Cambridge Common

Cambridge CommonCambridge Common
Cambridge CommonCambridge Common
Bar, Eatery

1667 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, Massachusetts, 02138-1807
United States

(617) 547-1228 | map

View: Place Reviews
Reviews: 48 | Ratings: 62 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of brunop
4.33/5  rDev +11%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

i love this place. great prices for cambridge/boston area, honest pours, and friendly bartenders. good rotating taps and cask selections. pretty good to very good bar food. one of my main locals.

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Photo of twosheds
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

I often think of this place when I am in Cambridge and want great beer and decent bar food at a reasonable price. I have been here many times and have always had good experiences.

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

This is a regular lunch spot for me when I am in Cambridge. The burgers are awesome and quite reasonably priced. Try the sweet potato fries. The salads are very good as well - fresh, imaginative and tasty.

Beer selection has many standby options, a good mix of locals, regionals, and national craft selections, with a few standby imports (how can a good Boston bar not have Guinness?) There are about 30 taps and one beer one cask.

Service is friendly and efficient. The atmosphere is nothing terribly distinctive - just comfortable, clean and inviting.

Highly recommended.

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Photo of glid02
3.78/5  rDev -3.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Stopped in here for a late night drink or two during a recent visit.

Atmosphere is OK. It's a pretty run-of-the-mill place, somewhat similar to a sports bar but not quite with the wings-and-BMC crowd. A large horseshoe bar sits in the center of the place with tables all around. TVs are pretty easy to find.

Quality is also OK. the beer was served at the proper temperature but some of the pours didn't have quite as much head as they should have and the glassware was pretty standard.

Service was good. We didn't have to wait long with empty glasses and the bartender knew the styles fairly well.

Selection was also good. There wasn't anything ridiculous on-tap but there were quite a few local options.

Value is good and par for the course in the Boston area.

Overall I wouldn't go out of my way to come back to this place but if I'm in the area I certainly wouldn't object.

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Photo of gfreed
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3

Worth the walk from Harvard Square on a hot summer afternoon, your best bet is a seat at the bar where it seems the air conditioning is strongest and the view of the entire restaurant is best. Not only that, you might stand a chance of avoiding one of the three zillion televisions that adorn the walls. CC always has a wide variety of taps and, although they seem to lean slightly in favor of hoppy beer, study the list closely and you'll always find something to like. A big plus is that they seem to make an effort to have one or two lagers on tap at all times-- that always adds points. The staff know the beer, they serve it in the proper glasses and you can even get a 12oz glass for most draft selections. The bottle list is not anything special, plus it's overpriced. Stick to the taps. The food is decent but not stunning and is not the main reason to visit.

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Photo of NEhophead
3.63/5  rDev -6.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Lunch and brews on a Wednesday afternoon. Located in Porter square, this place was a struggle to find at first since the giant letters were missing from the exterior. After breathing a sigh of relief to find out that they hadn't moved and that they were open for business, our spirits lifted.

The establishment unfolds into an open layout past the entrance; booths and tables to the left and right divided by the horshoe bar directly in front. On a mid-Wednesday afternoon, tables/booths were barely occupied.

Selection was reminiscent of an Eli Cannon's (Middletown, CT) or Strange Brew (Manchester, NH) in terms of 'decent' quality brews with about 20 taps, 30 bottles, and 1 firkin. The tap menu is interesting as they have a rotating daily (?) IPA, and they offer specials on samplers. I enjoyed a Rogue Yellow Snow (tap) in addition to a bartender's choice sampler (4, 5 oz samples) that included: Flower Power (cask), Double Bag, Troegs Sunshine Pils, and a Farmer Brown. An enjoyable selection, but nothing too exciting in terms of quality.

Our server was scattered, but prompt with drinks and food. Points off for clearly not knowing much about beer when he had to go back twice to the bar to remember which brews were in the sampler that he had just delivered.

Food was pretty average pub fare. The cajun chicken sandwich had some flavor, but it looked as if it had just been defrosted with little effort put forth to craft the meal.

Overall, prices are reasonable as long as you steer clear of the bottled selection. I understand the need to mark up bottles in restaurants, but one look at the bottled menu will make you want to study the taps a little more closely.

