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Lord Hobo


88 Reviews
Place Score:
Lord HoboLord Hobo

Type: Bar, Eatery

92 Hampshire St
Cambridge, Massachusetts, 02139-1504
United States

(617) 250-8454 | map

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Added by Todd on 11-16-2009

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Reviews: 88 | Ratings: 211
Photo of SpoiledInVT
4.59/5  rDev +5.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Awesome beer bar. Selection of drafts is outstanding, with 40+ taps of beer from around the world. It was somewhat puzzling seeing some of the very small, lesser-known Vermont breweries on draft - Kind of awesome! Bottle selection is amazing, staff is wildly friendly and knowledgeable, and the tunes are great. I went here both during the day, and at night, and enjoyed both atmospheres (definitely different vibes) very much. This is a place that is a must-visit for anyone traveling in the area.

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Photo of AllanMorrison
4.89/5  rDev +12.7%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

They have applied for and gotten a brew on premises license for 2 Canal Park, Cambridge. This was granted before they had signed a lease with the landlord. I don't know about the lease, but I just spotted tools in the empty space today. Not enough to say they are about to lay out a brew house but nobody has so much as swept the floor in there since they gutted the place. I work next door.

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Photo of Jcorn
4.65/5  rDev +7.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4

GREAT beer bar. Excellent selection. Good vibe, not at all snobby. Even the host, bartender, & waiter were all great. The only knock is the food. While the dish I had was insanely good, it was insanely small. Like criminally small. But you can always order more food so it's a minor knock for me.

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Photo of CHickman
4.49/5  rDev +3.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.75

Great place, excellent background music and an outstanding beer selection. Very hip and chill place, the bartender was knowledgeable, the selection was very well procured with a wide variety and a ton of beers I can't get in NY. Excellent selection on tap and a pretty nice bottle list. Vibe was relaxed and craft beer centric, the bartender was equally willing to pour a stiff drink as he was a tap handle - he was also pouring everyone water at the end of the night, a real pro. Food looked and smelled great, but I didn't have any hence the 3.75 rating. Very cool place, I'll definitely come back.

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Photo of ChaseBoat77
4.64/5  rDev +6.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

After my dozenth visit, realized I'd never rated them before. Obviously that needed to change. I suggest jumping on a bar stool or waiting for one when you get there. The high tops are also fun, but sometimes the tables can feel a little too secluded if that's not what you're looking for. The beer selection is always excellent, and the descriptions are spot on if you're unfamiliar with a specific brew. They always seem to have something rare, balancing that out with beers from all over, expanding over the full range of styles. One of the best beer bars on my list. Highly recommend stopping in here for a casual beer (or 6).

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Photo of mynie
4.41/5  rDev +1.6%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

World class joint. Obviously. You don't need me to tell you that.

But I like Hobo especially, in a way that I don't like a lot of other super highly regarded, world class beer bars: Hobo is more accessible. The ethos is still aggressive and superficially alternative, yeah. But they don't blast music so loud you can't speak, they're rarely ever so packed you can't sit, and the staff never acts shitty or snooty. This isn't what you'd call a family establishment--people swear sometimes--but that's nice, frankly: if I wanted to drink at an Applebee's I would go to a fucking Applebee's.

The draft list is varied, featuring mostly NE beers but a good number of European imports and west coast brews. The style selection leads toward whatever is trendy at the time--so lots of sours and double IPAs--but there's still plenty of beers to suit any mood. Rares and one offs abound. They also have an *excellent* liquor selection, for those of you who like getting drunk enough to literally die.

The atmosphere is, like I said, relaxed. The light is dim and the decor is dark. There's a handful of TVs and not-mainstream-but-also-not-exactly-hip music plays at an overcomeable volume. I once heard someone complain that the place was a little dingy but, hello, that's why the lights are dim. No one is forcing you to lick the table.

So that's about it. Really wonderful place. Worth traveling for.

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Photo of NateF90
3.34/5  rDev -23%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 1 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4

Good food, excellent beer and cocktail selection. Horrible service on this visit which I was assured by the Boston brewer accompanying accompanying us for brunch was uncharacteristic of the establishment. Unfortunately it was bad enough that we will not be returning.

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Photo of BigStein88
5/5  rDev +15.2%

I have been to some of the other beer bars on Boston and, while impressed with the tap lists, have generally had poor and very slow service. This place tops them all in terms of tap list and had outstanding service to boot. More of a neighborhood bar than a place to be seen. All members of our party loved it and we will be going back.

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Photo of pieface22
5/5  rDev +15.2%

Don't waste time with the other pretenders (bars) around Boston. This is the best one I've been to. Great list of many beers from world class breweries. This is a place to experience beer, not to be seen at "a craft beer scene". Avoid the other "posers" and get to Lord Hobo ASAP.

