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Mid-afternoon bite in Harvard Square?

Any suggestions where to grab a somewhat leisurely bite in Harvard Square Tuesday afternoon? I'm not looking for fast food but it doesn't have to be fine dining either. Is the bar at Casablanca open during the day?

Also, I thought I'd read that Burdick's moved - if so, can you tell me where it is? Thanks.

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  1. Burdick's didn't move - they were closed all summer for renovations. Open again now, apparently.

    1. Upstairs on the Square

      1. I like Daedalus on Mt. Auburn for a good, and quiet, Cubano. Google says that Casablanca opens at 11:30am Mon through Friday, Harvest also opens at 12N.

        1. At the risk of CH wrath, I personally like the chains: John Harvard's Brew House (it's got Harvard in the name), Au Bon Pain (people-watching Harvard Sq institution), Bertucci's (free lunch salad), and Le's (formerly Pho Pasteur - best food among the bunch).

          3 Replies
          1. re: NYA Joe

            Au Bon Pain does have good people watching but not much else to recommend it. I actually like Le's fine as a takeout option in Harvard Square but it's not a good place to linger -- it's so loud and cramped inside.

            I like the other options better. Burdicks is good if you can get a seat -- big if. Not sure how many seats are usually available at Darwin's on Mt. Auburn. The service is lousy but the sandwiches are good and hanging out on the cafe side is pretty comfortable.

            1. re: NYA Joe

              I like John Harvard's for beer but not food, though I will get a cup of clam chowder with my beer in cold weather. It is nice and quiet during the afternoon though.

              Wagamama also might be another option, sitting alone by the window watching the crowds is fun and what I've had of the noodles is so far pretty good.

              1. re: steinpilz

                I second Wagamama. Also like Z-Square.

            2. How about Darwin's Limited for sandwiches? Also be sure to get the cookies for Lakota there.

              1 Reply
              1. re: limster

                Darwin's does have good sandwiches.

              2. When it's not too chilly I have been known to grab a sandwich from Cardullo's and find a spot to sit and eat it outside.

                I also really like the bar at Upstairs on the Square (Monday Club). The grilled cheese and tomato soup combo is delightful.

                Cardullo's Gourmet Shoppe
                6 Brattle St, Cambridge, MA

                1. A late lunch at Upstairs on the Square or Casablanca is a good way to spend an afternoon off, in my opinion. Last I checked, both serve lunch until sometime after 2:00PM. I'm not sure if Casablanca offers the bar menu after the normal lunch hours.

                  1. what about pinocchio's (aka noch's)? it's probably borderline fast food, but they do have seats! it's the one place that always beckons when i'm back in the square.

                    1. If you like Casablanca, check out Algiers, upstairs from Casablanca. They have light meals that I think are delicious, and you can linger as long as you want (notice all the Harvard profs doing work at the tables around you). Have fun!

                      1. casa-b serves a nice lunch till around 2:30 and then their cafe menu (nice little tapa-types stuff) till 5:30 when they serve their regular dinner (includes tapas) menu. it's a nice spot for a leisurely bite and the food's good.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: ameria

                          i second the algiers recommendation. yummy light options and great atmosphere upstairs. darwin's also has fabulous sandwiches.

                          for a bigger meal, i'm always partial to Mr. and Mrs Bartley's Burgers near the harvard book store. definitely a meal, though you could opt for an elvis milkshake only if you wanted something "lighter" (ha!)

                          also, cafe pampalona, used to have lovely media noche sandwiches (like a cubano but smaller and simpler) and chocolate mousse. not sure if they're still the same but was one of my favorites tucked down in a small space.

                        2. Grendel's is also good and fairly cheap; veggie-friendly, if you care about that (I'm veggie, so it's important in my world). I don't go often, but whenever I do, I wonder why I don't go more often.