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20 Bars in Cambridge I would go to BEFORE Cuchi Cuchi

This came up on another thread. I am not a fan of any of the places owned by folks related to Dali, and Cuchi Cuchi is on that list. The whole vibe is too, well Cuchi Cuchi...

20 Bars in Cambridge I would go to BEFORE Cuchi Cuchi (in no particular order) and I am sure I am forgetting a few.... By the way, quite a few of these have decent to excellent food.

Druid
Temple Bar
Grafton St (pours are skimpy, food is lame, but the location can't be beat)
Charlie's Garden
Shay's
Plough and Starrs
The Cellar
Miracle of Science
Chez Henri
West Side Lounge
Hungry Mother Cambridge
East Coast Grill
Flat Top Johnny's
Craigie on Main
Middlesex
Thirsty Scholar
The Muddy Charles
Green Street
The Cantab
Asgard
Rendezvous (more about the food, but what a nice mellow bar)
Middle East
Phoenix Landing
The Enormous Room
The Field
Tavern on the Square
The Peoples' Republic
The Bar in the Lower Part of the Charles Hotel (name?)
Rialto
Cambridge Common
Frog Bar or whatever it's called in Porter Sq.

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  1. I hate how you always hold back your true feelings.... ;)

    1. You really must hate Cuchi Cuchi if you would go to Grafton Street, The Cellar, Flat Top Johnny's, The Thirsty Scholar, Asgard, Tavern on the Square, or Peoples' Republik first. I dislike all of those places as bars (FTJ's is not a terrible pool hall). My big complaint with Cuchi Cuchi is that the bar is generally too crowded to be comfortable.

      Toad and Noir are the two places whose names you missed, or as I like to say, Toad's and Noir's. I'm glad you didn't include Tommy Doyle's on that list.

      http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

      5 Replies
      1. re: MC Slim JB

        What don't you like about the Cellar?

        1. re: Joanie

          I love Garden at the Cellar: great food, strong bartending. I do not like the downstairs bar, mainly the crowd. Reminds me of a bad college bar. I had a friend who loved it, dragged me there often. I haven't been back since he moved away.

          http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

          1. re: MC Slim JB

            The Cellar is another place which varies wildly depending on the day/time of day. I tend to prefer quiet townie kind of spots - both the Peoples Republik & Cellar are like that at some times, but at other times of the week turn into jam packed college type hangouts.

            1. re: jgg13

              I have never had a bad experience at the Cellar and certainly never thought of it as a collegey bar. I have a severe negative reaction to fratty bars and would never classify it as such. It does have its share of grad students, but hey, I am a grad student. I wouldn't mind if the TV wasn't so large, but otherwise it isn't a bad place to get a relatively cheap drink (though nothing comes close to the Druid, which might be the perfect bar).

              1. re: hckybg

                Have to agree, hckybg. Aside from the TV, which could go altogether, it is not a bad joint.

                And they do a mean pour of Guinness.

      2. Noir and Toad are the names. Christopher's is related to the toad but does have a bar too.

        You don't have Newtowne or Paddy's Lunch. Cambridge Brewing Company should be included although food is never a given. Asgard is hitting pretty low! Some that you didn't mention are Spirit and Friendly Toast (its a bit early to tell but they were planning on extending the hours). Also the Courtside (karaoke and cheap plates), East Side Bar & Grill (ok food, but inconsistent grilling and skimpy pizza toppings, cosmos, furry creatures, and harpoon), plus a no-food dive bar on Warren with a classic bar name (Mac's, Jimmie's???).

        A few bars which have decent food and beer. Atwood's on Cambridge St. The bar at Portugalia is worth a big mention (Sunset also has a bar side, but its more basic). I am mixed on Midwest Grill, but you can get less expensive plates in the bar (chopped churrasco with fried yucca, or chicken hearts with yucca) and its a decent place to watch games, I just wish they kept the Buzzards' Bay lager. Also on Cambridge street Pug's has decent food at lunch time and sometimes on weekends, but does not have a full kitchen.

        2 Replies
        1. re: itaunas

          Itaunas you never fail to come up with 3-4 places for me to try out. Dang.

          1. It would have been fine with you just saying you despise Cuchi Cuchi. You didn't have to struggle to come up with a long list of bars just to name 20 others. Especially since you must not be a regular at the Frog Bar...

            And the Thirsty Scholar is in Somerville. So you can replace that with the patio bar at Legal Sea Foods in Harvard Sq. or Whitney's or Daedalus or the Lizard Lounge (if you don't want to count that with the Common) or Harvest or Pug's or...

            Is it noon yet, because listing all of Cambridge's bars is making me thirsty.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Canadian Tuxedo

              There were actually 31 on my list.

              OK confession time, maybe I'd go to Cuchi Cuchi BEFORE Asgard (nevermind the name makes me think of some strange medieval armor for protecting my tuchas).

              To MCSlim above of the one's you mentioned I actually kind of like: Grafton Street, The Thirsty Scholar, and Peoples' Republik all three strictly as bars. I will add that the bar tenders at Grafton are mostly soul-less twits who short pour you every single time.

              1. re: StriperGuy

                With the Peoples Republik, it is good to keep in mind that it changes drastically based on the day/time of day. midnight on a weekend is a much different vibe than 7:30pm on a weeknight.

                1. re: jgg13

                  It is actually a great place to drink during the day time, before the descent of the d-bags.

                  1. re: elbev

                    Agreed 100%. Will note though that this time of year the descent happens more frequently. Once school starts really cranking up it goes back to normal.

            2. I love River Gods in Cambridge.

              1 Reply