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Charlie's Kitchen

Not Rated.
Charlie's KitchenCharlie's Kitchen
BA SCORE
82
good

21 Ratings
Ratings: 21
Reviews: 15
rAvg: 3.42
pDev: n/a
Taps: 18
Bottles: 46
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

10 Eliot St
Cambridge, Massachusetts, 02138-5706
United States
phone: (617) 492-9646

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 21 | Reviews: 15 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by alienlifeforcecube:
Photo of alienlifeforcecube
3.3/5  rDev -3.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

I love a good dive. Beer selection is good, though not as many craft brews as i'd like. beer garden is fun too. food is reasonably priced and decent bar food. comfort food makes me happy and that's what is available at charlie's. best dive in harvard square.

More User Reviews:
Photo of ChurchofPayton
2/5  rDev -41.5%

Photo of jak119
3.75/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of cshafer7
4/5  rDev +17%

Photo of mbonugli
3.5/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of dental
4.25/5  rDev +24.3%

Photo of tegelaar
3.75/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of IBUnit63
3.5/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4

They did a very good job with the beer garden out back. Lots of tables with umbrellas and a bar out back with about 10 taps. Nice mix of local craft brews (Ipswich Ale, Berkshire Steel Rail), some mid-majors (Sam's Octoberfest) macros and macro-craft (Bud, Blue Moon) and even Chimay! Service is hit or miss - we had a couple waitresses throughout our stay. One was not in a happy place at all and was doing a good Eeyore impression, all the while not being in a hurry. The other 1 or 2 staff were courteous and prompt, so I guess we bat .500 on this front. This indirectly drives what your beer will look like when it shows up; slow service burns the head off before you see it. Overall, a good take. Not ridiculous in price either. Good stop right off the T in a central meeting place to enjoy the usual suspects and a few others.

Photo of Freshie
3.33/5  rDev -2.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Situated in Havard Square this place looks like it should be somewhere near the coast. It just screams I should be near a beach.

The atmosphere is very diner-ish. There are a good deal of punk rock patrons sitting both down and upstairs. A bit too bright for me at 1:00am, but the music was pretty damn good. I heard the pixies, the smiths, blondie, the ramones, etc. Punk and post-Punk goodness.

Some decent glassware for the dozen or so beers on tap. Tulips, snifters, tumblers, Imperial pint glasses, and mugs. I saw Chimay (Red), SA Boston Lager, Sam Seasonal, PBR, Hoegarden, Wailing Wench, BBC, Pretty decent selection though far from the best in the area, and over-priced.

Food is cheap, greasy, and great. Get the Guiness double cheeseburger.

I think I liked the music best, maybe more than the beer.

Photo of morebeergood
2.93/5  rDev -14.3%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

What do you expect? This place is like walking in to a diner to have a few beers. This was the third stop on a Friday afternoon pub crawl, and of course this place was "old reliable". I grabbed a seat at the counter and ordered a Hoegaarden. The atmosphere in this place is unique to say the least, it's a diner with beer flags and brewerania hanging everywhere. The beer selection is actually really good, and they serve the beer in the appropriate glass. The staff and music here is definitely the Harvard Square type, which is cool. Charlie's is a fun place to hang out in and grab a burger (excellent) and have a good brew.

Photo of Truh
3.78/5  rDev +10.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Best taps here? Chimay and whatever Boulder beer they have on. Charlie's is a throwback to the days when Harvard Square hadn't turned into the Cambridgeside Galleria's southern arm. And the fact that it has done so means that there are loyal customers who show up day in and day out. With that in mind, Charlie's is a working class bar during the day, with the hipsters and fixed gear bicyclists creeping out of the shadows in the evenings. Immovable swivel bar stools have made for one or more interesting scenes as underage college douches get drunk for the first time and try to push their way off the bar, only to fall ass over tea kettle.

Photo of bjohnson
3.88/5  rDev +13.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5

Great double cheese burgers! Fantastic, it melted in my mouth. Pretty descent place to go after work if you want a quick bite to eat or a beer. The inside takes on that 50's style diner with a long bar that has mirros behind it. Booths line the other wall. There are a bunch of flat screen tv's if you are watching a game while drinking at the bar. The upstairs is almost the same--a bar with some booths and flat screen tv's. The service I've had when I've gone there has been pretty good--nice waitreses and bartenders. Bathroom could use some cleaning. I was suprised to see how many taps and bottles they stocked. I had a 0.5L Hoegaarden for $5.00 or so. Pretty LARGE glass and a pretty good deal. Others that I noticed were CBC, otter creek, magic hat, chimay, harpoon. Love the burgers, can't say enough about them! Service is pretty fast, although the wait staff isn't that well prepared to answer your beer questions, they get by. Relatively inexpensive, especially for the game burgers.

