Bukowski Tavern

BA SCORE
88
very good

77 Ratings
Bukowski TavernBukowski Tavern
PLACE INFO

Type: Bar, Eatery

1281 Cambridge St
Cambridge, Massachusetts, 02139-1338
United States

(617) 497-7077 | map
bukowskitavern.net

Notes:
No notes at this time.

Added by Todd

PLACE STATS
Score:
88
Ratings:
77
Reviews:
58
Avg:
3.91
pDev:
9.21%
 
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 77 |  Reviews: 58
Reviews by rinhaak:
Photo of rinhaak
3.35/5  rDev -14.3%
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.

 2,367 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of tigg924
3.86/5  rDev -1.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75

Popped in here last Saturday about 5:00 and the place was just starting to fill up. Has a modern open feel, slightly industrial but open. I did notice that they had descriptions of beer styles on the walls as part of the decor. Taplist was very good. About 30 different offerings with locals and imports being well represented. Prices are above what I pay locally, but not unreasonable. Did not stay for food, but my wife did have a mixed drink and she really liked it. Not a place i would search out for, but we have several restaurants we like in the area. This seems to be a perfect place to hit before our reservations.

 631 characters

Photo of flek
4.43/5  rDev +13.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

A solid spot if you are in the Cambridge area. A nice tap list that featured various styles and nice selection of interesting beer. Definitely has a college bar feel and was packed with students and hard to find a seat. If you are in the area, it is wotrh checking out just to see what they might be pouring.

 311 characters

Photo of jtk21351
4.24/5  rDev +8.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4

Photo of Ajlvt
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Photo of SharkNado
4.24/5  rDev +8.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.75

Photo of slasich
4/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Photo of Dicers
3.95/5  rDev +1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Photo of rjp217
3.91/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Photo of nkelley77
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of harsley
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of Boston71
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of mklisz
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of chrisharris
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of ivyman
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of SweetChicken
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of bpfrush
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of smcolw
4.12/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

 1,355 characters

Photo of doremite
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of BostonPhilly
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of tegelaar
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of brureview
4.16/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

 861 characters

Photo of TheAnk
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of BostonHops
3.61/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

 1,214 characters

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Bukowski Tavern in Cambridge, MA
3.91 out of 5 based on 77 ratings.
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