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Recs near Harvard square for Dinner. $$ Inexpensive to Moderate.

Will be in Boston a few weekends in February - College Track meets! Watching all that running will make me hungry :) I'm Staying at the Doubletree across the Charles from Harvard and looking for good food nearby (we'll have a car)

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  1. Central Square is just as close to the Doubletree as Harvard, and there's plenty of municipal parking. Oh, and better restaurants: Rendezvous, Craigie ($$), Central Kitchen, Green Street. Basta Pasta is cheap and good.
    You're also close to Allston and many good & not expensive places there, including JoJo Taipei and Deep Ellum, two of my favorites.
    If you must dine in Harvard Sq, try Tamarind Bay or Small Plates or Casablanca (bar area is affordable).

    2 Replies
    1. re: jajjguy

      i second the idea of heading to central square - recently ate at green street and had a fabulous meal. very cozy, friendly staff, great food and not super expensive. rendezvous is also delicious, although probably a bit more pricey.

      1. re: jajjguy

        In Central, I'd add Miracle of Science and River Gods for cheap. The walk is pretty easy.
        In Harvard Sq., Bartley's Burgers at off hours, Charlie's for hanging out with a beer and okay food and Oggi in the Cambridge Center or whatever they call that building.

        1. Second Tamarind Bay. Its the best of the 10 or so Indian places I've been to in Cambridge. Basically across the street from it is Grendel's Den, which cuts its menu prices in half certain hours which would be good if you wanna go very cheap.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Kinopio

            I have been a fan of TB for some time, but my last visit to the lunch buffet (in December) was disappointing. Even though I arrived early the food seemed tired. The choices even less interesting than the admittedly less than brilliant buffet standard.

            Anyone else had this experience? I wondered if the closing of the competing Harvard Square Bombay Club across the street reduced TB's need to excell.

            Tamarind Bay
            75 Winthrop St, Cambridge, MA 02138

            1. re: VivreManger

              I'm a pretty frequent flyer at Tamarind's lunch buffet, particularly since the closure/move of Bombay. While I don't think the choices are anything out of the ordinary, I do find them them a bit spicier, in heat and complexity, than I did those at Bombay, which works for me. Have you tried Tanjore on Eliot... I haven't been as often but I recalled thinking they perhaps had a larger buffet selection?

          2. I'll add my two cents for the Plough and Stars on Mass Ave between Harvard and Central Squares. Cozy, pubby space with a basic menu enhanced by great dinner specials.

            1. You're also very close to Inman Square, where you might enjoy Tupelo (very good Southern food), East Coast Grill (great Caribbean-influenced seafood and barbecue -- the starters are the best bet there), The Druid (an Irish bar with great food), and All-Star Sandwich Bar (good upscale sandwiches), among others.

              1. Oggi Gourmet in Holyoke Center at Harvard is good. That's right in Harvard Sq. Garden at the Cellar between Central and Harvard Squares is good. Tupelo is excellent for Southern food. Miracle of Science makes a great burger!

                1. Don't miss the unbelievable hot chocolates and pastries at LA Burdick, on Brattle St.

                  1. Easy walk across the river and they have free parking, so you can drive if it's cold. Might not be your thing, but Japanese steakhouses are one of my guilty pleasures, and it's been my experience that teenagers enjoy the food - and love the amount they get served.


                    If you venture to any of the places in Central Square, (all good suggestions IMO) there is an inexpensive parking garage on Green Street that charges $1.50 per hour. Half a block from Mass Ave, right in the middle of Central Square.

                    1. Darwin's! Two locations on Mt. Auburn and Cambridge streets. Large, delicious sandwiches, lots of seating and free wifi in the Cambridge street location as well.