Photo of Lnedrive14
2.9/5  rDev -15.2%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 2.5 | food: 2.5

Ok, the place is cheap, but the beer aint! I paid 6.50 for my glass of Chimay! I think I paid 4.25 or so at Sunset earlier this year.

Anyway, the food isnt so great. I had the lobster roll (maybe not my best decision). It was actually pretty decent with some real chunks of lobster in there. But the fries were really bad, and there weren't enough of them.

It's your typical hole in the wall, but it does have a decent beer menu - second best in harvard square (after cambridge common, but that isn't really saying much.

I would have given the service much lower, but the waitress was kind enough to let me keep the chimay goblet i was drinking out of, which was nice of her.

I dont think i would go back here though. Cambridge common is cheaper and a helluva lot better.

Photo of Hibernator
3.64/5  rDev +6.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

Charlie's Kitchen is easy to locate in Harvard Square. One would not suspect this place to be listed in Beer Advocate, but once you enter and you look at the tap selection, you'll understand why.

I stopped in for a visit this past weekend. The atmosphere is laid back and relaxing. Its your classic diner in all respects, from the decoration to the service. There are a couple of floors, but I stayed on the first floor at the bar. I also found it odd that this place has a lobster tank in the front window. It's not everyday that your greasy spoon corner diner has a lobster tank in the front window.

Beer selection is comprised of about 15 selections and 40 or so in the bottle. As far as draught selections go, I noticed Magic Hat Hi.P.A, Otter Creek Stovepipe Porter, Harpoon, Sam Adams, Chimay and others. There is appropriate glassware behind the bar too. My beers were served in imperial pint glasses, which was nice to see. No beer menu available, which was a let down. Any place that offers such a nice quantity of beers, should have them in writing for people to see.

Staff were responsive and friendly. I didn't try the food, but it looks like typical diner options...sandwiches, soups, burgers, tuna melts, seafood, etc. Prices are very reasonable for their location. This place is worth stopping by if you are in the area and want to have a few pints to warm up or don't feel like going to a stuffy, overpriced bar. I would imagine this place could get crowded at certain times. Overall, I had a positive experience at such an unconventional "beer bar".

Photo of vitesse
3.6/5  rDev +5.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4

this is an easy place to miss. it looks more like a greasy-spoon from the outside than a beer bar.

the inside is that of a diner that happens to have a bunch of good beers on tap.
i like the place. very laid back atmosphere. the menu is good if you like fried seafood and burgers. very decent prices. my bro and i ate lunch for like $20.
as for the beer, they had about 15 to 20 taps. lots of good stuff, dogfish head, chimay, magic hat, harpoon, leffe, etc.
overall, it's a great place to stop for a cheap greasy lunch or for late-night drunk food.
i don't think it's worth traveling all day for, though.

Photo of fdrich29
3.5/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

Went here for a Dogfish Head tasting and won a pair of tickets to the BA Art of Beer Fest while I was there. Carmen no matter what you say, I knew the answer was Muhamad Ali before you said it.

I liked the feel of this place, old fashioned diner kinda thing. I don't always feel comfortable the first time I go to a bar alone, but this place felt right. The selection was great, even without all the Dogfish Head products (including a wee keg of 120...DAMN that was good). Lots of Belgians, Chimay was promenantly displayed throughout the bar.

This was the first time I really got to talk to Todd which was really cool, he gave me the history of the site and I learned quite a bit. He gave me a taste of the Raison D'etre as well, after which I had to order my own. Good stuff.

Oddly enough this is also a favorite place of local police officers, one of which was there picking up his food and hung out with us for a bit.

I didn't know this place existed even though I'd driven by it thousands of times in my day. One thing's for sure, I won't be driving by it anymore...without stopping in for a beer or two.

Photo of MuddyFeet
3.1/5  rDev -9.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 2.5 | food: 3

This joint is all about the atmosphere. Usually we'd head over after work or post-softball game celebration/mourning. The beer selection is nothing special. A couple of local micros, but nothing of special note.

I'll admit, I've never been downstairs except to go upstairs. Upstairs there's a fairly long bar with a couple of TVs and a bunch of tables. Service is alright, just hope you don't get there between shifts, they get kind of cranky. We always seem to arrive just during a bartender shift change.

