Bukowski Tavern

Not Rated.
Bukowski TavernBukowski Tavern
BA SCORE
88
very good

72 Ratings
Ratings: 72
Reviews: 56
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: n/a
Taps: 21
Bottles: 100
Cask: Y
[ Bar, Eatery ]

1281 Cambridge St
Cambridge, Massachusetts, 02139-1338
United States
phone: (617) 497-7077

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @bukscambridge

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Place added by: Todd

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Ratings: 72 | Reviews: 56
Photo of smcolw
4.12/5  rDev +5.6%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.5

I frequent the Bukowski in Back Bay, but I must say I prefer this one. First off it's probably three times larger and not nearly as divey. Second, I find the tap selection to be more varied featuring more unusual brews. Third, this one opens up to the street.

The single room is 30 x 40 feet with a 20 foot bar to the side. The tap list is about 25 - 30 different offerings. And with the exception of Pabst Blue Ribbon, all of the beers are craft. On this Saturday afternoon (May 31, 2014), it was active but not not too busy. There were a couple of bar stools and several booths available, although all of the tables near the open garage doors were taken.

Although I didn't try the food, the menu could be described as creative bar grub. It is also a sparse choice of eight items and one dessert. Still, everyone seems to enjoy what they ordered, but then again, one doesn't come here for the dining options.

The service borders on indifferent and friendly. Not bad, but also not that attentive--my glass was always empty for about five minutes before I was asked if I wanted another. Not that I would come here strictly for the service.

So, if you are near Inman Square in Cambridge, this would be the place to go. But if you are willing to walk a half mile down Hampshire, you could go to Lord Hobo's, one of the finest beer joints in the area.

Photo of brureview
4.16/5  rDev +6.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I had read about Bukowskis and finally had a chance to have a drink there when I visiting friends in Cambridge.

It's a very unpretentious place and low-key hipster. No attitudes here.

I was impressed with the server's knowledge of beer, and she poured possibly one of the best wheat beers I have seen in a bar.

The beer menu is varied. Some excellent beers and some macro fare. I drank a Berkshire Brewing scotch ale which was quite good. My friend had a Port Brewing Board meeting which was far superior to a bottled beer I had bought a few months earlier and full flavored.
Our friends had German beers.

The appetizers are very good. The sweet potato fries were better than in most restaurants, and the pita and hummus was fresh.

Overall, an excellent Cambridge bar. Perhaps too hipster-grungy for some folks, but craft beer drinkers should check it out.

Photo of BostonHops
3.61/5  rDev -7.4%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3 | selection: 4

as far as Boston-area bars which are filed under the craft-centric heading go, Bukowski's to me is somewhat middle of the road. (measured against your everyday bar it impresses considerably more, obviously.)

atmosphere is good; dimly lit, with booths lining the center of the room and the bar stationed off to the right. a collection of high tables is arranged at the front, opposing floor-to-ceiling windows which are removed during warm weather.

service is very hit or miss. I've had bartenders/waitstaff be friendly, knowledgeable, and attentive, and I've had servers such as the one we had last night; while not overtly rude, definitely caught a strong impatient/unfriendly vibe from her - not the level of affability you kind of expect from someone in the service industry (expecting to be tipped).

selection is solid, covering a broad range of styles and breweries. that said, have never really found anything rare or off the beaten path. again, if you're looking for some good craft brews in general? you won't be disappointed. if you want to be blow away? you'll probably be disappointed. if you're in the area it's absolutely worth a stop but not the kind of place you need to go out of your way for.

Photo of FrankLloydMike
3.13/5  rDev -19.7%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

I keep going back to Bukowski's, and I almost always leave wondering why. This place could be so great--the open garage doors along the front in the summer, the collection of booths, high-tops and the bar, the very solid beer list and pretty good menu. But it messes almost everything up, and it almost always has to do with unreasonably high prices and rude staff.

The room is great--dimly lit with booths in the center of the space and high-tops in the front. But the music is always blasting in a room that would be loud already from conversation. I like music and human voices in a bar, but when I have to shout for the person next to me to hear, there's really not much point in going out to a bar. On quiet evenings in the summer, when you can seat by the windows, it's great. Otherwise, the noise level ruins any chance at having a conversation over your beers.

