Grendel's Den

Grendel's DenGrendel's Den
Grendel's DenGrendel's Den
Bar, Eatery

89 Winthrop St
Cambridge, Massachusetts, 02138-4929
United States

(617) 491-1160 | map

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Reviews: 9 | Ratings: 20 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of JoEBoBpr
3.93/5  rDev +9.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Let me start by saying that the waitress who took care of us was exceptional. Why? I'll tell you.

I ordered the seafood sampler (fish, scallops, shrimp and 2 sides) I only got the fish and the 2 sides. Initially I thought that the other 2 items were on there way but they didn't show up as I was half-way through my fish. So I politely questioned our server. She politely and with humility acknowledge their mistake and offered to bring the items for me. I declined and said that it was fine as long as they charge me for "the fish of the day" which is essentially what I had. She obliged. Then I asked for another .5L of Paulaner Hefe and when she brought it back she just smiled and said: "It's on me". What a server!!!! As i surveyed the check there it was. She charged me for the fish of the day which was 3.50 dollars less than what I had initially ordered and there was only 1 Hefe on my tab.

Aside from that great experience with service the food is very delicious and far from fancy. Straight forward but good flavored. Atmosphere is relaxed and cozy. The outside tables (were we sat are very inviting and offer a relaxed view of what goes on in the Harvard Sq. area.

Beer selection isn't great but its good enough to make a stop if in the vicinity. Also prices are extremely affordable.

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Photo of Durge
3.88/5  rDev +7.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Half below street level in Harvard Square this cozy little meeting place presents a large circular bar surrounded by a bunch of small tables, all enclosed by warm brick walls and subtle lighting. The taps offer Paulander Hefe, Carlsberg, #9, Harpoon IPA, Sam Adams Lager, Cambridge Brewing Amber, Guinness, Wachusett Blueberry and their own Grendel's mystery ale (not to mention Original Sin Cider). In bottles they have Victory Hop Devil, Dead Guy Ale, Long Trail Double Bag, Harpoon 100 Barrel, two Lindeman's Lambics, Narraganssett, Newcastle Brown, and a number of more common brews but they advertize "no Bud, Coors, Miller or Michelob - BASTA"! The menu has many pub grub standards along with some more eclectic chef specialties, ranging from sandwiches, nachos and burgers to seafood dinners and fancy salads and Mediterranean specialties. Service was pretty prompt and the food came out pretty quickly. The food was good, no problems. But the main theme here appears to be the conducive ambience that invites conversation and chatty groups of friends. Quite noisy but it adds to the feel along with party music playing in the background. I guess trhere were some outside tables but as the last reviewer discovered, it is not the most appealing option at this place. There was also a special deal between 5:00 - 7:30PM where the food is half price, and sure enough it was! Brews were not particularly cheap but passable. Not a grand beer bar but definitely a fun stop with a good selection for the discriminating beer enthusiast.

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Photo of drinksandeats
2.1/5  rDev -41.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2.5 | service: 1 | selection: 2 | food: 3

Swung by on a Thursday afternoon and was attracted to the outdoor seating. There were quite a few open tables, although the hostess said we would need to hit a $6 minimum per person to be seated there. No problem. A woman who we presume is the owner took our order for chips'n'salsa and drinks, and then chastised us for occupying one of her tables instead of descending to the bar. She left, I looked at four other tables that were empty (and remained so during our time there) and shook my head.

Beer selection isn't great. Cambridge Amber was the only local brew on a beer menu of large craft names. Our table was great for watching buskers and other locals shake down out-of-towners for change, but service left a lot to be desired.

