The 10 Best Restaurants In Cambridge, Massachusetts

Photo of Graziano Scaldaferri
9 February 2017

As part of Boston’s metropolitan area, Cambridge’s local restaurant scene can be considered a thriving extension of the big city’s, boasting the same levels of diversity, excellence and appeal. Forward-thinking chefs offer anything from local fare to European, Arabic and tropical flavors, in modern venues boasting cozy, neighborhood vibes. Discover the 10 best restaurants in Cambridge in our guide to the city’s top foodie destinations.

Courtesy Bondir


Restaurant, Contemporary, American, Seafood, Gluten-free, Vegetarian, Vegan, $$$
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Bondir Restaurant, Cambridge
Bondir Restaurant, Cambridge

Don’t count on walking in on restaurant Bondir and getting a seat — there’s enough room for only 26 people. Jason Bond is the master chef behind the simple but flavorful dishes you can try here. Smoked ricotta, oat-crusted fluke and basil buttermilk panna cotta are some of the delicacies recently featured on Bondir’s menu, which is subject to constant change to accommodate the freshest, seasonal ingredients available. The venue is quite small but exquisitely decorated in a rustic style, with cotto tiling floors, green-painted wood boiseries and a brick oven right in the front of the dining room.

Area Four

It happens only so rarely that a basic staple like pizza leaves you swooning in the throes of culinary ecstasy, but that’s just what Area Four‘s pizza does for you. Twelve year-old starter dough fermented for 30 hours, top ingredients like hand-pulled mozzarella, wood-fire ovens and a cooking technique inspired by the Neapolitan masters are the winning tricks up Area Four’s sleeve to bake up some of the most delicious, crispy pizza in Cambridge, and perhaps all of the Boston area. Choose a no-frills margherita or marinara, or fancier options like mushroom and fontina or caramelized onion and gorgonzola. Not in Cambridge? Not all hope is lost – Area Four’s truck is always on the road bringing delicious flatbreads and sandwiches around.

Area Four, 500 Technology Square, Cambridge, MA, USA, +1 617 758 4444

Alden & Harlow

Bar, Restaurant, American, Vegan, Vegetarian, Wine, Beer, Cocktails, $$$
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Michael Scelfo, the executive chef at recently opened restaurant Alden & Harlow, envisages food as a medium to connect with those you love and care for. That’s why he tailored the dining experience at Alden & Harlow to recreate the atmosphere he enjoys with his family around his home kitchen table. In Scelfo’s restaurant, guests will taste honest, American fare, full of flavor and cooked to perfection with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Accordingly to the chef’s philosophy, the large dining room is simply decorated to encourage conviviality and leave center stage to the food and the conversation, but it doesn’t lack charming details like the lush leather chairs.


Restaurant, Cafe, Market, American, Contemporary, Gluten-free, Vegetarian, $$$
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Commonwealth, Cambridge
Commonwealth, Cambridge

Cambridge’s Commonwealth is a one-of-a-kind restaurant in several ways. First off, the establishment hosts a market-cum-cafe selling seasonal produce alongside a range of sandwiches and salads that you can feast on at your leisure. Secondly, Commonwealth sports an eccentric farm-inspired design; you will be impressed at how much the dining rooms, encapsulated in structures of wood boards and complemented by salvaged tables, look like the interior of a stable. In this unusual, fun setting, guests are served uncomplicated American fare with occasional forays into international cuisines and extensive utilization of local seafood.

East Coast Grill

Bar, Restaurant, American
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East Coast Grill
A very popular venue in Cambridge, East Coast Grill employs the fresh seafood copiously available in New England to craft an eclectic, brilliant blend of Southern American and tropical cuisines. Thai-style fried shrimp ‘n’ pork and grilled mahi mahi rub shoulders with shrimp and grits and Texas-style smoked brisket in the delight-filled menu. East Coast Grill also comprises a raw bar where you can enjoy delicious crudo fish and seafood; the bar’s signature platter serves six oysters, three clams, three cocktail shrimp and raw tuna. The drinks bar is another major crowd-puller, with beers, bourbons, whiskeys, vodkas, handcrafted cocktails and a slay of other spirits, every tippler is sure to find something to their taste.


Restaurant, Italian, $$$
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Award-winning chef Michael Pagliarini and his wife Pamela Ralston settled on opening their Italian restaurant in Cambridge while visiting Rome’s historic Via Giulia. A few years later, Cambridge is still so very grateful for that moment, as restaurant Giulia proved to be a tremendous addition to the local array of restaurants. Giulia’s show-stealer is the hand-made pasta — Pagliarini expertly rolls it fresh everyday on a white oak table that is later used to accommodate some of the guests for dinner. Treat yourself to bucatini all’amatriciana(house-cured pancetta, tomato, onion and pecorino), a staple of Rome’s cuisine, or try the authentic, creamy fusilli al pesto.

Hungry Mother

Restaurant, American, $$$
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Hungry Mother, Cambridge
Hungry Mother, Cambridge | Courtesy Oleana
Located on Kendall Square, Hungry Mother is a no-frills neighborhood restaurant committed to providing the local community with a caring kitchen ready to cook up a delightful lunch or dinner for its patrons. Chef Barry Maiden’s cuisine is firmly rooted in New England fare, but he nonetheless likes to play around with Southern touches (Maiden is originally from Virginia) and holds it all together with French cooking techniques. But most importantly, chef Maiden uses local ingredients, including house-cured meats and smoked fish, alongside a personal treasure trove of preserved fruit and vegetables. Hungry Mother has partnered with Kendall Square Cinema for discounted tickets, in case you were planning a dinner and a movie type of night.


Restaurant, Mediterranean, $$$
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A cloud of intense, tongue-tingling aromas envelopes Oleana, a fixture on Cambridge’s dining scene since 2001. This restaurant is well-known for its delectable Middle Eastern cuisine, a failsafe choice for an ethnic dinner that won’t disappoint. At Oleana, mains are preceded by a tantalizing range of small plates, collectively known as meze and similar to Spain’s tapas, featuring the likes of warm buttered hummus, octopus coca and spinach falafel. The house-made desserts are particularly well-done and irresistible — try to say no to the mouth-watering profiteroles (brown butter cream, sesame caramel and cashew) or the heavenly almond cremolata. Oleana boasts an award-winning patio featuring a lovely fountain, a herb garden and an oh-so Mediterranean fig tree.

West Bridge

Restaurant, American, French, $$$
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Named among 2013’s best new chefs by Food & Wine magazine, Matthew Gaudet puts his culinary talents to the service of restaurant West Bridge‘s patrons. Gaudet composes impeccable delicacies inspired by France’s refined cuisine, but for the most part the menu features exquisite small plates, a precise choice that serves the purpose of making dining here more casual and approachable than French dining can sometimes appear. In fact, the restaurant’s interiors and ambiance were designed to feel elegant yet comfortable, contrasting the sophistication of the food with an aura of New England hospitality.

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