Lord Hobo

Not Rated.
Lord HoboLord Hobo
BA SCORE
97
world-class

187 Ratings
Ratings: 187
Reviews: 85
rAvg: 4.41
pDev: n/a
Taps: 43
Bottles: 40
Cask: Y
[ Bar, Eatery ]

92 Hampshire St
Cambridge, Massachusetts, 02139-1504
United States
phone: (617) 250-8454

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @lordhobo

Notes:
Place added by: Todd on 11-16-2009

No notes at this time.
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 187 | Reviews: 85
Photo of ChaseBoat77
4.64/5  rDev +5.2%
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).

Photo of mynie
4.41/5  rDev 0%
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.

Photo of NateF90
3.34/5  rDev -24.3%
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.

Photo of BigStein88
5/5  rDev +13.4%

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.

Photo of pieface22
5/5  rDev +13.4%

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.

Photo of SebD
4.73/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

Photo of brochamb
4.15/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

Photo of MThiele360
4.44/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

Photo of enulcwww
4.59/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

Photo of bullywee
4.18/5  rDev -5.2%
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.

Photo of Mini4x
4.26/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

Photo of BostonHops
4.12/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

Photo of outoffocus
4.33/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

Photo of Mantooth
4.15/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

Photo of harrymel
2.38/5  rDev -46%
vibe: 1 | quality: 2 | service: 2 | selection: 4 | food: 1.75

Biggest disappointment in Boston for my time.

Atmosphere: you enter the front doors to a curtain with an unknown number of barfs and spits on it (presuming this, as it's fairly dark in there). My wife and I step in, look around and assume it's open seating since there is nobody greeting us at the door. So we start walking toward a table and are intercepted by a big dude asking for identification. So we provide it and he cordially brings us to a table. Cool, whatever. Next, my wife and I try to have a conversation - it's loud as fuck in there. When I left, my ears had that concert feel.

Quality: the draft list is a nice mix of locals and domestic craft beers. No crap on tap and some obscurities I would have probably tried if I could stand to stay in the establishment. Bottle list was garbage, just a few "special" bottles with a little note that said they had more bottles, but you needed to chat with your server to explore the list, this is bullshit. If you're going to sell the beer, sell the beer with a price attached. Reminds me of the Frog in Vegas, a list of bottles, no prices and you just have to stroke your server for a decent price.

Service: well, after being seated, we were approached by a server....20 minutes later. And the service remained at this rate for the remainder of the meal. The other servers seemed a little more attentive than our assigned gentleman, but that doesn't change our experience. He also spoke like Oliver the Orphan - couldn't hear a goddam thing he said. He wasn't bent out of shape when I shortly told him I couldn't hear any of the words coming out his mouth, and he succinctly revised his conversation.

Selection: See above on draft selection. Don't see how this is a different category.

Food: the hush puppies were about what I would expect from a place like Skippers or Popeyes, not Lord Hobo at $8 an order. The dip it came with was really tasty, just mashed up avocados and lime with maybe a bit of cream cheese. Ended up just using this for the fries and didn't eat the hush puppies. Nobody even blinked that we didn't eat the hush puppies - no "you didn't like them?" or "Was there something wrong?" The scallops were nicely cooked and those were good. The accompanying corn bread, corn mix tasted like it had table sugar added to it - this also remained on the plate. My wife's fries were really quite nice and I thought above average. The sandwich she ordered (proscuitto, tomato, basil and balsamic) tasted like the baslamic was mixed again with table sugar. I'm not a picky eater, but this seemed like a poor attempt to be a nice, local and relatively upscale joint overshadowed with low end ingredients and poor preparation.

Value: the draft beer value seemed pretty standard if not good for the area. The bottles appeared overpriced ($14 for a bottle of Fritz?, that shit is $6 retail...so $10 maybe, but a near quadrupling of the wholesale price?). Food, if good, would have been a great value, but it was not good, so I don't think it was a good value.

Bottom line is that Lord Hobo fell far from a minimally enjoyable place to drink or eat. The sound was overwhelming and the service shitty with substandard food all come together and not even the draft list could woo be back into this place.

Photo of mgmfallon
4.1/5  rDev -7%
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!

Photo of orangesol
4.35/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

Photo of rjp217
4.45/5  rDev +0.9%
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.

Photo of dbrauneis
4.54/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

Photo of Andrew041180
4.58/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

Photo of BarrelAgedBrian
4.18/5  rDev -5.2%
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.

Photo of LittleDon
4.33/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

Photo of LeeMarvin
4.73/5  rDev +7.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Lord Hobo is one of Boston's prime destination beer bars. It's very unique in its layout and I love the design of the bar, with its dark woods and intimate yet roomy placement. The music is almost always good here, and if you like sports, they usually have the TVs tuned on whatever game is important that day.

Others have already touched on the fact they have some of the best beer and food offerings in the city, but it bears repeating. It's a beer bar that caters to beer geeks, and it's nice to sit down in a place where the language of craft beer is spoken. The waitstaff are some of the best in the city--very professional, friendly and informative.

I've had some great conversations with fellow beer geeks at this bar as well as some lonely visits where I feel I'm surrounded by high-tech hipsters absorbed in their i-devices. This may just be a side effect of its physical location or the younger generation that dominate the area, but it can make the place a bit formal at times. Craft beer is just as much about the community that supports it as the beer itself. Which is probably why I tend to treat Lord Hobo like a rare beer, respectfully savoring it with friends on special occasions.

Photo of flexabull
4.33/5  rDev -1.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Stopped in here on a late Saturday afternoon after walking all around Boston/Cambridge.

Small dark little corner bar, plenty of seating for how small this place is, one TV playing the Sox game, and some 80s music playing.

Quality was very good, saw lots of great Belgians, quite a few California beers, Founders, and some local craft as well.

Service was fine. Our server was quiet, but she smiled, and was speedy.

Selection was great, about 30+ taps with lots of variety, tons of bottles too.

Food was really good, my wife and I both commented about how tasty our meals were.

Prices were a bit spendy, but overall this is an excellent beer bar, I'd come here often if I was a local.

Photo of nickmantia
4.95/5  rDev +12.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Lord Hobo is at the top of my list for beer bars to visit in the Cambridge/Somerville/Boston area. There are a ton of restaurants and bars out there trying to do the Craft Beer thing -- this place actually does it right.

For starters, the atmosphere inside fits the vibe they are looking for. It's not shiny, fancy, etc; rather it's comforting, on the darker side and the temperature is usually perfect for the time of year (warm in winter; cool in summer).

In terms of selection, I've never been disappointed with the beers on the menu. They have rotating taps that are switched up quite frequently - I went two consecutive Saturdays and there were different beers on the menu. There's a great variety of beer types as well, which makes it nice for people that enjoy different types of beer (IPA, Stout, Saison, BPA, etc).

The drinks are served in appropriate glassware and the bartenders are very knowledgeable and can recommend something based on what you like if you can't find something that jumps out at you.

The food is delicious as well -- I've had the burger, pulled pork, mac & cheese with bacon and the cheese/meat plate. All of the food dishes were excellent. I agree with the other poster that it can be a little loud at times, but for the most part, it's usually manageable.

If you're in the Cambridge are looking for a great place to have a beer, this should absolutely be on your list of places to visit.

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Lord Hobo in Cambridge, MA
97 out of 100 based on 187 ratings.