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Atwood's Tavern

Not Rated.
Atwood's TavernAtwood's Tavern
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

22 Reviews
Reviews: 22
Visits: 38
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: n/a
Taps: 24
Bottles: 40
Cask: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

877 Cambridge St
Cambridge, Massachusetts, 02141-1430
United States
phone: (617) 864-2792

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @atwoodstvrn

Notes:
Place added by: noob on 05-27-2006

No notes at this time.
Place: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 22 | Visits: 38
Photo of smcolw
4.08/5  rDev -1.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4

My first impression is of the large all wood bar. It takes up two thirds of the place and it wraps around to where the hard liquor is kept. There's even mirrors like in the Wild West movies. There are five two-top tables near the window and perhaps twice that many in the back. The furthest wall from the street features perhaps the smallest stage known to entertainment--a drum set takes up 75% of the space.

Now for the beers, there are 25-30 of them on tap with another 75? in bottles. I found five on tap which I've never had (just shy of 3,000 rated). This is a pretty good ratio in my book. The service was quite good, there when I needed but not overly obtrusive.

I did not try the food, but from what I witnessed, everyone was enjoying their typical bar-grub fare.

This a bit between a dive bar and a sophisticated beer bar--a great combination in my book. (870 characters)

Photo of AliJ
4.91/5  rDev +18.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75

Great atmosphere, excellent live music, good food for a very fair price. The staff at Atwoods is always friendly and helpful and will find you a table no matter how crowded. Most importantly for summer, Atwoods has the best patio in Cambridge. Always a great choice! (266 characters)

Photo of morebeergood
4.14/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

My wife and I went to the Smoke This Rib 2011 bbq street fest on Sunday. Afterwards, we went over to Atwood's to relax for a bit. When we walked in, the place was completely empty. There is seating near the front windows, a long bar to the left, and a small stage in the back. Nice looking inside, with lots of wood. Had that Irish pub feel to it. Service was above average. The female bartender greeted us, and when a keg kicked, she went downstairs to check if they had more. Selection was pretty stellar. They had a bunch of great New England beers on tap - CBC, Smuttynose, Mayflower, Wormtown, White Birch, Gritty, Pretty Things, and even Jack's Abby. They also had some nice other taps too, like The Bruery and Boulevard. I went with the Boulevard Tank 7 Saison, served in a Belgian goblet ($7). Prices were $6 or more for draft, so not a cheap place. My wife then recommended we head around back. Very cool...an outdoor enclosed patio. I had no idea. An private space with community tables and a little garden. A great spot to enjoy a beer in the unseasonable warmth. The waitress outside was also very smiley and cheery. We really liked Atwood's, and I can't believe it's taken me so many years to finally visit this place. (1,231 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
4/5  rDev -3.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Thanks to Barry for suggesting this place.

A sort of unassuming place, for me, anyway. A nice, long, L-shaped wood bar with a pretty extensive tap list (seem to remember 25-30 beers).

Very friendly service and quite knowledgeable as well (always a plus). A nice selection of northeast/New England brewed beers, though I was disappointed that the one White Birch beer listed on the tap list was not available.

They also offer beers served in pints in 12 oz glasses for $4.50, which I thought was sort of cool. (511 characters)

Photo of huuvola
4.33/5  rDev +4.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I've been coming to Atwood's ever since it opened (2006) and have always enjoyed it, but this year (2011), they've really upped their game. They've improved their menu offerings, added a beautiful beer-garden type patio, and strengthened their already solid selection of beers.

They have around 24 taps, with a great range of beers and styles. On my most recent visit, they had tap offerings from New England craft brewers including: Baxter Brewing (ME), Cambridge Brewing Company, White Birch Brewing (NH), Pretty Things (Boston), Mayflower Brewing (MA), and Notch (MA/ME). Other brews included: Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale, La Chouffe, Allagash White, BBC Steel Rail, Brooklyn Lager, Gritty McDuff's Black Fly Stout, Belhaven Scottish Ale, Boulevard Brewing Nommo, Bruery Orchard White, and more.

Through the years, their tap selection has been fairly solid, but this year they've greatly improved their bottle selection. For example, to my surprise, they now carry the Saison from the brand new Mystic Brewing (Boston/Chelsea, MA). Other seasonal bottles included: Sixpoint Autumnation, Fullers 1845, Avery 18th Anniversary, and Hannsens Oude Kriek. The bottle menu is separated out into a good range of Ales, Porters/Stouts, Belgians, Large Format, etc.

