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
Reviews by TheLongBeachBum:
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TheLongBeachBum from California

3.05/5  rDev -21.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 1.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

The Friday before the 05HeadThrowDown was spent lazing around. Fellow BA and Host Carmen decided that a trip to Cambridge Common was in order, and after we had a short trip to check out her College application, we then grabbed a #66 Bus from close by the Penguin Pizza and headed out on what can only be described as an interesting Bus ride. Aside from the collection of male perverts brazenly & suggestively hassling women at the back of the Bus, oh and the fact that Carmen and I were both molested by a Blind Man before we moved seats, only for the Blind Man to follow me and feel me up again [Ha! take that Carmen!!], we eventually found ourselves in Harvard Square. Once we were off the Bus, it was a reasonable 10 minute walk to the Cambridge Common past people wearing ill-fitting hair pieces.

It was a super hot day and the dark frontage of the CC looked incredibly appealing. Thankfully the dark interior offered some respite from the searing heat outside. We were greeted by a young lady who asked if we wanted to sit at the Bar or take Booth, we opted for the latter, which on reflection was probably a mistake. It was quiet so the CC looked probably bigger than it actually is. Lots of dark woods everywhere, the bar area is a centrally located square island refuge affair which sports around two dozen taps. Either side of this and at the front there are tables & chairs. The front tables are well lit and offer excellent views of the outside world as it passes by the large front windows. To the sides, the seats and tables are in a darker area with booths against the walls on the right hand side; this is where we decided to sit. At the back, the toilets and entrance to the downstairs Lizard Lounge are to be found.

Tap range is around 20 or so, a mix of macros and some popular local brews, punctuated with around 6 interesting (seemingly changing) guest beers, most of which will be listed on the chalkboard at the bar, or as during my visit, also on a separately printed menu included within the Main Menus that we were handed.

I sampled the Victory Whirlwind Wit to start with, which was excellent, damn tasty and very fresh. My second brew was less appealing, McNeill’s Duck’s Breath Bitter was a tad lifeless and boring. No sight of the frozen glasses everyone else seems to speak of. Maybe we got lucky.

Food range is a line-up of the usual suspects, the Menu is pitched at the tried & tested Pub Grub crowd it seems with a few notable exceptions like the excellent fried pickles Carmen decided to get to accompany out first brew. I opted for the spicy Burger, it came with the option of either straight or curly fries, or coleslaw if you care for your figure, like you would if ordering a Burger!! Quality was great, admittedly after our super long wait for beer and food I was ravenous, but even so the Burger and Straight Fries were great.

Well, I left the “best of the worst” until last. The real downer during my visit here was the Service. I’ll pull no punches here – it sucked BIG STYLE!!! From being seated we appeared to wait a good 5-10 minutes before anyone even looked at us. One of the younger servers was passing nearby by and I hassled her [in a friendly way] about being thirsty mistakenly thinking that she was going to take our Order. No such luck, but to be fair she got us some water and “put in” our Order for the beer at the Bat at least. She told us that she was not our Server and would get things moving for us. Seemed like another 5 minutes went by before we got our beer & that was only after I visually motioned her. Then the ultimate annoyance, the woman that decided to eventually come & serve us had actually been tending the Booth next to us and had seemingly just ignored us earlier on. WTF?? It got no better once we ordered our food and Carmen’s friend Mitsy joined us. Our “make-us-wait-ress” returned with our food and promptly ignored Mitsy, never even asking if she wanted a beer. In short we had the Worlds slowest and ‘couldn’t care less’ Server. Subsequent beers were impossible as our Server sat at the bar chatting most of the time. Sorry but the Service mark here is a well deserved 1.5, the only tip I left was for the Management to “get new servers”. The shitty Service really spoilt an otherwise rather nice relaxing lazy Friday afternoon. Shame.

If I am in the area I would come again, but maybe sit at the Bar next time, oh and maybe I would get the T here next time too. Worth a visit, but it is one of those places that, at least on first impressions, is a “not bad but could try harder, almost good but could be great” sort of places. Not Good – Not Bad - but at the moment it has potential to go either way I feel.

Massive Thanks to Carmen for the stellar company and many laughs on the ride out to here, and to her friend Mitsy for the ride home, much appreciated.

Last Visit: Friday 22nd July, 2005

Aug 05, 2005
More User Reviews:
Photo of Cpmitchno1
Cpmitchno1 from Virginia

4.12/5  rDev +5.6%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25

Aug 04, 2016
Photo of Shellynix
Shellynix from Massachusetts

4.04/5  rDev +3.6%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4

Mar 06, 2016
Photo of jtk21351
jtk21351 from California

3.9/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Feb 26, 2016
Photo of scxcrunner
scxcrunner from Massachusetts

4.06/5  rDev +4.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 3.75

Oct 19, 2015
Photo of brunop
brunop from Massachusetts

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.

Jun 04, 2015
Photo of TrilliumFan
TrilliumFan from Massachusetts

3.81/5  rDev -2.3%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.75

Dec 23, 2014
Photo of twosheds
twosheds from Massachusetts

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.

Nov 27, 2014
Photo of cshafer7
cshafer7 from Massachusetts

3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Sep 16, 2014
Photo of Sellen
Sellen from Connecticut

4/5  rDev +2.6%

Jul 24, 2014
Photo of jarrodddd
jarrodddd from Massachusetts

4.75/5  rDev +21.8%

Jun 23, 2014
Photo of dubdrop
dubdrop from Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +2.6%

Apr 21, 2014
Photo of thesarahfuller
thesarahfuller from Massachusetts

3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

Mar 25, 2014
Photo of jwps214
jwps214 from Massachusetts

3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Mar 03, 2014
Photo of tegelaar
tegelaar from Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev +9%

Jan 29, 2014
Photo of seanchai
seanchai from Virginia

4/5  rDev +2.6%

Dec 31, 2013
Photo of Eriogonum
Eriogonum from Massachusetts

3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Oct 10, 2013
Photo of CliffBrake
CliffBrake from New Hampshire

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.

Feb 04, 2012
Photo of glid02
glid02 from Georgia

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.

Aug 16, 2011
Photo of gfreed
gfreed from Massachusetts

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.

Jun 07, 2010
Photo of NEhophead
NEhophead from Massachusetts

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.

Apr 24, 2010
Photo of aerozeppl
aerozeppl from New York

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.

Mar 10, 2010
Photo of celeriac
celeriac from Massachusetts

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.

Mar 05, 2010
Photo of SpeedwayJim
SpeedwayJim from New York

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!!

Feb 22, 2010
Photo of yemenmocha
yemenmocha from Arizona

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.

Oct 07, 2009
Cambridge Common in Cambridge, MA
Place rating: 3.9 out of 5 with 62 ratings