Some (maybe even most) of the servers are friendly, but some are incredibly rude, unknowledgeable about beer and simply full of themselves. Last night, our server stood waiting for me to finish my beer, so he wouldn't have to come back to pick up another empty glass the next time he passed by. Well, tough shit. I just paid $7.50 (plus tax) for a 12 oz glass (full to maybe 10 ounces) of beer that elsewhere would be $6 for a pint; I'm not rushing so you can save five seconds.

The beer list here is often very good, but rarely astounding. I take that back, the prices are always astounding. Last night, not a single beer (Harpoon IPA and PBR excepted) was under $7. And most of those came in 12 oz glasses (or smaller), with the at least honest qualifier that that is the glass, not the pour size. Add to that that when the bill came, I remembered that unlike most bars, the price at Bukowski's doesn't include tax. So the bill for five beers last night came to over $40. That's insane! An otherwise good tap list with nothing reasonably priced can't be described as above-average.

And it's a similar story with the food. $10 for onion rings? Are you kidding me? The food is fairly (and in some cases very) good, but for the prices, like the beer, it's unreasonable. And I don't mind when local businesses are cash only--I don't want my and their hard-earned money going to Visa--but when Bukowski's is charging upwards of $7.50 for a 10 oz pour, they can eat the credit card fees.

I want so badly to like this place, and I understand that Boston is an expensive area--I pay rent here, too. But when I can consistently get the same beer--sometimes in a larger serving--for $1-2 at other, nicer bars where I can have a conversation, there's really no excuse for Bukowski's absurd prices.

Photo of WanderingFool
4.33/5  rDev +11%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Met up with some friends in Cambridge for dinner and beer at Bukowski's. We were there on a Sunday afternoon and had no problem getting a table.

They have a fairly extensive tap beer list and a separate book for bottled beers. Nothing super rare, but great beers like Ithaca Flower Power and Jack's Abby Hoponius Union. They also have a cask and some cellar selections.

The food is terrific. We got some white trash chips and all of us had peanut butter burgers. Super tasty! My friends have been there before and said the other burgers on the menu are just as good.

Our waitress was terrific. She knew her beers and was there when our beers began to run low. Also the appetizer and burgers arrived quick. Granted, it wasn't a very busy day, but service seemed quick just the same.

Prices are reasonable, but its a cash only establishment.

I think my only complaint was the bathrooms. They were dirty and graffiti covered. Overall though, I really enjoyed Bukowski's and look forward to my next visit.

Photo of Neorebel
4.6/5  rDev +17.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 3

I was anxious to visit this bar with beatnick character - it certainly lives up to its namesake. The walls are adorned with quotes and surreal images. The staff is young and friendly. I ordered a Sazerac and my server wanted to ensure that I liked it. The crowd seemed to be mixed with all ages and walks of life. The music was ok - mostly popular alt. rock. I would have appreciated more underground stuff. The appetizers were good but pricey and nothing special. The beer selection however, rocked! They had a cask beer, good beers on tap and an extensive bottle menu - including Cantillon Iris 2007! They had a big boardwalk style wheel you could spin if you couldn't decide what to get. There was also a funny 'hobo special' of a hot dog and a 40 in a take out brown bag. Really fun place - check it out!!

Photo of womencantsail
3.86/5  rDev -1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

Came here with bring and a couple friends for a couple beers.

The place seems to fit its name fairly well, other than the fact that they serve expensive beer. Though the Hobo Special (hot dog and a 40) works.

Took a seat at a bar table and had a few adult beverages. The tap list was pretty eclectic and featured a nice range of beers that I had not tried/can't get back in California.

The service was pretty decent, especially for what I had expected (hoped?) from Hank's namesake. The thing I liked was that they offered half pours of everything on the menu.

Photo of glid02
4.14/5  rDev +6.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Stopped in for a few drinks while in the area after having visited the Boston location for lunch earlier in the day.

Atmosphere is nice, it's certainly more open than the location in Boston, especially in the summer. 4-5 tables sit near the open-air windows and a bar sits on the right upon entering. Certainly more relaxed than the Boston location.

Quality is good. The beer arrived at the proper temperature with a good amount of head.

Service is also good. Our waiter knew about the beers down to the style as well as their attributes, which was nice to see. We had to wait a few times to get our glasses refilled but nothing over the line.

Selection was very good, as I found it at the Boston location. 30-40% of the beers on-tap were locals and the rest were solid selections covering a good range of styles. The number of 5% beers was striking and well-received by me. As with the Boston location, the bottle list was far from extensive but was well thought out.

Value was good, a bit expensive to a Georgia boy but par for the course in the area.

