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Are There Any Brewpubs with Good Food?

Hi all - my parents are coming for a visit, and my dad's a huge fan of brewpubs with good food. Unfortunately, from reading the boards it seems like I can have only have one or the other. :( Cambridge Brewing Company sounds great for beer and not-so-great for food, and I know from experience that John Harvard's is the same; Cambridge Commons and Redbones seem better for food and have good beer selections, but aren't "brewpubs" per se. So far I'm leaning towards Redbones, where I've always enjoyed both the food and beer in the past, but would be happy to be steered elsewhere (anywhere on the Red Line is a plus!)

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  1. CBC has good food...it's not amazing, but coupled with their beer (especially after drinking a lot of different ones at their 20th anniversary thing) - it's where I would take someone who wants fresh (brewed on site) beer.

    3 Replies
    1. re: rknrll

      I agree--CBC may be your best bet, as the beer is outstanding at times, and the food is mostly ok.

      1. re: rknrll

        I think CBC is fine for food. Definitely better than John Harvard's, in my opinion.

        1. re: rknrll

          I would have to disagree. I've had really sub-par food on the last 3 occasions I've been there and simply won't eat there anymore. For beers, though they are fantastic. Their recent 20th anniversary celebration included a cornucopia of interesting well-crafted brews.

        2. Watch City in Waltham is the best I have been to. My husband loves brewpubs and I love food but the two seldom meet.

          Watch City has great burgers, the lamb burger is excellent, great mac-n-cheese, great fish and chips.

          3 Replies
          1. re: lola22

            I had a really decent steak salad there a few weeks ago, though I wouldn't say the food is great. Just OK pub food. The beers were excellent, though.

            1. re: Eatin in Woostah

              My impression of the food at WC has always been so so, but been a while since I've been. In fact I'd go just for beer and then hit Kebab and Tandoor, Beijing Star, or Tuscan Grill.

              1. re: StriperGuy

                Agreed - there is much better food to be had in Waltham just steps away.

          2. I would suggest starting at Rebones for a couple of beers and some food then head on down to CBC. You certainly could eat at CBC. The food isn't terrible, but I find it to be really bland and lacking flavor. Their beers are great and Will does a phenomenal job.

            1. I think The Druid Pub might fit the bill. The food is excellent and they do have a bottled beer that they brew or have brewed for them. I'm not sold on the name, but hey, I didn't pick it - Druid Fluid

              6 Replies
              1. re: Snowflake

                The Druid is an Irish bar and NOT a brewpub so I don't think that it fits with what the OP is looking for. BTW, Druid Fluid is a beer brewed by Middle Ages out of Syracuse NY, not for the Druid in Inman Sq.

                1. re: Snowflake

                  the food at cbc is way better than at the druid.

                  1. re: hotoynoodle

                    Whoa. Must respectfully, though seriously disagree. The food at CBC is very pedestrian pub food. It is fine but nothing special. The Druid is quite inventive; I would put their burger or their veggie burger against any other in the city. They make great fish and chips and chicken soup, and many on this board compliment their steak too, which I have not tried.

                    1. re: hckybg

                      lol, i certainly don't consider veggie burgers and chicken soup inventive. i eat at cbc a few times a month. you're right, it's fine. that's all we're all saying. :) but the beer selections rock.

                      1. re: hotoynoodle

                        I understand your skepticism, but run--don't walk--to this veggie burger (or their regular burger). They are truly inventive! :)

                        1. re: hckybg

                          lol, i don't eat burgers and have had the veggie burger at the druid. while i like the atmosphere, the food was very ok to me every time. unless i'm in a rush for a show at the somerville theater, i'll pass. even the food at johnny d's is better.

                          <<shrugs>>

                          it's not a brewpub anyway, which is the point of the op.

                2. If you want to make a trip of it (sounds like you'd rather not, but just in case) I ate once at The Tap in Haverhill (aka Haverhill Brewery, who make Leatherlips, Haverale and lots of others) and it was pretty solid. Mind you I just had nachos, but they were definitely good for what it was (a LOT better than food I've had at Cambridge Common) and a nice space. I do love their beers.

                  I also had a slice of a friend's pizza at CBC and thought it was decent, and that's coming from someone with pretty strong feelings about pizza.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: celeriac

                    i do Love the beers at The Tap, especially their APA, but i've never had anything decent there to eat except the burger and club sandwich.

                    1. re: ScubaSteve

                      Hm. Too bad, consider my comment refuted.

                    2. re: celeriac

                      I live in Andover, and hit the Tap every couple of months. It's a bit uneven, but generally pretty tasty. I haven't had anything bad there, but my wife, a creature of habit, reports that her burgers have been from "pretty good" to "mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!!" The beers are good, but have a definite house style that might not be to everyone's liking.