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Cambridge/Somerville bar+food crawl

I live (and mostly eat and drink) in Cambridge. Whenever I mention bars or restaurants to co-workers (we work near Coolidge Corner, not like I'm dealing with people from New Hampshire) from Cambridge I tend to get "never heard of it" or "sounds familiar, is it good". Now I realize being a frequent reader of this website, I hear about, and tend to know details about places near and far. Also, because we work and most co workers live near the Harvard Ave. "corridor" they tend to equate bar food with say The Joshua Tree or the Avenue. I know they eat at many of the good ethnic places as well but don't know about places like the Cellar or Highland Kitchen etc... If you could pick 5 bars in Camberville that were truly legit places to drink that have great food as well where would you take them on the bar crawl? I admit to being both ten years and a few pay grades over most of these folks (I am the boss) so it has to be a bar first as these "kids" like to drink.

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Highland Kitchen
150 Highland Ave, Somerville, MA 02143

Joshua Tree
1314 Commonwealth Ave, Allston, MA 02134

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  1. Green Street, Garden at the Cellar (downstairs), Shay's (beer/wine), Charlie's Kitchen (I generally avoid the food, but it seems to be popular), Russell House

    1. If it's a small group and late at night, I'd try to include the bars at Craigie and Hungry Mother.

      Otherwise, Green Street, Trina's Starlite, Russell House, Lord Hobo, Highland.

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      Hungry Mother
      Cambridge, MA, Cambridge, MA

      Lord Hobo
      92 Hampshire St, Cambridge, MA 02141

      1. The Druid would certainly be at the top of my list. Trina's is a lot of fun and the food is good enough, sometimes quite good. I like the Russell House Tavern and Highland Kitchen suggestions too. I'd top it off with the Independent in Union Square, which has gotten rave reviews of late.

        2 Replies
        1. re: hckybg

          Gah, I forgot about The Independent. Very good food there since the new chef took over, great beer bar, above-average cocktails. I love the food at The Druid, but I don't know if I consider it a "legit" place to drink. If they even had Atwood's beer selection, it might make my five.

          1. re: robwat36

            Very true that it isn't the longest beer list and not a place for cocktails--but a Druid burger or veggie burger and a Guinness is not a bad way to start an evening/day/morning!

        2. The Independant -Union Square , Somerville-
          Highland Kitchen- Somerville
          Green Street- Central Sq. Cambridge
          the bar at Chez Henri (it's tiny though), Cambridge
          Russell House Tavern - Harvard Sq.

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          Chez Henri
          1 Shepard Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

          Highland Kitchen
          150 Highland Ave, Somerville, MA 02143

          Russell House Tavern
          14 JFK Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

          6 Replies
          1. re: nachovegas

            Thanks for jogging my memory on some of these. Totally spaced on Green St. and Trina's. We will be going sometime in the next few weeks. If it comes to Harvard Sq., would anyone put Grendel's over Shays? Russell House seems a no brainer.

            1. re: KilgoreTrout

              Your co-workers need to get out more. I live in Coolidge Corner and go out in Cambridge all the time. In addition to the suggestions thus far, Miracle of Science and Tory Row are good options as well.

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              Tory Row
              3 Brattle St, Cambridge, MA 02138

              1. re: KilgoreTrout

                I've never eaten at Shay's, but I'm not really a fan of either bar. Shay's is super-cramped and has no beer on tap, while the food at Grendel's is pretty lousy and I had the worst Sazerac of my life there once.

                1. re: robwat36

                  The menu at Shay's may be a bit limited for the OP's purposes. However they certainly have beer on tap.

                  1. re: Gabatta

                    Really? I remember a decent bottle selection but no draft lines. Maybe it was just a few draft lines and I misremembered. Thanks for the correction.

                    1. re: robwat36

                      They do have an extensive bottle list. However there are always 5+ on draft if I remember correctly from my last visit.

            2. Tricky to do, as getting bar seating at all them can be challenging for eating purposes, but my first thought would be Green Street, Rendezvous, Craigie, Hungry Mother, Blue Room (ideally on a night when Reggie St. Paul is behind the stick). You can literally crawl that, no T involved.

              http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

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              Hungry Mother
              Cambridge, MA, Cambridge, MA

              The Blue Room
              Hampshire and Portland streets, Cambridge, MA 02139

              1 Reply
              1. re: MC Slim JB

                We may start at around 3 pm on a Tuesday or Wednesday just to make seating easier. Probably only 4 or 5 people so other then Chez Henri or Hungry Mother all the suggestions seem viable. Keep the suggestions coming, I will post where we end up.

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                Chez Henri
                1 Shepard Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

                Hungry Mother
                Cambridge, MA, Cambridge, MA

              2. How about River Gods in Cambridge? I haven't been in years...however.

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                River Gods
                125 River St, Cambridge, MA 02139

                1 Reply
                1. re: Madrid

                  Agreed. Given what the OP says about the age group, and incomes, and drinking first and foremost, I would definitely consider River Gods. It has a good atmosphere and music, and has fairly good beer, as well as cocktails and wine from what I understand. It's a comfortable place for a mixed-age group, and it's also got a strong vegetarian and vegan food section to its menu.

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                  River Gods
                  125 River St, Cambridge, MA 02139

                2. Central Square has great choices

                  Start at Green street for nicely made cocktails and apps, next head to Rivergods for cocktails and great vegetarian food, continue on to Central Kitchen for drinks, down the street to Miracle of Science to finish!

                  These places all offer well made drinks and an atmosphere that is inviting for eating or drinking

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                  Central Kitchen
                  567 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: jessabella617

                    That's a good list too--you could even start at the Cellar to enjoy some of the treats from upstairs, like their excellent fries.

                    1. re: hckybg

                      That all works and is actually easily walkable. Good suggestions all.

                      1. re: Gabatta

                        With the Central Sq oriented walk listed above, we could do Miracle then River
                        Gods early then Green St,. Craigie, Central Kitchen then finish at the Cellar. Seems too good to be true. We might have to do a 2nd crawl with Inman/Kendall theme, possibly a Davis/Union as well.

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                        River Gods
                        125 River St, Cambridge, MA 02139

                        Central Kitchen
                        567 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139

                        1. re: KilgoreTrout

                          Spatially it might make more sense to go Miracle of Science then Craigie then Central Kitchen and Green Street then River Gods then the Cellar, but here's guessing that by Green Street you will be going whichever way the wind carries you.