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great lunch in Harvard Square with outdoor dining??

I am looking for a great chowish lunch spot to eat outdoors on a Monday in the Square. Any ideas? Thanks!

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  1. Harvest has an outdoor patio. I don't think I've ever actually ordered a meal there--just been to several receptions, so I can't comment on the food. Just throwing something out there. Hi Rise in Harvard Square has overpriced but decent sandwiches, and an outdoor patio. If I personally decided I had to eat outside in Harvard Square, I'd probably get a sandwich from Cardullo's and eat it in JFK Park. IMO (having lived here three years) Harvard Square is crap (but it sure beats Porter Square).

    1 Reply
    1. re: aventinus

      I was just about to suggest Harvest. I've been once for dinner and once for brunch/lunch and it was wonderful. I don't live in Boston anymore so I don't know if it's still good but when I went a few years ago I was really impressed by my meal...and if I remember correctly they had an awesome bread basket.

    2. I think that harvest is likely to be the best spot in the square itself for al fresco lunch. ZSquare also has outdoor tables but the food there is so disappointing. Grendel's Den has some tables outside too but its nothing to write home about.

      1. Hey vozick,
        And I'll third it, Harvest is wonderful alfresco dining. In fact, we've got to get there again ourselves and soon.


        1. Sort of not exactly chowish and not exactly outdoors and not exactly Harvard Square, but Cambridge Common is on Mass Ave just past the law school in the direction of Porter Square. They have some decent pub grub type stuff, a good beer selection and sidewalk seating, though I'm not sure when they actually seat or if they seat for lunch.

          I'm into this notion of a sandwich at Cardullo's (or perhaps better, at Darwin's further up Mount Auburn Street) and then finding a nice park.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Dr.Jimbob

            Yeah, they seat for lunch. I walk past there during the day pretty often and see people dining at the sidewalk tables. (Personally I don't understand the appeal of dining on the Mass. Ave. sidewalk, but whatever floats your boat.)

          2. Mr. Bartley Burger Cottage. One of my favorite burgers in Boston, with a handful of outdoor tables. Get there early or expect to wait.

            1. Mr. Bartley's can be a fun place to go. The burgers are more than decent here. Just be aware there's no license here, as in beer, wine or Mai Tai. If that's not important, fine. But as they say; you should know before you go.

              1. Some other possibilities would include the Red House (gorgeous outdoor patio; simple and fresh new American food, better at lunch than dinner) and the new roofdeck at Daedalus (less chowish, but good fish and chips and salads). There are large outdoor seating areas in the Charles Hotel compound, outside Legal Seafoods and Henrietta’s Table. All good choices in my opinion.
                The outdoor seating area outside Hi-Rise is lovely and I don’t think the sandwiches are overpriced for an occasional lunch and given the quality of the ingredients. (They also have half sandwiches, which are still quite large.) Try the Mr and Mrs Snob (freshly carved turkey with grilled asparagus and portobello), the lemonade, and the divine vanilla bean loaf cake. Enjoy!

                1 Reply
                1. re: katielp

                  I agree with katielp on the Red House. Their patio/deck feels nicely removed from the street, and their menu is good if you stick wtih the basics.

                2. I'm partial to Cafe Pamplona, decent Spanish food and great coffee, if you are especially sensitive to cigarette smoke you may get annoyed, but it kinda has a Euro feel (in a good way).

                  Another option is Legal Seafoods, not quite chowish but's outside and, IMHO, this is one of the better locations in the area. Further, I would actually recommend above Harvest for seafood, especially the raw bar, which the two times I've had was sorely disappointed with at Harvest.

                  1. I've really enjoyed eating at Grafton Street, which a lot of other 'hounds don't enjoy. Very tender calamari; excellent drinks; not the busiest of sidewalks, but you still get plenty to see.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: pamalamb

                      Just tried Grafton Street with a buddy for the upteenth time. In general I avoid it for food.

                      I agree the Calamari was great. Everything else was the usual lame, poorly executed stuff I remember. Bottom line, the food there has always been pretty lame.

                    2. I'm not sure if they are open on Mondays, but Daedalus has an excellent roof deck with umbrella'd tables. I haven't tried their lunch menu but their weekend brunch is pretty good, so I'm sure it's worth a shot.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: cambridgejen

                        Agreed - Daedalus' upper deck is quite the rarity in the Boston area (situated way above the choking fumes of cars, nice mix of wood and metal, umbrellas and sunshades, and surrounded by planters overflowingly filled with flowers). Unfortunately, I have always found the food there to be mediocre to passing at best. That said, we didn't care much about the barely passable jerk chicken wrap and pillowy pizza (I'll take my Regina-thin, thank you) last Sunday (sunny and warm) afternoon as we quaffed glasses of cold white wine and Paulaner hefeweiss.

                        1. re: HopeRI

                          I'm far from suggesting that the food at Daedalus is stellar (or its biggest draw), but some things are much better than others. If you find yourself sitting on that roofdeck again, I'd recommend the mussels and grilled chicken tenders (with good blue cheese and spicy sauce; can also be fried) to start, most of the salads, especially the Cobb (with chicken, avocado, olives, blue cheese, bacon--carefully composed in separate areas of the plate), and steak salad, the fish and chips and the pork chop. None of the sandwiches that I've tried have been too good.

                      2. Harvest is dreamy- in terms of both food and atmosphere. Bartley's is delish, but sitting out on the smelly sidewalk there can be downright nasty (unless your idea of a good lunch involves smelling garbage and inhaling bus exhaust). I've done that once this summer and I'll never do it again- yuck! If you want a yummy burger, just sit inside. Henrietta's Table in the Charles Hotel also has a good menu and a lovely patio, and there's also good ol' Legal Seafoods, which has 2 outdoor patios. I've lived in the Square for 5 years now and although I have eaten at both many a time, I wouldn't really call Grafton Street or Daedalus "chowish." It's just mediocre pub food, in my opinion. FYI, the street that the Red House is on is being ripped up, so I don't know how nice their patio will be at the moment.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: hsquare2southend

                          I must have eaten at a different Grafton Street than everyone else, because I wouldn't classify what I had there as mediocre pub food. I've had mediocre pub food - greasy, heavy, sloppy, and my meal at Grafton Street was none of those things.

                          Our appetizers (calamari, tomato mozzarella stack) were light and flavorful. My steak frites was great, albeit not the quality you would get in a French restaurant or at a steakhouse. My one bite of lobster risotto sang with lobster flavor and was not the heavy, sticky mess that risotto often can be. Service was very attentive (although we did eat early, so maybe it's not so good when it's busy). Maybe I just happened to order all the right things?

                          1. re: pamalamb

                            My sentiments exactly, pamlamb. On two separate occasions I was asked by bartenders at a couple of the high-profile Irish pubs if I'd tried their new, at that time, hangout, Grafton Street. I go there knowing what I'm getting and I know I like it.

                          2. re: hsquare2southend

                            Henrietta's Table is a great rec for outdoor dining.