Overall this location didn't have quite the amount of character I found in the Boston location, but the openness and more relaxed vibe made up for it. Worth a stop if you're in the area.

Photo of SunDevilBeer
3.01/5  rDev -22.8%
vibe: 2 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5

Hadn't visited here in nearly 9 years since a miserable visit, but a friend visiting town wanted to meet there so...

Visited around 7 on a weeknight. About half full, met my drinking partner at the bar.

Admittedly I had low expectations given my prior experiences at Buk's/Lower Depths. The hipster/tatooed barkeep met us pretty quickly and cordially to take our orders. Ordered a Harpoon 100BBL Rye IPA, my friend ordered a Brooklyn Lager. My beer arrived in a 11/12 oz glass, my friend got a foamy pint. Both beers tasted OK, but were small for the price.

During our visit the music escalated in volume immensely. Crappy techno punk from the barkeeps ipod....ick.

Bartender was checking back often...kudos. Was surprised at the service level given Buk's reputation & my prior disappointing visits.

The thing that really derails this place is the pricing....1 to 2 dollars more than the rest of Boston for drafts. Looked at the bottle list and most of them were out and out ripoffs.

Cash only here. Bullshit.

Not a place I'm anxious to return to, but better than I'd previously thought.

Photo of rinhaak
3.35/5  rDev -14.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 2.5

I had been hearing about Bukowski's Tavern for a long time and was anxious to give it a try. The beer list at the Cambridge location is impressive with 30 beers on tap, plus the house beer and a cask ale. They also have a very small - and overpriced - bottle list (four selections when I was there).

Sat down towards the back of the tavern in a booth with a friend. There was a rather unpleasant draft coming from somewhere, and considering it was cold and rainy outside, this really wasn't very welcome. However, once some food and drink was inside of us, we didn't really notice this minor annoyance anymore.

There were four TVs, all broadcasting a different sporting event. There was music playing in the background. Unfortunately, about halfway through our meal, the music tripled in volume and it became very difficult to have a conversation.

The service was good. The waitress came immediately and was always quick to check on us. I cannot comment on her knowledge of the beers on tap as I didn't ask her any questions.

I ordered the Imperial Stout Trooper, and while the tap lines seemed to be well maintained, I was a little disappointed when my beer arrived in a juice glass. Looking around the bar, they appeared to have four different glasses: the juice glass for heavy stouts, a Hefeweisen glass (though I didn't see any Hefs on the menu, so I'm curious what was in poured into this glass), a La Chouffe-style glass for the Belgians (my second beer, the Urthel Hop It was served in this glass), and a Brooklyn Lager pint glass for everything else.

The food was a huge disappointment. I ordered the Godzilla Burger: a housemade yellowfin tuna burger with mirin-chili-soy glaze, kalamsi mayo, sweet potato tempura, and avocado on a toasted brioche roll. They claim the burger would be cooked "rare," but was really anything but. This was overdone and dry. The bun was stale, not toasted, and the sweet potato was raw and crunchy with a small amount of fried tempura breading around it.

It did come with a side of fried plantains that were very good, however.

If you're going to a show at the Lily Pad and need a drink before or after the show, this is a good, nearby option. If you're wanting a good meal, you're better off going elsewhere. And with so many high quality beer bars in the Boston/Cambridge area, Bukowski's Tavern is best left alone.

Photo of Keith238
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

I was a little uneasy about going in after reading some of the reviews here. While I like a place that is laid back and not pretentious, I don't like to get a lot of attitude. My fears were unfounded as the staff was very friendly. I loved the atmosphere of the place. This is an old service garage turned into a bar, complete with the roll up garage door still there. The bar itself reminded me of an old diner or the lunch counter at Woolworths, old metal framed stools bolted to the ground.

Nice selection of beers including cask beer. Not sure what you want? Spin the wheel. There's a carnival style wheel with the name of each beer offered. The only catch is whatever the wheel lands on is what you're paying for. And did I mention you're paying cash? No plastic taken here, cash only. Truth be told, I probably would have stayed for a few more beers if I could have used my credit card as I was running low on cash and didn't want to pay fees for an ATM.

High on my revisit list for Boston. I may have to check out their other location as well.

Photo of asabreed
4/5  rDev +2.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

I only thought there was one of these, but I was wrong. We passed the one in Boston on a trolley tour, which literally hangs over the edge of the interstate in a parking garage, which equals pure awesomeness. Definitely will make a point to get there next time for sure.