The food is alright. Lots of pub grub at great prices for Cambridge. Worth the money you spend.

It's a great place to sit with a bunch of buddies and chat or catch the game. The overall atmosphere makes this place worth a visit.

Photo of UncleJimbo
3.33/5  rDev -2.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

This is another Cambridge institution, though I heard that they have been under new ownership for about 4-5 years. I had always thought of this place as a greasy-spoon diner type restaurant, known more for their cheap burgers than for their beer, but I decided to pay them a visit and see what was new since my last visit 15-18 years ago.

The place is still a diner-type restaurant on the first floor, though a little more spruced up with more neon, and a live lobster tank at the front. The upstairs is purely a one room bar, very smoky (though that will change when Cambridge goes smoke free).

Downstairs the bar seats about 25, and there are about 10 booths. The bar top and the fixed stools are red. There were 4 TVs around the diner.

As for the beer, they had 16 taps and about 35 bottles. Frankly, I was quite suprised to find Piraat and Harpoon 100 Barrel Oatmeal Stout on tap. A pleasant surprise. It was odd to wash down a greasy cheeseburger and fries with a Piraat in a tuplip glass.

The food is typical diner type food (burgers, skewers, etc.), but with some lobster dishes thrown in. The food is relatively inexpensive, and not bad.

An interesting place to get a bite to eat if you are in the Harvard Square area, especially late night, since they close at 2 AM.

Photo of Jason
3.23/5  rDev -5.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 2.5

This place is a wanna-be diver bar, last time I was here some loser was at the end of the bar drinking a fish bowl of Hoegaarden …the kid look barley 21 and certainly on Ecstasy. Some other pseudo-punks were drinking shit beer out of a can … another Boston area trend, funny how I never stopped drinking tall boys of macros for over 10 years now.

The food is of a sub-diner level; greasy enough to eat while half in the bag. At the sober level it looks like high school cafeteria food. The staff is too arrogant … guess what you’ll never be as cool as Bukowski’s. The selection varies but they always have some different imports on tap and an odd local beer. The cleanliness of their line is very questionable, basically hit or miss.

Other than all of this, it’s a decent place to throw down a few but you are better off not making this your first stop.

Photo of bewareOFpenguin
3.48/5  rDev +1.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

I could not believe when I saw this on the barfly. I had thought of adding Charlie's. This is one of the last icon's of old Harvard Square, but to be more specific, "Brattle" Square. Geographically, it is located in Brattle Square, across from the now defunct entrance to Brattle Station (scan your memory banks for that kids). Charlie's is pretty much a slop shop, with those foods we might see Whimpy eating in Popeye's old films. Yes, there are posers and wanabee's hanging around, but I often run into old Cambridge friends in here now that the "Tasty" is gone. The paint scheme is crazy and hasn't changed since my mom and dad went here. A good place to catch a meal, drink a beer and maybe see an old friend. Or talk to the friends in your head, after all this is Cambridge. The 2 am closing doesn't attract the crazies it used to. They head north on Mass ave.

Photo of Todd
3/5  rDev -12.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

Located in Harvard Square, where the area is full of posers, snobby students, grounded locals and total freaks. Gotta love it.

Tucked in nicely ... there's Charlie's Kitchen, a sort of retro-wannabe-a-diner/bar catering mostly to the areas young poser scene. Here you'll find no-frills, medicore service, diner-style booths downstairs with a soda bar, and an upstairs bar and seating area; where the jukebox is and where most of the youngsters hang.

Beer-wise, a good 16 or so on-tap and over a dozen or so in the bottle. Beers can range from Dogfish Head to PBR to Corsendonk to local brews to imports of all kinds. Prices vary and will obviously run you more for the premium stuff ... the last time I was in a Piraat was going for $9 on-tap; I skipped it. Draft lines can use some cleaning, but overall the beer selection is above average compared to most places in the area. It seems like someone there is interest in beer, at least some of the time.

Food ranges from cheap burgers (that tend to suck!!) and fries to soft-shell crap sandwiches, lobster dishes (big tank downstairs), open-face turkey sandwiches, double dogs and other selections similar to a typical lunch/dinner diner menu. Basic. Quick. Good.

Service is hit or miss, but good a the bar. Don't be afraid to make eye contact or wave someone down.

Charlie's is open until 2am, making it ideal to stumble into and grab that last beer. Overall: a great place to nip in, grab a pint and nosh on some grub. I recommend staying on the 1st floor to avoid all of the posers.

Charlie's Kitchen in Cambridge, MA
82 out of 100 based on 21 ratings.