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Photo of aerozeppl
4.45/5  rDev +14.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Went here for the post EBF brunch. It was PACKED when we got there. We had some friends that live in town that went with us and they said how going to Cambrige for brunch has become a trendy thing to do in the Boston area. How quaint. Nice set up with a decent sized bar and a seperate dining area. I had the corned beef hash and I was happy with my meal. In fact everyone in our group was happy. The tap list was excellent but the bottle list this day was even better. Got a black tuesday and a le blue. The service was a little bit slow but as I said it was packed so they were doing the best they could. I would stop by again perhaps even for brunch.

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Photo of celeriac
2.58/5  rDev -33.8%
vibe: 2 | quality: 2 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4 | food: 1.5

I have to start with the food, because this is the real disaster for me. Stopped in for a few beers last night, and wound up ordering a burger as well, despite mediocre past experiences with CC and their other place in Porter, Christophers. My burger arrived thin, gray and very dry. The patty was utterly devoid of any beef flavor, juice or fat. it was totally overwhelmed by a too-large, dry, slightly stale and cool bun. The burger had all the taste and appeal of a high-school cafeteria lunch. The cheese was the wrong variety (requested American, got cheddar), the rabbit food (lettuce/tomato/onion) fairly pallid. The only saving graces were decent homemade pickle slices and food service-grade curly fries that were competently fried.

The beer selection varies from solid to very good, depending on the rotating taps. The atmosphere is lacking -- very generic decor. The service, at least at the bar, was very uneven. One of the three bartenders was lovely and attentive, while I had to aggressively wave down the other two when I wanted something.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.43/5  rDev +13.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Decided to visit here for the post-EBF brunch (2/21/10) with schen9303 and capra12.

First thing that struck me when I walked in was that this is the local college brew pub. Being a huge college town, Cambridge and nearby Boston are populated by undergraduates and I'd imagine that has got to be the place to be. Great design, atmosphere, and very well kept.

Quality of the food and the beer was excellent. I'm not quite sure how old this place is but renovations seemed to keep everything new and spic and spam.

Service was excellent. Our waitress was very attentive, knew her beer, made good recommendations, and above all, was timely and courteous with her service. Couldn't complain about anything. It was busy very busy throughout the brunch though.

Selection was decent. Given that this was the day after EBF and a number of EBF pre-celebrations, a number of rarities (including LeBleu and Black Tuesday!) were on deck. However, normally, they keep a rotating set of taps as well as a respectable bottle selection and a number of vintages.

I had the Cambridge half-pound burger and it was utterly fantastic. This has to be one of the best burgers that I've ever had at a brew pub or anywhere else!! Absolutely delicious. Also, judging from my friend's reactions, they both seemed to be more than pleased with their selections.

Given that this place is located in a college town, the prices are very affordable. About $5-$6 for a pint and $10 for a half-pound burger with the works. Can't get a better deal than that!!

Overall, Cambridge Commons comes highly recommended. One of the best and liveliest places that I've been to with great beer and great food. You really can't go wrong with this choice. Well worth the visit!!

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

Ordinary appearance from the outside and inside as well, but the tap selection is rather good with regional craft beer being the focus and hoppy beers in particular (Flower Power, among others). Troeg's had a presence as well, and it was hard to pass on this great amber.

Service was friendly and knowledgeable, with little resistance to allowing me to sample one or two prior to ordering. Prices were normal for the area.

Nice location if doing a pub crawl between Davis Square and Harvard Square.

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Photo of HT75
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

The Common looks like your typical family restaurant when you walk in. A bunch of booths and tables crammed in with a bar in the center of the place. However, the staff does a good job, the food, though it is pub fair, it is quality. Nothing fancy, just decent. THe beer selection is awesome considering the size of the place and they keep taps rotating. You could go there every day of the week and they'd still always have new stuff once you got through the selection. The Sunday brunch is very good too. Its a good location on Mass ave and easy to get to.

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

Located along Mass Ave near a couple colleges (what part of Boston isn't located near a couple colleges?), near some other restaurants. There is street parking and free parking behind the restaurant, but spaces are limited and probably fills up quickly when busy. Public transportation is available, with Porter to the north, and Havard to the south. It's a bit of a walk, but the area is definitely designed for walkers.

