Cambridge’s Central Square contains a myriad of food options, mostly ethnic. But located within the mix is Tavern in the Square, an American sports bar offering better-than-average bar food. If you’re not up for hiking into downtown Boston, consider getting your appetizer fix here.
While this restaurant’s name includes the word “tavern,” don’t expect to find an intimate pub. The setting here is more reminiscent of a typical sports bar. Wood floors and ceilings add ambiance, but the flat screen televisions, low lights, and high ceilings all make for an atmosphere more trendy than cozy.
As is the case at most other sports bars, this one is loud. Expect to shout your order to the waitress and repeat things one two times to before anyone will understand what you’re saying. Then again, if you’re there to watch a game, the noise is an essential part of the dining experience, especially when the entire clientele erupts with cheers after Big Papi hits a home run against the Yankees. Since dining with other die-hard sports fans is one of the restaurant’s draws, plan to arrive at least a half hour before game time if you want to get a table.
Apart from catching Boston’s sports teams, you’ll find the Tavern’s menu has plenty of options. In addition to typical bar fare like chicken wings and quesadillas, the menu also includes trend inspired items like the chicken & pear sandwich, the stuffed tomatoes & goat cheese burger, and the gorgonzola and onion pizza. Also offered are comfort foods like meatloaf and chili. In terms of price, sandwiches and salads are around $10, while dinner entrees range from $15 – $20.
On my visit, my friends and I ordered the Big Dig Fries for an appetizer. Minutes later, a heaping plate of waffle fries, topped with green peppers, sour cream and cheddar cheese arrived at our table. We dug in, enjoying every oil-laden bite. I also tried the Creole crab cake sandwich. Served on flavorful foccacia bread, it was mildly spicy with a rich crab flavor – on the whole, a satisfying meal. The burgers are also a good bet.
If you are looking for quiet conversation, this isn’t the place. However if you want to catch a game and have a few drinks in the Central Square area, Tavern in the Square is a good option. The easiest way to get to Tavern in the Square is by public transportation. It’s just a few blocks northwest of the Central Square T-stop on the Boston subway’s red line. The address is 730 Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge, MA.