Unless you’re one of the lucky few who (a) is married, (b) knows how to cook and (c) has time, you’ll spend the next three years memorizing the menus of Cambridge’s eating establishments. It’s not the most cost-effective option, and you’ll overdose on meat and pasta, but it’s certainly the most convenient. Lucky for you, there’s no shortage of delivery services.
Harvard House of Pizza864-80901607 Mass. Ave. HHOP offers a variety of simple Mediterranean foods at great prices. They make pizza (surprise!). Their food specials are bountiful and help with any tight budget. The kabob special would rock Hammurabi’s palate, and their burgers will fill you up. The grease content may be there, but this ain’t the Harvard House of Tofu. The groovy posters on the wall are guaranteed to make you yearn for the Greek isles.
Pinocchio’s876-489774 Winthrop St. A Harvard mainstay for all kinds of grinders, including the Square’s best toasted Italian and Steak & Cheese sandwiches. Also known for its gourmet Sicilian pizza (frankly, more of an acquired taste).
Three Aces491-2884About 20 feet north of Everett on Mass Ave. The key words here are “cheap” and “close.” (And “soon-to-be-demolished.” HLS, which owns the land, will level this campus favorite at some unspecified future date.) The Aces is an inextricable part of the HLS experience for many. The menu includes pizza, pasta, calzones and grinders, all of which seem to have one common ingredient: grease. If you’re doing carry out, it pays to call your order in ahead of time. For those frustrated with the lack of philosophical introspection during Torts class, ponder this nifty little koan – why not Four Aces?
Tommy’s House of Pizza497-484949 Mt. Auburn St. Tommy’s claims to produce New York-style pizza, a claim that boils down to sesame seeds on the crust. A late-night favorite. Use whatever change you have left from your last Scorpion bowl to purchase the perfect hangover cure.
Pizzeria Uno 497-1530 or 864-191622 JFK St., just south of Abercrombie and Fitch, or in Porter Square, next to Pier 1. When you want to pay a little more for your pizza, head to or order from Uno’s. TGI Friday’s-type atmosphere. Pretty much what you’d expect, but Midwesterners shouldn’t get too excited: The “Chicago-style pizza” has been Boston-ified.
Changsho 278-2100On the left side of Mass Ave., north of campus and past Evergood Market. Hands-down the best Chinese in Cambridge. The chicken in garlic sauce would make a cannibal out of Foghorn Leghorn, and the quality of all dishes is consistently high. The all-you-can-eat lunch buffet is a great way to bury your feelings of inadequacy beneath mounds of Mongolian beef.
Pho Pasteur 864-410035 Dunster St., The Garage, Harvard Square. Try “Pho” for a sit-down Vietnamese meal. The best news? It’s just as cheap and almost universally liked. Even better, they spare you the humiliation of trying to pronounce the names of the dishes by numbering everything. “Would you recommend the No. 12?”
Tanjore 868-190018 Eliot St. Tanjore provides excellent options from a number of Indian regions. The lunch buffet is a particularly good deal. Dinner is more of a financial commitment, but rationalize it by remembering you’ll go home with enough leftovers to feed yourself for a week.
Yenching Restaurant547-11301326 Mass Ave., Harvard Square Yenching usually comes in second place among local Chinese restaurants for location and quality, but it’s a solid option if you’re in Harvard Square. Generally cheaper than Changsho, vegetarians will do well here.
Boca Grande354-74001728 Mass Ave., north of campus on the left. Die-hards swear by this quick-serve burrito joint. Others won’t go near it, despite the fact that no dish costs more than $4. Try the lemon-chicken open burrito with green sauce. They’re into indigestion, black beans and bathroom stalls … livin’ la vida Boca.
Darwin’s 354-5233148 Mt. Auburn St. Worth the walk, this sandwich/soup/salad joint is a favorite among those who have discovered it. (And we’re not too happy about telling the rest of you where it is.) Darwin’s boasts a menu of gourmet sandwiches that lures a substantial portion of Cambridge’s lunch crowd. If you want to get a seat or dawdle over the paper without drawing hostile stares, it’s better to hit it in the afternoon.
Montrose Spa547-5053On the west side of Mass Ave. just north of Chauncy St. The friendly folks who run this place don’t just specialize in bruised bananas and skin mags. Put aside your concerns about the counter-top dust and order up a deli sandwich to go. With nearly a pound of meat slapped on two thick planks of Dutch Crunch, these sandwiches are guaranteed to beat any carnivorous cravings.
One Arrow Street Crepes661-CREPE1 Arrow St. (Go figure.) You thought crepes were just for dessert. And you were wrong. This hole-in-the-wall is difficult to find and more expensive than you’d expect (expect to spend $5 to $10), but it wins many fans as an alternative to the usual fare.
Oxford Spa661-6988102 Oxford St. Just a quick walk up Oxford Street from the Grope, this sandwich shop emphasizes quality over atmosphere. You’ll also find homemade salads (potato, green bean, pasta, lettuce), daily soup specials and banana bread. If you don’t make it over here at least once this year, you’re not allowed to complain about food at the Hark.
Brew Moon 499-2739 50 Church St. Ignore the Border Café and proceed to Brew Moon for more satisfying fare and a wide selection of pale ales. You’ll be eating in a restaurant with about as much warmth as a refrigerator and paying way too much for your food, but you won’t go away hungry. And you might even have enough to take home afterwards.
Casablanca 876-0999 40 Brattle St. When you want to forget you’re a law student for a while, splurge on dinner or dessert at Casablanca. Just don’t forget that they have a high per-person food minimum. (The standoffish waitstaff will be happy to remind you at least twice.) Still, they make a mean martini, and their Banana Napoleon is the best dessert in town.