There is a street-side entrance and a back entrance, but either way you need to make your way to the front to be seated. There are several outdoor benches along the street, which is great for a nice day. The inside had some tables and booths, but also a rather large bar with lots of seating. There are also flat panel TVs above the bar. The bar area gets pretty packed during peak times.

The beer list was great, and includes a cask option. The main food menu has a list of beer options, but there is a paper one that lists the actual beers. There are plenty of the standard American Lager style beers available, as well as around 30 craft beers, of just about every style, as well as some rare beers. There is certainly something for everyone. The prices for the beers are also very cheap, many under $4, for a full pint glass.

The food varied, and comes with the standard pub food, but also very good. I ordered the English Burger (served on a large English muffin) and was one of the best burgers I've ever had. I also ordered curly-fries.

The service wasn't fast but it wasn't slow either. The waitress was very nice and had no problem splitting the check for us. I'm not sure if it's harder to get to people outside as quickly as inside.

The bottom of the menu mentions that you should ask questions since they are beer geeks. I guess that can make you feel more confident that you will have a good beer experience. I never heard of this place until my sister took me to it, and I'm glad she did. This is definitely a great establishment and should be a beer destination for you at one point or time.

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Photo of SunDevilBeer
4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

One of the better values in the Boston area for craft beer and food. Relaxed and casual vibe, is family-friendly during reasonable hours.

CC has ~ 20 taps ranging from local New England faves to "fad" beers. There's bound to be something you like. Be sure to ask for a shelf glass, otherwise you'll get a frozen glass. Pricing is extremely reasonable given the location.

Service always friendly and responsive. Bartenders are more knowledgable about the beers than the waiters, but the owners are really into craft beer and try to educate the entire staff.

Basic pub grub menu, but most of the food is made from scratch. Awesome burgers and sammiches, don't leave here without ordering some tater tots.

One of my fave beer spots in the Boston area.

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Photo of calebkeen
3.58/5  rDev -8.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 1.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

I had been looking forward to checking this place out for awhile, and when a group of friends agreed to go with me I even made a list of all the beers listed on their online menu that I wanted to try so that I could order as soon as we sat down.

I was foiled, however, as these guys rotate their beer very frequently. Two of the beers that I had wanted to try had already been changed to something else. But that 'something else' was something equally worthy of attention. In short, their beer list is one of the best I've seen in the area, and hands-down the best selection of local beer I've seen anywhere. The only complaint I have is that the beer came to the table VERY cold -- not a chilled glass but the kegs must be kept in a very cold environment. I let my Pretty Things St. Boltoph's sit for fifteen minutes before I drank any of it so that I wouldn't miss the malt character.

The beer was great, but the food was only OK. I can't comment on anything beyond the burger, but I ordered medium-rare and got medium. I would have been able to comment on several of the appetizers, but here's where the problems start.

Our waiter was HORRIBLE. He forgot to bring our appetizers, he forgot to bring several people water several times (after having been asked -- they won't bring you water automatically). He brought me the wrong beer initially, even though he 'atoned' for this by giving it to me for free. Sadly it was a portent of things to come...he forgot the appetizers soon thereafter. I was starving at the time (having come from work) and so the long wait for food (40 minutes?) really hurt the evening. He was also VERY slow to take away dirty dishes and check for refills on our beer. One of my friends had to wait over ten minutes for a new beer after he had asked her if she wanted something else. This is really lame.

To top things off, he took a very long time to come back and get our bill to let us leave. On the whole it was one of the worst service experiences I've had in the last year. While the restaurant was filling-up while we were there it was by no means full when we got there and ordered.

I think I'll be back for the beer, but might stick to the bar -- I don't want to take a risk on getting service like that again.

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Photo of schroederm
4.53/5  rDev +16.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Visited on 1/19/09 for the Tröegs welcome to MA event.

This is a really fun place. It was a very busy Monday, but I was still able to find a place to sit. Very easy to have a conversation or a meal; not too loud, great atmosphere. Service wasn't fast, but granted they were very busy with BA event in progress. Friendly staff, and just a really good crowd. I hope they continue to have Tröegs around! Other than that though, their selection was still pretty good. I didn't order much off the menu, but what I had was quite good, and the other food I saw going out looked great. I'll definitely be back for dinner sometime.

