood. But expensive. Went there with wife and 10yo and paid $250 incl tip.

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MT
New England
4 reviews
Dined on December 14, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Summer Shack is a great place not too crowded in Alewife area (close to T) for lunch with friends or to meet for a beer after work. Big enough, not crammed up next to other people. Easy to talk and not too loud but also not so quiet others can hear you.

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H
New England
20 reviews
Dined on December 6, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Great service for a large meeting. The food was excellent as usual.

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BL
New England
40 reviews
Dined on December 4, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Good food mainly sea food, good friendly service and reasonable prices. For an excursion from Boston on the T to Alewife highly recommended, very close to the T sation.

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E
New England
19 reviews
Dined on December 2, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Not as good as it should be for the price.

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LJ
New England
1 review
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Kennedy and the rest of the staff at Sunmer Shack were super attentive and accommodating of our large group. The corn bread in particular was stellar! The menu is a bit pricey, but that’s seafood for ya. Definitely worth the price for. Big group outing, date, or corporate lunch.

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JB
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 21, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 2ambience 3

Having eaten here several times before we were disappointed with most of the food. The steamers were very small and over cooked, Good friend chicken. Overcooked salmon. Thwer service was slow and we asked for bread twice before it was brought to us. Our clam chowder arrived after our main course. Doubt we'll return.

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OT
New England
1 review
Dined on November 16, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Service was great, waiter Ken was fantastic!

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M
New England
35 reviews
Dined on November 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a delicious relaxing meal
The pan roasted libster and the stuffed flounder were fabulous

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BL
New England
41 reviews
Dined on November 16, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Summer shack has always got excellent fish and is very convenient right next to the Alewife T station. We take the T from Boston for a very enjoyable fish and lobster delight

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A
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on November 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great service and the food is always outstanding

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f
New England
20 reviews
Dined on November 12, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

Feel free to skip the clam chowder. The clams skipped it, too. Only potatoes and a watery broth.

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w
London
7 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always excellent experience. Very good job with New England local seafood. Sal, a longtime waiter there is outstanding.

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H
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Oysters were great! Cioppino was fair, calimari were small and rubbery, other seafood and fish were okay, nothing exceptional. Also shared a stuff lobster, the lobster meat was excellent, too much stuffing, hard time finding the crabmeat...service on the slow side, but restaurant was busy.

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OL
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

I've been going for years. Their daily specials are always delicious and they make the very best mussels in wine and garlic I've ever found. Highly recommended.

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t
New York Area
56 reviews
Dined on November 4, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Summer Shack gives me that great Cape Cod seafood experience without the drive to Cape Cod. Yummy fried clams, expertly shucked oysters, and good clam chowder (although the croutons are terrible... why no oyster crackers instead?). And Sunday night there's a guy that will make balloon animals for your kids! The service is always friendly and personal, although perhaps just a bit too touchy feely (not in an icky way, just in a "please don't touch me on my shoulder" kind of way). Also, they made me a right decent Manhattan in a nice sturdy martini glass that was hard to knock over.

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PF
New England
1 review
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

All was very good. The server seemed to have many tables to care for and so service a little slow but he was polite at all times. We wanted the crime brûlée for dessert but it was sold out😟

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ME
New England
4 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

While the menu has great selections, it is nice to see that you can ask for your protein to be cooked in one of several different ways allowing a healthier options.

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KC
1 review
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I've never had a bad meal here. The fish is always so fresh and the dishes are a little different every time which keeps me coming back. Kids loved their dinners, too!

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b
New England
29 reviews
Dined on October 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

I have gone to Summer Shack several times over the years, and have usually liked the food but found the ambiance too loud for any kind of conversation. When we went on Sunday, it was great to be able to have a conversation without screaming - maybe because of our seats or because the restaurant wasn't overly crowded. In any event, my recent experience reminded me of what a great restaurant this would be if it were quiet like this all the time.
All the seafood was fresh and excellent - we had lobsters and steamers and bluefish - all excellent.

In the ancient past, this restaurant was a polynesian tiki joint called Aku Aku, and when I was a youngster in Western Mass, our team would stop here after a tournament in Boston. The folks at Summer Shack have kept the polynesian mural on the wall across from the bathroom, which is a fond reminder of my mis-spent youth.

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