I do like the one in Cambridge, though. We were luck enough to get a spot next to the windows, only they're not windows but open shades, or whatever you want to call them. So we not only got to people watch, which my wife loves to do, but it was a nice fall-like day in August, which made the experience better.

I wasn't too keen on the prices, which have a lot to do with the selection. At a place fairly close, Lord Hobo, the selection's better and the prices are better. Now I say this because if the selection's better, and you have certain stuff you can't get elsewhere, then you don't mind paying a bit more. But when a pint of Southern Tier Hop Sun is $6.50 -- a brew that's maybe $10 a six-pack if that, and only 5% ABV -- that seems a little ridiculous to me. Higher alcohol brews that are that much in 12 oz. glasses -- that's fine. Alas, that's just me, and many of the brews they had I'd had before, and with a place that has the reputation Bukowski's had, I consider their selection and quality good, but I was just hoping for more.

It wasn't too busy, but it seems like it could be on weekends when all the college kids are back. Lots of room to sit, with booths on the opposite side of the long bar, and tables closer to the front open windows.

Overall, a good experience, and certainly a place I'd return to, but I hope next time visit the other one in Boston and see what that brings.

Photo of drpimento
4.24/5  rDev +8.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Neat little place, in a way. Just mid-way over the bridge from this neat old fire station. Can't miss it due to its bright orange red color. Walked in and bar was full but shortly thereafter I got a seat. Great selection of beers available on draft and in bottles including locals, regionals, macros, both craft and mass brewed. Bartender was friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable. Patrons, on the other hand, while not rude, certainly were some of the least friendly I've ever run into: no chit chat, no eye contact, real stand offish. Would've given a better ambiance and overall grade but for that.

Photo of RBWoodward
4.63/5  rDev +18.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

This is my go-to tavern, my first choice, a great neighborhood establishment. The beer selection, quality, and diversity should get you in the door. What will keep you coming back, besides the beer, is the staff, the atmosphere, and the food.

Bukowski's is probably best known for its Dead Authors Club - drink 1 each of 133 different bottled beers on a predetermined list that covers the gamut of beer types within 6 months, and you are rewarded with immortality in the form of a numbered mug engraved with the name of the author of your choice, well, dead author of your choice. From then on you can fill your mug with whatever beer they have on tap at the time (about 16 different ones at any given time) at a significant discount. Joining the club is a bit daunting at first, but a couple of beers a day a few times a week will get you there. Plus, you can learn a lot in the process, about both beer and yourself. I didn't realize how much I liked Scottish Ales and Belgian Strong Pale Ales, my current fave, until I had started my mug quest.

Pursuing (and attaining) membership in the Club will keep you coming back, but if it weren't for the other positives of Bukowski's, it would not be nearly as enjoyable. The staff are great, very friendly and knowledgeable. The food is underrated! The menu is creative, and new items are added often. Finally, the environment is wonderful because it's versatile and neither too big nor too small. When the weather is nice, they open up the front floor-to-ceiling windows for a near-outside dining/drinking experience. You can of course sit at the bar by yourself or with a friend or two, and if you want to have a big group party, there's space for that, too.

Note that they are a cash-only establishment, but if you forget to cash up before you arrive, the ATM in the back will conveniently solve that problem for you.

The location (Inman Square) is not the most accessible if you're not local because it's a bit of a hike from the nearest T stops. Honestly, though, I like it that way. It's got a healthy level of activity as it is, and we really don't need any more student watering holes or conveniently located magnets for pub-crawling posers who are looking to pound 4 or 5 PBRs with their new best friends, now do we. Bukowski's is not for them. However, if you enjoy great beer and great food, it might just be the place for you.

Photo of rebelthrower
4.22/5  rDev +8.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

When to Bukowski's on a Monday after work from about 5 to 9:30pm. When i go there it was quiet with music (a little louder than i would have liked). Had a seat at the bar. It was the Southern Tier tap take over so tap selection was a little different than the norm. For a monday the place got pretty busy. The beer on tap was great at a reasonable price. The bottle beer list was extensive. They have a great menu organized by style. Over a great place to grab a drink.

Also if people were wondering how to get a mug with you name on it you need to drink all the bottled beers they have in 6 months or less. The bartender said it was 136 of them.

Photo of Hibernator
4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Went to Bukowski's on Saturday afternoon. The weather was really nice outside and we decided to drop by for some late afternoon drinks. We sat by the open front area where you can enjoy the weather and people watch the foot traffic of Cambridge Street.