The servers aren't always completely knowledgeable about the beers, but they can generally give you a decent recommendation if you tell them what you're looking for.

In short, Atwood's is a great little pub, with a very solid selection of beers. With this year's improvements, it's moved a few notches higher in my list of beer bar destinations. Definitely worth a visit if you're in the Cambridge/Somerville area --- or on an extended beer tour of the Boston area. (1,727 characters)

Photo of DrinkingDrake
4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Came here mainly to check out some remaining members of a local Boston band.

Great dark atmosphere and relatively quiet even for weekend nights. Quite does not mean barren however. I came here just for music and good beer and that is exactly what I got.

The beer selection suited mine and my friends needs perfectly. I felt like starting with a good IPA and slowly transitioning to a deep stout. The selection they had made it difficult only because of my own indecision.

Food selection has had a lot of time and effort put in. Don't come here expecting typical bar food(well besides some burgers but where can you choose beef, veggie or turkey) Cider Steamed Local Oysters go down like candy and the Flat iron steak sauteed in mushrooms and butter is very enticing.

Quick service for beer and food and the bartenders were friendly however I have not interacted with them too frequently.

Great music is also a major focal point for this bar. (951 characters)

Photo of Keith238
4.18/5  rDev +1.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Wandered in here during a recent trip to Boston, mid-day. Clean, friendly bar with a decent selection, not the biggest selection I've seen but representing both local and national breweries.

The wife and I had a couple of burgers and washed those down with a few beers then we spied the flourless chocolate cake ordered by another patron. You wouldn't expect that to be a good follow up for burgers but we split a piece and it was bangin'!

Nice atmosphere and a short bus ride from Harvard. Looking forward to a return trip to Atwoods. (538 characters)

Photo of Jason
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

This is like the underdog beer bar that is doing it right IMO.

They garner that real bar vibe, why? Because they are a real bar. Dark wood, full liquor license and a good looking food menu that I won't rate now until I have hit it up a few times.

Beer selection is very well chosen from light to dark, hoppy to malty, strong to moderate sized brews. A good portion of the beers are $5 a pint ... A shaker pint but a pint none the less. All of which is becoming a quick rarity in the Boston area. Atwood's is soon to become a mainstay in my rotation of places to hit. (568 characters)

Photo of donkeyrunner
4.5/5  rDev +9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

My favorite bar in the Boston metro area. It's my favorite because...

Some one spent a lot of time creating a focused draft selection. All styles are covered with a focus on American crafts, though there are Belgian and German offerings as well. In addition to their regular drafts, Atwood's has a 6 rotating lines: West coast, the Atwood's line (open), Cambridge Brewing Co., Sixpoint, stout and seasonal.

The atmosphere is casual and homey. If I were to open a bar it would be like this. The lighting is also high enough that one can actually see.

The food is excellent and reasonably priced. The bartenders and servers are friendly and will engage in conversation rather than just being vessels of food and drink.

I've always believed one can judge a bar by it's chili--Atwood's chili is $6 for a meal sized bowl, and is made with buffalo and is the 2nd best I've had in Boston (Deep Ellum has better chili, sorry Atwood,s).

On Halloween they had a Saucey Pirate Party. I LOVE pirates.

It's close to where I work and live. I also live near Bukowski's, Tavern at the end of the World, Lord Hobo, and Cambridge Brewing Co., but I go here instead. I can't give a higher compliment than that. (1,199 characters)

Photo of joedon
4.28/5  rDev +3.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Located in a mostly blue-collar neighborhood in Cambridge. Not a single Harvard professor or student in sight. The interior decoration was sort of plain and didn't work for me. However all the staff and customers were friendly and the overall feel was quite comfortable.

Well-chosen selection of tap beers and no macros in sight. A lot of New England choices but also Guinness, La Chouffe and Dogfish. I had the Smuttynose IPA and a Dogfish 90 which were both excellent.

The food menu was what you might expect but still well prepared and presented. I had a very good cheeseburger.

Prices were quite reasonable. $5.00 domestic pints. (636 characters)

Photo of vrazionale
4.14/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

This is the kind of beer bar that I wish was more common. Low-key, with a beer list that is extensive and interesting but focused - Domestics and IPAs seemed to be the main attractions. It's a relatively small bar, and it seems like they probably have all of the drafts that they can.