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Photo of SebD
4.73/5  rDev +9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75

Stopped here after a Bostonian said I absolutely had to hit this place up if I was in Boston. Late morning beers after Extreme Beer Fest, hands down the best hangover remedy I've yet to try.

Atmosphere: This place is very inviting. It has a very mellow pub-style environment. Great tunes continuously playing (Definitely my kind of place) All the beers are listed in a Beer Menu that seems to be updated fairly often.

Service: The waiter we had was very knowledgeable about beer styles and provided us with great service all afternoon. We came from Canada and wanted to sample as many beers as possible so he served us smaller glasses (witch they don't normally do).

Selection: This bar offers a very great selection of American brews with a few great Belgian and Canadian beers. The selection on Tap was phenomenal. They tapped 4 or 5 beers in the few hours I was there. Best part was when the waiter came up to me and said we just tapped Grey Monday. Damn!

Food and value: I had Pork Belly and it was by far the best I've ever had. It just fell apart and was so tender. As for the beer, the prices were very average. This is definitely a great place to visit if you're in Boston and looking to grab something to eat, have a few beers and enjoy some good music.

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Photo of brochamb
4.15/5  rDev -4.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.75

Stopped in here the other night to grab a bite and a few drinks. The peninsula bar has approx. 40 beers on tap with a nice rotating selection. They were out of a couple of the beers listed. I noticed a few cask handles as well. The beer is kept at the appropriate temperature and served in the proper glass for the type of beer. They have a great selection and a knowledgeable and friendly staff.

The food selection was pretty good. I ordered the steak. It was not as good as I had hoped, but did the job.

Overall, I highly recommend this place even though it is a bit pricey.

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Photo of MThiele360
4.44/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4

In my opinion, Lord Hobo is the best beer bar in greater Boston even as the market has become flooded lately.

From the outside, it looks like your standard neighborhood dive. When you walk in, though, you find an upscale atmosphere. Horseshoe shaped bar with maybe 30 seats as well as several tables and booths near the front windows. Dim lighting. It can get loud when it gets crowded on busy nights - what bar doesn't - but it's got a nice laid-back vibe most of the time.

I've never had a problem with service here - the bartenders are always attentive, talkative, and willing to give suggestions or pour samples. I'm surprised about some of the complaints about service on here - I don't know what people are expecting but this is a bar, it's not a five-star restaurant.

I think Lord Hobo has the best selection in the Boston area. Some places have more, but here you'll find 40 taps loaded with a nice mix of locals, imports and hard-to-find stuff from other American craft breweries. They regularly have taps from new local Trillium and they're the only place I've seen Tree House in Boston. Hill Farmstead has been known to make rare appearances.

I really like the food here. Some things on the menu are great and some aren't worth trying. I usually stick to the sandwiches. I've stopped in for lunch or dinner on many occasions and the weekend brunch is great.

Prices are about on par with the Boston area. I actually think their draft prices are more reasonable now than when they first opened, but still expect a range of $6 up to $9-$10 for the really hard-to-find stuff. The food prices are mixed - I think the prices for the appetizers and the entrees are much too high but the sandwiches are a good deal.

If there is one huge drawback to Lord Hobo, it's getting there. It's equidistant from the Central and Kendall T stations - about a 15 minute walk from each. It is possible to catch a nearby bus to get to the T. Parking is extremely difficult - you might luck out with the two metered spaces right on the corner but the rest of the parking in the area is resident only all day every day except Sunday.

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Photo of enulcwww
4.59/5  rDev +5.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

The beer selection is fantastic. Amazing collection of Boston area beers and a decent amount of outside beers. Not the cheapest craft beer you can get but worth it for selection. Went for the trillium event and had some of the best food and brunch I had had in Boston. The brunch food was a lot less expensive then the beer but worth a lot more then what you're paying. A little difficult to find and outside is deceiving but well worth the trip there.

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Photo of bullywee
4.18/5  rDev -3.7%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4

Stopped in on a Sunday evening, not too busy with seats at the bar open. We were immediately welcomed, poured waters and handed menus. Tap selection was pretty good with a mix of locals, US craft and Belgians. I opted for a sour red which I could not finish due to the overwhelming diacetyl taste. The bar tender noticed that I wasn't drinking it and asked if it was ok and quickly offered to replaced it, not requred ...but excellent!
I enjoyed a Night Shift Berlinerwisse and a Cambridge Brewing Brett Porter, both were excellent. Service was great, Proper glass ware and nice pours! prices were inline with the area.

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Photo of Mini4x
4.26/5  rDev -1.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Their brunch is awesome, excellent beer selection, always something new being poured. The usually have a suggestion board up as well that are beers picked by the staff, great place to start for the undecided. They frequently do special events, I have been for a few, one that was a all Stone night, 20+ taps of nothing but Stone.

