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City Guides


Oct 23, 2017

Restaurants and Bars in Cambridge, MA

For decades throughout the United States, the “happy hour” has given people something to look forward to after work. In Massachusetts, however, happy hours have taken on a slightly different meaning since being banned in 1984. Restaurants and bars are not allowed to offer discounted alcoholic beverages, but they can offer food specials. Massachusetts happy hours, therefore, feature regular-priced drinks and cheap, abundant eats—not a bad compromise.

If you find yourself right outside of Boston, take advantage of these 7 great happy hour specials in Cambridge after a hard day’s work.

1. Ginger Exchange

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This Inman Square joint may be a delivery and takeout staple in Cambridge, but its happy hour warrants a full sit-down meal. Chow down on $2 edamame fries, $4 finger foods such as Crab Rangoon, summer rolls, sushi and tempura, $6 shrimp tofu poppers or $8 rice and noodle bowls. There’s a $6 drink minimum per person, easily met by ordering one of their specialty martinis.

1287 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02139

Happy Hour: Monday through Friday, 5pm – 7pm / Daily, 10pm to close

2. Grendel’s Den Restaurant & Bar

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Grendel’s Den Restaurant & Bar is a true Harvard Square institution, serving affordable food and drinks to generations of Cambridge students, residents and visitors. After Massachusetts’ ban on happy hours, rather than luring in customers with events, big-screen TVs or live music, Grendel’s remained a cozy, underground (literally —it’s located in a basement) spot for happy hour specials in Cambridge. Speaking of happy hour, all food items are half price every day from 5:00pm to 7:30pm.

89 Winthrop Street
Cambridge, MA 02138

Happy Hour: Daily, 5:00pm – 7:30pm

3. ArtBar

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Tucked within the Royal Sonesta Hotel, ArtBar boasts a large outdoor patio and waterfront views of the Charles River. This intimate retreat caters to food, wine and art lovers, with specialty cocktails, a carefully curated wine list and a food menu full of fresh, regional ingredients. For happy hour deals, come in on a weekday evening for half off all snacks and starters, like fried oysters or cornmeal-crusted calamari.

40 Edwin H. Land Boulevard
Cambridge, MA 02142

Happy Hour: Monday through Friday, 5pm – 6pm

4. Restaurant Dante

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Also located within the Royal Sonesta Hotel, Restaurant Dante serves creative Italian food in an elegant space with sweeping waterfront views of the Boston skyline. Dante is beloved in the Cambridge area for its “Appy Hour,” offered seven days a week, with $2 oysters, bruschetta, shrimp cocktail and arancini. Pair your affordable apps with one of their house-infused cocktails, vino from their extensive Italian wine list or a local beer.

40 Edwin H. Land Boulevard
Cambridge, MA 02142

Happy Hour: Daily, 2:30pm – 6pm

5. The Phoenix Landing

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The Phoenix Landing in Central Square is a lot of things to the people of Cambridge, calling itself an “alternative Irish bar,” hosting dance parties with live DJs, holding trivia nights and being voted America’s Best Soccer Bar. One thing that’s consistent is their happy hour, taking place every day from 5pm to 7pm. Get half-price appetizers, ranging from pub favorites like buffalo wings, mozzarella sticks and nachos to more sophisticated bites like bacon croquettes, vegetable spring rolls or fish tacos.

512 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139

Happy Hour: Daily, 5pm – 7pm

6. The Asgard Irish Pub & Restaurant

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There’s no shortage of Irish bars with happy hour specials in Cambridge, but it’s hard to beat The Asgard: every Monday starting at 5pm, wings are just 25 cents each. This spacious pub nestled between MIT and Central Square features decorative 150-year-old wood, two huge communal tables designed by local artists as well as unique tables, sofas and chairs. Patrons say the atmosphere is fun, casual and different from other dark and dingy pubs, with high ceilings and tall windows letting in plenty of natural light.

350 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139

Happy Hour: Mondays, 5pm – close

7. Midwest Grill

Midwest Grill is a rodízio-style Brazilian steakhouse in Cambridge, where diners help themselves to a hot food buffet and cold salad stations. You can go all out and opt for the churrasco a rodízio, with a plethora of tender grilled meats and Brazilian side dishes, or get their version of a happy hour special: 20-cent chicken wings with an order of an alcoholic beverage at the bar. Spacious accommodations, friendly, attentive staff and a unique dining experience make for an unforgettable time.

1124 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02139

Happy Hour: Opening hours with any purchase of an alcoholic beverage

Planning to Explore Beyond Cambridge, MA?

If you’re in Cambridge for work or leisure, be sure to visit Boston. On top of being a city rich in culture and American history, it’s a fantastic food destination. Read our list of the top must-eat foods in Boston so you don’t miss out on what the city has to offer.

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