Our waitress was pretty cool and provided good service. Drink orders were received quickly and she was attentive overall. Reggae music played in the background, which was also well recieved. I've heard other reviewers complain about the music being too loud, but that was not the case during my visit.

Anyways, on to the beer selection...expect about 18 or so drafts. All worthy selections with some pretty interesting brews.

During my visit here is what was available: Smuttynose Imperial Stout, Smuttynose Maibock, Sixpoint Gorilla Warfare, Rogue John John Juniper Ale, Bear Republic Racer 5, Lefthand Chainsaw Strong Ale, Mayflower IPA, Southern Tier Hoppe, Southampton Double Ale, Harpoon IPA, 21st Amendment Watermelon, Harpoon UFO, PBR, Moylan's Pale Ale, O'Hara's Irish Stout, DeKoninck Brune, Jolly Pumpkin Bam Bier and Emilesse Double IPA. One cask conditioned beer too, the Haverill Maibock Lager.

The bottle selection is extensive and offered an "extra special" bottle special that included Porterhouse Oyster Stout, 2009 Founders Nemesis and Goose Island Nightstalker.

I found all of the beers to be a bit on the pricey side, but that's typically not an issue for me as I appreciate the good quality of what I'm getting. If you plan on staying for multiple rounds, be prepared to shell out some cash though. Draft prices ranged from $5.50 to $10 for the Emilesse Double IPA.

All in all, I had a pleasant visit and enjoyed some tasty craft beers.

Photo of donkeyrunner
3.6/5  rDev -7.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 3

Much quieter and friendlier than the Boston location. Has the popular wheel of beer if that's your thing--you still have to pay full price for what you draw so there's no real bargain to be had. Has an oft changing cask as well as about 12 other taps with good variety.

Some servers know their beer, others I've caught making stuff up.

There's often a septic smell in the Summer due to a grate out front (yes, I've actually tracked the smell to it's source) wafting in the windows.

The "Hobo special" is a hot dog and malt liqour in a paper bag (for $5 I think). It's not a bad hot dog.

Not outrageous for Boston prices.

I often bring people here for the peanut butter bacon burger.

Photo of yemenmocha
4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Much better than the other Bukowski location, and certainly more quiet on my daytime visit.

This location has a more traditional, roomy bar with plenty of light and a neighborhood feel. Same or better tap selections than what is available on Dalton St.

Service was more polite, prompt, and actually had some knowledge of the beers on tap. Prices weren't bad for the area and quality of beer.

Good location near two other beer bars, the Druid & Atwood's. Easily accessible by the red line and very short bus trip.

Photo of hoffman
3.6/5  rDev -7.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4

Visited Bukowski's while taking a self guided walking tour of the Harvard/Cambridge area. A decent open air pub consistent with many found int he Boston area. Large open room with about 25 seats at the bar and some 30 tables. It was mid afternoon on a Sunday and very quiet when we arrived. The bartender wbile friendly enough was also less than interested in answering questions about the beer and more interested in a sidebar conversation...no worries though, we got what we needed. Several high quality taps including Stone IPA and some locals. Quite the bottle selection as well with some decent belgians from what I could tell. Prices were reasonable compared to some of the Bean-Town pubs that we visited.

All in all I would visit again to spend a little more time taking the place in, we had to leave rather quickly however.

Photo of vrazionale
2.98/5  rDev -23.6%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 2

So I went here for dinner tonight, and I left pretty disappointed. I had somewhat high expectations for their beer list, which was underwhelming. I understand focusing on domestic brews, but nothing from Brewery Ommegang? Only a couple Avery brews? Nothing from Lost Abbey, and only the bare basics from Stone? (Ruination on tap and Arrogant Bastard Ale, if my memory serves me.) The beer bottle list is pretty well-organized into styles of beer, but this points out some glaring deficiencies. The most egregious deficiency was the complete disrespect to saisons - only Saison Dupont, the saison that every bar has just to seem cool. To make a long story short, whoever organizes their beer menu saw fit to take very few chances on bringing in interesting and unique beers, and it really shows.

The food was pretty unremarkable, to be very kind. I got a cuban sandwich that was literally some cheap store-bought ham, some dry, tasteless pork, a few pickle slices, and some grainy mustard on two pre-sliced pieces of white bread. I could have spent $10 and made four Cubans that tasted and looked twice as good as these. My girlfriend got a burger that looked like a pre-formed burger, and tasted like one, too. Oh, and it was overcooked.