Highly recommend that you check this place out.

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Photo of applky
4.45/5  rDev +14.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 5

Am I biased? This is not really my local, but it's certainly wonderful and I go with the frequency of a local. It's not perfect, but it's probably the best bar in Cambridge -- certainly within the vicinity of Harvard or Porter Square.

When you walk in, the place feels like an English pub in a train wreck with an American sports bar, minus any rough edges. It works well, with the game on a few flat screens and a big projection screen off to the left bank of tables. Booths dot the windows and walls, and tables fill the empty spaces between the booths and the large, central, square-ish bar. The servers are friendly and attentive, and are happy to push tables together and bring samples of their brews.

You can preview the beer selection -- 30 taps plus a cask -- on CC's website, but it's more fun to just go and be surprised. The taps rotate daily, and the permanent collection (which includes as of Dec 08 Allagash White, Cambridge Amber, Sixpoint Righteous Rye, Geary's Hampshire Special and Victory Golden Monkey) is well-curated. The rotating taps include about 10 wild cards and 7 rotating "features" including a "Euro Ale" and features from Cambridge Brewing Company, Rogue, Smuttynose, and Berkshire. There's also a rotating organic feature for all of you who are watching your free radical intake. Beers range from $4 to $7, with most being either $4 or $5. You can also get a four-beer sampler of any four beers on the menu, including the heavier ones.

The food is both reasonably priced and excellent. Pretty much any sandwich or appetizer will make you happy. All cards are accepted, but the BofA ATM that was next door recently was removed, so make sure you come with enough cash or a reasonable line of credit.

The best part is that even on Friday and Saturday nights you probably won't have to wait longer than 15 minutes for a table (assuming you're a party of 4 or fewer).

Overall, this is a fantastic American take on the gastropub. A great local if you're nearby, but also worth the walk if you're meeting people there.

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Photo of TrevorGW
4.4/5  rDev +12.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

This place is pretty perfect. Diverse and reasonably-priced food menu. Awesome and ever-changing beer selection. Friendly staff.

Flights of beers (4 4 oz samples) for $7 is the way to go. With so much to try it is always a good idea.

Most importantly, they have the best beer dinners in town. Been to two of them in the last few months and they were fantastic. Bottom line is that they are dedicated to craft beer and local beer. It is not in an ideal location and is not the coolest looking bar, but that just helps keep its status as a hidden gem.

Burgers are only $4.95 ... so there is no reason to not go.

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

Prime location on Route 2A, Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge, between Havard and Porter Square.

Not that popping from the outside, but the environment becomes much more inviting once inside.

Dark bar in the centre, with seating around the edges. Various art installations adorn the walls. Music was Latin and saucy.

Very cool atmosphere. The beer selection is good. Local brews, like Cambridge, and the usual fare.

The food was great. Try the Tuna melt.

Thoroughly enjoyed my experience there.

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Photo of gcarl
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Visted the Cambridge Common on a Monday night.

Grabbed one of the small picnic tables on the patio(not there fault but a warning that Mass Ave can get a little noisy causing prolonged conversations difficult). Walking inside to wash the hands before dinner gave me a sense of the interior. Central bar with 40+ stools, also available were 20+ booths around the bar. Classic upscale bar feel, dark woods, muted wall decorations.

I had 3 beer including 2 Mojo IPA's and an Anderson Valley Summer Soltice(very interesting brew), Beers were extremely fresh and the glasses was clean. I have read previous reviews that chilled glasses were a staple here, I to agree that this is unnecessary but hardly a deal breaker for me. A nice perk of the Common is that they offer a variety of martinis and martini variants, making any non-beer drinker with you happy.

Ordered a turkey club....great, friend had the meatloaf....great, and a couple that we were with shared the Mediterranean platter...great. Food was tasty, well constructed and well presented.

Our server was phenomenal; I wish I grabbed his name because he helped make evening complete. He was engaged without being overbearing and didn't mind making trips to the bar to bring the table one drink, as we were all drinking at different speeds.

Class act establishment, looking forward to visiting time and time again!