Occasionally the crowd is a but douchey, I suggest going during the summer so you don't get the college kids.

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Photo of BostonHops
4.12/5  rDev -5.1%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25

widely considered one of the crown jewels in terms of Boston-area craft locales, it was to my great shame that for years, even after getting into good beer, I could not seem to make my way over here. part of the problem is the location: not what you'd call convenient if you don't live in the immediate vicinity... as far as public trans, the closest T stop (Kendall/red line) is about a 15-20 minute walk. living on the green line and within striking distance of usual haunts Public House, Deep Ellum, and Sunset, Lord Hobo was forever on my radar but the project of getting here would always make one of the aforementioned three seem more appealing. finally made it this past weekend in a concerted effort to break the streak.

inside the space is dimly lit with an assortment of tables and booths and then 20ish stools around the bar. unsurprisingly crowded (Saturday night) but we were lucky to be able to find seats at the bar (4 of us). bartender was friendly and helpful, offering samples to the women in our party who were undecided about what they wanted, and again when I mentioned being pleasantly surprised at the Trillium beers on tap. prices were a bit on the high side, but then again where aren't they in Greater Boston.

the beer menu received mixed reviews from our group. healthy number of taps - at least 40 - with some well known beers (e.g.: Sculpin) along with some offerings you don't see too often (e.g.: Habanero Sculpin)... locals well-represented with stuff from Pretty Things (Meadow Lark was drinking great), Jack's Abby, and Trillium (Fort Point kicked, unfortunately, but I enjoyed the Dry Stack #2). overall the selection trends seasonally, with quite a few saisons and hefeweizens, and more than a few IPAs. being a hop fan there were easily a couple dozen options which appealed to me. however my brother, who is more into sturdy, malty beers, didn't find as much that was to his liking. there is also a (less impressive) bottle list of about 12-15 or so. undoubtedly when the cooler weather moves in you'll see the wheat beers and saisons replaced by stouts and barleywines, but at least for now if you're not into hops or summer styles you may not find a wealth of tempting options.

overall, I'm glad to have finally gotten the chance to check Lord Hobo out and I'd be more than happy to return, but it would have to be sometime when I was in the area anyway.

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Photo of outoffocus
4.33/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

I've gone to Lord Hobo both of my last two visits to Boston. The first visit was a much better overall experience than the second, but it is still my favorite bar in the city. (Disclaimer: I'm not local so I haven't tried too many) Both times we got a table almost immediately. The service the first time was probably damn near a 5. The waitress was extremely attentive and made some great suggestions, including of beers that weren't on the menu (sort of, the menu says there are other beers that aren't listed available). The second time the service was incredibly slow and unenthusiastic.

The draft and bottle lists are pretty extensive, but again the first time I was there I felt overwhelmed by how much stuff I really wanted to try, and the second time I could barely find 2-3 selections.

The first time I went right after having dinner, and my girlfriend and I thought the food menu looked much better than where we had eaten. So the next time we had dinner there. I was pretty disappointed in the quality of the food.

I'll go back here whenever I have the chance just for the interesting beer list, but on a good night like my first visit this is one of the best bars I've ever been to.

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Photo of Mantooth
4.15/5  rDev -4.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4

Popped in last night on vacation from Charlotte, NC. Found a cool atmosphere, velvet drapes included (which you enter the bar through after walking in the door). There was a nice selection of drafts, local and other, waiting for us. We had the bacon mac and cheese, which bordered on orgasmic. Our server was attentive despite a packed bar, as was the chap who found a long sleeved XL shirt for me to purchase. They were very cool about serving samples, too. Damn cool bar, wish I'd had more time there. Hey, Andrew, if you're reading... brew some beer.

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Photo of mgmfallon
4.1/5  rDev -5.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 3.75

I think everyone knows the great variety of beers this place has, the good food,etc. I do want to point out that too many times I've been here (and other beer bars have the same problem), the pours are short. What I mean specifically is when you say the pour is 12 oz., give me 12 oz. I have gotten many "12 oz." beers here that are poured up to the line in a .25 CL glass- that's 8.5 oz. or about 70% of 12 oz. The beers aren't cheap. Come on!