Service was attentive and friendly, without any hint of the snobbery that can plague good beer bars. I didn't try the food this time around, but people seemed happy with what they were eating!

There was live music - a bluegrass band that was just the right tempo and energy level for the bar's atmosphere. I would say that they were a bit too loud, making conversation a bit more difficult, but loud good music is not the end of the world!

All in all, Atwood's is a great beer bar in Cambridge. I like it much better than the much-ballyhooed Bukowski's down the street - more focused beer menu, better service, better atmosphere and music. (927 characters)

Photo of GreatPondBrewer
4/5  rDev -3.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

This is straight up a good bar. There is nothing crazy going on here, just a place creating a nice neighborhood feel. Lots of wood and darkness. Attentive and personable staff. Very good beer selection. Tasty food. Easy walking distance to my brother's apartment. What more could you ask for? Had plenty of good local beers during the night, as well as a Chouffe (whoops). The food was quite good, especially the cheese board. Our server was a cool dude. Knew plenty about beer and was there whenever we needed another round. I have been seeking out more places like this. No pretense. No amazing interior design or complicated philosophy (although both those things have their time and place and I like them as well). This was just simplicity. Something to strive for in these days. (783 characters)

Photo of FrankLloydMike
4.38/5  rDev +6.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

This is one of my favorite finds in Boston, but a bit out-of-the-way. I went here one night last winter with some friends after our first time in Inman Square. After checking out Bukowski's, we walked ten minutes down the road to this place. All of us agreed that the extremely dimly lit, narrow space was great. The beer selection was more limited than Bukowski's, but much more agreeably priced and just as well-considered. All the beers available were of good quality, and the bartender was helpful in explaining them and offering samples of the changing lineup. We just had a snack, but it was delicious and the other food all looked great. To top it off, there was a band playing Appalachian music in the back of the bar, that really lent the place a nice ambiance. This is one of my favorite places to head back to, and one of the things that makes me want to consider moving across the river. (899 characters)

Photo of fitzy84
3.88/5  rDev -6.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3

After yet another job interview, I stopped here for lunch. Right on the street, this place seemed like a friendly neighborhood tavern, but it was much more than that. Heavy on the wood and classical New England feel, I felt very cozy and comfortable in this place. A stage in the back for live music, many, many wooden tables and an inviting fireplace lined the area. Long, long bar with many, many taps. Pretty expansive beer and liquor menu that was quite appetizing. As for food, I felt the lunch menu was wicked small though good in quality (my burger was excellent). Service was good but the bartender was handling everyone in the tavern for lunch (luckily it was not too busy). I would love to try that place on a weekend or an evening. Definitely a nice place in Cambridge to go for a bite and a pint. (808 characters)

Photo of bjohnson
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I had been wanting to give Atwood's a try for a couple of months and finally got around to it. Stopped in on a Saturday night for dinner and drinks with some friends. Immediately upon entering the place grows on you. Low lighting, low ceilings and a real "pub" vibe made me feel right at home and comfortable. The long wood bar is situated on the left hand side as you walk in with two different multi-faucet draft towers.

Some high bar tables and chairs are located at the front of the place, but most of the seating in located in the back or at the bar. The seating in the back is right near the stage so if you plan on getting a quiet meal during a show, that's not going to happen. Lucky for you the bands that shuffle through Atwood's are pretty damn good. We were seated relatively close to the stage, but could still converse.

A very decent tap selection with lots of local selections and some from other parts of the country. I would have liked to see more offerings from abroad, but what they had on tap was very solid (nothing that would wow the beer geek though). The menu is small with apps, sandwiches, and entrees, which I like, but the food is stellar. The chef's special pulled pork sandwich melted in the mouth--utterly delicious. The quality of the food and the beer was very good.

Relatively inexpensive for both food and drink. There was only one waitress working the night we were there so it was a bit slow, but she was friendly, knowledgeable, and engaging. Check out their online tap list as it's pretty up to date. Wednesday nights are trivia nights--best of Boston supposedly. Very nice neighborhood pub--only knock is that it's not really in a T accessible location--you can get there by bus, but not by train. (1,741 characters)

Photo of csniezek
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

After seeing that they hold an annual bacon eating contest, I persuaded my Sunday brunch group to give it a shot. And I'm very glad we did - the biscuits & gravy were phenomenal, BBQ hash a revelation and the cranberry-raspberry jam a delight. And the menu had a comment almost worthy of a star in its own right: "We encourage you to make substitutions."