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Photo of cnahil
4.44/5  rDev +13.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Back at the Common for the first time in about a year last week. Sat at the bar with friends and ran all over the beer list trying some old standbys (Geary's Hampshire) and new-to-me tastes (Southern Tier Creme Brulee). Also took in a quite a bit of the week's cask offering (Watch City IPA), which I'm told, is rotated every Wednesday and kicked by Friday night. The cask was fresh and well-handled. The bartenders were knowledgeable and friendly. Most impressive, though, is the value offered here. The CC offers a large but manageable list of great beers for very reasonable cost. It's the perfect place to sit, relax and sample new things without going utterly broke. The presence of one of Boston's best and most intimate live music venues, The Lizard Lounge, in the CC's "basement" is also a huge plus.

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Photo of leif86
3.9/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Went there with jctribe for dinner. Had the Geary's and sampled some other ones as well, like the CBC Amber. Place was busy, but the wait was about 5 minutes for 7 or 8 on a Friday night - I'd say that's pretty good. The service was good but I can't comment as to how knowledgeable they are. Food was pretty good as well, they make good coleslaw. Prices were probably the best about this place, $3.95 for most beers is pretty damn good for Boston/Cambridge. The selection was pretty good as well and it seems that they rotate the kegs frequently to make up for the fact that they don't have 100+ taps like Sunset. A good time.

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

Cambridge Common is rapidly becoming one of my favorite beer bars. Their prices cannot be beat in this age of price inflation. Yesterday I had pints of Hampshire Special Ale and Long Trail White for $4, and they were running a special for 2 Orlio beers for $3/pint. The beer list has something for everyone, both the beer geek and the beer newbie, and they do a tremendous job of supporting local craft beer.

I am not sure why Cambridge Common doesn't get more love. I suppose the food is nothing special (though certainly not bad), and the chilled pint glasses turn some people off. Nevertheless, they have surpassed Redbones as my favorite everyday beer bar.

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Photo of bjohnson
3.7/5  rDev -5.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Located between Porter Sq. and Harvard Sq. on Mass. Ave., it's closer to the later. The more I go to CC, the more I enjoy it. Not for the food or the beers, but because it's one of my local places that almost never dissapoints. They always tend to have at least one or two things on tap that are very interesting, a handful of interesting beers, and then a handful of the usual suspects. Quality of the beer is always top notch. Thirty plus taps and one cask gives one this luxury I presume. Large all dark wood U-shaped bar with tables and chairs on either side. In the summer they have an outdoor patio, which is really just picnic tables on the sidewalk. A couple of tv's hang in the bar area.

Food is your standard pub grub. You won't be finding anything out of the ordinary on the menu. I've never had anything truly excellent, but I've also never had anything terrible. I suppose that's the nature of pub food--it's just supposed to be plain 'ol good. Service is sometimes a bit slow, but I think that's due to the size of the place rather than the quality of the employees. They mostly tend to know their stuff.

Only grip I have is their insistence on serving beer in chilled pint glasses. That's a no no. They regularly keep their tap list up to date online, which is a plus as most places intend to update regularly, but almost always fall behind.

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Photo of bkett01
3.9/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Nice bar/restaurant located between Harvard & Porter Square. Decent atmosphere with tables in each side of the room and a bar in the middle. TV's are scattered around the room and fit in nicely with the overall atmosphere. I have never had trouble with the service here and the food selection is good (sweet potato fries here are one of my favorite foods in all of Boston).

Now to the beer. There is always a number of good choices here with roughly 20 taps. Offerings typically from locals Smuttynose, Berkshire, Sam Adams, Long Trail and national beers Stone, Southern Tier, Bear Republic, Rogue among many others. They do well at getting in the new specialty beers and I've never been disappointed with the quality of a beer served here. A solid choice if you're in the area.

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Photo of ohmesohoppy
3.73/5  rDev -4.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

Normal pub atmosphere here. The selection here is pretty good. Most of the seleciton leans towards regional beers like berkshire, ipswich, sam, southern tier, and magic hat. There is also always a cask available. I've only gotten drafts here, but as I remember there really werent that many bottles on the menu. The food here really isnt that great; small portions and not that tasty. Might be a bit of pain to get to though if youre taking public transportation. Also make sure you ask for a non chilled glass before you order your beer.

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Cambridge Common in Cambridge, MA
Place rating: 3.9 out of 5 with 62 ratings