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Photo of orangesol
4.35/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.5

I have heard some great things about this place, figured I would make the quick walk up from CBC to check it out. I was instantly greeted by a giant curtain...ok whatever. Once I got through the magic trick entrance I was greeted by a large U shaped bar with booths along the wall adjacent to it. Decent amount of people but not packed at all, got more packed as I left. Two TV's, only one on, offers a distraction from the overly loud people scattered around the bar. Service was pretty solid. My bartender really knew her stuff and answered every question I had easily and I got most of my drinks quickly. She went a little scattered as the bar filled up, spending quite a bit of time talking to the locals and not taking others orders as quickly as she should have. Quality is high across the board. They don't appear to skimp on anything here. Proper glasses and top shelf ingredients are the norm here apparently. Selection is as expected, diverse. Beers from all over the world with a wide range of styles. Nothing overly rare but the variety makes up for it. I went with the bartenders choice, a german weisse, and it was pretty good. I got some polenta fries to go and they were really good. I am definitely going to try some of the other menu items next time as they smelled excellent. Prices are a little high, especially on food, but it is a major bar in a major city so I was expecting that. Overall an awesome beer bar. I will definitely return in the future.

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Photo of rjp217
4.45/5  rDev +2.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.75

I love Lord Hobo. They have an outstanding draft and bottle selection and their servers are very informative and attentive. The food menu is small but I think that's what makes it so good. They nail each and every dish. This is a great spot to hang at the bar and drink or get a table and eat. Easily one of my favorite spots to go to for craft beer and good food in the Boston area.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.54/5  rDev +4.6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5

When we first entered this place, I had an immediate impression that I was not going to be a huge fan of the vibe at this bar but I was totally wrong. It was dark inside, perhaps a little darker than I would like as I wanted to review the beers that I was getting there but I found a seat at the bar close to a light so I guess I was OK... It looked like it was going to be hipster snobby but it was not - everyone seemed friendly, even some folks around us at the bar offering suggestions to brews we should try if we had not before (it was really chill).

Beers were great - took a little longer than a couple of the other places but the pours were worth it... Perfect amount of head, served at the correct temperature, in the proper glassware, and without any spillage on the outside of the glass (I think the bartender wiped it clean before serving it).

Bartender was attentive, friendly, knowledgeable, and someone I would probably be happy to sit down and enjoy a couple of beers with... Our party all thought he did a great job of giving proper pours across all of the different styles we ordered.

Not a huge selection but a really good selection - I even came across a couple of offerings I have never seen on tap which was cool. Several limited (brewed once, not a huge amount available) beers were there.

Did not get any food when we visited.

I thought the prices were a touch high but considering the quality of beers that I was able to find, I did not mind paying.

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Photo of Andrew041180
4.58/5  rDev +5.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

I met a fellow BA here for a few drinks one day and was shocked by their draft selection. I had never seen some of the Stones, Bear Republics, Ballast Point, etc offerings on draft anywhere (granted I haven't been to THAT many craft beer bars in the Boston area). If you have some extra cash to sling around I highly recommend stopping in here.

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Photo of BarrelAgedBrian
4.18/5  rDev -3.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

I went to Lord Hobo on recommendation of a college friend of mine, who stops here whenever he is in Boston for a beer festival or event. Another friend who is a craft beer fan and I went for brunch the week after Extreme Beer Fest.

Lord Hobo is unassuming on the outside, but what's inside is what counts. We sat at a spacious table during the quieter hours of the day. The first thing to note is their beer list. It has a good amount of selection and everything on the list is quality. My friend and I were particularly interested in the Half Acre Big Hugs which they only had on tap because the brewery had been in town for the beer fest. The only food we had was the Duck Two Ways (baked duck egg with duck confit hash), which was very tasty, and their truffle fries. The truffle fries were fantastic: french fries cooked in truffle oil to a crisp with shaved parmesan on top. So simple, but such amazing flavor and I would definitely come back just for the fries!

The one downside I experienced was the service. Considering how quiet it was in Lord Hobo when we went, I felt like our waiter wasn't all that attentive to us. We requested samples of a couple other Half Acre beers they had on tap and didn't receive them until 10 minutes later. When we asked about what other bottles they have that weren't on their bottled beer list, he didn't appear too knowledgeable.

The service may have been a little blip; I would go back to try new beers on their ever-rotating list and dive in to more of their food options.

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Photo of LittleDon
4.33/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Pros: Great draft selection. Decent food. Easy parking.
Cons: So loud my ears hurt. Not many bottles (but really, who cares with the draft list).

Stopped in at about 6 on a Thursday and the crowd that was to be had not arrived. Great location, no need to hunt for parking. Neighborhood bar meets gastropub. The small bottle list was not an issue as what was on draft was more than enough, including eight to ten brews from Short's due to the snow attenuated Extreme Beer Fest. Good service: attentive without being clingy, knowledgeable. Fair offering of smaller plates (more room for beer) with slightly better than average preparation. Gnocchi with beef hearts had a nice flavor, though a bit heavy and cooked slightly too long. Truffle fries could have been a bit hotter, but tasty nonetheless. Prices seemed in line with other similar places in town. Deafening loudness by the time I left around 8.

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Lord Hobo in Cambridge, MA
96 out of 100 based on 88 ratings.