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Photo of morebeergood
3.33/5  rDev -7.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5

Grendel's is a underground pub in Harvard Sq. that always seems to be a good time. There's a little fireplace and lots of table seating with kitchen type chairs. Always a decent crowd but it's not super noisy. We stopped in here on a Saturday evening to grab some pre-dinner beers and apps. They have a great deal with all food being half price before dinner and late night. The food may not be gourmet, but for a few dollars, you can get some pretty decent grub if you are there during those hours. It's really a good deal. The service this night was pretty good, our waitress came by a few times to check on us and even took the time to find out an answer to a question I had about a beer. The beer selection is not immense, but it's decent if you want to stop by for a few. Beers on draft that stood out: they had CBC, Smutty, and Paulaner (0.5L glass) on tap. They also had some decent bottles: Allagash, DFH, Middle Ages, among others. I think all beers were $4.50 each. For $25 inc tip, we had 4 beers and a sizable plate of nachos. Not bad for Harvard Sq.

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Photo of jaymirage
2.93/5  rDev -18.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3 | food: 2

I try to make an occasion out of trekking over to Grendel's on those weekday nights when the menu is half-priced with your drink purchase. The friendly, cozy atmosphere of Grendel's is a major attraction, and these nights are a fantastic deal.

The food is nice for the price, and the beer selection is decent. Ten bottled beers make a regular appearance (selections include Lindemans, Orval, and Weihenstephaner), but if you're looking for something more particular, you'll have to go elsewhere.

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Photo of Truh
3.38/5  rDev -6.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5

Best thing about Grendel's, besides its longevity, is their happy hour specials - buy a drink and all of the stuff on the food menu is greatly reduced. Pretty standard tap line up with some Harpoon, Sam Adams, Redhook, but they always have a CBC beer on, so I never have a problem when somebody suggests we grab a few at the Den. Garden-level place literally swallows you and affords you some protection from the hustle a bustle of Harvard Square literally feet above your head. Outside, cramped seating during the summer months, affording you views of the spare changers and the meth freaks shucking and jiving through life.

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Photo of Nipitato
3.6/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5

It was my first trip to Grendel's Den and I was hoping for a nice dark basement British style pub in Harvard Square. My dreams were not quite realized. What I got instead was the brightest basement bar I have ever been in. Too many mirrors. Too much pale wood paneling. Too many plants. Way too much light. Beer selection was ok. I gave it an slightly above average score thanks to the bar's nice selection of German imports. We did order some food there, which was pretty good. Grendel's Den was a reasonable value and the service (we sat at a table not at the bar) was top shelf.

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Photo of beals
3.73/5  rDev +3.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 4

I've spent a bunch of time in Harvard Square, but always felt that I wasn't "Harvard" enough for most of the places. Little too stuffy, not quite laid back enough for my tastes. (NB: I'm biased. I went to MIT.)

One day a few months ago, I stumbled upon Grendel's Den and found it to be the perfect oasis for me. It's an underground British-style tavern with good music, good people, and a great vibe. The beer selection is pedestrian, but they do carry the amazing Paulaner Hefe and also pour a mean Guiness/Bass black & tan. Good food, pretty creative menu for a pub.

The only downside is that while you can sit outside, they can't serve you beer out there, because it's public property. Bummer, too - it's great for people-watching.

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Photo of rousee
3.73/5  rDev +3.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

I have never tried the food here but they have an hour or 2 everyday (2X/day on weekdays) when it is half -price and it is pretty reasonable to begin with. Everything I have seen food-wise has looked like it was decent. Simple sandwiches and stuff.

Prime location -right in Harvard square, but fairly reasonable prices considering. There is more of a restaurant upstairs but it doesnt seem like its anything special. They always have a CBC beer on-tap and I have never seen anything but the amber,I like it quite a bit though. They also had Hof-brau lager on-tap last time I was there which you don't see around much. A few New England micro's too plus some the regular Bass, Sam, etc. Ok bottle selection-nothing special.

I really like the atmosphere in this place. A well mixed crowd of people from all over the world plus some regulars although I can't say I have ever noticed anyone I could say was a regular. This place is kind of a must if you're in Harvard square area.

The bartenders don't seem exactly happy to see you but they have always treated me fine. I highly recommend Grendel's--its an institution--a good one.

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Grendel's Den in Cambridge, MA
Place rating: 3.6 out of 5 with 20 ratings