The atmosphere was just right for a Sunday afternoon at a tavern. Bright tables near the front windows, darker ones further back, with a long bar between and hardwood everywhere. One couple even brought their toddler along, which I felt was an excellent sign for the place - harkening back to a time when the neighborhood bar was a hub of the community. (It helped that the child wasn't very fussy, and in fact issued a few noises of delight which echoed within me rather nicely - after all, I had beer and bacon.)

The beer selection was surprisingly varied, with seasonal and rotating selections as well as regulars. They carried a few CBC selections, which was nice given that the CBC is only 7 minutes' walk away. There were few nice Belgians (my Grimbergen came in an authentic brewery .33l goblet) and some assorted choice brews from all over. And there were a few mainstream options for the less beerventurous. (The Champagne of Beers has a certain nostalgia value, I suppose.)

My only real complaint was with the service. While the staff was exceedingly personable and helpful, they were understaffed. With only two to cover the bar and all of the tables, things didn't happen quite as quickly as I would've liked.
Still, there are worse things than to sit in a pleasant tavern nursing a beer with friends. And did I mention I had bacon? Really good bacon?

All in all, a worthy establishment and one I will gladly visit again given the opportunity. Even if they can't sell jars of their cranberry-raspberry jam. (1,878 characters)

Photo of harsley
3.68/5  rDev -10.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Cool bar. Lots of wood and dark walls and tables.Night I was there it was very dimly lit (which I like) and there was a band playing. Sound wasn't the best and it was a bit loud at times but it was nice to have live music in a good beer bar. Beer selection was decent. Lots of good brews at pretty decent prices for the area (I think $4.50 for most brews, which included a nice big pour of DFH 90). They had La Chouffe on tap and a few other Belgians in bottles, not a lot but some...couple Lambics. Food was good but not outstanding. Sweet potato fries were the best; mac & cheese was good but have had better. Everything was good just not superb. Wait staff was very good and came by very often. Fairly small place when crowded but seems to squeeze quite a few people in when busy. Definitely worth going to if you live nearby or are visiting. I surprised when the check came, seemed lower than I expected. (908 characters)

Photo of Freshie
4.06/5  rDev -1.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Nice Irish pub feel. Dark wood bar and moldings. Wooden furniture. Low lighting. Long bar. Back area had space for live music.

Decent tap selection. DFH, Ipswich, Magic Hat, BBC, etc. Good glassware for various beers. A friend received his DFH 90 minute in a DFH snifter.

Service was decent with the heavy volume. As quick as they could be with a packed house.

Did not try the food, but when I go back I will, and I will edit this review, because from what I saw it looked good.

Atwood's is a awesome chill spot. To relax and converse with friends. (562 characters)

Photo of lawrence76
3.83/5  rDev -7.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

This place opened up not a mile from my house, but I have been slow to actually go out east & try it out. I'm very glad I did.

The restaurant is very casual, and more of a bar than I was imagining. Nicely lit, but not too dark...lots of wood and deep earth colours. Nice looking bar too, lots of stools & hightop table space everywhere. It was friday night and while it filled up, it was never too crowded. We noticed a few BA people there next to us at the bar.

The beer selection was equally impressive & unexpected. I was very content - and I wish now that I showed up earlier, instead of being ready to go home after only 3 beers. The beers were all priced extremely competitvely, especially for the boston beerbar scene (and the priced for all the different drafts are listed right on the menu, which is nice).

The food was excellent pub stuff...we have the mac & cheese & a burger -they were both great. The fries (both traditional and sweet potato) are solid.

I am definitely going back to this place soon....I can see it becoming more of a regular spot for me.

Oh yea, there was a really cool band playing some sort of jazzy gypsie stuff that I loved.... (1,177 characters)

Photo of rousee
4.13/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I was really glad I decided to check this place out recently. Its located on Cambridge street kind of halfway between the galleria mall area and Inman square. It used to be the Overdraught I believe and it definitely looks a lot nicer from the street when walking or driving by.

