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Aug 30, 2001 10:43 AM

Harvard Square for dinner

  • k

Hi Chowhounds,

I'm new to Boston. Any suggestions for dinner in the Harvard Square area?

I'll try anything except chicken feet and snake blood.


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  1. I love the cold vegetable noodles at a little ramen shop in the Porter Square mall. Unfortunately, I do not remember the name, but there are four shops in a row, and it's the second one on the left. It has three long tables that people sit at communally. I go there and ask for 'the regular' and get vegetable noodles with extra tofu. i use a lot of the chili sauce, then cool my mouth off with some mint chocolate chip ice cream from a few feet away.

    There's also the Iruna in Harvard square: simple castillian fare. It's hard to find, though. It's across from the Kennedy school (more or less.) There's a small plywood sign at knee level that leads you down an alley.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Kerm

      Castillian? Iberian? Not to split hairs, I think you might be right!!!!

      1. re: Hugh DeMann

        the garlic soup at iruna is the THE BEST!

    2. Several. The Pho Pastuer (B+) in the 'garage' is very good viet/cambodian style. Wholesome, filling, fast and cheap. There's Borders for Tex/Mex (b-)and Bombay Club (A-) on JFK St. for indian fare. You must venture to Central Square for Mary Chungs (A)and order the house special dishes like Suan La Chow Sho, Dun Dun Noodles etc. In Harvard Sq. try La Iruna (B+) for some very good Iberian food. On the high end is Rialto (A) in the Charles River Hotel. The food is superb but prices are IMNTBHO, simply outrageous. Check out their menu on line. Good eats!

      1 Reply
      1. re: Hugh DeMann

        a few responses--

        Bombay Cafe is one of the worst indian restaurants
        I have ever been to.

        High prices, rude service, mediocre food.

        Don't waste your time.

        Border Cafe is also awful--it's a meat market for 18+ Harvard students who want to drink margaritas illegally and come away with cigarette smoke-scented clothes. Don't waste your time.

        Indian? Go to Cafe of India instead.

        Mexican? Avoid Hsquare and hit Ole in Inman square instead.

      2. Thanks, I'll give them a shot.

        1. when eating indian in harvard square, sure you might like the nice view of bombay club, but the food is bad and the clientele is worse. just around the corner on jfk is TANJORE which is the ONLY place to eat indian in harvard square. lots of regional dishes, fantastic soups, crispy dosas, and a kheer that will make you weep.

          just moved out of boston and have yet to find an indian restaurant in l.a. that measures up.

          tanjore is a bit pricy, though, so if you are feeling broke put on your sneakers and walk up towards inman square to punjabi dhaba. has the highest ratio of deliciosity to price of any restaurant in boston, i would wager. sweet owner, too. unlimited chai from a carafe at the front, and do order the ever-changing, ever strange dessert specials. the masala dosa is $5 and is a meal. also very good dal. order the platter for 2, somewhere around $14 for 2 people and you will pay with your day as you struggle to finish everything... one of the nicest ways to spend a snowy day in boston is to sit in punjabi dhaba ordering and watching hindi movies on the television that hangs above the counter.