Party Earth Review Boasting one of the motliest music scenes in town, The Middle East is a versatile entertainment complex and nightlife magnet for hipsters, college students, and the music obsessed. Divided into four areas, the venue’s... ... read full review
472/480 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
Red Line: Central Square
M–W, Su 5:30–midnight, Th–Sa 5:30pm–2am
Cambridge / Somerville, Boston –
Boasting one of the motliest music scenes in town, The Middle East is a versatile entertainment complex and nightlife magnet for hipsters, college students, and the music obsessed.
Divided into four areas, the venue’s main space is known as “The Corner,” a festive red and yellow bar and dining room featuring acoustic acts, where a perpetual gaggle of indie fans and collegians meet up for beer and falafel before fanning out to see what’s on deck in the other rooms.
Patrons looking for hard-driving basement rock can head to the graffiti-decorated “Downstairs,” a spacious music room whose dual bars keep the head-bangers happy while indie bands like Ra Ra Riot and Okkervil River rock out on stage.
Those in search of a mellower vibe can make their way to the more intimate “Upstairs” loft space, which showcases local talent and an oddball décor featuring seating fashioned from the bench of an old VW van.
The room with the most distinct personality, however, is Zuzu’s, an easygoing weeknight lounge sporting mirrors and Christmas lights that transforms into a flirty dance party on the weekends, when a trendier crowd of sophisticated twenty-somethings shows up to groove to the DJ’s mix of vintage soul, funk, and R&B.
Full of options and a free-minded, happy-go-lucky clientele, The Middle East is a mecca for clubbers and music lovers in the mood for something different.
Music fans, college students, rockers, alternative types, tourists, artsy young professionals, and club-goers, late teens to late 30s.
Live bands playing rock, indie, Brazilian, cover, acoustic, or bluegrass most nights Upstairs and Downstairs, and in the The Corner Thursdays through Saturdays.
Occasional belly dancing and open mic comedy nights in The Corner. DJs spin everything from funk and dance to Motown six nights a week at Zuzu’s. Check website for music schedule.
Full menu of Middle Eastern dishes including spinach pie and stuffed grape leaves, served at The Corner, Zuzu’s, and Upstairs.
Cover charges: Zuzu’s $5/F–Sa, Upstairs $8–$15, Downstairs $12–$25. Menu $4–$14. Beer $4+, wine $6–$9/glass or $20–$35/bottle, cocktails $7–$9.75.
Very casual Upstairs, Downstairs, and in The Corner. Trendier at Zuzu’s: button-downs and nice shoes for guys and dresses or vintage clothing for girls.
Any night for live music, and Zuzu’s on Friday and Saturday nights for the DJs. Best to arrive by 10pm before the place gets packed.
TT the Bear's Place (10 Brookline Street) right around the corner offers live music every night.