John Harvard’s868-358533 Dunster St., The GarageThis cavernous microbrewery serves up slightly overpriced but satisfying pub fare. If you plan on imbibing, bring at least two forms of I.D. They don’t trust you here. And knock off their gooey brownie sundae before you go. You’ll end up with caramel all over your face, but you’ll enjoy it.
Dalí 661-3254415 Washington StEither show up at 5 p.m. on a Tuesday or plan ot wait for a table at this date-friendly tapás bar. Romantic tables for two abound. The food is excellent, and the menu changes frequently. Don’t forget to indulge in a pitcher of sangria.
East Coast Grill 491-6568Inman Square (It’s closer than you think.) A Polynesian blend of seafood, mammal meat, fresh fruits and veggies. The food is almost as amazing as the glowing red, paper maché volcano on the back-room wall. On the menu, you’ll find delectable treats like roasted plantains and cornbread. Definitely a must-eat during your time at HLS. Sunday brunch is a killer, and they’ve even got a do-it-yourself Bloody Mary bar.
Cambridge CommonIf you don’t know where or what this is, you’re not a Harvard Law stu
dent. But for those of you who haven’t stepped out of the Gropius complex yet, the Common is a couple blocks north of campus on Mass Ave. The Common is a reliable standby, the bread and butter of HLS’ bar scene. Also a provider of pub grub, so it’s destined to become a major part of your repertoire. Just don’t do anything you wouldn’t want bandied about your Contracts section – you’ll see more law students here than in the Hark at noon.
Forest CaféOn Mass. Ave., next to the Westside Lounge. What this place has: questionable Mexican food. What this place does not have: law students. Sometimes you just need to be alone with a beer, and if that beer happens to be a cold Tecate served in the can, then all roads lead to the Forest Café. Bring lots of dollar bills; you’ll need them for Cambridge’s finest jukebox. Also a solid place to pick up townies.
Grendel’s DenHarvard Square, next to the park across from Tower Records.Get hammered at the only bar in Cambridge to lend its name to a Supreme Court case. Back with a vengeance, offering bargain basement prices on appetizers during happy hour.
O’Sullivan’sOn Beacon, across from the Star Market. From campus, walk up Oxford Street, turn right on Sacramento and walk to Beacon. A favorite pub for students living on the Cambridge-Somerville line. Only four beers on tap, but one of them is destined to be a Sam Adams seasonal brew. The clientele tends toward the cantankerous and alcoholic – perfect company for future attorneys. Grab a burger and a 22 oz. Corona. We promise you won’t be disappointed.
The People’s RepublikMass Ave. toward Central Square. Middle-aged men armed with darts and Communist tendencies. (Last year law students witnessed two senior citizens duking it out in the corner. Now, that’s entertainment.) Cheap drinks and a 2 a.m. closing time make it the perfect place to go after getting cut off at John Harvard’s.
Shay’sWalk down JFK Street, past the Garage Mall. The bar’s on your left. Outside tables available, but on a nice day, it may be packed. That’s why you get there at 3 p.m. Good hunting grounds for undergrads.
Dadalus425 1/2 Mt. Auburn St. Newcomer Dadalus is winning fans with is second-floor, glass-ceiling bar. The menu is on the pricier side, but the Greek-esque food is often worth it. Big on atmosphere and destined to become a haven for yuppies.
Temple BarOn Mass Ave., past Evergood Supermarket. It offers Cambridge’s yuppie scene, a full bar and a pricey menu. The pizza may actually be a good deal. Wear nothing but black and order a cosmo like you know what you’re talking about. The place to go when you want to pretend you’re not a starving student.
Westside LoungeOn Mass Ave., just south of Temple Bar. Imagine you’re in SoHo for a minute, and then you overhear two regulars talking about “revuhsin’ the cuhse.” The Westside Lounge is a relative newcomer on the Cambridge bar scene. It’s the kind of place where you sip on a polite glass of wine or a cocktail, and the management isn’t too tolerant of drunks dancing on the barstools. The good news? You can always find a seat.
The BurrenIn Davis Square on Elm Street. Immortalized in the indie flick “Next Stop Wonderland.” This solid Irish bar lets you get in touch with your roots (if you’re Irish, anyway). They didn’t name a square after Little Joe Cook for nothing. You can catch a wide assortment of live music here, from Irish rock to ’80s flashbacks.
The Cantab LoungeOn Mass. Ave. in the heart of Central Square.Two levels of live music and Thursday night blues.
Lily’sOn Somerville Ave. Take the tunnel to the left of the Star Market on Beacon and then a right on Somerville when you come out. It’s all about the funk. Live music makes this Somerville joint the new “it” bar. They serve liquor, too.
The Thirsty ScholarAt 70 Beacon St. Walk south of the Star Market and south of Kirkland.The live music nights can get a little loud, but it’s still a strong place to get drunk.
The Crimson GrilleOn JFK south of Harvard Square. Chances of hooking up? High. Chances they’re under 18? Astronomical. Sometimes it’s nice to live dangerously.
The Hong KongTake Mass. Ave. south past the Holyoke Center, and keep walking till you see the three-story “Chinese” restaurant.Their Scorpion Bowls have nourished generations of Harvard scholars. The Kong specializes in greasy food and cheap drinks.
The Miracle of ScienceOn Mass. Ave. past Central Square on the way to MIT. Miracle of MIT frat boys. If you like engineers and binge drinking (and who doesn’t?), then make your way over.