We went at night so it was fairly dark when we went in and they definitely keep it dimly lit inside. The bar is off to the left as you walk in and it just looks like a lot of work went into fixing the place up. Lots of finished wood and a very clean feel to it. The owners seem to always be around to ensure that everything runs smoothly.

Beer selection wasnt mindblowing but it certainly was far better than the average choices around town, They had a CBC one on which always earns points in my book. They also had Anderson Valley, Tuckermans, Smuttynose, Berkshire brewing, Allagash, DFH, so actually quite a good selection of craft beer. Reasonable prices on the beers too at 4.25 for most. The beers tasted plenty fresh and clean.

The food is quite good here too at very reasonable prices. We just had some munchies but they were definitely better than average and you have to like how they encourage you to make substitutions to your order so you enjoy it as much as possible. Just a nice attitude towards the patrons.

They also had a nice jazz band playing at just the right volume level with no cover charge either. The place was pretty busy and its easy to see why.I'm looking forward to my next visit to the Atwood. The Inman square area just keeps getting better and better. (1,577 characters)

Photo of taez555
3.73/5  rDev -9.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3

Atwoods is located on the long strip of Cambridge Street in Cambridge, between Lechmere and Inman Square.

The Interior is a neat mix of old school Irish bar but without that faux broken-in irish bar feel which actually makes it even more inviting. An L shaped room with a bar on the left that stretches to the back where there are tables to sit down and eat or watch the entertainment. Clean bright un-aged tan woods and a fireplace up front make it all very warm and inviting.

Beer selection is interesting. Two dozen taps with a bit smaller bottle selection. For the most part it’s Boston Basic but up a notch. Sam, Harpoon, Sierra Nevada, Guinness, Ipswich, BBC, CBC, etc. I was really impressed that they had DFH 90 minute IPA on tap and that it was served in the correct DFH snifter. All beers were served in the correct glassware and were very fresh and tasty with no off flavors.

Food selection was standard pub grub: Appetizers, burgers, sandwiches, some larger entrees, Irish breakfast for the brunch crowd, etc. Good stuff and very hearty but I honestly wasn’t overly impressed by anything we ordered.

They have live music 4 days a week which I really need to come out for that one of these days. As I live in the area I could see this becoming a decent local watering hole, I can’t stop thinking about the fresh snifters of 90 minute IPA. Although, I wish their website would tell they’re operating hours, the menu includes brunch, but doesn’t say when. Overall pretty cool, I’d come back. (1,518 characters)

Photo of keaton
4.13/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

If we move back to Cambridge, this place shows signs of becoming our local since the beer selection is awesome and it's about half the distance than the walk to CBC. We'd never stop going to CBC, but this place is fine. It used to be the most awful "Irish" bar and we tried it once and never considered going back. Through Beerfly, I saw it had changed hands and was anxious to try it. Although they are not an Irish bar, three of the owners are from the Burren and the manager/other owner (?) is from The Druid, so it has an pleasant, Irishy vibe. The fact that they don't claim to be Irish makes it more authentic as far as I'm concerned. The food is...quirky. The only vegetable they have on a permanent basis (and the only one they had when we were there) was red cabbage. They also had a good potato salad, so naturally I asked, where's the brats. The cook hasn't found a butcher he likes, so no brats yet! They have salads, tho, so whatever. The tap selection is outstanding. They use appropriate glassware and the taps are clean. I went for La Chouffe to start and Geoff went for the 90 Minute IPA (yes, Dogfish!). BTW, neither of those beers are listed on the website beer list as this is being written.The website lists 23 on tap, but I think it was closer to 30. They also had Gritty's BIack Fly Stout (that's Gritty's, isn't it?), and Brooklyn Lager. I decided on the pork chop and asked the bartender/manager/owner (?) for his suggestion as to what to pair it with and he suggested the Original Sin Cider. I thought this was a very good suggestion, but going with a quasi-German theme, decided on the Hofbrauhaus which was ok but not that interesting. I finished with a mix of Guiness and the cider and that was refreshing. Our server was a cute girl who tried very hard but still forgot to take off a beer I originally ordered but then got something else instead. No harm done, just check your bill. It's a nice atmosphere, maybe a little noisy but that just means it's drawing a crowd. They have music a few nights a week and a trivia night. All in all, a wonderful addition to the neighborhood and I'm very happy to see that it's there. (2,151 characters)

Atwood's Tavern in Cambridge, MA
92 out of 100 based on 22 ratings.