I'm glad I came here just to see what all the fuss was about - turns out that it's mostly hype.

Photo of niall
2.65/5  rDev -32.1%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 1.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 2

Shouting to be heard across the table over the din of students and hipsters isn't my favored way to spend an evening, but I figured it would be a fair trade for promising taps and excellent bottle list. The first round was Southern Tier's IPA, and it tasted wrong. I asked the server if I had the right beer, which he indulgently confirmed, but the beer was definitely wrong. That flavor, which I still couldn't place, was in the second round, Stone's Arrogant Bastard. It tasted like someone had cut the beer with Cel-Ray. I figured there was a problem with the taps, so I drank an IPA from the cask, and there it was again. Tea Tree Oil! It has to be whatever they're using to clean the glasses.

While we drank, we ate these sad-looking burgers that reminded me of itinerant burger slingers in parking lots and county fairs, and the fries at the bottom of the pile on the late were ice-cold. I shan't return.

One of my companions drank a delicious cocktail, made with lavender lemonade vodka, though. Sipping that was probably the highlight, as the drinks went.

Photo of hossthepatsfan
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Bukowski's is a great little hole-in-the-wall bar with a fantastic beer menu (both taps and bottles). I've been a couple of times and each time the staff is very knowledgible and the beers are served in appropriate glassware.

The food menu is a little limited but you don't go to Bukowski's for fine dining. I always get the boneless wings that are damn tasty.

The atmosphere is kind of tough to describe... kind of bohemian coffee house meets biker-bar. It looks rough from the outside (looks rough from the inside too) but the people/vibe/staff are all great if you're looking to relax, listen to some decent music and have some great, great beers.... (and maybe have some wings!)

Whenever I'm downtown, I try to swing through for at least one or two at Bukowski's and pre-Sox games there are a must although, get there early!

Photo of Jayli
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

A friend of mine who is a Boston transplant turned me on to this place.
The bar itself, looks slightly rundown on the inside - c'mon it's a BAR!
The service was great, our waitress was attentive and great with providing feedback on beers on th emenu. What is even better, if nothing on the "menu" suits your needs and you can't decide, there is the wheel of beer. They spin the wheel and a beer is selected for you. There were plenty of "want to try" on the menu for me to make my decision, but some night to just go in and let the wheel decide would be fun.
The food was typical bar food and went nicely with our beers.
I loved this place and look forward to going back!

Photo of BeerSox
4.25/5  rDev +9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Located in a "college area", this is one of the better joints you may find (at least in any college area, not necessarily in all of Boston). Close to public transportation and Harvard University. Parking can be difficult.

On one wall there are doors that can be opened when the weather is nice. Thre is a long bar, along with several tables and booths. If you're looking to watch sports you may want to head somewhere else or be sure to sit near a TV.

The policy in this location is cash only. Not sure why, but they do provide an ATM in the back of the bar.

The beer selection is quite large. Beer is served in correct glassware at the correct temperature, and the staff seems to be pretty knowledgable about what style the beer is and what characteristics it has. They do have beers like Miller Lite in case someone is interested in that.

The food is decent, pretty much bar food. I wouldn't expect anything out of the ordinary or exceptionally fancy.

Buowski's is a good place to go whenever you want to gather with some friends for some good beer. I recommend this place if you're in the Harvard area.

Photo of SurlyDuff
3.7/5  rDev -5.1%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Packed to capacity and really noisy. Then the music kicked in and it became loud enough that I couldn't hear someone a foot away.

Great selection of taps, and a full list of probably 75 bottle beers, broken down in a list/book sorted by style. Good variety on tap and bottles.

Staff was pretty knowedgable. I had forgotten what style Great Divides Titan was, and the tap list didn't say. She knew, so props to her. Otherwise, staff interaction was quick and impatient.

Brews aren't the cheapest. The most gouged offerings were the bottles. For example, a 22oz of Avery's Maharaja was over $18. I got a bottle of it in Portland, Or for $6.50 (though I am impressed they have it)... Pretty much anything over 6% was only 12oz too, what the crap?! I mean, if your gonna give half-pints and charge the same, set the bar at 9%.

Food is no-frills, under $10 and came to the table fast, despite it being a fullhouse.

Place takes CASH ONLY. Our total came to $85, plus tip. What a pain to bring cash out when I could be earning miles. Bah!

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Bukowski Tavern in Cambridge, MA
88 out of 100 based on 72 ratings.